Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's Saturday

It's Saturday. Here's what's happening....


Today is March 19th, the 78th day of 2011. There are 287 days left in the year.





Caps keep rolling, blank Devils.

Rangers ride fast start to win against Montreal.

Hurricanes rally to beat Islanders in OT.

Coyotes beat Canucks to complete perfect trip.


Spanish troops occupied Manila on this date in 1571.


Blais to coach U.S. at 2012 WJC.

Rough ride for Phantoms.

Wellman stepping up to the plate for Aeros.

Q & A: Lancers defenseman Aaron Ave.

Des Moines defeats Gamblers in shootout.

USHL alum Vande Velde makes NHL debut.


The Massachusetts colony was founded by Englishmen on this date in 1628.


Blais Named Head Coach of 2012 U.S. National Junior Team
2010 Gold Medal-Winning Head Coach to Return Behind Bench
for 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Dean Blais (International Falls, Minn.), was today named the head coach of the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team. The appointment marks Blais' third stint as head coach of a U.S. National Junior Team, having led Team USA to the gold medal at the 2010 International Ice Hockey World Junior Championship and also guiding the squad in 1994.

"I'm extremely honored to coach this team," said Blais. "It's really exciting to see how far hockey has come in our country. We now go into the World Juniors expecting to win and that will be our mind set from the summer camp right through the tournament next December and January in Edmonton and Calgary."

The U.S. National Junior Team will take part in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2011 - Jan. 5, 2012 in Calgary and Edmonton, Alta. The U.S. will be aiming for its third consecutive medal, having won the gold medal in 2010 and the bronze medal at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y.

"It's terrific to have Dean back behind the bench of our National Junior Team," said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director for hockey operations at USA Hockey, who will also serve as general manager of the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team. "He's an ideal choice not only because he gets the most out of players, but because of his vast level of experience overall, including at the international level."

Blais led the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team to a 5-1-1-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record en route to the United States' first IIHF men's gold medal at any level on Canadian soil. He was also an assistant coach on the 1988 and 1989 U.S. National Junior Teams.

U.S. National Junior Team
Coaches & Results
IIHF World Junior Championship

Year Head Coach Record (Place)
2011 Keith Allain 4-1-0-1* (3rd)
2010 Dean Blais 5-1-1-0* (1st)
2009 Ron Rolston 3-1-0-2* (5th)
2008 John Hynes 4-0-0-2* (4th)
2007 Ron Rolston 3-1-2-1* (3rd)
2006 Walt Kyle 3-3-1 (4th)
2005 Scott Sandelin 3-4-0 (4th)
2004 Mike Eaves 6-0-0 (1st)
2003 Lou Vairo 4-3-0 (4th)
2002 Keith Allain 4-1-2 (5th)
2001 Keith Allain 5-2-0 (5th)
2000 Jeff Jackson 2-3-2 (4th)
1999 Jeff Jackson 3-3-0 (8th)
1998 Jeff Jackson 4-3-0 (5th)
1997 Jeff Jackson 4-1-1 (2nd)
1996 Jack Parker 3-3-0 (5th)
1995 Jeff Jackson 3-4-0 (5th)
1994 Dean Blais 1-5-1 (6th)
1993 Walt Kyle 4-3-0 (4th)
1992 Walt Kyle 5-2-0 (3rd)
1991 Kevin Constantine 4-2-1 (4th)
1990 Steve Cedorchuk 1-6-0 (7th)
1989 Steve Cedorchuk 3-3-1 (5th)
1988 Terry Christensen 1-6-0 (6th)
1987 Dave Peterson 4-3-0 (4th)
1986 Dave Peterson 4-3-0 (3rd)
1985 Doug Woog 2-5-0 (6th)
1984 John Perpich 2-5-0 (6th)
1983 Bill Hasler 3-4-0 (5th)
1982 Lou Vairo 2-5-0 (6th)
1981 Lou Vairo 2-3-0 (6th)
1980 Lou Vairo 1-3-1 (7th)
1979 Lou Vairo 2-3-0 (6th)
1978 Len Lilyholm 4-2-0 (5th)
1977 Marshall Johnston 1-5-1 (7th)

Blais' long history with USA Hockey includes having played for the 1973 U.S. Men's National Team and having served as an assistant coach for both the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team and the 2000 U.S. Men's National Team.

Blais is currently the head coach of the University of Nebraska Omaha's men's ice hockey team, a position he has held since June 2009. To date, he has led the Mavericks to a 21-15-2 mark in 2010-11 and last week was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Coach of the Year. The Mavericks have won 20-plus games in each of the last two seasons.

Blais' history behind college benches includes a 10-year tenure (1994-2004) at the helm of the University of North Dakota's men's ice hockey team, during which time he led the Fighting Sioux to seven NCAA tournament appearances, two NCAA Division I National Championships (1997, 2000), and an overall record of 262-115-33. He also served as an assistant coach at UND from 1980-89 and for the University of Minnesota in 1976-77.

In addition, Blais served as an associate head coach and director of player development of the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets from 2004-07; as head coach of the United States Hockey League's Fargo Force in 2008-09; and as head boys' hockey coach at Minot High School (N.D.) (1977-80), Roseau High School (Minn.) (1989-91) and International Falls (Minn.) High School (1992-94).

Blais played four years of hockey (1969-73) at the University of Minnesota before joining the U.S. Men's National Team in 1973. He began his coaching career after skating three years with the Chicago Blackhawks' minor-league affiliate in Dallas.

NOTES: Tim Taylor will serve as director of player personnel for the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team, a role he has held since 2010 ... The remaining staff for the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team will be announced at a later date ... The USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp will take place Aug. 6-13 in Lake Placid, N.Y. ... Players for the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team will be selected in December ... For recaps of recent performances by U.S. squads at the IIHF World Junior Championship, click here.

NTDP Announces First Seven Commitments for 2011-12 Season

Four Forwards and Three Defensemen Named to U.S. Nat'l Under-17 Team

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Forwards Connor Chatham (Shiloh, Ill.), J.T. Compher (Northbrook, Ill.), Hudson Fasching (Apple Valley, Minn.) and Brandon Shea (Marshfield, Mass.), along with defensemen Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis.), Steve Santini (Mahopac, N.Y.) and Scott Savage (San Clemente, Calif.) have committed to join USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program for the 2011-12 season, it was announced today. The players, all from the 1995 birth year, will compete as members of the U.S. National Under-17 Team.

“These seven players will serve as the building blocks for the U.S. National Under-17 Team and represent our largest group of commitments prior to our evaluation camp,” said Ryan Rezmierski, director of player personnel for the NTDP. “Their decision shows that the National Team Development Program is the destination for elite athletes.”

During the 2010-11 season, Chatham skated for the St. Louis Blues Midget Minor team. In limited action due to an injury-shortened season, he tallied two goals in four games in Tier I Elite Hockey League action.

Compher competed for Team Illinois Midget Minor of the Tier I Elite Hockey League and recorded 39 points (17-22), including three power-play goals, two shorthanded tallies and four game-winning goals.

Fasching comes from Apple Valley (Minn.) High School, where he notched 35 points (16-19) in 25 games this season. His five game-winning-goals led the squad.

Shea played for Noble and Greenough (Mass.) School of the Independent School League in New England during the 2010-11 campaign. The forward ranked third on the team with 34 points (16-18) in 27 games.

Butcher skated for the Madison (Wis.) Capitols of the Tier I Elite League. As a defenseman, he led the team with 30 points (10-20) and five power-play goals in 34 games.

During the 2010-11 campaign, Santini played for the New York Apple Core of the Eastern Junior Hockey League and recorded 17 points (3-14) in 44 games.

Savage competed for the LA (Calif.) Selects Midget Minor team of the Tier I Elite Hockey League. He led team defensemen with 24 points (4-20) through 31 games.

NOTES: The NTDP Evaluation Camp begins on Mon., March 21, at the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Ice Cube. The event is open to the public ... The 2011-12 U.S. National Under-17 Team will play in the United States Hockey League, as well as compete in three international competitions next season … The Under-17 squad will be comprised of two goaltenders, 13 forwards and eight defensemen.

Meghan Duggan Wins 2011 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award
Wisconsin Senior Named Top Player in NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey

ERIE, Pa. – Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.), a senior forward from the University of Wisconsin, was today named the 2011 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner. In its 14th year, the award is presented annually by The USA Hockey Foundation to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.

Duggan received the award during a sold-out brunch ceremony at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pa., with more than 400 attendees present. She was chosen from a group of three finalists that also included senior forwards Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont./Mercyhurst College) and Kelli Stack (Brooklyn Heights, Ohio/Boston College).

"Meghan is probably the best two-way player, not only in the country, but in the world," said Mark Johnson, head coach at the University of Wisconsin. "One of the reasons we're in the position we're in right now is because of her leadership and what she does on the ice, and probably more importantly, what she does off the ice."

Past Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Winners

Brandy Fisher
Univ. of New Hampshire
A.J. Mleczko
Harvard Univ.
Ali Brewer
Brown Univ.
Jennifer Botterill
Harvard Univ.
Brooke Whitney
Northeastern Univ.
Jennifer Botterill
Harvard Univ.
Angela Ruggiero
Harvard Univ.
Krissy Wendell
Univ. of Minnesota
Sara Bauer
Univ. of Wisconsin
Julie Chu
Harvard Univ.
2008 Sarah Vaillancourt
Harvard Univ.
2009 Jessie Vetter
Univ. of Wisconsin
2010 Vicki Bendus
Mercyhurst College

Amidst a standout senior season, Duggan was near the top of the NCAA leaderboard in all offensive categories and recently led the Badgers as team captain to the NCAA national championship game.

Duggan, who was named an NCAA First-Team All-American, also helped guide Wisconsin to the WCHA regular-season and tournament championships. During Friday night's 3-2 win over Boston College in the Frozen Four, Duggan broke Wisconsin's record for points in a single season with 86, which also places her tied for first in the nation.

Through the semifinals, she was ranked fourth nationally in goals (39), second in assists (47), was tied for second in power-play goals (11) and was tied for third in the country with three shorthanded goals. In addition, Duggan had six game-winning goals and 27 multi-point games, including nine multi-goal games.

During the season, Duggan recorded 57 points during a Wisconsin program-best 25-game point streak (Oct. 22-Feb. 4). She reached several other Wisconsin and NCAA milestones throughout the 2010-11 season, becoming the seventh player all-time and first Wisconsin player to reach both 100 goals and 100 assists. Duggan also became the 13th player all-time and second Wisconsin player to reach 200 career points.

Through the semifinals of the NCAA tournament, Duggan has led the University of Wisconsin in all-time career points with 237 and is currently tied for fifth in NCAA history. Additionally, she is tied for sixth in NCAA history with 106 career goals.

In Western Collegiate Hockey Association play, Duggan was named WCHA Player of the Year and earned All-WCHA First Team honors. She led the league with 61 points, 34 assists and 20 power-play points (9-11), and ranked second with 27 goals. A two-time WCHA Offensive Player of the Week, Duggan won the league’s regular-season scoring trophy with 61 points (27-34) in 28 games.

Off the ice, the 2010 U.S. Olympic silver medalist volunteers at the University of Wisconsin Kids Clinic and the Ronald McDonald House and Children's Hospital. She has also volunteered with Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.

NOTES: Meghan Duggan is the third Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award recipient from the University of Wisconsin. Sara Bauer won the award in 2006 and Jessie Vetter was named the recipient in 2009 … Duggan is the fourth WCHA player to receive the award ... The 2011 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award brunch, presented by Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, was held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four, which will conclude tomorrow (March 20) with the national championship game between Boston University and the University of Wisconsin at 2 p.m. EDT at Tullio Arena in downtown Erie. The game will be broadcast live on ... Mike Ruzzi, sports director at WICU-TV (NBC) in Erie, Pa. served as the event's master of ceremonies, while Laura Halldorson, who led the University of Minnesota women's ice hockey team to three NCAA Division I national championships as head coach, delivered the keynote address ... The award ceremony was streamed live at ... The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award recipient is chosen by a 13-member selection committee comprised of NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey coaches, representatives of the print and broadcast media, and a representative of USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States … The Kazmaier Award is supported in part by a grant from the National Hockey League Foundation ... For more information on the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, visit

An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is annually presented to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey. Selection criteria includes outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey. Consideration is also given to academic achievement and civic involvement. The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is supported, in part, by a grant from the NHL Foundation.

The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is named in honor of the late Patty Kazmaier, who was a four-year varsity letter-winner and All-Ivy League defenseman at Princeton University from 1981-86. An accomplished athlete who helped lead the Tigers to the Ivy League Championship in three consecutive seasons (1981-84), Patty Kazmaier-Sandt died on Feb. 15, 1990, at the age of 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.


The city of Boston, Massachusetts, was incorporated on this date in 1822.


Versatile defender Kent exceling in Winnipeg.

Jackson dealt to Riders for DB Key.

Rider kicker Congi hopes to be ready for camp.

2011 CFL Schedule is here.

Donate to the Tony Proudfoot Fund.

Visit the leagues' official website,


He's just-a-swingin'


The first bank robbery in America was reported. The City Bank of New York City lost $245,000 in the robbery on this date in 1831.


Today in Elvis History:

1954 - Elvis Presley ended his employment at Precision Tool.

1957 - Elvis Presley bought the mansion he called Graceland for $102,500.

1962 - Elvis Presley recorded "She's Not You."

1980 - The autopsy of Elvis Presley was subpoenaed in the "Dr. Nick" drug case. "Dr. Nick" was Dr. George Nichopoulous who was Presley's personal physician.

1998 - "Elvis The Concert 1998 Tour" opened at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The show featured several of Elvis' touring musicians in front of a large video screen of Elvis in concert.

2001 - James Burton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He had been lead guitarist for Elvis Presley from 1969-1977.

2003 - Lisa Marie Presley performed three songs from her upcoming album "To Whom It May Concern" at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers' annual convention.


The U.S. Senate ratified the Cuban treaty on this date in 1903, gaining naval bases in Guantanamo and Bahia Honda. 


Today in Beatles History:

1964 - Britain's Prime Minister Harold Wilson presented the Beatles with an award for Show Business Personalities Of The Year For 1963 at the 12th annual Variety Club of Great Britain luncheon.

1996 - The second part of the Beatles "Anthology" was released.

The U.S. Congress approved Daylight-Saving Time on this date in 1918. 


Today in Sports History:

1892 - The Toronto Maple Leafs scored 8 goals in 5 minutes.

1942 - The Thoroughbred Racing Association was formed in Chicago.

1948 - Lee Savold knocked out Gino Buonvino in 54 seconds of the first round of their prize fight at Madison Square Garden.

1954 - Viewers saw the first televised prizefight shown in color when Joey Giardello knocked out Willie Tory in round seven at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

1956 - The Minneapolis Lakers beat the St. Louis Hawks 133-75 in Game 2 of the Western Divisional Finals. It was the largest margin of victory in NBA playoff history.

1967 - The Chicago Bulls won their 33rd game of the season. It was the most games won by an NBA expansion team.

1981 - The Buffalo Sabres set a record when they scored 9 goals in the second period in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sabres won the game 14-4.

1990 - The first world ice hockey tournament for women was held in Ottawa.

1991 - Brett Hull, of the St. Louis Blues, became the third National Hockey League (NHL) player to score 80 goals in a season.

1991 - NFL owners voted to take the 1993 Super Bowl away from the city of Phoenix because Arizona didn't recognize Martin Luther King Day.

1995 - Michael Jordan returned to the Chicago Bulls after nearly two years of retirement. He scored 19 points in the loss to the Indiana Pacers. The game, televised on NBC, was the most watched regular season game in NBA history with an estimated 35 million viewers.

2010 - Paul Kariya (St. Louis Blues) scored his 400th career goal.


On this date in 1953, the Academy Awards aired on television for the first time.


Coming Up: 

Tonight --

NHL Hockey -- Tampa Bay Lightning at Ottawa Senators 7:00pm EDT

Sunday --

Nothin' Doin'

Monday --

Nothin' Doin'

Tuesday --

NHL Hockey -- Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders 7:30pm EDT

Wednesday --

Nothin' Doin'

Thursday --

Nothin' Doin'

Friday --

NHL Hockey -- Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes 7:30pm EDT

Saturday --

NHL Hockey -- Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes 7:00pm EDT

Sunday --

Nothin' Doin'


That's all for today. Thanks for stopping by, see you tomorrow.            

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