Yesterday I took in a college hockey game at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. It's the same place I first met Nathan Oystrick several years ago, when he was a sophomore at NMU. UAH plays in the College Hockey America conference, but once or twice a year they get some interesting non-conference teams into town -- this weekend it was Minnesota State-Mankato. Yale will visit Jan. 18 and 19.
On this day I was keying on Mankato's Jon Kalinski, drafted last year by the Philadelphia Flyers. He looks like he'll be a good pro, how high he'll go is up to him. I also liked Mankaso's undrafted 19-year-old defenseman Nick Canzanello. Anyway, here's a short photo essay of the trip.
Von Braun arena:
Mankato giving the goalie the traditional love right before puck drop.
The UAH bench stood for most of the game, which is also traditional.
The Mankato bench was more subdued. They had beaten Huntsville 7-0 the night before and had this game in hand as well (winning 4-2). Not a lot of tension there.
A blue horse riding a Zamboni (UAH's mascot is the Charger).
There aren't any retired numbers at UAH, but they do have a banner up recognizing Doug Ross, who recently retired from coaching after 25 years. Most readers of the blog will know him as Jared Ross's dad. Jared was recruited to play for the Gladiators, but was quickly called up to the Chicago Wolves and then later traded to the Philly Phantoms. Huntsville is 1-5 on the season so far, suggesting they are missing Doug Ross.
Handshakes at the end of the game. You can see the size of arena here.
College hockey (and some junior hockey leagues) have a penalty for "contact to the head." This has been a hot topic in the NHL lately. In the NCAA, it goes back to 2003. Here's a NY Times article about it. It was called once in Saturday's game.
UAH thanks the crowd of 1507 for coming.