Saying Goodbye

I was going to publish this yesterday but didn’t manage to finish it so I will now. Yesterday was the day UND said goodbye to a great professor and mentor. Dr. Stephen Rendahl was one of my all-time favorite professors and to this day I still can’t believe he’s gone, I still remember sitting in his classes from two-three years ago now. I wish I could go back and take in one more class knowing it would probably be the last time I ever saw him in person. I know I took his classes for granted at the time.. but I don’t regret taking them. I learned so much about writing and he helped me get through my internship despite having tight deadlines to meet. I’ll never forget one of the e-mails he sent me about it, I still have it in my inbox and probably always will…It said:

“Happy to hear things are going so well. Yours is the kind of internship experiences we want our students to have. Keep in touch.”

I still remember reading this and I had the biggest grin on my face. In college you make connections with certain teachers that can last a lifetime and this was one of those connections for me. I didn’t know him super well but he was always kind, generous and understanding. He made sure all of his students felt comfortable in his class and if something came up, he would work with you to get your work done.

College can be a really hard time for students when teachers aren’t willing to work with kids or even go the extra mile such as answering e-mail questions or offering extra time outside of class for kids to come and ask questions. Rendahl never hesitated to offer help, he always made sure students knew they weren’t alone. He was a tough grader but he knew how to push students to be the best they could be. Communications can be a tough subject to understand as well when you write papers on different subjects in the topic and dig deep into the topic but with Rendahl teaching, despite how confused you could be, he was always there to help.

It’s always hard to find the right words to say when something like this happens but since I am unable to make it to the tribute in Grand Forks, I wanted to say a little something about how great of a teacher he was for me and he will always be missed. I’m so glad I was able to have him as a teacher, even for a short time. Thank you Dr. Rendahl for all you did to help me pursue my degree and you will never be forgotten. I owe part of my degree to him and some lessons that I will always carry with me. So one more thank you to a great teacher and great person, you will be greatly missed at UND and the community of students you taught. Thank you.

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More Preseason News!

So the Wild played the Winnipeg Jets yesterday at home and won by an 8-1 score which is somewhat unusual in preseason let alone in regular season. I’m happy the Wild won but what has me somewhat upset is the Winnipeg Jets Head Coach’s comments after the game was done, I’ll include the link to the video at the end. Basically he got upset that the Wild kept putting out their top guys even after an 8-1 lead with a power play. Well I’m sorry sir, but that’s kind of how hockey works, it’s preseason! You have all of your guys play including the top guys so they can get ready for regular season. Is it necessary to put them out to keep the lead?

No, probably not, but that doesn’t mean you sit them the rest of the game… it’s not like the game counted for points anyway! Even if it did do you really think any coach in his right mind is going to sit his top guys? No! Yeah they won’t play as much as normal to keep them from getting hurt in a possible stupid play by the other team but no you wouldn’t sit them the whole game, they need to stay conditioned! I get what he’s saying, but it’s also preseason! No offense but maybe you should worry about your own guys instead of  blaming the other team for not taking a step back… IT’S THE PROS!!! I could understand if it was like high school or younger but in the pros they can rack the score as high as they want. If this was the other way around and the Wild had lost would I blame Winnipeg? Hell no, I’d say well the Wild should have stepped up and played better, they got outplayed! Usually when the score has that big of a differential, it’s not the winning team’s fault.. I hate to be the bearer of bad news (I usually hate big scores and always go for the underdog) but maybe the losing team needs to get better?

I’m sorry but this coach sounds like a little kid blaming the other team because his lost. Like I said before, I get what he’s saying but reality check… you are the coach of a professional hockey team in the National Hockey League… most of the teams in this league don’t care whether you play your big guys or not.. they just want to win and if that means playing their big guys against your lesser known ones, than so be it. I get its preseason but preseason is considered practice for the regular season, that includes playing your big guys so they can get used to being on the ice again in-game situations, so maybe next time.. play your big guys too or just go home.. and grow up!

He did say at the end that it was an honor being in the same building with Mike Yeo which is cool but still.. this video just annoyed me as you can all tell.. well thanks for reading my little rant! I will be posting again later on today about another topic so stay tuned!

HOCKEY ROCKS!

Here’s the link for those that wanted to check it out: http://nhl.nbcsports.com/2015/09/27/video-maurice-seems-unhappy-with-yeo-using-top-players-late-in-blowout/?utm_network=facebook&utm_post=4315791&utm_source=FB%20-%20NHL%20on%20NBC%20Sports&utm_tags=srm%5Bhockey%2Carticle%5D

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HOCKEY IS UPON US!

Hi everyone, sorry for the bit of an absence, I have big news to share for those that haven’t already seen it….I BOUGHT A CAR!!! Yep, I have my very own car in my name and I am paying everything! Man, does it feel nice to finally have my independence again. I don’t have to rely on rides anymore, hopefully for a very long time! I bought a Black 2001 Ford Focus SE for $1750 including the transfer title! Great deal from a great local auto mechanic.

So I’ve been kind of driving everywhere this past week because it feels so amazing to have a car again! I have been doing some body work on the car because there are some minor rust spots that can be buffed out and repainted to prevent/slow down further damage which is normal for cars that old especially in Minnesota. Even newer cars in Minnesota get rust unless you wash them constantly. Yes, it’s hard to believe me doing car work but I intend to keep this car as long as possible and if a little buff work gets a few more years out of it, I’ll do it.

So switching to what my title is, it’s official, hockey season has finally appeared, well preseason, regular is still a couple of weeks away! The Wild will be opening their regular season on October 8th in Colorado against the Avalanche. The home opener for Minnesota will follow two days later on the 10th of October against the Blues. The preseason for the Wild has gone pretty normal, they are currently 2-2 with two games left. In my opinion preseason really doesn’t matter except to the players to get their skating feet back under them even though most of the players have been skating for well over a month already. However, as many of you would say, game situations are different and this is essentially game practice and they get a chance to see some of what the competition may bring to the ice before the season actually kicks off and games start to matter.

College hockey has also already gotten underway with the UND women playing an exhibition game against Manitoba which they took 1-0. Their regular season will start next weekend against Rensselaer in New York. The men have yet to play but they will also face Manitoba in exhibition next weekend. There was some big news to come out of the UND men’s team however, they will face Boston College next year in the College Hockey Showdown out at Madison Square Garden, PRETTY COOL!

The Wild really haven’t made any significant changes to the line-up since last year other than a few players coming and going. So, hopefully that means they will be as good if not better than they were last year! These players should all be pretty used to each other by now so all the Wild fans will get a treat at seeing some familiar faces instead of the constant changing over and over.

Well, being the regular season hasn’t started yet, I’m going to leave this one a little shorter and say thanks for reading!

HOCKEY ROCKS!

SAINT PAUL, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Mikko Koivu #9 celebrates with his Minnesota Wild teammates after scoring a game-tying power play goal late in the third period against the St. Louis Blues during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on November 19, 2011 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

SAINT PAUL, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Mikko Koivu #9 celebrates with his Minnesota Wild teammates after scoring a game-tying power play goal late in the third period against the St. Louis Blues during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on November 19, 2011 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Nickname Game

I know I sound off on this topic quite a bit but bear with me, this topic is something that is close to my heart and what is happening with it, is really annoying to me.

As many of you know, my college, The University of North Dakota, has been fighting for their Fighting Sioux nickname for quite a while. In 2012 however, the NCAA (butted their nose into something it doesn’t belong in, in my opinion), made the University give up the name or face sanctions. This meant that UND”s sports teams would no longer be allowed to participate in post-season/playoffs unless the nickname was changed. I believe that was a completely low blow and really not fair to the school or the students. Plus it cost the school a lot of money to change over all of the places where Sioux was displayed and get new uniforms, money that could have been used for other things.

All of the people criticizing the president of the University for giving up the name, really don’t understand that he had to do what was right for the students and the student athletes. He fought it as long as he could but he didn’t want to damage the student’s opportunity for post-season and went along with the change although reluctantly it seemed. I understood the president’s viewpoint for this part of the debacle because if I was an athlete I would want a chance at post season regardless of name or no name. That’s what those athletes play for. Post-season can mean a chance at the pro level for some/a lot of these athletes and to take that away is not fair.

So after that whole ordeal was over, the next step was to pick a new name, which I didn’t agree with. If the name has to go, I don’t want a new nickname because I’m sorry but I started at this school as a Fighting Sioux and that is how I’m going to finish. I don’t care what the new name is, I will not become that. Picking a new name will never replace the old one no matter how hard they try. That’s one thing the NCAA doesn’t get, the students will never truly give up the name.

Now that the new name process is in full swing, the following five names are the choices students/staff/alumni can vote on in coming weeks: Rough-riders, Sun Dogs, Nodaks, Fighting Hawks and North Stars. I’m not a fan of any of these names except I would tolerate Nodaks because students started using this name after Fighting Sioux was eliminated.

The new obstacle now with the naming process is several people claiming that the names UND is picking from, are copyrighted/owned already. The story is rather confusing but UND claims it won’t prevent them from picking a name. I am so sick and tired of hearing new arguments about the names and I wish it was just over with. I really don’t want a new name and I’m sure majority of students would fall along the same category. Just let us stay North Dakota if we can’t be the Sioux because nothing will take that name’s place but no, they had to rule out being just North Dakota as well.

When this whole issue first arose I just wanted them to figure out if we are keeping the name or not. I wanted to keep it but I was so sick of the fighting and how it made the school look. People started making fun of the University over it and it was really sickening. I do have a few words for those who think it’s funny. Take a step in the shoes of a UND student, professor, staff, alumni and think about it if it was you. How would you react if your school’s name was taken away and you had no choice in the matter?

Say for example Minnesota State Mankato was no longer allowed to be the Mavericks. Your identity with the school is suddenly gone. It’s not so funny anymore is it? Yes, to some it is just a name, a word, but for others it’s something they identify with and the school unites over it. Think about a big game on campus, everyone cheers the school name and unites over it right?. You never hear a school just cheer “Go University of so and so” it’s always “Let’s go Sioux/Mavericks/Gophers”.. etc.

So before you say it’s just a name or get over it, think about it. It’s really not, it’s an identity that mattered to a lot of people. It was never meant to be rude, disrespectful or anything like that. It was meant to honor those Native Americans and their contributions to not only the school but history itself. There’s a lot more to a name than just a word. I will always be a Fighting Sioux and that’s the end of my rant for now. I’m sure there will be more on this topic as the debate continues. Thanks for reading!

HOCKEY ROCKS! (P.S. Wild training camp started today! THEIR FIRST PRESEASON GAME IS MONDAY!!!!)

North Dakota Fighting Sioux jersey

One of my favorite jerseys.. it was hard to decide on one because they all rock.. I own a white one 😀

Why I Game

So, as many of you know I can be rather opinionated when I write, and that’s mainly why I write, other than the fact that I love it. Growing up I never had the ability to play video-games because I was always doing something else whether it be playing hockey, reading, band, etc and that’s what this post is about–gaming. Once I met Jesse, I really got introduced to the gaming world head first.

It was quite a shock in the beginning and I really didn’t understand how someone could love doing this all the time. I mean, outside is awesome too, haha. Once I tried gaming though I slowly became hooked. I realized that no, gaming is not bad, it’s actually quite fun. I sucked at first and would get quite upset because I didn’t know what I was doing wrong and I really hate when that happens. I usually have to figure things out for myself as well so I didn’t eagerly accept help.

As time went on, I progressed in my video game skills and along the way I got my own Xbox 360 courtesy of Jesse (Christmas gift)! So now I am able to play GTAV on my own Xbox and play live with my friends. It’s amazing to actually own an Xbox and feel the freedom of playing games whenever the TV is available haha. I haven’t gotten super good, but I am average or a little below. I play online with guys who have been playing for years so I’m a little behind the curve. I would like to proudly admit I’m a rank 58! Jesse is like 100, no I’m not joking 😉

Gaming isn’t just sitting in front of a TV killing brain cells, as a matter of fact it actually helps your brain. Games keep you on your toes most of the time and you have to learn to act on your feet. Yes, it’s just a game and no one’s life is on the line but it can help you learn to act quicker in your everyday life. You learn to not second guess your judgement and not to be afraid of what might happen because it’s just a game. No, you shouldn’t treat real life like it’s a game but you can learn how to keep calm under pressure. I’m not saying any of this relates to life directly, I’m speaking hypothetically for those of you that might think I’m being literal.

Gaming has also created an environment of stress relief where I can blow things up without actually damaging anything and I can create cars that I’ll never be able to have in real life but I can be creative with. Teamwork is another big aspect of gaming that I’ve come to learn can be difficult at times but you can’t get through the game without it. Teamwork is a concept everyone needs to learn and yes, GTAV teaches that concept whether in a good way or bad you do learn to cooperate with others.

I know this post won’t get everybody interested in gaming but don’t knock it before you try it. Yeah, it can be a difficult thing to understand but it is fun and actually rewarding. When you reach a level you’ve been working towards or you finally get the car you’ve been saving for, like I just did the other night 😀 It does feel good, yeah it’s not real but it doesn’t hurt to have a fantasy world to go to every now and then and just lose yourself for a while. People need to be able to let go without hurting anyone and gaming is one way to do that.

Well with that short post, I’m going to wrap it up. Thanks for reading,

HOCKEY ROCKS!

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The Stadium Series Showdown!

I have to thank my boyfriend Jesse for the idea of this post, I was kind of stumped for a bit. As many of you Wild and Blackhawks fans know, the Wild were awarded a Stadium Series game this year. Yes, for the first time in the 15 going on 16 year existence of the Wild, they will be playing outdoors! No, it’s not the Winter Classic but hey, it’s a start. The big day is February 21st at 2:30 pm! Yep, it’s a Sunday, mark your calendars people, it’ll be a historic day for the Wild, win or lose. Also, IT’S ON HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA!

The game will be held at TCF Bank Stadium, on the University of Minnesota Campus-Twin Cities. The Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche will also be participating in a Stadium Series game in Denver, Colorado the following weekend.

Now for those of you who don’t know how big of a rivalry this game will be between the Wild and Blackhawks, you may want to do a little research on the North Stars and Blackhawks. You will quickly realize that they really did not like each other too much. Thankfully, the Wild and Blackhawks rivalry is way different now and of course it would be because the Wild aren’t the North Stars and the Blackhawks are a completely different team than they were all those years ago.

It will still be a big rivalry however, Minnesota and Chicago have slowly been building a rivalry that involves many playoff match-ups and a lot of hate shared between the two. I gotta brag a little here but UND alums Jonathan Toews (Chicago) and Zach Parise (Minnesota) have been facing each other for the last few years now and they were just a year apart from being teammates at UND as well. It’s pretty neat that they both get to be in the outdoor game! Now, we all know what a great hockey school UND is so I don’t have to go into much depth there 🙂 haha. Like I said before I have to brag about my school a little and the awesome players that have come from it.

Often times when these two teams play it becomes either a goalie showdown or a goal showdown. There have been some rather high scoring games between these two including a little over 5 years ago when they Wild trailed 5-1 going into the third period and fought back to tie the game at 5 forcing it to overtime and a shoot-out. Which the Wild managed to put the puck in the net and claim the victory, coming back with 5 straight goals, pretty impressive right? Well the Blackhawks aren’t too shabby either, winning the Stanley Cup three times in the last five years and in their last two Cup wins they had to face the Wild in the first round for their second Cup victory, and the second round for their most recent win last year. So yes, there is quite a bit of history between these two teams even with just 16 years of existence for the Wild.

Flashing it back about 22 years, I could go on and on about the rivalry between the North Stars and Blackhawks but I think it’s just easier for you to google it yourself and I have a feeling you’ll get what I mean. There was a lot of blood shed and hate as well. Those two teams did not get along but that was the way hockey was back in that era.

Going from rivalries to the actual game, there will actually be an alumni game between the two cities prior to the actual game. The teams featured will be alumni from Chicago such as Ed Belfour, Dave Christian (UND alum!), Jack O’Callahan (’80 Olympics), Jeremy Roenick and Denis Savard with many others, their coaches are Tony Esposito (Yes Tony!!!) and Pat Foley. The Wild/North Stars alumni will include: Wes Walz, Mike Modano, Jon Casey, Darby Hendrickson and Don Beaupre with many more players from both teams. Their coaches will be Lou Nanne and Tom Reid!

For those of you that follow the Wild fairly close will recognize that Tom Reid also does the radio broadcasts for them, and does a damn good job. So there will be a lot of excitement before the game and during the game as well.  With star players like Zach Parise, Jonathan Toews, Mikko Koivu, Teuvo Teravainen and on and on. The teams are faster now than they were back in the day and with it being an outdoor game, the intensity will be even higher.

Playing outside brings the game back to its roots and that is one of the most important reasons that they do this, other than it brings in a lot of money obviously. It gives fans the chance to experience hockey the way it’s meant to be played, outside. I honestly wish their games were outside all the time but that’s the pros for ya and the fans to be honest haha.

I wish I was going to the game but unfortunately it’s open to season ticket holders first of course and I’m not one of those… yet! I plan to be watching though, even if I have to ask off work, it is a big deal you know! The State of Hockey will finally be having its first (of hopefully many) outdoor games. It’s kind of hard to believe Minnesota has never had an outdoor professional game. I mean, hockey is kind of a big deal, just a little. I’m glad it’s finally happening and as much as I wish it was Pittsburgh they were playing against it will be one heck of a game with Chicago.

That is one thing that this series is known for, entertaining hockey. It’s not all fights but actual hockey. Skating, falling, shooting, passing, everything hockey is meant to be. Yes, there are some very hard hits but that is actually part of the game, fighting is not. This game will be on the minds of all the players and fans until the big day finally arrives and it will be like Christmas in February. The really cool part too is that Chicago is not that far so I’m sure there will be a number of Blackhawks fans in the seats. It’s always better when there are fans from both teams and not just one.

One other thing I really wish about the game was that it was on Hockey Day Minnesota… what better day to have the Wild play in Minnesota outdoors?! But of course that’s not how the world works so we’ll just have to pretend even though the Wild will be out-of-town for Hockey Day. Yep, for the first time in like 5 years the Wild will not play at home for Hockey Day. As sad as that is, back to the Stadium Series!

For uniforms, they unfortunately have not been unveiled yet of course but rumors were they will be a kind of throwback with the Wild logo staying the same but with North Star colors… frankly I think that would be amazing! What a better way to unite two teams into one. There was a design on NHL.com but they have not said it’s official so don’t expect it to look exactly the same (I will include the picture below). I haven’t heard anything about the Blackhawks jerseys so I don’t want to speculate too much but I would expect a throwback to what they were like when they played the North Stars? Maybe? I guess we’ll see once the regular season starts, if we’re lucky.

Well, I’ve covered the location, the game, the players, and the uniforms. I’ll probably include another update later in the season as the game comes closer. IT’S ONLY 167 DAYS AWAY!!!! 😀 History will soon be made! I hope you all enjoyed this post and I will continue to post almost one or two a day if I can. I really enjoy writing things now that I have an idea of what I want to cover! Thanks for reading!

HOCKEY ROCKS!

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The Captain’s Story

As you can tell from my title, this post will be about captains, I’ll be focusing on some of my favorite captains in the NHL from over the years, yeah I know 22 is a rather short span but I’ll make it the best I can. From those of you that know me, one of my all-time favorite players is Sidney Crosby, who happens to be a captain for his team the Pittsburgh Penguins and claimed the spot of captain at the end of his second season in the NHL at the ripe age of 19. The very next year, he helped lead his team in winning the Stanley Cup and he became the youngest NHL captain ever to do so. That’s not the only record Crosby has either, ever since his skates hit the ice for the very first time as an NHL player nearly 10 years ago, he’s been tearing up the ice with scoring titles and fancy moves that no one will soon forget.

Moving from Crosby to a little lesser known captain in the league, but not in the heart of Minnesota Wild fans, yes I’m talking about #9, Mikko Koivu who became the Wild’s first ever permanent captain in 2009 which would have been the Wild’s 9th year of existence. He’s been their captain every since. (Prior to that year the captaincy rotated every month based on the player the coach best thought deserved the honor) No, he’s not a goal scorer like Crosby or Gretzky but he’s a play-maker. Every year in the NHL he finishes with more assists than goals. Many people when they think of a captain, they think of the best player on the team, or the one that scores all the goals. In most cases, this isn’t the case, it’s the person who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and can rally the team in the roughest of times. Yes, many captains are very good at their sport as well. When you watch Mikko Koivu, you can immediately tell, he’s captain material; just by the way he carries himself on the ice. There’s always pride in his eyes and he’s always looking for ways to improve the team.

I know a lot of people have probably been wanting the Wild to get a different captain, in favor of someone who scores more goals, but let me tell you something; Captains=leadership+talent+confidence+sacrifice…etc. A lot goes into a good captain and they are the ones that tend to take the fall when the team does poorly, almost more so than the coach because they are the player that is supposed to rally a win together. There is more to a captain than scoring goals or having a temper tantrum at the ref about a poor call. True captains are able to keep their cool no matter what the call and they will put everyone else on the team in their place if they act out. They are the ones willing to put it all out there and take it all on their shoulders. I believe Mikko Koivu is the perfect captain for the Wild right now, simply based on his ability to lead the team.

Moving from current day captains to my all-time favorite, that’s right people, #99, “The Great One”, Wayne Gretzky. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” remains one of my favorite quotes and it always will be. During his days with the Edmonton Oilers, he helped win four Stanley Cups.. yes Four! He himself won 7 scoring titles consecutively during that time as well. He has 40 regular season records plus 15 playoff records along with numerous other unofficial records over the years. I still shake my head at all the records he has and the numbers he put up over the years. He would be a captain that had talent galore but he was also rather humble and a play-maker. Sure he could score goals left and right, but he passed a lot more than he shot.  He was a true team leader. I could go on and on about him being the greatest player ever, but most everybody already knows my opinion of Gretzky and we’ll leave it at that.

Basically my point with this whole post was to point out several captains who have been awesome at their roles with their respective teams and what it really takes to be a captain. Meaning more than scoring goals or looking cool. It takes a lot of work to be a captain and I would like everyone reading this to keep that in mind before they are too quick to judge a captain’s performance. They are under a lot of pressure too!

Thanks for reading!

HOCKEY ROCKS!

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