After the football game Saturday I drove just up the road to see the Purdue hockey club in action. I have heard about them for so long that I decided to see a game in person. I had a blast at the game, and the hockey team did not disappoint. This was my second hockey game shooting at, and I thought I captured a couple good pictures. I thought I would share a few on here. It is hard to get good information on the team. Players like #18 below do not show up on the Purdue hockey website. I have done my best to identify the players that I could find.
I have known that Purdue played hockey for some time now, but never got around to seeing them play until Saturday. Since 2006 I have been meaning to drive to see them play, but have not made it. They used to play at home in Danville, Illinois which is quite a drive from Northwest Indiana. On the way home from the football game in Champaign I made a slight detour to Bloomington to see the Purdue hockey team play finally. They did not play in a big arena, but rather next to it. The team played in a public skating rink that was cleared out in time for the game. At first I wondered what I was getting myself into, but once the action started it was worth it. Continue reading →
Saturday night I was in Ewigleben Ice Arena to see Ferris State take on Ohio State. After what Ohio State did to my Boilers earlier in the day I really wanted to see them lose at hockey. Sadly they did not. I still had a great time at the game. This was my first time shooting a hockey game with my camera, and I learned a lot real fast. I know that hockey is a fast sport, but through a camera lens against the glass it is super fast. Once I got the feel for the speed down on the ice though I had a good time. Some of the pictures not included in this post will show up on this site over the next couple of days. I have about thirty other pictures that I will post in two segments. This was my first hockey game in about 3 1/2 years. I will have to see another one much quicker than that. Continue reading →
The Notre Dame dream season ended tonight when Boston College beat them 4-1 in Denver. I am really disappointed, but if you had told me that I would be covering the Frozen Four on this blog at the beginning of the year I would have said that you were crazy. I like hockey. I love to go to games, but I have never had any teams that I cared about in the finals to even watch them. I watch one college team, and they defied the odds this year by getting to the title game. It figures that the year that makes history for the Irish program is also the first year that I did not attend a game. I was in Lafayette so much that it never really worked out. I may have to try and get in to a couple of games next season. I at least want to see the new banner. A season like this will do wonders to the new arena that is being planned for the Irish. It is sad to say, but the turning point of this national title game was a call made by an official. With fifteen minutes left in the third period Notre Dame appeared to score a goal to pull within one. As the celebration began the referee announced that the call would be reviewed in the booth. As the play was being reviewed the announcers described how the burden of proof was hard to overturn in this case. The skate clearly had to be moving towards the goal for the goal to be waived off. The skate is clearly moving backwards. It looked like the Irish player wanted to kick the puck in, but he just whiffed on it. Apparently the replay judge read his mind because he overturned the goal. Later it was explained that the replay judged saw the skate moving forward. I hope he has a nice flight back to Boston. I normally don’t like to say that my team was screwed by the officials. So many other plays go into winning or losing a game. This horrible call completely changed the momentum. In the eternity that it took to make the call any momentum the Irish would have had would have been killed. Then the terrible call deflated the team. 35 seconds later the Eagles put the puck in the net to make the score 4-1. That is hard to take. The Irish never quit though. They fought hard until the end. The fans will probably always wonder what would have been if the goal had been allowed.
The slipper still fits. Notre Dame defeated Michigan last night to advance to the finals of the NCAA Hockey Tournament. Michigan was the #1 overall seed, and Notre Dame was the last team in the tournament. That makes this even more amazing. Here is how it happened. Notre Dame scored two goals within the first six minutes of the game. A shorthanded goal with less than a minute left in the first period gives the Irish a 3-0 lead at the first intermission. Michigan scores two goals within fifteen seconds at the eleven minute mark of the period. Notre Dame then received a too many men on the ice penalty at the beginning of the third period, and Michigan capitalized to tie the game up. Both teams then traded goals forcing overtime. At just under six minutes left in the extra period freshman Cal Ridderwall scored the game winning goal. It was his second of the game The Irish face a tall task in Boston College who scored early and often against North Dakota. Maybe the slipper can fit for one more game. Notre Dame has beaten two straight football rivals to get to this point. A win over a third one will get them a championship. The game is Saturday night at 6:00 central time on ESPN.
Tonight the Notre Dame Hockey team plays its first game in the Frozen Four. They play at 9:00 tonight against fellow CCHA member Michigan. They have played Michigan twice this season losing both games. For some reason though records have seemed to matter little after the regular season ended. They have had an incredible run this postseason. They lost the first game of the CCHA playoffs to Ferris State before rallying to win the next two to advance to Joe Louis Arena. Once in Detroit they lost both games they played that weekend. They made it into the NCAA Tournament, but they were a four seed not expected to go very far. They have proven everyone wrong becoming the first #4 seed to advance this far. They beat New Hampshire and Michigan State in Colorado Springs on consecutive nights to advance. I wish the tourney was closer so that I could attend, but it is in Denver this weekend so I think I will just tune in to ESPN2 tonight to see if they can advance to the finals. Jeff Jackson has really turned this program around in a short time. They are without their top scorer, but still have managed to make history. Maybe they can make some more tonight.
In other championship news the #1 Notre Dame hockey team beat Michigan 2-1 to take the CCHA Tournament Championship. That will mean another banner to hang in the fieldhouse this year. They have now taken the regular season championship, the tourney championship, and will await seeding for the NCAA tournament. This season has been a great one for Notre Dame Hockey. They have played well against the opponents in their conference, now they will get to see how they stack up with the best hockey teams in the country. The sports junkie has heard some comments about how a couple of schools in Minnesota are actually better than the Irish. It is now time to see who is truly better.
My first Notre Dame hockey game of the year was just the opposite of the last game I saw last year. Notre Dame was having a bad season, but hosted a three game CCHA playoff series with Alaska. I was at both games, and watched the Irish drop two straight 3-1, 1-0. This year the Irish are the #1 team in the country, and already claimed the regular season CCHA championship. The win tonight gave them 29, the most ever in a season in club history. This was a far cry from two years ago when Notre Dame was the worst team in the league. With the team playing well I could not get tickets to any of the last three series. I guess I just missed getting on the bandwagon. At the begining of the year I made a post on here about how excited I was for the season to start, but could not seem to get over to see them play. They look like a very exciting team, that could go a long way in the NCAA’s. They scored seven goals in the win last night, and 3 tonight. It is nice to see the team selling out games, and getting some attention. The sellout tonight was the 10th on the season. The Irish travel to Detroit next weekend for the final four of the CCHA championship. Then they will await the seeding for the probable NCAA berth. It should be an exciting two weeks for Notre Dame hockey. On a side note, this was the second #1 ranked team that I had seen today. In the Big Ten Basketball Tournament I was able to see the #1 and #3 ranked teams in the country play. At night I saw the #1 ranked team in college hockey play. Not a bad day at all.