If you thought yesterday’s featured Icebreaker tournament player last name was fun (Ben Blood from North Dakota), may I interest you in the entire Michigan State roster?
They have a freshmen defenseman named Tim Buttery. Yep, as in the dairy product. They also have a senior forward named Tim Crowder (rhymes with chowder), a freshmen forward with the last name Warda (like how Bostonians say “water”), and their senior assistant captain’s last name is Gentile (which hockey is not.)
You may think I am a horrible person with no heart by pointing these names out. I argue otherwise. As someone whose last name is affectionately known as “The German Monstrosity,” who still sometimes has to spell it to herself after almost 27 years, I can be critical of others’ last names because we’re all buddies in the “Bad Last Name Club.” At least these guys’ names are spellable. At least they don’t have random silent vowels thrown in their last name just to make things difficult. When I got engaged last week, one of the first things people asked me (after “When are you getting married?”) was, “Are you changing your name?” I didn’t skip a beat when answering: “What, are you kidding me? You think when given the option I’d keep The German Monstrosity?” You’ve got to be serious. It’s more gone than Brett Bennett. I might not be getting married until after this economic depression is finished, but heck, let’s start the last name change now. My French-Canadian-ness gets confused often for Italian-ness, and now I’ll have an easily spellable Italian last name to go with it, instead of a way too long German word that literally translates to “rabbit killer.”
But I digress.
Yesterday (Saturday) I watched four nearly complete sporting events. I started at 1pm, with Binghamton taking on Boston University in men’s soccer. Boston won 2-0, despite the hard-core Bing students showing up, complete with European like cheers. They should’ve brought Mo Music. I wish Mo Music and the Bearcat Sports Complex had been there while I was a student. Not only did I not have the Bearcat Sports Complex, I only had the Events Center for one basketball game (recapped here). Sports obsessed me would have loved the full compliment.
The Battle of the BUs finished at 2:55pm, giving me five minutes to run over to Walter Brown Arena to watch the Boston University women take on fifth ranked Mercyhurst College Lakers. I’m a new convert to the women’s game, and I have quickly realized that women’s teams seem to fall in either one of two camps: either they totally embrace the no-checking, or they totally go out of their way to check just to be difficult. I think there may be a correlation between the two and how many Canadians the team has. BU, with very few Canadians, is totally about not-checking, while Mercyhurst, which has many Canadians, was checking, tripping, and fighting all over the place. Those penalties turned costly for the Lakers in the third, letting BU tie it up 2-2. BU scored the go-ahead goal at 17:22 in the third, which gave the Terriers the surprise win.
I then made it over to Agganis Arena for the 2nd and 3rd periods of the UMass Amherst – North Dakota Icebreaker game. Remember all that stuff about UMass I said yesterday? Scratch that. They woke up, or got motivated, or something – they won 3-1 over then-fifth-ranked UND (I doubt they’ll be ranked fifth in Monday afternoon’s polls.) They actually looked like the team fans of other Hockey East schools are worried about – although UND did still outskate them in terms of speed. But this is hockey, not speedskating, and UMass’s Cory Quirk and the rest of the offense really put in a ton of effort.
Game #4 of my day was the Icebreaker Championship between Michigan State (Ye of Little Lerg) and Boston University. Two questions I had going in: Would BU still have speed when not having to keep up with the North Dakota Road Runners? Would the offense actually be able to score on Little Lerg? Well, they still had the speed – they would skate circles around last year’s squad – and they made it past Lerg twice. That was enough to win, 2-1. Their defense was good, and combined with an actual goalie – Rollheiser in this game, although I think I like Millan better – they are able to win games when their offense faces crazy goalies like Lerg. I fear Lerg will never make it into the NHL due to size, which is a shame, because he is like a brick wall most of the time. It’s all reactionary and reflexes because he has no mass or height to fill the goal with. I don’t know how Michigan State can be ranked only #11 in a pre-season poll with him in goal. He’s nuts. Even his warm-ups are nuts when he skates out for a period – he does these spastic drills with him facing imaginary forwards, and then does a series of kung-fu like side lunges, reaching his glove to his skate. It was like when my cat attacks imaginary bugs on the wall – Lerg was full-out stopping imaginary shots. The kid is nuts. I’m officially a fan. We will call this “Lerg Love.”
The other very telling tidbit from the BU-Michigan State game was the fracas that ensued in the beginning of the third period after Michigan State players spent a good two minutes dogging Joe Pereira before he finally tried to get even. A few fights broke out, including one with Pereira, and the one between freshmen Kevin Gilroy and a Michigan State player. The officials got that one under control, when flying over comes captain and Kevin Gilroy’s older brother, Matt Gilroy, to start something with a few Michigan State players in defense of not only his little brother, but his team. This was after Matt Gilroy took a hard puck off the ankle in the second and was obviously hurting. He had excuses not to get involved – he was playing hurt and on the opposite end of the ice – but did anyway. If that didn’t set a tone for this season, I don’t know what could. Good captains, good goalies, and good speed – yep, this should be a good year.
Other random notes –
– I feel the same about Colin Wilson’s presence on the Terriers as I do Trent Edwards on the Bills – he’s not perfect, but I feel better with him just being out there. He might try too many fancy passes and shots, or hold on to the ball too long sometimes, but heck, we’re better just by his presence. Osmosis?
– FWSNBN had six penalty minutes, including two for elbowing. Mind you, Michigan State threw elbows all through the second and third periods, none of which were called. Whatevs, refs. Whatevs. At least I didn’t make a fool out of myself like I did last spring at UMass, when FWSNBN received what I thought was an unjust penalty.
– I am totally obsessed with one of the songs they play during the pre-game warmups at the arena this season. I had no idea what the song’s name was (which, for the two-time Name That Tune champion of Binghamton University’s Dickinson Community, is a rare occurrence), and none of my hockey friends did either. So last night, I jotted down some of the lyrics on the Notepad application on my Blackberry, and Googled them when I got back to my computer this evening. It’s Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolph and Little Wayne, which is like the fifth most popular song on iTunes today. Ummm….where have I been that I didn’t know this? I play the snippets of almost every song on the iTunes top 100 every other day. Have I been skipping this one? Needless to say, I paid my $.99, downloaded it, and have listened to it six times in the past two hours.
– Is there anything better than new program smell? I’ve loved it since I was a little girl, when I used to get the oversized figure skating show programs at shows at the Rochester War Memorial. I got a wiff of it again yesterday when I picked up a copy of the new BU hockey program for this season. That smell and the smell of an ice rink are the best smells ever. (And this is coming from a former florist.)