Wednesday, December 12, 2007

DU Fans Escape From St. Cloud Alive...Barely

.(above) The Boyz were yelling "Let's Go DU" this past weekend in St. Cloud

The Traveling Wrecking Crew Goes to St. Cloud

Thursday 12/06/2007

The key members of the Traveling Wrecking Crew, CO14ers, KScant and Mike met at DIA for the flight to Minneapolis. Even though this was a fairly short trip, we all checked bags since we were bringing extra clothing for the cold weather we would be facing during the trip. The previous day’s low temp was -17ยบ and the forecast called for snow today.

After the thankfully uneventful flight, we made the 70+ mile trek to St. Stephen, MN which is about 10 miles outside of St. Cloud where Mike’s father, Larry, lives and where we stayed. We went to Trobec’s bar for some suds and met some of Mike’s uncles (including Uncle Ray who owns the bar) and make our plans for Friday.

Friday 12/07/2007 – St. Cloud Invasion

We had decided on Thursday night that we would do the touristy stuff on Friday including touring around St. Cloud and running some essential errands such as going to a St. Cloud State bookstore. We left Larry’s house somewhere around 11 AM and began our invasion of St. Cloud. We hit the bookstore, we explored the National Hockey Center and surrounding athletic facilities and we toured a warehouse operation run by one of Mike’s cousins. We even drove over a new bridge over the Mississippi River that had opened about a month ago! Then we realized there was nothing else to do in St. Cloud and it was only 2:30 in the afternoon. Game time was 7:07 PM. So, off to the bar we went.

We decided to go to a bar called M.C.’s Dugout in downtown St. Cloud. This is where we would meet another DU season ticket holder and St. Cloud State graduate, Tim (Tim cheers for DU most games, but is a die hard Cloudy when the two schools play). Needless to say, we were the first people of the day in the bar. We staked our claim at a table in the back where there were some electronic dart boards, ordered some hydraulic sandwiches and began an epic round of darts. During this time, Tim showed up and we made a bet – the loser of the game has to wear the sweater of the winner’s team to the Saturday game.

After the 3 ½ hour dart exposition, we headed out for the free shuttle bus to take us to the arena. The temp must have been around zero by this time. We got to the arena and picked up our tickets at will call. On this night we were to sit in the DU fan section at one far end of the ice.

It was an entertaining game with DU winning 3-2. We made several people laugh when it was announced that DU was back at full strength with our “And CC Still Sucks” chants. We also found it funny that after the announcement of every SCSU goal, the Cloudy announcer would end his call with a “Woooooooooooooooooooo”. We took note of that for Saturday.

After the win, we took the bus back to M.C.’s Dugout and went over to a bar called the Red Carpet. This place is actually a conglomeration of 9 different bars under one roof. We ended up in one called the Red Room where we waited to meet up with Jay Stickney, the DU radio announcer. Well, Stickney was slow and we decided to bail and go back to Trobec’s bar in St. Stephen so our designated driver could throw a few back.

Saturday 12/08/2007 – Hockey Day in Minnesota

We had decided the night before to make this the “Hockey Day in Minnesota”. We started out the day with a noon time girls’ high school hockey game pitting the Sartell/Sauk Rapids Stormin’ Sabres against Northern Wright County. Mike’s niece Kayla plays for the Stormin’ Sabres. It was a fun game to watch, but the good girls suffered a 5-1 defeat.

Next on the agenda was to immediately drive over to the National Cement Center to see a Division III game between the St. John’s Johnnies and Bethel College Royals. This turned out to be a great game and Bethel scored a goal with 8.8 seconds left to tie it at 3 which is also how it ended. We found out during this game that Kayla was disappointed because she thought should here us saying “And CC still sucks” during her game. Oh, well, opportunity missed.

We then drove back to M.C.’s Dugout for another marathon round of darts. Much to my and KScant’s chagrin, our throwing arms were pretty sore from the day before (yeah, that’s pretty sad). We met up with Tim again and I presented him the Paukovich sweater that he would be wearing to the game. We again caught the bus and went over to the National Hockey Center for the main event. For this game, we had seats 4 rows above the ice right across from the DU bench.

The game was pretty frustrating for 50+ minutes for us DU fans (the only highlight I had was meeting and getting my picture taken with former Huskies coach Craig Dahl). We certainly looked doomed with about 6 minutes remaining with DU losing 2-0 and Ruegs going to the box for a slashing penalty. Then things changed! Rakhshani scored a short handed goal 10 seconds into the power play. After the scoring was announced, KScant and I said, “Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” Then with just over 2 minutes left in the game, Rakhshani tied it with a shot from behind the net that appeared to deflect off of the goaltender. “Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”. Then with 27 seconds left, Rakhshani completed his natural hat trick with the game winner. “Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo”! After some debate with KScant, I decided to chuck my DU Hockey ball cap down on the ice. This proved to be unpopular in the building. Immediately fans started booing me. Next, the whole student section started chanting “Asshole” and pointing at me. Then, I look behind me and Blizzard, the SCSU Husky mascot, is standing behind me with its arms crossed shaking its head. However, I looked up in the media area, and Stickney was going nuts pointing at us and giving the thumbs up. All was good, plus all the Husky fans were rushing toward the exits. It turns out that Mike’s dad and retrieved my hat from the St. Cloud announcer whom he of course knows – he seemed to know everybody throughout our trip.

Well, we went back to catch our bus, but evidently they didn’t like DU fans anymore and the bus took off without us. No big deal, it was only like 10 below and the bar a couple of miles away. Mike used his cell and some of his relatives who had been to the game came back and got us and drove us back to MC’s. I got my Pauko sweater back from Tim and we all went back to St. Stephen for a mellow rest of the night.

Sunday 12/09/2007 – Back to Denver

We had an early flight out of Minneapolis, so we headed out at 6:30 AM to catch our plane. The travel was fairly uneventful except that WCHA referee Don Adam sat right next to KScant and I. We told him how great a referee DU fans and players thought he was and how much we despised the CC fans who constantly insist that he’s a life form below plankton. When getting our bags, I ran into WCHA commissioner Bruce McCloud who was talking to Don Adam. I wonder if Bruce was headed to DU to “collect some funds” for the officiating on Friday Night…

All in all, a great trip with great friends.

NOTE: Upon arriving back home, I listened to Stickney’s radio call of when I through the hat on the ice. He acknowledged the Traveling Wrecking crew was responsible for said hat on the ice and was the source of the student’s “booing”.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Latest DU Millionaire Returns To Magness Arena

(left) Matt Carle

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

Donning fresh stitches on his chin but still grinning from recently signing a four-year, $13.75-million contract extension with the San Jose Sharks, former DU defenseman Matt Carle returned to his old stomping grounds last weekend while preparing for tonight's game against the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

Carle, who in April 2006 became the Pioneers' first Hobey Baker Award winner as NCAA player of the year, watched Saturday night's DU-North Dakota game at Magness Arena with Sharks teammate and former Wisconsin forward Joe Pavelski.

"I follow these guys very closely and they're off to a heck of a start," Carle said of the Pioneers, who are 10-4 after splitting a weekend series against the Fighting Sioux. "It's good to see them doing so well with such a young team."

San Jose hasn't played since Thursday's 3-2 victory against the Avs in California. Carle can't explain it, but the Sharks decided to fly into Denver on Saturday, giving Carle, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, three days in his adopted hometown.

"I love coming back to Denver," said Carle, took a puck off the chin during practice Saturday morning. "Being away from Anchorage for 10 years now, I kind of consider this home."

Carle already has played in 132 NHL games, including 22 in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In three seasons at DU, he played in 112 games, producing 122 points, fourth most in program history for defensemen.

Last season, he had 11 goals and 42 points in 77 games as a full-season rookie, and made the NHL's all-rookie team along with former DU teammate Paul Stastny of the Avalanche.

Carle joined Dion Phaneuf (2005-06) as the only defenseman to collect 40 points as a rookie since 1997-98, and the only rookie defenseman to score 11 goals since 1993-94.

Carle has made time to recruit for DU, including trying to persuade his little brother, David Carle, to join the Pioneers next fall. David, a defenseman for the vaunted Shattuck St. Mary's prep team in Faribault, Minn., has a planned visit to DU in February, after he checks out Boston University, Boston College and Michigan State.

"He's a smart kid, and pretty independent," Matt said. "I try to advise him as best as I can, but it's hard because I'm so biased."

So, how good is David Carle?

"He's better than me," Matt said with a straight face.