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!!