Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Homage to anthem singers - courtesy of the Hanson Brothers

Monday Puckpourri: WHL season underway; CCPT Hockey expands to 2 HOURS LIVE; new hope for UAH and one more thing!

The WHL season started over the weekend, which means I am in hockey heaven right now! Having two teams within (relatively quick) driving distance isn't bad, either. The Everett Silvertips are starting things off with an 8-GAME HOME STAND. You can't get any better than that! Two games ar already in the books for the 'Tips - both wins (They beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-3 Friday night and the Vancouver Giants 5-2 Saturday night. This Friday, they welcome the Kamloops Blazers to Comcast Arena, followed by the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday. For game times and tickets, click here.

The Seattle Thunderbirds rebounded from their last-second loss to the 'Tips by handily thrashing the Portland Winterhawks Saturday night at ShoWare Center. Before dropping the puck on their home opener, the team and fans paid tribute to Glen Goodall, the most prolific scorer in T-Birds history. To take a look at his numbers, check out his profile at HockeyDB.com. I couldn't believe some of the numbers I saw! For example: during his final year in Seattle (89-90), Goodall had 76 goals and 87 assists for 163 points. Does that look like a typo or what?? Anyway, the crowd welcomed him back in high style and his 16 year old daughter thrilled everyone with her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Then, the T-Birds showed what they learned over the summer, beating the Winterhawks 4-1. After the game, I conducted my very first post-game interviews, with Head Coach Rob Sumner and T-Birds d-man Brenden Dillon. You can read my entire wrap up, plus interviews on the KING 5 Sports site. Or just click here.

My friend Tyler Hunnex is one of the finest T-Birds hockey minds I know - and is busy adding to his popular blog, "Let's Go Birds." You can check out his wrap-up of opening weekend, plus a player-by-player overview for the season. Just click here.

I guess this is also a good place to remind you to read my WHL stuff over at "From the Rink."

My friend Cassie McClellan and I are having a blast co-hosting the CCPT Hockey show over on BlogTalkRadio.com.  We've garnered a faithful following who tunes in at 3pm Pacific/6pm Eastern/11pm UK every Sunday to listen to us banter with each other and a myriad of guests for an hour live and even longer on the archive podcast. This past Sunday, the show expanded to TWO HOURS live, plus longer in the archive podcast. We had a lively conversation with 5 guests: Eric Naughton, a Pens fan and cancer survivor, who's chronicling his post-cancer quest to learn how to play hockey with a documentary called "Life, Cancer and the Pursuit of Hockey," Matt Wagner, Columbus Blue Jackets blogger, Anthony Curatolo, co-founder of The Hockey Guys, writers for The Fourth Period, Hockey Independent and a bunch of other sites, as well as co-host of his own BTR show called The Hockey Guys. He's also a diehard Flyers fan; Marilyn aka "Macksayev" - a good friend of ours from our NHL Connect days and very knowledgeable about the Buffalo Sabres and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League; and "Super" Dave Block, a Leafs fan who works the NHL Rookie Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan every year (and knows about the Red Wings by osmosis, as he lives in Michigan). Not only did we fill the entire LIVE two-hour block, our podcast portion ran almost an extra hour! You can check out that show and all our other shows by clicking here. We also have a show blog: http://ccpthockey.blogspot.com.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely passionate about my would-be alma mater, the University of Alabama in Huntsville and its hockey program. The Chargers have withstood so much adversity, only to thrive and produce some top-notch human beings who also happen to play hockey. So far, only one Charger has cracked an NHL lineup (Jared Ross, first with the Philadelphia Flyers last year; now, with the Atlanta Thrashers), but that doesn't change the fact that the guys are first-rate. Last year, when the CHA dissolved, all of the teams found new homes within the WCHA and CCHA. EXCEPT the Chargers. UAH is playing as an independent program this year (they're no stranger to that!) but after that, the future is a little cloudy for the Chargers. I firmly believe that recent news that Penn State wants to start a Division I hockey program (men's and women's) may breathe a little life and hope into the Chargers. My friend Derek Zona (from "Copper and Blue" and "From the Rink") wrote up a very nice outline of just how the NCAA hockey landscape could change once Penn State hits the ice. As of right now, I'm saying, "Come on, Big 10 - get going so UAH can join the CCHA or WCHA and stay alive!"  To read Derek's story and comment on it, just click here.

Now, for that ONE MORE THING.

I want to make the ULTIMATE hockey playlist, but I need your help! Share your favorite songs heard at hockey games. Once I get enough submissions, I'll create a playlist to share. It can be as obvious as Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll, Part 2" - to the opening strains of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck."  But try to be obvious and give me something that might not have been played to death already (hint: think Europe. Yep, I know that keyboard intro is playing in your head right now!)

That's it for tonight. If I forgot something, I'll post another blog.
Happy Hockey, everyone!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The 2010/2011 WHL season is officially underway, with 8 games already in the books. Here's a look at last night's scores:

Brandon 5, Regina 4
Lethbridge 5, Calgary 3
Red Deer 4, Edmonton 1
Swift Current 4, Moose Jaw 1
Saskatoon 3, Prince Albert 2

Kamloops 5, Prince George 2
Vancouver 9, Chilliwack 4
Everett 4, Seattle 3

Folks who attended the Vancouver-Chilliwack game last night got quite a show. 7 different players scored for the Giants, while Brenden Gallagher and Marek Tvrdon scored TWICE in what can only be described as a ROUT. Here's a list of Giants who scored: James Henry, Dalton Sward,Jordan Martinook, Matt MacKay and Captain Craig Cunningham. Gotta give props to Bruins LW Ryan Howse, who had a had a hat trick in Chilliwack's losing effort. Jamie Crooks also scored.

The big season opener here, of course, took place up at Comcast Arena in Everett, as the Silvertips faced the Seattle Thunderbirds in an exciting showdown. The T-Birds hit the scoreboard 2:50 into the first period on a goal by German player Marcel Noebels. Luke Lockhard put Seattle up 2-0 with a power play goal at the 13:54 mark. Everett cut the lead by one less than 30 seconds later, with a goal by Campbell Elyniuk.  Kellan Tochkin tied things up for the Tips on a power play 3/4ths of the way into the 2nd period, but Burke Gallimore scored a power play goal two minutes later to put Seattle on top again 3-2. Tyler Maxwell scored on a power play early in the third, then sealed the game for the Silvertips with 38 seconds left on the clock.  Final score: Everett 3, Seattle 2.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Puck-pourri: A new column, Super-Sized Sunday and an awesome dinner/T-Birds game deal

Now that we're on the brink of a new hockey season, I need to knuckle down to some serious writing, especially as I've added a new column to my repertoire. The nice Mike Chen at FROM THE RINK has invited me to cover the WHL for them and I've said yes. However, I will NOT be doing a WHL blog for SB Nation this season. Since I've rejoined the ranks of the employed, my writing time has been severely cut and I need to focus the majority of my attention on writing my second novel and promoting the first. There IS time for hockey, but not to the extent that I would have had to commit myself.

Anyway, back to FROM THE RINK. I posted my first blog for them on Friday (my regular posting day)- a little blip about the WHL's pre-season action that's already under way. If you want to check it out, just click here.

Many of you know that I co-host a hockey show on Sundays with my friend Cassie McClellan. Some of our friends also have shows on Sundays. Tomorrow, three shows are joining forces for one SUPER-SIZED SUNDAY HOCKEY EXTRAVAGANZA. The Hockey Guys, The Program and CCPT Hockey will air as one mondo show starting at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern. We've never done anything like this before. It should be pretty interesting, to say the least.

The Seattle Thunderbirds are going to be fun to watch this season. Last year was the beginning of a time of rebuilding for the team. This year, the 16 year olds are older and wiser, and goaltender Calvin Pickard is on tap to have a hell of a season. There are many critics writing off the T-Birds, but I think we're in for a few surprises. To make things even better, Salty's Seafood is teaming up with the T-Birds to offer its "dinner and a game" special again. $55 gets you a 3 course meal, transportation to and from ShoWare Center and a ticket to the game. Right now, the offer is for the home opener on Saturday, September 25 against the Portland Winterhawks and the game on Friday, November 19 against the Spokane Chiefs, but expect to see that list expand as the season goes on. To check out the menu and other details, click here.

Here's a look at some of the features I'm working on right now to post in the coming days and weeks: A piece about some of the more amazing women of hockey's blogosphere; a story about the WHL's awesome scholarship program, featuring interviews with several players who have benefited from being able to go to school after aging out of the league; and a chat with the play-by-play guys of the WHL's US Division.

As you wait for the WHL's season to fully kick off (yes, I'm mixing sports), here's a list of websites you might want to bookmark or keep in a handy place:


US Division Teams
Everett Silvertips
Seattle Thunderbirds
Portland Winterhawks
Spokane Chiefs
Tri City Americans

Other Western Conference Teams
Chilliwack Bruins
Kamloops Blazers
Kelowna Rockets
Prince George Cougars
Vancouver Giants

Eastern Conference Teams

Brandon Wheat Kings
Calgary Hitmen
Edmonton Oil Kings
Kootenay Ice
Lethbridge Hurricanes
Medicine Hat Tigers
Moose Jaw Warriors
Prince Albert Raiders
Red Deer Rebels
Regina Pats
Saskatoon Blades
Swift Current Broncos