U men’s hockey: Lucia bumped by prez

Posted on February 10th, 2009 – 12:11 AM
By Roman Augustoviz

Unbelievable. I turned on WCCO-radio just before 7 p.m. to listen to the Don Lucia show. And there was a voice — don’t know who — telling me to go to the ‘CCO site on the web to hear Lucia.

President Obama was taking Lucia’s half-hour on the radio to talk about the economy and his stimulus package during a news conference.

Doesn’t the Good Neighbor know where the real crisis is, at least in the eyes of true Maroon and Gold hockey boosters. It’s their team’s recent struggles. The U is falling faster in the national polls than the stock market. Goalie Alex Kangas needs a bailout — a defenseman, any size will do, who will knock any opponent near the crease on his butt.

And the top line needs a stimulus. Stoa-Schroeder-Barriball have been too quiet of late.

After some fumbling and bumbling, I found the Lucia show on the Internet, but kept losing it somehow and had to keep clicking to get it back. Don’t ask me to explain. I can’t.

Here’s what I heard from Lucia Monday night:

Lucia defended his goalie, Kangas, a bit. He said sometimes he made the first save on a 2-on-1 but another player swoops in and scores.


Alaska Anchorage won’t be a pushover this weekend. Here’s Lucia on the Seawolves: “They won at North Dakota (3-2), they won at Denver (3-2 OT), they won at Mankato (4-2), they won at [Michigan] Tech (2-1), they got swept at Wisconsin but they badly outplayed them in one of those games. They are older and experienced. They are a veteran team.

“The thing that sticks out is they have struggled on special teams. But five-on-five they have actually outscored their opposition in the WCHA, 38 to 34.”


Lucia said the Seawolves are going to have three players back all night, so the Gophers will have a hard time getting an odd-man rush. “So you are going to have to get it in and grind it out,” he said.

Alaska-Anchorage beat visiting St. Cloud State 2-1 last Saturday. The Seawolves are 4-6-4 at home, 4-6-0 away and 2-0-0 at neutral sites.

Their two big sticks are junior forward Paul Crowder (9-15-24) and sophomore forward Tommy Grant (14-7-21). Crowder is a plus-12, Grant a plus-10.

Coach Dave Shyiak has his team in the hunt for an upper division finish in the WCHA and home ice for the first round of the playoffs. But the Seawolves are in ninth place, so they have to climb over three teams and their remaining schedule is tough.

After Alaska Anchorage’s trip to Mariucci, they play North Dakota on Feb. 20-21 in Alaska, and two weeks later travel to UMD for their last two games.

Shyiak has been rotating two goalies:

* Sophomore Bryce Christianson has a 2.62 goals-against average, an .885 save percentage and a 5-4-3 record.

* Junior Jon Olthuis’ numbers are not quite as good. He has a 3.50 GAA, an .866 save percentage and a 5-8-1 mark.

Every post on the Seawolves this week — until they leave Anchorage — will also include something on Mt. Redoubt, a volcano which is 110 miles southwest of Anchorage and ready to erupt.

Here is the latest from the Alaska Volcano Observatory:

Unrest at Redoubt Volcano continues, though no eruption has yet occurred. Volcanic tremor is ongoing with variable amplitudes, and small discrete earthquakes are occurring at a rate of one to several events per hour. Clear webcam images [Mon]day show a steam plume rising up to several hundred feet above the crater. 


Lucia said his team has to bounce back this week, mentally as well as physically. He said rather than have a rugged two-hour practice, the Gophers had some fun Monday playing four-on-four hockey and then went bowling.

“You have to read your team,” Lucia said. “Sometimes you have to do a little bit of the unexpected. … When you get to this time of the year, you really don’t need practice four days a week.”

The captains of the team told the coaches on Saturday that the players were really down after the latest loss.


The Omaha World Herald has an interesting story on the Ambroz brothers of New Prague in its Monday edition. Seth, who has committed to the Gophers, is playing for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL.

Matt Ambroz is playing for the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He is a 6-4, 205-pound college sophomore.

Seth is 6-3, 198 already. He committed to the Gophers for 2011-12. He is only a high school sophomore but is hoping to accelerate his classes so he can join the U a year early, in 2010-11. He has 22 points in 40 games and is a physical presence, the story says.

400 countdown: Only 14 more posts to reach 400 this season. There will be quite an office celebration when that happens.


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