Wildcats over Badgers 4-1, Isles over Blues 5-2

7th Woman's picture

While the Islanders were beating the Blues in their home opener last night at 5 - 2, the UNH Wildcats rolled over the WI Badgers 4 - 1.

I've never been to a College Hockey game. It was an experience. I now understand why Buzz Dechamps is trying so hard to get a rink built for Stony Brook. This was way too much fun.

I have to do this quickly as it's 7:30 am Sunday, and we've got to get on the road to go home. And I hate when there's no coffee to greet me in a hotel. But this is far from a hotel. This place on the beach is more like hostile. Which is a nice way of saying sh**hole.

The Whitemore Center is an amazing newer building with wi-fi, their own streaming video on http://www.unhwildcats.tv/ and a radio station, an ample concourse and the nicest bathrooms I've seen in a public facility. There was also more media there covering a college game than most nights at the Coliseum. But I'll leave that fight for Point Blank.

The students fill four sections decked out in their white and blue jerseys. And they don't let up on the opposition. I've never heard the cheer "Sieve" before, but it's a ritual here at UNH. Followed of course by the always piercing "You Suck." Here they add a hand gesture indicating how many goals have been let up. We wonder what happens when they get to 10.

Another unique ritual is throwing a fish on the ice after the first UNH goal. It's usually a pretty big fish. "The smellier, the better." said the gentlemen who explained it to us.

It was warm as hell in the arena and it looked like the ice got the worst of that. There were deep ruts and almost puddles.

It was a penalty fest as the linesmen were trying to keep the game on track the whole night. Big Angry Man said it reminded him of an Islanders/Rangers game because it was so chippy. Always pushing and shoving after the whistle which would inevitably begin the parade to the box. (31 in total.) I couldn't even count how many times each team was two men down.

But it was very exciting, the crowd really got into it and let me tell you... There was quite a bit of talent on the ice.

There are five NHL drafted players on the UNH roster. Most notably the goalie Brian Foster #29, taken by Florida in the fifth round of the 2005 draft. He stood on his head last night and made some really impressive saves.

Also noticeable on the ice was James Van Riemsdyk chosen by the Flyers with their first round pick of the 2007 draft. That's the SECOND player chosen in the 2007 draft. Blake Kessel was chosen by Garth Snow in the 6th round at #166 overall that year.

Peter Le Blanc and Joe Charlebois were drafted in 2006 and 2005 respectively. Joe wears the C and both were drafted by Chicago.

But there's a name that's not on any draft lists yet that stood out last night on the ice. #15, Danny Dries, a sophomore from Lake Orion, Michigan. What an instigator who set up a lot of grate plays and skated like Jason Blake. He took too many penalties, but the kid was good enough to impress B.A.M.

Blake Kessel spent a lot of time on the ice. A LOT of time. Power plays, penalty kills and five on five. And his shifts were long and didn't seem to bother him. He did walk away with an assist on the second goal of the evening. I think he'll fit in nicely with Gordon's system should Scott still be around by the time this Kessel brother sees the Uniondale ice.

I wanted to ask him a few questions, but since it was a busy night for everyone at home, the arrangements were never made. Maybe I'll keep trying though.

The players on the roster who were not in the line up are being groomed for the NHL as they all sat at the top of the general admission section in their suits and ties, looking professional and intent on watching the game. But the funny thing is, as professional as all these men (boys really) looked last night, Tuesday morning they'll be in class and just students on campus. Amazing. *

*Fireworks -- I forgot about the fireworks. What a perfect way to end a perfect weekend but with fireworks in the autum sky. The entire weekend (with the excetpion of the Beach View roach motel) was just simply magical.

Congratulations to the Islanders for their 5-2 win over the Blues last night in their own home opener. I'm sorry I missed it. I'm especially sorry I missed Sean Bergenheim's first goal of the season. But I'm certain there will be more this year. Hopefully, I'll be there for most of them.

Okay, I have to stop now before I get in trouble. And besides, there's a bird's nest in the air conditioner next to me and it's really, really freakin' me out hearing the wing's flapping.