Friday morning reading

The most famous brawl in UND hockey history — the Water Bottle Game — turns 30 years old on Monday. And coincidentally enough, the University of Wisconsin is in town this weekend.

With those stars lining up, I couldn’t help but write about the Water Bottle Game. After all, any time you mention UND vs. Wisconsin, that game/incident is the first thing that comes to mind for people. I chatted with UND associate coach Cary Eades, who played a large role. Read that story here.

Eades says maybe it’s time to bury that game. He mentioned that he seems to be remembered more for that one incident than for his offensive production — and he was one of the program’s most prolific scorers ever (85 goals, 164 points).

Virg Foss, who covered that game for the Herald, mentioned to me that the history between Eades and John Newberry (who squirted Eades with the water bottle) went back to their days in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League.

Anyway, for those who were around, that story should be a stroll down memory lane. And for those who weren’t, maybe there’s some new info there.

This weekend’s series features some of the league’s top players. My story in Thursday’s paper talks about how much UND relies on that top line to produce. There’s a clear-cut difference in their production when UND wins versus when UND loses.

That story also touches on Wisconsin, a team similar to UND in that regard. Wisconsin relies on Hobey Baker Award frontrunner (at least in my mind) Justin Schultz and sophomore forward Mark Zengerle to produce. UND will be aware of those guys.

This week’s Q&A is with Brad Eidsness, who has just a couple of months left in his college career. We’ll see if he can add anything else to his already-impressive resume: Two-time all-WCHA, two MacNaughton Cups, two Broadmoor Trophies, a Frozen Four, an undergraduate degree in business and a master’s in business administration (which he will finish May 15). Yes, he accomplished a bit more than I did in four years of college.

With all of UND’s injuries, junior forward Carter Rowney is emerging as a leader.

On the Wisconsin end, the Badgers are hoping that Tyler Barnes will break through with some goals this weekend. Barnes was strong against UND in the Kohl Center earlier this season.

This week’s episode of Through These Doors is posted here.

I also answered five questions for Bucky’s Fifth Quarter.

Elsewhere around the WCHA…

Michigan Tech at Minnesota-Duluth: Jack Connolly will continue his pursuit of the Hobey Baker Award this weekend against Michigan Tech in AmsOil Arena, where Connolly has become larger than life.

St. Cloud State at/vs. Minnesota: St. Cloud State doesn’t want to have to pull-a-UND and play fewer than 18 skaters this weekend, so it appears that defenseman Jarrod Rabey will be playing up front. The Gophers will likely continue to rely on Jake Parenteau to be a solid, consistent defenseman.

MSU-Mankato at Bemidji State: The Beavers host a team that has given them fits over the years in Mankato. The Free Press has a feature on Johnny McInnis, who says he’s losing his Boston accent and enjoying the Midwest.

Denver at Alaska-Anchorage: Denver starting goalie Sam Brittain, who had surgery over the summer and missed the first half of the season, is on the trip to Anchorage and may start one of the games. Defenseman John Ryder also is back after missing 13 games. Those additions should make Denver even tougher down the stretch.

17 thoughts on “Friday morning reading

  1. Brad, I discussed the PWR rankings and the significance of the NC record with a guy from USCHO…Ed Trefzger…and he explained why. The record against NC opponents is important….to the RPI and subsequently to the PWR ranking. And everyone knows how important the RPI is to the PWR results. Basically, while every Win and Loss affects the RPI, here’s how the NC record affects the RPI. Considering the calculation of the RPI, if you take out the NC games, that would leave only Conference games. Statistically, the RPI calculation (especially addressing the factors of Opponents records and Opponents Opponents records)theoretically would result in every conference team’s RPI averaging .500. The kicker is the NC record, which would either drive the RPI score up or down. (think of it loosely like the green 0 and 00 in roulette…without them, the odds for Red or Green would be 50/50). Consequently, a better NC record would elevate the RPI over .500 and, of course, conversely as well. Record against TUC also plays a significant role in the PWR results. As does the other two factors: record against common opponents and Head to Head results. Given that the RPI is the tie-breaker, it would motivate a team to win the NC games.

  2. Brad, Tripped on an article from the Badger Herald. Interesting comments and interesting quotes from Eades: “This series is also a return home for UND. The last time North Dakota played on it’s home ice, the weekend ended on a sour note, and senior defensemen Ben Blood started a fight with Minnesota’s Kyle Rau as they went through the postgame hand shake.

    For Eaves, Blood’s move is simply UND’s identity, and Wisconsin has to be prepared for a weekend that is similarly physical.

    “That’s been their way of playing for decades even since [my] day, so that has not changed,” Eaves said. “It’s part of their identity. That’s part of us going in there; we have to play disciplined, we have to play whistle to whistle, and if they want to carry on after — that’s the game within the game, that’s the sportsmanship.””

    Gosh, seems like Rau was totally innocent and he was just attacked by some thugs. Funny.
    http://badgerherald.com/sports/2012/01/26/wisconsin_faces_wick.php

  3. Brad. The story about the water bottle fight said several players were suspended for five games. That is the longest suspension I had ever heard of. Are there other examples? Has anyone ever been permanently removed for their behavior on the ice?

  4. Another big fight that I remember was UND vs MN at the Winter Sports Center – mid 70′s – during warmups – no coaches or Ref’s — I remember the Ref’s coming out to break it up without their Strips on -

  5. That was an epic brawl! Was that a flying haymaker from the dressing room from Archibald or Eades? That must have caused some damage.

  6. Brad – who do you see as players leaving early for the pros? Only Lamoureux, Eidsness and Blood are seniors. Would be great if everybody came back.

  7. you can give a summary of other wcha men’s games but nothing for und women? support for und hockey starts from the top down.

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