Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Nye Tournament: UNO Preview

Way back in "the day" when I lived in Omaha there was no hockey. There wasn't a junior team much less a college team. There was 'Husker football and more 'Husker football. If I recall correctly Nebraska's stadium became the third largest conglomeration of people in the state on Saturdays. Tom Osborne (as always) had the 'Huskers in contention every year for the National Championship and UNO had DII football. Creighton had Benoit Benjamin. In the summer there was heat and humidity; the rest of the time there was wind. A bit down from my Crawford St. house in Bellevue, Jon Jubert was busy getting his jollies trying to find kids to kill. Thankfully, he was a complete moron and got nabbed pretty quickly. I got married at the Sarpy County Courthouse. The license had two blanks after our names where we had to indicate our race; they had the gender filled in for us. The registrar was hesitant about accepting my birth certificate because it didn't say "England" anywhere on it. That fell by the wayside when I pointed out that my wife's Ohio birth certificate didn't say U.S.A on it. My favorite things about living in Omaha were Indian Cave State Park, Platte River State Park, Fontenelle Forest and the absolute endless possibilities to take a different road home than the one you took to get "there". In two years, we musta visited the Henry Doorly Zoo at least 20 times. What a great place; they'd just finished the Tiger buildings/habitat and Murphy (lowland Gorilla) had just gotten his own digs. They built the big Aviary while we lived there. Great Zoo; one of the best in the country, so you won't find me bagging on Marlin Perkins for stopping his boat in the middle of the Amazon to mess with some poor Anaconda just for the fun of it. They'd put that him in jail these days for harrassing wildlife wouldn't they? We saw Rush in concert at the Coliseum and The Police at Rosenblatt Stadium. The price on our 1100sqft house? $19,500. Coolest person ever to come from Nebraska? Harold Edgerton. Other fond memory? Watching some cat fly his P-51 from the side of the road between Bellevue and Papillion (pronounced PA-PILL-YUN). Most underrated thing to do in Omaha? Betting on the horse's at Ak-Sar-Ben.

Aside from all the reminiscing there's a hockey team now at UNO and it'd be nice if I'd write something about them so we all know what to expect. The first thing to know is that this team is probably the best team they've ever had since the program started. They're picked to finish high in the CCHA (5th) and have more than just a couple of guys that could score 20+ goals this season. The knock on them last year was that they couldn't keep the puck out of their own net. In their first ever NCAA appearance BU sent them home 9-2 and for the season they gave up 3.32 goals per game which was only about .5 per game less than UAA. They scored 3.56 per game though which explains their 20 win season. In terms of size UNO has 13 players listed that are less than 6ft tall. I'll be interested to see UNO's speed for comparison purposes. Players to watch include Sr. (#23) Scott Parse who scored 20 goals last year and will be a Hobey Baker candidate again this year; Sr. (#9) Alex Nikoforuk scored 13 goals; as well as Jr. (#8) Tomas Klempa and Sr. (#25) Bryan Marshall. The UNO fans have their shit together (with a bucket to put it in) very nicely with their own (nice) website called the Crimson Issue. I'm pretty sure that UAA must not ever have graduated any hockey fans that know HTML or else we'd have something just as nice. Some knowledgable UAA fan oughta take their lead and get busy. Wouldn't that be nice?

Coach Kemp was the guest today on CSTV's Tuesday @ The Rink chat series. I submitted the following question:
"What do you anticipate from your two opponents this weekend at the Nye Frontier Tournament in Anchorage?"
Coach Kemp's response:
"We expect it to be a very challenging situation, playing in that tournament. Obviously, Colorado College has been one of the leaders in the nation in the last several years, and this will be our first opportunity to face them in a game. We know they're a very skilled team, which will play a very up-tempo game, so that will be a challenging contest for us. The second contest facing Alaska-Anchorage will also be our first game against them. Both of those teams play on Olympic ice, and so, as well as facing our opponents, it will also be a challenge adjusting to the Olympic ice sheet. I've been very impressed with the way Alaska-Anchorage has run this tournament. It's very professional, and we're thrilled to have the opportunity to go up there and compete in a tournament that is so well run."
Coach Kemp also describes how the UNO tradition of throwing fish on the ice was born. UAA fans will definitely want to read that. I swear I didn't do it! Like I said a week or so ago I won't be providing any sort of Colorado College preview since UAA doesn't play them. But I will stop by UAA's practice either Wed or Thurs to have a look and I'll write something about them then.


Anonymous said...

I think it is a little flattering that UNO stole a great traditon (one of the only ones) UAA had but what bothers me is that they are still able to do it. The way it sounds is it kills more time for them clean up the fish then it ever did at UAA. SO the argument that it is momentom killer is BS. If anything it helps the team out the most dangerious faceoff is right after a goal, cleaning up the fish on the ice give the home team a chance to celibrate but enough time to come off the we just scored mind set that can leave a player a little less focused. SO to thouse UAA students rise up and let the fish fly agian.
Former UAA student who was very up set about lossing the fish

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree. Although I thought the fish throwing was fun, I do agree that it took momentum away. I base this on the comparison of my watching years of games without the fish throwing to games when that tradition was employed.

Anonymous said...

once i threw a fish on the ice and almost hit a mich tech player on the other side of the ice. it was like within two feet, alas that was the final season for the fish throwing. Hopefully not my fault, dag gum techy whiners, how don't like almost getting hit with a fish!!!

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