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By Patrick McCormick

Minnesota Duluth Wins NCAA D I Championship

 

The only team to have a season sweep of the Seawolves last season was also the only team to end with a win when the defeated Michigan 3-2 in overtime.

 

Congratulations to the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs who once again bring the national championship back to the undisputed best league in college hockey, the WCHA.

 

In case you were wondering UAA lost 3-2 in overtime and 6-0 in their opening WCHA series last season.  Showing UAA can skate with any team in college hockey.  Hopefully next season UAA can take the four games they play against Duluth and knock of the defending champs.


UMD plays against Bemidji State in the WCHA Final Five

In other hockey new, Tommy Grant signed a contract with the New York Rangers organization and is now heading into the playoffs with the AHL Connecticut Whale.  Tommy has already tallied three assists in seven games.


Tommy Grant’s last game as a Seawolf

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By Megan Edge

Take me out to the ball game,” this song is known nationwide, but its inspiration has faded into the background along with its sport, baseball.

Sure, baseball is still America’s favorite past time, but it’s not our favorite sport. 

This was proven at the last Olympics in Beijing China, in 2008 when South Korea took home the gold medal, Cuba took home silver, and the United States took home bronze.

Korea takes home the gold.

The athletic world has changed, since 1908 when the iconic song was written.

America has changed and evolved.  

Football is the new baseball, in the same way that atheism has become the new Christianity, here in the United States.

A school in Panama City Florida has faith week with two Christian based clubs, now they are taking a whole new spin on things. Their new atheist club will be joining the week of faith, as well as joining the other estimated 240 college and high school atheist clubs.

Yes, the way America works has changed.

Peanuts and Cracker Jacks are out; nachos and beer are in!

“People ask me what I do in winter, when there is no baseball,” Rogers Hornsby once said. “I’ll tell you what I do.”

“I stare out the window and wait for spring.”

Hornsby, born in 1896, played professional ball from 1915-1937 for the Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Braves and Browns and was a product of an entirely different America, a different generation. I would suspect that if he were to come back here for just a day he would be sick to his stomach.

His quote is no longer valid for the fans of America, who at one point in time would have sat patiently waiting, in the window sill right next to him. Now, during those long winter months, we spend Sunday after Sunday watching out favorite football teams.

These days, baseball is just the sport that fills an empty void until football season rolls back around for most Americans.

“Baseball players are smarter than football players,” Jim Bouton, a former MLB pitcher who started his career in 1962 with the New York Yankees said. “How often do you see a baseball team penalized for having too many men on the field?”

Maybe he is right. Maybe baseball players are a smarter breed of athletes, which, in NFL players’ defense, could be credited to hard hits and concussions.

In the opening week 2010 NFL season, the NFL saw four concussions.

The football phenomenon has broken out of the south and into the rest of the U.S., and has swept through the American people, taking the loyal baseball aficionados and turning them into football traitors.

By Taylor Hall

Throughout this college hockey season, there have been whispers of a new conference coming into existence, and reshaping the landscape of the current college hockey world.

As the season progressed, those whispers grew more and more tumultuous until the official announcement transformed those whispers into ear-splitting realizations.

On Mar. 21, the Big Ten Conference released plans for the formation of a six-team hockey conference that would commence play in the 2012-13 season. Of the six teams, five of them would abandon their current conferences to join the start-up league.

Wisconsin and Minnesota would bolt from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), the league in which UAA is affiliated with in hockey, to fly under the Big Ten banner. The move of these two storied programs would mean the WCHA goes from 12 to 10 teams.

Feeling the effect even more would be the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), the conference in which the rival UAF Nanooks compete. Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State would all vacate their current spot in the CCHA and leave just eight remaining teams in the CCHA.

Rounding out the six teams would be the newly formed Penn State team, who announced they would begin a varsity college hockey program in 2012.

So what does this shakedown mean for college hockey?

Simply put, it depends on whom you ask.

For the future Big Ten schools, it’s the gravy train. They will still get an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament with the winner of their conference postseason. They also will likely get huge deals from the Big Ten Network to broadcast the games. That will bring in millions more in revenue to teams that already are well off.

To make it even sweeter, these five teams will still get to play their rivals from their former conference. Basically, they can keep stoking the fires of traditional rivalries and now get rewarded with having tougher non-conference opponents from the CCHA and WCHA.

It is easy understand their logic in moving to the new Big Ten conference and adding a bit more loose change into their pockets while doing so.

For the WCHA, this move (one in which they expected) is another period of movement, something they are familiar with.

“Today’s announcement from the Big Ten conference has been anticipated for some time now,” said WCHA Commissioner Bruce M. McLeod in an official statement released the same day the Big Ten announced its plans, “and this will obviously have an impact on the WCHA. But change creates opportunity, too. The timeline of this Association spans seven decades and has included expansion and contraction on numerous occasions, but the success of this organization has remained constant. The commitment to excellence by our member institutions will not waver and working together we will push forward to assure our future remains bright.”

To some, such as UAA Head Coach Dave Shyiak, the move doesn’t make much sense for programs like Wisconsin and Minnesota to leave the WCHA behind.

“I’m not a fan of (the formation of) the Big Ten,” Shyiak said. “I think it’s going to hurt college hockey more than help it.”

Shyiak himself has been a member of the WCHA and CCHA. He was a player for the Northern Michigan Wildcats (a member of the WCHA until 1997) through the years of 1987-91, and captained the Wildcats to their only National Championship in 1991. He had been an assistant and associate head coach for the Wildcats 10 years (in the CCHA) before taking over the Seawolves in 2005.

“I love our league and I think it is the strongest league in college hockey,” Shyiak said. “I understand the intentions of the Big Ten league but I think if you look at our league it is the ‘big twelve’.

“Why dismantle it when you got something going as good as it is.”

For the WCHA, you lose two of your biggest programs in the Wisconsin and Minnesota. Lets be honest, fans are more likely to come out and watch their school’s team go up against a Minnesota or Wisconsin more than a Michigan Tech or Minnesota State. Programs in the WCHA are likely to take a hit in ticket sales due to that fact.

However, the best hockey conference in the land will survive and weather the storm of the Big Ten.

For the CCHA, that effect will be even more drastic and possibly fatal. Bottom feeder teams like Lake Superior, Ferris State, and UAF all depend on their hockey teams as the biggest revenue-getters. With losses of big name programs, these hockey-first schools are likely to struggle to remain above the surface in the near future.

Not impossible to stay afloat, but it will be a mountain to climb.

So is the ripple effect here in the 49th state? UAA doesn’t have too much to fear apart from losing storied programs from their league. UAF has far more at risk due to the move.

Could we see the UAF Nanooks look to join the WCHA sometime in the future? Hey, it seems like a decent fit. Though the WCHA has already said it will look to keep the 10 teams it has right now, pressure from other schools will likely started to amount in the next few years.

My thoughts, after all is said and done, are that we will see UAF joining the WCHA down the line (give or take five years) and we will see the Governor’s Cup rivalry get that much more nasty when the Cup will not only decide state bragging rights, but conference points for home-ice advantage.


Yeah we all know about March madness and the betting pools and stuff, but how about a DI sport that we have in Alaska? Well heres the solution to your hockey jonesing: http://www.pickemhockey.com/bracket/ pick the winner win a prize and more importantly I’ll think you are cool… The group name: TNLSports the password: goseawolves

Prizes are TBD if enough of you enter, maybe just maybe we can convince the big wigs at TNL to get the winner something cool, if not well, the winner will still get something cool* but likely not very expensive.

Oh and if you read this blog but don’t “Like” TNL on facebook yet, well do it, it enters you for a chance at an ipod but we need 500 “likes” first

So Pick away, try to beat me, I’ll have a tourney preview up soon…

Patrick

 

*prize is not that cool

By Megan Edge

As the death toll in Japan rises every day, sports fans can focus on one thing and one thing only, the NFL Lockout.

From selfish owners to selfish athletes and all the people in between, sports aficionados seem to be more concerned about the future of American football, rather than the devastating catastrophe currently taking place in Japan.

This isn’t to say that the athletic industry in America is the only industry at fault. In a recent interview broadcasted on MSNBC with Charlie Sheen, a banner ran across the bottom of the screen briefly mentioning Japan.

With all this negligence going on, I would like to mention and recognize the athletes putting their hard earned money and celebrity status to good use.

Kosuke Kimura, from Kobe, Japan, is a defender on the Colorado Rapids, 2010 M.L.S Champions. He started a blog to gain support of people around the world to donate money to the Red Cross, and help Japan get back on their feet.

Olympic distance runner Dai Tamesue has kept his eye on the prize and his heart in the place of the people, raising over $100,000 thus far in his relief efforts

Yani Tseng, a golfer, is currently making the UNICEF Tap project her choice charity this week. The ten players of the LPGA tour donate $500,000 to a charity of their choice. Tseng made the UNICEF Tap project her choice because the project will go towards the children of Japan effected by this crisis.

Some of the worlds top skiers such as Julia Mancuso, Ted Ligety and Akira Sasaki have pledged to donate half of there prize money to the people of Japan, and we can’t forget the Winter X-games athletes who participated in a coat drive.

However these efforts go almost completely unrecognized.

OH NO!

Tom Brady could lose money in the 2011-12 football season.

OH NO!

There might not even be a next season!

My response to this is: Aren’t there important public issues? The NFL is the most profitable professional league in the nation. Our efforts, our worries and our fears should be put more on the things that matter. We need to remember that whether it’s football, hockey, soccer, or baseball- it’s just a game in the end.

Use that controller that sits on the arm of your recliner, and change the channel off of Sports Center and onto something that matters. Or, if you must be constantly glued to ESPN, remove your eyes from Neil Everett every now and again to catch a glimpse from the passing score banner that has donation information minimally displayed.

Use $10 of the money that pays for your premium sports package to help those in dire need.

Yes, athletes, coaches, owners, fans and everyone else should take their eye off the ball for just long enough to catch a glimpse of the real world.

Its not all trophies, home runs and victories.

Updates

By Patrick McCormick

Seawolf Gymnasts are in 2nd place in the regional meet  after 3 rotations! More as information becomes available

Stats from period #2 of the WCHA championship game

 

Denver Pioneers

Goals 0

Shots 26

Blocked 6

Missed 8

Pipes: 1

Shots on Goal 11

Saves: 9

 

North Dakota

Goals 2

Kristo From Dickin and LaPoint

Davidson from Kristo and LaPoint

Shots 22

Blocked 6

Missed 5

Pipes 0

Shots on Goal 11

Saves 11

 

 

 

 

Period 1 of WCHA Championship

 

1-0 Denver

 

For Denver:

1 Goal

UD at 5:06 Scored by Dustin Jackson assisted by Kyle Ostrow and Anthony Maiani

20 Shots Attempted

6 Blocked by Defense

4 Missed

0 Pipes

10 Shots on Goal

 

6 Saves for Brittain

2 Penalties for 4 minutes

0-1 on PP

 

For North Dakota

0 Goals

8 Shots Attempted

1 Blocked By Defense

1 Missed

0 Pipes

6 Shots on Goal

 

9 Saves for Dell

2 Penalties for 4 minutes

0-1 on PP

 

Tonight’s matchup is the #5 Denver Pioneers (24-10-5) vs. the #1 North Dakota Fighting Sioux (29-8-3).  Denver advanced past Bemidji state last night 6-2 while North Dakota had to work hard against a very sharp looking Colorado College Tigers 4-3 with a game winning goal from WCHA player of the year and Hobey Baker award finalist Matt Frattin at 14:20.  It looks like it should be a great final game, be sure to stay tuned to us on twitter @SportsTNL for game updates.

South Anchorage High School Standout Evan Trupp is the starting winger for the Sioux and Denver backup goalie Adam Murry also played for South Anchorage.

 

Thursday game recap

By Patrick McCormick

Rough night for the Seawolves on Thursday, despite great play.

UAA started the game with aggressive fore-checking, crisp passing, and good positional play. Before the Tigers got on the board at 7:30 in the first period on a power play goal, the Seawolves controlled play missing several point blank opportunities. CC could hardly muster a coherent offense, however, weird bounces doomed the Seawolves to a 2-0 deficit at the end of the first period.

CC would strike again at 4:39 in the second extending the lead to three, which lead to freshman goaltender Rob Gunderson getting the nod for a relief appearance of starter Chris Kamal, his first play since a Feb. 25 loss to UAF.

UAA would finally get on the board on a redirect by Mickey Spencer off of a giant Quinn Sproule slapshot from the high point with just over five minutes play in the second. Down by two, the Seawolves had a jump in their step and played like a team determined to come back. However, with 17.7 seconds left in the second, CC’s Joe Marciano delivered the knockout blow deflating the ‘Wolves with his second goal on the night.

UAA had a golden opportunity to chip into the CC lead at 7:08 in the third when Ryan Lowery was whistled for a hooking infraction giving the Seawolves 53 seconds of 5 on 3 action. However, UAA was unable to convert and wound up going 0 for 6 on the power play on the night.

With 4:20 left in the game, sophomore winger Tyler Currier got whistled for a 5 minute checking from behind call putting the ‘Wolves down a man for the rest of the game.

Despite being on the penalty kill UAA would not go quietly controlling much of the play in the last four minutes with Luka Vidmar picking up his second goal of the year with just over a minute to play. Ten seconds later Sean Wiles got two minutes for charging leaving UAA down two men until Gunderson was pulled with 29 seconds left.

UAA finished the season with its best record since 1993 at 16-18-3 and 14-16-2 in league play and look forward to next season only losing 5 seniors.

Stay tuned to TNL on twitter for updates from the rest of the final five tournament.