Sunday, February 29, 2004


Part of me can't help but wonder how the Bats only score one goal against a team that gave up 12 the last two nights, but that's a nice two points for Austin.

They do it with a rare shorthanded tally and an equally rare shootout goal from Josh St Louis, as well as the expected score from Brandon Carper, who has five SHOGs on five attempts. And sure enough -- give Jonathan Forest something to prove and he gives you a great game.

My favorite part of last night's game was Belecki's stop of Richardson, after which the Rayz captain patted his longtime friend and former teammate on the mask.

Austin's postseason chances remain far-fetched, but here's something to play for Tuesday -- staying perfect for all-time against the team from Oklahoma City.

Saturday, February 28, 2004


Jeff Greenlaw: "I'm at a loss for words, though I won't be when the season's over."

Meanwhile, apologies to Scott Reid -- I swear the stat sheet I consulted said he only had one shutout, but last night was his third.

Ray Edwards, get well soon.

Three interpretations of this article on how the Blazers feel the league has gotten better.

1. Excuses, excuses.

2. "Actually, Sauter's not that good a coach, and Joe Burton wasn't all that good a player -- the old CHL was just an easy league."

3. "Our 2000-2001 championship team couldn't beat this year's squad, but despite knowing that, and despite making first-round exits the past two years, we couldn't coach or recruit a team good enough to be in the current upper echelon."

Oh, and I think Blair Manning meant "Border City."

Moving on, would you pay money to join the RiverKings message board? Not that it's especially important that the average trash-talking Bugs fan (or blogger) should have easy access to the forum, but what about turtle-lovers who don't happen to buy season tix? How 'bout the fans up on the Rock, or Luch Nasato's mom?

Meanwhile, Mark Richards should be back.

Meet your new Laredo Buck. And I don't think this rookie, a two-time almost 30-goal scorer in junior, is even Cullaton's replacement, i.e., someone else could still be on the way.

David Holt gives the rundown on the Thunder (indirectly).

Think the Leafs are pissed off at their webmaster? Good round-up of NHL trade rumours here.

Thursday, February 26, 2004


Next time Brad Lund, Jeff Buch or Mark Adams feels picked on by the fans, they can take solace in the fact that nobody snaps at them like this:

Glen Sather stepped down as coach of the New York Rangers yesterday, apparently to spend more time in his role of franchise murderer.

Nothing like an an offhand remark to keep people wondering about the Bats, the Stars, a new arena and the AHL:

Stars president Jim Lites said the team would like its next major minor league affiliate to be in Texas. He said locations such as Wichita Falls or Austin would be good.

Voting has begun for the In the Crease logo contest. I gotta admit, I'm still partial to the stupid bunny-with-antlers, and I've got a soft spot for the angry crawfish too (got six year-old t-shirts of both, though I don't wear them in public). The Blazers crest is classic, while I don't like any of the five newest choices (Saints, 'Rillas, Bees, Bucks, Eagles).

Don't tell Osama, but Brett Hull is not exactly the best American scorer ever.

Good bench-eye read from Roy Lang, playing Mudbugs assistant for a day. And speaking of the Bugs, darned if Jean LaForest didn't turn that sorry college team around. So does he want to be the next Mike Eaves or Troy Ward, or will he look to get back in the pros?

You should also check out Greg Rajan's think piece on the evolution of the CHL (good bad or otherwise). And you gotta wonder what's gonna happen with the Rayz. Is Brent Hughes still an option? Will Cameron consider all of his (ECHL? UHL? Tulsa?).

And are the Thunder really moving to Topeka?

Saturday, February 21, 2004


Well, here's what's taking me away from hockey this weekend, not that I'm missing much in Austin.

Sadly, the Ice Bats are no longer chasing Killer Bees -- they're looking over their shoulder at the Jackalopes. Brett Seguin, the all-time leading scorer among active CHLers (and the 48th leading scorer among all minor league players ever) is now pointless in 11 games. And unless Mark Hulshof snuck onto the ice and tied all the Austin defensemen's skates together, I'm pretty sure he can't be blamed for Friday.

It won't get any easier at home -- judging by last night's Laredo-Corpus game, the Bucks don't feel like letting up. And you know the season is completely topsy-turvy when I can write a sentence like "maybe Austin can get two points against the Bugs, a team they've owned this year." Well, in 2003 at least -- Sunday could be very different.

So you gotta hand it to Tracy Egeland for making the Southern playoff race a bore. The North is much more interesting -- Memphis won't go away, but is still puffed up by playing all those games. Laxdal and Sauter are best friends. And New Mexico gave away the advantage of its Southwest-heavy schedule by dropping four games to Lubbock and Odessa as well as one to Wichita.

Remember when Dan Price signed with the Komets and one of the Fort Wayne papers referred to him as a defensive upgrade and far from a one-dimensional player?

This story by Justin Cohn is more on target, with Pricer himself saying, I'm not the best on the defensive side of the puck. They knew that up front and I'm sure they checked around.

Nevertheless, he seems to be keeping a good attitude about things, and at least he's on a playoff team.

You guys don't really think the Eagles are unprepared for their call-ups, do you?

First of all, who knows how long they'll last?

Second, just as Ruskowski has his Cullaton replacement figured out, Stewart has surely lined up horses from abroad-- their names would already be on file with the league office, and they just have to play three regular season games to become playoff-eligible. Then it's a matter of if or when they leave their European teams (depending on their playoff situation, or if they can get out of a contract).

One defenseman is already in the fold, waiting for his visa: Curtis Sheptak, a former college teammate of Lee Ruff's.

Also, I hear Jared will suit up. Can they fit him under the cap? And aren't the spong monkeys better forecheckers?

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Tough period for the Tulsa power play.

Friday, February 13, 2004


Ken Goetz update.

That's right, it's time for the big bad, "it's been a while" blog. And no, it's not because there's nothing to say about the Ice Bats -- if anything, there's too much to say.

Like, so far, the trade has hurt both teams, or rather, it has hurt the Scorps -- the Bats are the same around-.500 club they were before.

Just been busy paying bills, which the blog (nor, sadly, the Statesman) doesn't do. Throw in the ragingly inconsistent Wi-Fi access at the Albuquerque Central KOA (which just ate another couple of hundred words right this very minute, damn it!) and it's like I disappear.

A few old ones still worth noting:

John Kaltefleiter: San Angelo WILL wear the Southwest Division crown on March 14. Hmmh, maybe I should have been more decisive today. Could be worse -- according to this poll Austin isn't even in the running.

Greg Rajan on Al Sims' recruiting faults.

Kudos to Chris Minard.

I would like to see linesman Randy Sappo's interpretation of the famous "head in his ass" illustration. Seriously, nice work, find out more in George Schneider's article in the new Just Hockey.

Tracey Egeland must be gunning for Coach of the Year votes with his "decisive" pulling of the goalie in the middle of a game, a description that led to this correction. Of course, we're talking about the same paper that said two teams make the playoffs from each CHL division not once but twice. Don't tell the Northeast coaches!

So let's see, what else have I missed in 10 days worth of Farm Reports? Ah yes, the whole Thunder lease issue (more reading here and here), along with the Indy to Topeka rumor. My opinion on the latter is, "ya never know," but Topeka does not have to take in a pre-existing team. With the UHL shaky and the CHL looking at Youngstown, OH, I don't know that Global would want to cede the Midwest turf.

And of course -- isn't this always the way? -- Wichita's deal has been overshadowed by Oklahoma City's re-negotiation. Has there been a more fascinating number this entire Central Hockey Leage season than 4932? Let's hear it for the Open Records Act!

Hey, I know how to fix this -- the Thunder and the Blazers can both move to New Mexico, where they and the Scorps can each have their own arena.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004


The Southeast division title may be settled before lunchtime

Monday, February 09, 2004


John Torchetti, NHL head coach.

Monday, February 02, 2004


Beans spilled: Scott McCallum and futures to the Brahmas for Brent Belecki.

As usual, the trade deadline is an anti-climax, hardly surprising given the league's worst team did its sell-off a few weeks ago, and nothing was gonna top New Mexico's two deals.

The main thing is, there just aren't enough teams ready to count themselves out of it, and even then, a contending team can't just trade a third-liner and futures for an impact player without also sorting out the usual cap, vet and immigration issues.

So to sum up, Austin traded Way for Brandvold, Odessa dealt Williams for Saltmarsh and the Gorillas get Currie to take the place of Curry -- assuming Brent is interesting in playing.

But the real doozy, which involves the Bats, has yet to be announced. Let's just say any talk of Brady coming back is gonna end, as Greenlaw fills the hole left by Shawn Conschafter with a bit of a surprise.
It wasn't exactly "promote CHL stability day" in the media. More like, "we want a break on rent" day.

Excluding Oklahoma City, I'd venture to say there's not any (CHL) teams that are making any profit, Lubbock's Mark Adams says.

Meanwhile, Wichita is apparently threatening a move.

Sunday, February 01, 2004


Remember that old tape of Paul McCartney with everything mixed down so you could hear how awful Linda's singing was? That's about what CBS just did for Steven Tyler.

And for those of you who aren't watching football... that Quad City Mallards player being on the Bachelorette gave me an idea: Ryan Shannon and Byron Pool on a special all-hockey double-episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

A nine-part series on the Sutter brothers (one-and-a-half parts per brother!) ought to make for some good reading.

Chad Starling's return to Peoria provides a platform to dis the Rayz in general and their Aeros affiliation specifically, but was anyone (fans or management) in Corpus sad to see him go? (Link courtesy of the Farm Report).

What's the CHL record for earliest division clinched? Next Laredo win or Corpus loss officially eliminates the Rayz from Southeast contention, and the Bats and Bees are almost out of it as well.


"Settle down, MVP", a ref said to Jason Baird. Priceless. But next time, quote me by name!

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