Monday, February 29, 2016

What a Team, What a Community

As I ride the bus on our journey home i am thinking what a journey it has been. I cannot say enough how honored I am coaching at Dakota College at Bottineau. Now in my 15th season I have seen many players come and go and many teams better than others. Never before though have I been blown away by the support we have received from our community. It is such a great feeling that the town and school is so proud of Lumberjack Hockey. It is very humbling and greatly appreciated. All you have to do is look at the past 5 seasons and realize that we struggled. I am not going to lie as it felt like we were never going to get here again. The thing that kept it going was we had some very good people who were a part of Lumberjack Hockey. And they kept me motivated to turn the ship around, to work harder to make our program better. Then last March the "RULE" got changed. Now we can have more foreign players. What a difference a year makes. We have such good people here now and such a TEAM in every sense of the word. We had 2 goalies who started each game in the National Tournament. I believe we had 8 different goal scorers in the two games, we had everyone playing together and we had everyone believe that we could do this.  We also had tremendous support including a group of students and Michelle Davis who drove from Bottineau to be a part of it. They will drive over 3000 miles total just to be there. We had family there to support us. We had 2 people from NYC area who were a part of the Annies House building to come watch us. (Thank you Tony and Rob) We had Dano Fagerland there to make sure there were coverage as well as other jobs. Including taping the game to be put on Periscope which had over 2000 hits. We had the radio station SUNY 101.9 cover the games. We had elementary students send us signs and sending us off while we left town also middle and Jr. High students. We had one little girl send us 7 boxes of girl scout cookies. We had our Adopt a Jack families go above and beyond what they do. We had Zelda line us meals on the way out there so we could get some meals through Sodexho. We had people who sent us many donations to help us get out there. It goes on and on and on and I cannot thank everyone enough.  I think we tried to do our best to make Bottineau proud and I think we did that. We did that on and off the ice. It is almost supper time but I want to tell everyone from Bottineau, DCB, ND, Canada, Alumni and anyone I missed THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart as this was a very great time to be a Lumberjack. I am very blessed to be the Coach of these 23 young men and this will be a team that I will never forget.

PS: Thanks to my family for all the support. I love you guys!


Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1

Well it was good to get back into the win column as we swept Finlandia JV on the weekend after dropping 3 games in a row to Williston (2) and Minot (1) the previous week. On Saturday night we scored 5 goals in the first period and dominated the game and finished with a 10-1 score. It was a good game for us as we were burying chances and flying. We also stayed out of the penalty box so that was a good sign. On Sunday we prevailed 3-2 in a much better game. We knew Finlandia would play better as it was there first game back after the break as well as the travel from the UP in Michigan. They did play better and we played well too so it was a entertaining game. We need to hit the net more as Sunday we missed some grade A scoring chances as we did not hit the net. Unfortunately we had a few injuries on the weekend, but other than that it was a good weekend. 

Up Next is Minot State on Friday night 7:30 PM in the Lumberdome. See you there!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

NDSU and WSC Games

Well the guys got off to a good weekend by sweeping NDSU 4-1 and 8-3, and then lost to Williston State 5-4 last night.

NDSU got a great goaltending performance who had close to 50 saves and a lot of those chances were quality scoring ones. After the feeling out process we scored 2 goals in the final minute of the first period and was on cruise control after that. Overall it was a good way to start the weekend.

Sunday: We started out not focused and were not ready to go. In the first 8 minutes we were down 3-0. We cut it to 3-1 before the period ended and then finished up 8-3. It was a good weekend getting the sweep and NDSU was a hard working team who was physical.

Deja vu as we were down 3-0 to Williston early and could not come back from that. WSC added 2 power play goals in the second. After 2 periods it was 5-2.  We clawed our way back to make it 5-4 but we could not tie it up. Same story that we have to figure out is the start of the game and to stay out of the penalty box. We gave up those PP goals but also took some undisciplined penalties in the third period down the stretch that did not help us.

Round 4 vs WSC on Friday and then Minot State on Saturday. Minot is the ACHA #1 ranked  team and will also be a good test for our young team.

Let's go Jacks!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 15 - Last weekend of the semester

Well the guys had some great competition this weekend against Iowa State and St. Johns JV.
Friday Night:
- We had a 2-1 lead going into the third and we had a stretch where ISU scored 2 goals in under a minute. That was the turning point. I thought if we were to win a game on the weekend that was the time. We ended up losing 4-3.
Saturday Night:
- We played better but had a slow start and were down 3-0 in the first. We battled hard the rest of the way but lost 4-1. ISU wore us down with their depth as well as finishing checks.
- We lost 6-0 to the Johnnies who had a lot of varsity players playing due to low JV numbers. They were big and fast and we could not contain them with our third game in three nights. We played hard to the end and had a really good third period but could not get one past the Johnnie netminder.

It was a good weekend to learn on what we need to do to get better. We saw what we need to work on and how we have to increase our compete level. It was a sour way to end a great semester going 0-3 on the weekend but i really believe this weekend will help us on the second semester.

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

First week of December

Well it was a good week to be a Lumberjack with a couple of shootout wins and a game a lot closer than the score indicated.

12/1 @ Williston State
We played the Tetons in their new rink for the first time and it was a pretty well played game for the most part. If we could have put one more past there goalie in the third when it was 4-2 I think we would have been able to avoid Overtime. But give credit to there team and #16 who got them back in the game and tied it up late in the third. It was a good battle among the netminders and we came away with the victory in the shootout.

12/5 and 12/6 @ NDSU Bison
Well Saturday night started well as we scored 4 goals in the first including one with 2 seconds left and really buried them after that goal. I feel that we did not play well in the first and got some big saves and then capitalized on some turnovers for some goals. Phoenix really took the team on his back and had 5 points (3g, 2a) and included 2 shorthanded goals. We played well the rest of the game and won 7-0.
Sunday we started really well and was up 4-1 after the first period and was playing good. In the second we got away from the game plan and they came hard and we were down 5-4 after the second. The guys rallied in the third and then we won in the shootout for the second time this week.

Off to Iowa next week for a good test. It will be tough with the travel and finals coming up but I think we will be up for the challenge.

Long Live Those Lumberjacks!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving/ Hello Wisconsin

Well it is nice to have a little break this week from the GRIND.

- First off we split this past weekend against St. Norbert JV in DePere, WI. St. Norbert has a storied history of success at the D 3 level and we have always had good games against them at the JV level. They are a hardworking team and are well coached. That was what they were the past weekend. On Friday night we were down 2-0 before we started to go. Too much puck watching and we just didn't have the "Jam" on Friday. After we settled down a bit we just could not find the back of the net. The goalie played well and we lost too many battles and could not finish.  Saturday was a different story and we played a lot better, especially in the first period. It was the Lucas Walsh show and he had 4 goals in the first period. We settled in and won 6-2 in a strange game where we did not have a power play opportunity and had two 5 minute majors called on us. The boys hung in there and got the job done.  Overall it was a good weekend as we did some team bonding at Lambeau Field.  The break comes at a good time and i hope everyone enjoys the time and gives thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

2015-2016 Season

Greetings everyone. Well we had some password delays but we are set for another season of blogging. In case you missed it we are 5-0 to start the season. Guys have been working hard and getting the job done. Here are the results thus far:
@ Finlandia JV Won 5-2
@ Finlandia JV Won 7-4
vs UND Club team - Won 8-0
vs UND Club team - Won 6-3
vs Williston State - Won 6-3

Thanks for the support and I will try update after every weekend we play.