Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Puck Talk: Chargers, 'Tips, buzz cuts, Bertuzzday Award... and Tokarski

Chargers Wait

The UAH Chargers are waiting to hear where they'll head to kick off the NCAA Division I hockey tournament, after beating the Niagara Purple Eagles 3-2 in overtime in the final championship game of the CHA division, which is now no more. The Chargers could play in Albany, NY, St. Paul, MN, Fort Wayne, IN or Worcester, MA. I know I'm not the only UAH fan who hopes the Chargers meet a CCHA team in the first round-- and just creams them! Eh. I know it's sour grapes at this point to still be upset that the CCHA denied UAH's application to join the division, but it still rankles to feel like the odd man out, after Niagara and Robert Morris went to the Atlantic Division and the WCHA took in Bemidji. It's not even that the CCHA had no room - it DID, because UNO decided to move from the CCHA to the WCHA. Again, it's water under the bridge, but still. GO CHARGERS! Follow the NCAA tourney by clicking here. Follow the Chargers and re-live all the goals from the CHA Championship on SAVE UAH Hockey's website. Just click here. In the meantime, here's a great shot of a victorious Chargers team posing again with the CHA trophy back home in Huntsville.

                                 Chargers Victorious! (Photo: UAH Chargers)

BTW, I wrote a passionate (well, I think so, anyway!) blog about the Chargers' cloudy future back in August, when news broke of CCHA's rejection of UAH. It mentions a bit of history, especially during my years at UAH. If you want to check it out, click here.

Silvertips prepare.

                                            Silvertips (photo: Su Ring)

The Everett Silvertips are preparing for a playoff run that many hope will end with the boys bringing the Memorial Cup home to Western Washington. Everett goes into the playoff with a 46-21-3-2 record; Kelowna has a 35-31-2-4 record. But when it comes to playoffs, records really don't matter, do they? Who's gonna have the heart and drive to make it to the next round? The Silvertips have played the entire season with lots of heart and great teamwork. Throw in Shane Harper's 42 goals and 38 assists, along with great work by Kellan Tochkin (28G/48A), Tyler Maxwell (33G/36A), Byron Froese (29G/32A), some great defense by Radko Gudas and company, and steller netminding from Kent Simpson and San Jose prospect Thomas Heemskerk. Kelowna will bring power from the likes of Brandon McMillan (25G/42A), Tyson Barrie (19G/53A), Shane McColgan (25G/44A) and goaltender Adam Brown.  If you're anywhere within driving distance of either city, I suggest you take in a game (or 3). You won't be disappointed. You can follow all the WHL playoff action by clicking here. And if you have any doubt as to who I'm cheering for in the Memorial Cup run: GO 'TIPS GO!

'Tips ready to bare... their heads

Speaking of playoff runs, the Silvertips are shaving their heads to prepare for the post-season. In fact, a few will get buzzcuts LIVE, tonight during the Silvertips weekly radio show on KRKO NorthSound 1380. Among those getting shorn are play by play guys Jon Rosen & Al Kinisky, and LW Scott MacDonald. Wanna watch? Go to Sporty's Beef & Brew in Everett tonight before 6:05 (that's what time the show starts). Click here for more info.

Bertuzzday Award!

In my last post, I lashed out at the Penguins' Matt Cooke over his nasty hit on Marc Savard last week. By now, we've all heard the rant by Don Cherry (see my last post if you haven't). Now, the good folks at NBC's Pro Hockey Talk have named Cooke as the recipient of its first ever "Bertuzzday Award."  Good stuff. You can read more by clicking here. Many kudos to writer James O'Brien. If his name sounds familiar, you may know him from his other blog, "Cycle Like Sedins." He's over on my blogroll so check him out!

Tokarski talks!

                                 Dustin Tokarski (Photo: Mike Carlson-AP)

I don't know if I'm saving the best for last, or if this is just how it turned out, but my good friend Cassie McClellan from "Raw Charge" just interviewed Norfolk Admirals (former Spokane Chiefs) goalie Dustin Tokarski. If you follow the WHL at all, you know the name. In addition to helping lead Spokane to the Memorial Cup in 2008, he also backstopped Team Canada to its 5th straight gold medal in the World Juniors last year. (Another WHL star, Thomas Hickey [Seattle T-Birds/Manchester Monarchs] was Captain of that glorious team!). 

Anyway-- here's a link to Cassie's interview with awesome Tampa Bay prospect Dustin. Awesome stuff.

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