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Posts Tagged ‘NAHL’

I’m on a junior hockey kick right now, so I’m going with it.  Somewhere around 2004 I discovered this thing called “junior hockey”.  Prior to that I had heard of it, but really didn’t know what it was.  Not entirely sure how I discovered it, but since then I’ve grown some appreciation for it. 

Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned about junior hockey is that change happens all the time:  teams move from city to city, teams move from league to league, teams change names, teams discontinue.  When it comes to sports I suppose the term conservative fits;  I’m generally against rule changes, teams moving etc.  Yet, when it comes to junior hockey I don’t mind the changes.  While I like seeing the same teams, the changing in teams is sort-of refreshing to me, not sure why that is.  Maybe it’s similar to Han Shot First!!!! , which although I really like Star Wars I really don’t care if Han shot first or second or never.

For junior hockey, I started out following the NAHL to begin with.  Here’s what happened to the NAHL teams since I began following (using Wikiedia as a guide, which I risky of course):

  • Billings Bulls:  Moved from from the NAHL to the Nor-Pac and now are in the American West Hockey League
  • Bozeman Ice Dogs:  Same story as Billings
  • Helena Bighorns:  Same as above
  • Texarkana Bandits:  Still in NAHL, moved from Texas to St. Louis, now known as the St. Louis Bandits.
  • Farg0-Moorhead Jets:  Team disbanded
  • Southern Minnesota Express: A mess, but still in the NAHL (actually in the NAHL twice now).  First team moved to Detoit (MI) and became known as the Motor City Machine, now in Jamestown (NY) and are the Ironmen.  A second unrelated NAHL team started and were known as the Owatonna Express.  They moved to Odessa (TX) and became the Odessa Jackalopes.
  • Toledo Icediggers:  Still in NAHL, moved to Alpena (MI) and then to Corpus Christie (TX) and are now the Icerays
  • North Iowa Outlaws:  Still in NAHL, moved to Onalaska (WI) and are known as the Coulee Region Chill
  • Springfield Spirit:  Still in the NAHL, moved to Wasilla (AK) and then moved to Palmer (AK) and became the Avalanche
  • Santa Fe RoadRunners:  Still in the NAHL, moved to Topeka (KS)

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As has been the case in my previous times at the NAHL Showcase I enjoyed myself.  It’s wonderful to watch a period of hockey and then when it becomes intermission, to be able to leave and then choose from 3 other games to go watch (more if you count the U-14, U-16, and U-18 games going on).  As always I got to see the ever encroaching ads into sports (see below for the “offenders” who had ads on their jerseys), I especially was annoyed by the (not-so) SuperRink having ads on the floor of their concourse.  In the end there were three teams that finished 4-0 (Fresno, Fairbanks, and Janesville);  the Janeville jets won the tourney by being +11 goal differential since Fresno was +7 and Fairbanks were +6 for the tourney.

Anyhow, here are notes on games I watched (I watched more than these games, these are just ones I took notes on):

Topeka vs. Port Huron (NAHL)
– I watched them warm up, both teams were wearing white.  I swear when I walked by they both were playing the first period and both wearing white.  When I came back and actually watched, Port Huron had switched to their dark jerseys.
– One of the Port Huron players was injured, Topeka’s Luke Veitch (Lewis Center, OH) received a kneeing major and game misconduct for that.
– On the ensuing power-play it was amazing Port Huron didn’t get a goal; they had two chances that somehow didn’t end up in the net. The first one they had the entire right side of the net open, but missed the net. The second Max Milosek (Lapeer, MI) made an incredible save. Port Huron won in the shootout.

Misc:
– Those were some funky numbers that the New Jersey Jr Titans (U-16) were wearing, but they looked good to me.  Here is a look at them.
– I didn’t think about this until I saw a sign, but the MIAC (13 Minnesota schools) has a hockey showcase tourney.  Looks like it’s over the weekend (10-28 through 10/30) at Fogerty Arena in Blaine.  Too bad, I was hoping it was like the NAHL Showcase where the games were during the day on weekdays, but for a money perspective I can understand why it’s on a weekend.

Detroit Falcons vs. Western Michigan Hounds (U-16)
– Very nice logo for the Detroit Falcons (here it is), solid jersey all around.
– The Hounds were wearing that “logo inside a circle” which it seems everyone wants to do now (thanks a heep Minnesota Wild), but they made it into a half-circle which makes it look very nice, which is better in my opinion than the full circle look.  Their jersey has kind of a Team USA look to it.
– Kind of ironic, the teams made the trip from Michigan and end up playing another team from Michigan
– This was a very enjoyable game. These were two U-16 teams and there were less than a dozen people watching it, yet I probably enjoyed it more than if I was going to a Minnesota Wild game. I really must try to keep up with the NAPHL more, although none of them are Minnesota teams.
– The game was 2-2 when I joined it. It looked like W-Mich had scored on a 5-on-3, but the goal was waived off, since the Hounds committed a penalty.
– Detroit’s #19 Luke Moma (Grosse Isle, MI) made a nice interception and scored on a breakaway to take the lead.
– Western Michigan’s #44 Dakota Wilson (Battle Creek, MI) had a nice backhander to tie it up.
– Western Michigan won in a shootout

Wichita Falls versus Kenai River (NAHL)
– I’ve never understood it, but people say that jerseys shouldn’t be brown (purple is mentioned as what jerseys shouldn’t be as well). Kenai wore brown jerseys and they really looked nice (I couldn’t find a picture though)

Ad-creep:
Corpus Christi:  7 ads (4 front of jersey, 1 on back of jersey, 2 on helmets)
Janesville:  1 ad (back of jersey)
Kalamazoo:  2 ads (both on helmet)
Michigan: 1 ad (on helmet)
Wanatchee: 3 (all on back)

Scouts in attendance:
Merrimack
St. Scholastica
Ferris St
UCONN
Finlandia
St. Thomas
UWS
North Dakota
Augsburg
Niagara
RIT
Clarkson
Alaska-Anchorage
Bentley
St. Mary’s
Sacred Heart

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I was taking notes while I was watching games yesterday.  Unfortunately, I forgot my notebook in the car, so maybe Monday I’ll write about what I saw yesterday.

As I mentioned yesterday, there’s no Owatonna team in the NAHL anymore.  I also discovered some other Minnesota Junior Hockey team changes:

  • There’s a new junior hockey team in Hibbing, the Iron Range Ironheads.  They play in the Superior International Junior Hockey League with the Duluth Clydesdales, four Canadian teams, and one Wisconsin team.
  • There’s a new team in Maple Grove, the Maple Grove Energy.  They’ll be in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League.
  • Also marked on that Wikipedia entry is a new MJHL team for 2012-13, the Steele County Blades, who will be in Owatonna.  So it won’t be long that Owatonna will be without a team.
  • I was even aware of this league until yesterday, but the North American 3 Hockey League (abbreviated NA3HL)  has the Granite City Lumberjacks (St. Cloud) and Minnesota Flying Aces (Little Falls), both teams moved from the MJHL to the NA3HL.  There’s also the Twin City Steel (Vadnais Heights).

As far as Minnesota teams in the NAHL showcase last night:

The Alexandria Blizzard lost 7-4 to the Texas Tornado.  The Tornado scored on two of their three power-plays and had a 3-0 lead after the first period.  Tucker Colburn (Park Rapids, MN) had two goals and an assist Thomas Williams (Alexandria, MN) had a goal and an assist in the loss.  Jameson Shortreed (Emo, ON) stopped sixteen of the twenty-two shots and takes the loss.

The Austin Bruins were shutout 3-0 by the Fresno Monsters.  All three goals came in the first period.  Maybe it’s just me, but I’m questioning the accuracy of the data.  According to the boxscore there were a total of zero shots in the third (zero for Austin and zero for Fresno).  The only way I could see that as being accurate is if the game was abandoned after two or during the second (shots in the second are listed as four for Austin and four for Fresno), I don’t see anything on the website that says the game was abandoned.

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NAHL Showcase – Day 1

I will be going to the NAHL Showcase today.  Not sure how late I’ll stay, but I will be there for the first games (first one starts at 10:00, so I’ll probably just miss the first puck drop).  Looks like Austin doesn’t play until 8:15 tonight, I certainly will be gone by then.  Alexandria will play at 4:45, not sure if I’ll be around then or not.  I’ve said it before, I wish all the hockey leagues would use PointStreak, it’s wonderful.  The two Minnesota teams had mixed results last night:

I’m confused by the Alexandria Blizzard gamesheet.  The boxscore says that Port Huron’s Alex Globke scored at 5:00 in overtime, yet below that it says Port Huron had 3 shootout goals and Alexandria had one.  Alex Globke is listed as being one of the shootout scorers.  Maybe that’s the way shootouts are marked, where the player who scored last is listed as the lone overtime scorer?  Well, either way they lost.

On a less confusing front, the Austin Bruins won 3-1 over Kalamazoo despite being outshot 19-27.  The Bruins killed off five of their six times being one skater short.

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NAHL Showcase starts today

Turns out when I “publish” my old articles that they end up showing on my RSS feed (not sure if anyone has that yet), even though they’re published with an older date.  Whoops!  I need to find out if there is a way to make the entires public, yet not have them on the RSS feed.  If I can’t I’m guessing I won’t make my entires from the old sites public on this one.

Today the NAHL starts their Showcase tournament.  All the teams are in Blaine through Saturday and each plays every day, so there’s a load of hockey going on.  You can catch the live scores here through PointStreak. It’s a fun time.  I’m hoping to go one of the days.

The Minnesota teams are the Austin Bruins and the Alexandria Blizzard.  That’s one less than last time I checked in.  Apparently the Owatonna Express moved to Odessa, Texas.  That stinks, the Express were fairly close to me, I’ve caught a couple Express games through the last few years.

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