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October 02, 2014

PHERSY AND FATIS SHOW: Undefeated edition

PHERSY: Welcome back to the Phersy and Fatis Show. Coach and I break down last weekend's win over the Crusaders, talk about this week's practice and then look ahead at Saturday's showdown against the undefeated Dells Ducks.

The Ducks hit Rochester at 7:05 p.m. Saturday for the big-time tilt at the Rochester Recreation Center. It's duck-hunting season!

Enjoy the show!



September 26, 2014

Feldy and Phersy's High School Football picks | Week 5

FELDY: Last week wasn't a very shining moment for either of us, Phersy, but especially you. We both were way off the mark on Austin against Faribault and we both thought JM would win a competitive game against Century. Turns out, Century had no inkling of letting it be close. I went 5-2 and am 23-5; Phersy went 3-4 and is now 20-8. Let's put last week in the past and move on to this week's games:


* Rochester Mayo (3-1) at Faribault (2-2)


* Plainview-Elgin-Millville (3-1) at Rochester Lourdes (4-0)

* Stewartville (4-0) at Lake City (3-1)


* Caledonia (5-0) at Chatfield (3-1)


* Kenyon-Wanamingo (1-3) at Dover-Eyota (1-3)


* Grand Meadow (4-0) at Lanesboro (3-1)

* Spring Grove (3-1) at Mabel-Canton (3-2)


PHERSY: Feldy, after another awful week, I need to try something new. So I'm gonna rip through these picks, no research, just first team that comes to mind...I have to break this slump!


* Rochester Mayo 28, Faribault 14: Spartans get back on track.


* Plainview-Elgin-Millville 27, Rochester Lourdes 26: Going with road warriors this week?

* Stewartville 47, Lake City 22: Lake City is solid, but Stewartville is elite.


* Caledonia 24, Chatfield 7: Caledonia is balanced and the Warriors will be back on top again this year.


* Kenyon-Wanamingo 25, Dover-Eyota 21: All road teams, all night long.


* Grand Meadow 33, Lanesboro 21: Best team in the state takes this one.

* Spring Grove 35, Mabel-Canton 28: This should be a good one!

* * * * *

FELDY: Let's see if I can put some more separation between me and Phersy...


Mayo 33, Faribault 21: If the Spartans are the team they expected to be at the start of the season, and the team they still believe they can be, they come out and take it to the Falcons in Faribault.


Lourdes 28, PEM 24: I like Phersy's pick here, but coach Kesler won't let Lourdes relax with its No. 1 ranking. The Eagles will have a big bullseye on their backs (as if they already didn't) the rest of the way.

Stewartville 38, Lake City 21: No one has been able to slow Stewie's offense yet. As well as Lake City has played, Stewartville is as tough a test as they'll face all year.


Caledonia 34, Chatfield 19: Caledonia has had this game marked on its calendar for almost a year. 


Dover-Eyota 20, Kenyon-Wanamingo 17: I don't think I've picked a K-W game correctly all season. Maybe I'll start this week.


Grand Meadow 36, Lanesboro 23: Sticking with the defending state champion Larks.

Spring Grove 22, Mabel-Canton 20: I'll take the Lions with a late score to win on the road.

September 19, 2014

Feldy and Phersy's High School Football Picks | Week 4

PHERSY: Well, that was an ugly week for me. I went 4-3, and Feldy went 6-1 ... so, now Feldy leads in the standings ... Feldy is 18-3 and I'm 17-4. The good news is, please remember to ask Feldy who correctly picked the winner of last weekend's PGA Tour Championship.

Let's play some football!


Austin (1-2) at Faribault (1-2)

Mankato West (3-0) at Owatonna (3-0)

John Marshall (2-1) at Century (2-1)


Stewartville (3-0) at P-E-M (3-0)

Byron (1-2) at Kasson-Mantorville (1-2)


Rushford-Peterson (3-1) at Goodhue (3-0)


Lanesboro (2-1) at Houston (2-2)


FELDY: Let's get right to it ...


Austin 34, Faribault 21: The Packers' defense will be better this week. Their offense will keep clicking along.

Mankato West 40, Owatonna 20: West is the No. 1-ranked team in the state for a reason. Its offense is all but impossible to slow down. We'll get to see if this inexperienced Owatonna team is for real.

John Marshall 33, Century 23: Century won't make things easy on its crosstown rival, but JM is a team that keeps improving each week and will again this week.


Stewartville 38, PEM 24: The Bulldogs are no slouches, ranked No. 3 in the state Class AAA poll, but Stewie has been more unstoppable than its No. 7 ranking in Class AAAA indicates.

Kasson-Mantorville 28, Byron 21: Both of these teams need a good confidence boost. K-M will get it with a win, but Byron will take it down to the wire.


Rushford-Peterson 31, Goodhue 21: Goodhue's 'D' has been impressive the past two weeks, but I think R-P has too much for the Wildcats this week. R-P's only loss came by one point to Caledonia, which might be the best team in Class AA.


Lanesboro 18, Houston 15: every time I pick these 9-man games to go into the 40s for scoring, the defenses rise up. I've learned my lesson. I'll take the Burros in a close one.


PHERSY: Those picks were brutal Feldy. And by brutal, I mean, they're exactly what I was thinking. But, you know that's not how I roll, so...


Austin 42, Faribault 36: Austin's defense is young and it still scares me. The line must play better, too. But, I'll stick with Big Red ... with Brandon Edgar having a monster game to lead the way.

Mankato West 42, Owatonna 21: West is the real deal, and I'm not certain Owatonna is legit. We'll find out tonight. I do know Owatonna has the best player in the conference in the middle of that line...I don't care what anyone else says.

John Marshall 17, Century 16: Rivalry game ... that means it'll be closer than expected. JM too talented to let this one slip away. But Century will slow it down and keep it close and have a chance to win at the end.


Stewartville 35, PEM 21: Stewartville has stars all over the field. PEM is a bit more balanced, but the Tigers are legit and they'll get the W in a close game.

Byron 7, Kasson-Mantorville 6: KoMets are going to struggle as they try to find their identity. This will be a nasty rivalry game.


Goodhue 14, Rushford-Peterson 12: G-Force!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Lanesboro 38, Houston 22: Let's go Buros. My first thought is to pick the opposite of Feldy on all Nine-Man games. But this week I have to stick with Lanesboro in a war of attrition.

September 12, 2014

BLOG: Junior Hockey | Introducing the 2014-15 theaustinbruins

Posted by: Feldman

The Austin Bruins get their season going tonight at Riverside Arena with an exhibition game against the Minnesota Magicians. The Bs will play at Richfield tomorrow night against the Magicians. Both games are set to start at 7:05 p.m.; admission in Richfield on Saturday is just $5, if you're interested in making the trek north. Tickets for tonight's game at Riverside, I believe are $11 for adults and $8 for seniors/students. I've also read that you can get $4 off your ticket for tonight's game if you purchase them at several locations around Austin, including Jim's Marketplace, Holiday Inn, Hy-Vee and Games People Play.

The Bruins will use these two games to get their first look at about 16 new faces. It'll be a good opportunity for coaches Chris Tok and Jamie Huffman to work on line combinations, defensive pairings and get a look at the team's two new goalies. I know Zach Driscoll received a lot of hype when the team drafted him in Round 1 of the NAHL Draft back in June, but don't be surprised if Jake Kielly pushes Driscoll hard for that starting job.

Bruins fans will have to have patience, even moreso than a year ago. Last year, they had veteran goalie Nick Lehr (now at the U of Minnesota) to lean on, as well as about 10 returning players who knew what the coaching staff expects. This season, the roster is 75-80 percent new to the Bruins, including both goalies. This isn't the team that beat Topeka on the road to advance to the Robertson Cup Finals. There are plenty of reasons to think the Bs can duplicate that postseason run this year, but it's going to take time and -- again -- patience. 

Here's an introduction to each of the 2014-15 Bruins, as they prepare for their exhibition games this weekend, then next week's North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine: 


1 -- Jake Kielly, 6-3, 190 (Age 18, 9-10-96; Eden Prairie): Played in 24 games last season for the Victory Honda U18 team in Plymouth Township, Mich., that plays in the Tier 1 Elite League. Had was 14-6-2, with one shutout, a 2.64 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. ... Played in 15 games for Eden Prairie High School in 2012-13, with a 3.11 GAA and a .888 save pct.

30 -- Zach Driscoll, 5-10, 180 (Age 17, 2-5-97, Apple Valley): The St. Cloud State University commit is a high school senior. ... He played last year for Eastview High School in Apple Valley. ... Put up outstanding numbers for the Lightning as a junior. Went 19-7-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. ... Led his team to the Section 3AA semifinals. Made 35 saves in a 2-1 section semifinal loss to St. Thomas Academy. ... As a sophomore in 2012-13, went 16-6-1 and led Eastview to the Class AA state tournament, where it placed sixth. Had a 2.04 GAA and a .934 save pct. that season.  

* * * * * 


11 -- Luke Dietsch, 6-1, 200, R (Age 20, 3-6-94, St. Paul): Had 23-28--51 in 72 games for the Bruins last season. ... Averaged more than a point per game in the postseason, recording 7-8--15 in 14 playoff games. ... Split time between the NAHL's Jamestown Ironmen and the Dallas Ice Jets of the Western States Hockey League in 2012-13. ... Played three seasons at Cretin-Derham Hall High School, totaling 33-30--63 in 73 games. 

12 -- Josh Wilkins, 5-10, 170, L (Age 17, 6-11-97, Cary, N.C.): Was drafted by the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL, after playing for the Raleigh Junior Hurricanes in North Carolina. ... Led the 16U Thunder (based in Huntsville, Ala.) in scoring with six points in three games at the Tier I 16U USA Hockey nationals last spring.

13 -- Trevor Boyd, 6-3, 200, L (Age 19, 12-19-94; Muskegon, Mich.): Started last season with the Bruins, scoring one goal and adding three assists in 14 games. ... Played the remainder of the season with the Soo Eagles (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.), where he had five goals and eight assists in 34 games. ... Played for the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Jr. K-Wings in 2011-12 and 12-13. Played 95 games and totaled 28 points. 

15 -- JC MacLean, 6-2, 195, R (Age 17, 2-27-97; Basking Ridge, N.J.): Put up 31 points in 30 games for Delbarton Prep School in New Jersey in the 2012-13 season. ... Participated in the USA Hockey Select 17 Festival this past summer. ... Played in seven games last season for the New Jersey Rockets of the Eastern Hockey League. ... The son of former first round NHL Draft choice John MacLean, who played all or parts of 18 seasons in the NHL.

16 -- Jakob Kullberg, 5-9, 180, L (Age 20, 1-4-94; Kallered, Sweden): Played the past three seasons for Frolunda J20 of the SuperElit League, Sweden's highest level of junior hockey. ... Had three goals and six assists, as well as 22 penalty minutes, in 43 games, last year. ... Had 25 points in 104 games for the Frolunda J20 team between 2011-14. 

17 -- Alex Pettersson, 5-10, 190, L (Age 20, 5-2-94; Gothenburg, Sweden): Entering his second season with the Bruins. ... Played in 41 games last season, including 12 in the playoffs. Totaled four goals and 11 assists, for 15 points. ... Also had 115 penalty minutes. ... Had a goal and two assists in the Bruins' three-game victory at Topeka in the NAHL Robertson Cup semifinals last spring.

19 -- Nico Sturm, 6-3, 190, L (Age 19, 5-3-95; Augsburg, Germany): Had three points in 21 games for the NAHL's Corpus Christi IceRays last season. ... Played 57 games over the past two seasons for ESV Kaufbeuren U18, a member of the DNL (the German Development League). Totaled 67 points and 42 penalty minutes in those games.

20 -- Nate Bastian, 6-0, 185, L (Age 20, 5-19-94; Batavia, Ill.): The big forward is one of three Illinois natives on the Bruins roster, joining fellow Bruins rookie forward Luke Forfar and veteran defenseman Jake Arroyo. ... Had five goals and 13 points for New York Apple Core in the Eastern Hockey League last season. ... Spent the 2012-13 season with the Great Falls Americans of the American West Hockey League, which is now the Frontier Division of the NA3HL.

21 -- Luke Forfar, 5-11, 160, L (Age 17, 10-16-96; Darien, Ill.): Tendered with the Bruins last season, while playing for the Chicago Mission U18 team in the High Performance (Midgets) Hockey League. ... Had 13 goals and 23 points for Chicago in 27 games last season. ... Had 17 points in 31 games the previous season. ... Played for Team Illinois U16 Midget team in 2011-12 after a season with the Team Illinois Bantam AAA program. ... Older brother, Chris, played two seasons in the USHL, then had 39 points in four seasons at Michigan State University (2009-13).

23 -- Brian Bachnak, 6-1, 185, L (Age 19, 9-30-94; Brownstown, Mich.): The second-year Bruin is expected to be one of the team leaders this season, both verbally and with his play on the ice. ... Elevated his game big-time in the Bruins' run to the Robertson Cup Finals last spring. After recording 5 goals and 9 points in 48 regular season games, put up 4 goals and 7 points in 12 playoff games. ... Was Michigan's Mr. Hockey in 2013 after putting up 97 points in 28 games for Riverview High. ... Played 15 games for Toledo (Ohio) of the NA3HL in 2011-12, recording 3 goals and 3 assists.

24 -- Patrick Lauderdale, 5-11, 178, R (Age 18, 1-11-96; Eden Prairie): A familiar face to fans of Minnesota Section 1 high school hockey. Lauderdale was the second-leading scorer (19-27--46) for a Lakeville South team that lost to Farmington in the Section 1AA semifinals. ... Lakeville South's third-leading scorer as a sophomore in 2011-12, when the Cougars finished third at the Class AA state tournament. Played on the same line as current University of Minnesota standout Justin Kloos. ... Scored the first goal of the Cougars' 2-1 victory against Moorhead in the state tournament third-place game.

25 -- Zach Kennedy, 6-1, 200, R (Age 18, 2-20-96; Eagle River, Wis.): Led Northland Pines High School in scoring last season with 29 goals and 18 assists for 47 points. ... Had a pair of 4-goal games last season. ... Had 4 goals and 2 assists as the Eagles took second place at the Kiwanis Festival in Rochester at Christmastime. ... Drafted in the 11th round of the NAHL Draft by the Bruins in early June.   

* * * * *


2 -- Derek Olmschenk, 6-4, 225, R, (Age 19, 8-2-95, Lino Lakes): Finished a standout career at Cretin-Derham Hall last spring. ... Was the Suburban East Conference defenseman of the year as a senior. ... Had 8 goals and 18 assists, for 26 points, as C-DH went 17-7-3. ... Finished his high school career with 66 points. ... Will bring leadership to the Bruins; was a four-year letterwinner and two-year captain at Cretin.  

3 -- John Chorzempa, 6-0, 180, L (Age 18, 10-10-95, Andover): Played three seasons of varsity hockey at Andover High School. ... Had 4 goals and 14 assists as a senior, and totaled 28 points in 74 games in his high school career. 

4 -- Cory Dunn, 5-9, 150, R (Age 20, 1-24-94, Trenton, Mich.): The second-year Bruin is one three returning defensemen. ... Improved dramatically as the season went along, and played consistently on specialty teams late last season and in the postseason. ... Had one goal and 15 points in 45 regular-season games last year and added a goal and five assists in 14 playoff games. 

5 -- Hugo Gallet, 6-3, 205, L (Age 17, 6-20-97, Amiens, France): The second Bruins' player in as many seasons to come from France. Forward Guillaume Leclerc, a native of France, was one of the team's top scorers last year. ... Played for France in the World Junior Championship qualifying tournament. ... Split time between Amiens U18 and Amiens U22 teams last season, totaling 13 goals and 24 assists for 37 points in 33 games.  

9 -- Landen Letwin, 5-10, 180, L (Age 19, 2-2-95, Greenville, Wis.): Played 34 games for the NAHL's Corpus Christi IceRays last season, recording 26 penalty minutes. ... Spent 2012-13 season with the Milwaukee Admirals U18 team in the Tier I Elite League. Had three points and 10 penalty minutes. ... Had five goals, seven points and 40 penalty minutes for the Admirals U16 team in 2011-12, playing in the Tier I U16 Elite League.

28 -- Jake Arroyo, 5-11, 190, R (Age 20, 7-14-94; Bolingbrook, Ill.): Third-year Bruin has played in 125 career games for Austin, including 22 postseason games. ... Has career totals of 4-19--23 with the Bruins. ... Scored his first career playoff goal last spring. ... Has 162 career penalty minutes. ... Played the 2011-12 season with the Chicago Mission U18 team. Totaled 7 points and 20 penalty minutes in 26 games.

Feldy and Phersy's High School Football picks | Week 3

FELDY: Our luck is bound to change, but Phersy and I are both off to pretty good starts. Phersy cheated last week and picked up a game on me. He went 7-0 last week, while I was 6-1. That leaves Phersy at 13-1 and Feldy at 12-2 through two weeks. Maybe we'll get some separation this week, though I doubt it. We always seem to end up tied somehow.

Phersy picks first this week. Here are this week's games:


* Rochester John Marshall (1-1) at Austin (1-1)

* Rochester Century (1-1) at Red Wing (1-1)


* Plainview-Elgin-Millville (2-0) at Lake City (2-0)

* Kasson-Mantorville (1-1) at Rochester Lourdes (2-0)


* Pine Island (1-1) at Kenyon-Wanamingo (1-1)

* St. Charles (0-2) at Zumbrota-Mazeppa (0-2)


* Grand Meadow (2-0) at Mabel-Canton (2-1)

* * * * * * * * * * 

 PHERSY: Feldy, this is a lead I will never relinquish...


* Rochester John Marshall 36, Austin 35: Ugh, I knew you were gonna put this game up there Feldy. Austin has a great offense, led by Brandon Edgar and Nate Conner. But the defense is struggling. And injuries could slow that defense even worse. I think the athletes at JM's skill positions will win out. Barely.

* Rochester Century 21, Red Wing 6: The Panthers will control the line of scrimmage and win against the Wingers, who are coming off an impressive win last week.


* Plainview-Elgin-Millville 20, Lake City 8: This is one of my favorite games of the week. But I think PEM is very solid this year and will push Stewartville in the Red.

* Kasson-Mantorville 20, Rochester Lourdes 18: Interesting game. K-M will look to bounce back after last week's thrashing. Another fantastic game in the Red.


* Kenyon-Wanamingo 21, Pine Island 19: Love this game too ... I guess I love em all this week. Pine Island will be looking to bounce back, but K-W is hittin its stride. Both solid clubs

* St. Charles 7, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 6: This was my toughest pick ... and I am 100 percent certain Feldy will just pick the opposite of me here.


* Grand Meadow 29, Mabel-Canton 22: I think this will be a better game than people think. But I'll still go with GM.

* * * * * * * * * *

FELDY: Not really sure how to pick a lot of these games. Might leave it up to my 2-year-old; she usually does better than me anyway.


* Rochester JM 28, Austin 26: This was my toughest decision of the week. I flip-flopped more than those pretty white sandals Phersy wears around the office in the summer time. In the end, I'll take JM's defense and its ability to produce big plays. Plus, it's Week 3 under a new coaching staff in a new system. The Rockets should be getting comfortable. This game is big for both teams in terms of section playoff seeding, too, so some urgency should be involved on both sides.

* Rochester Century 30, Red Wing 14: If the Panthers can hang onto the ball like they did last week (after some turnover issues in Week 1), they should win this one handily and improve to 2-1.


* P-E-M 18, Lake City 15: Just when I thought I couldn't struggle any more with a pick this week than the JM/Austin game, here comes this one. Lake City has played a pair of close games, and they'll keep this one tight, too, but I'll take P-E-M with a late score to win on the road.

* Lourdes 23, K-M 20: What's with all these early-season showdowns in the Red? This seems like it should be a last-week-of-the-season game. It's a coin toss to me. I'll take Lourdes, making K-M probably the best two-loss team in the state.


* Kenyon-Wanamingo 28, Pine Island 23: Another tough one to pick. K-W played a good Lake City team tough in the season opener and I think the Knights are playing with a lot of confidence. 

* Zumbrota-Mazeppa 16, St. Charles 14: Yep, I was going the opposite of Phersy here. Both of these teams should be motivated to get their first 'W' of the season. Z-M has had a tough opening to its schedule, playing road games powerful Stewartville and Lewiston-Altura. The Cougars' offense has to be itching to score. 


* Grand Meadow 38, Mabel-Canton 31: Sadly, I agree with Phersy on this one. (Sad that I agree with him, not sad that it'll be a good game). It'll be a closer game than some expect, but I'll stick with the defending state champs until someone proves they're better.

September 05, 2014

High School Football Picks | Week 2

PHERSY: Well that makes a lot of sense Feldy, we tied for Week 1. Go figure. The good news is we both had a good week, checking in at 6-1 each. Not a bad start Feldy, but I'm not sure how long we can keep it up with the fantastic games on the docket tonight.

At any rate, ssssssgo!


Rochester Mayo (1-0) at Rochester John Marshall (1-0)

Mankato West (1-0) at Northfield (1-0)


Rushford-Peterson (1-0) at Caledonia (1-0)


Byron (1-0) at Lake City (1-0)

Stewartville (1-0) at Kasson-Mantorville (1-0)


Triton (0-1) at Pine Island (1-0)


Spring Grove (2-0) at Grand Meadow (1-0)


FELDY: What a slate of games this week! It'd be nice to be in five places at once! Unfortunately we can't be, but we'll be scoreboard watching all night.


Mayo 32, JM 27: This isn't a must-win for either team, but there's a very good chance this game could decide the top seed in the Section 1AAAAA playoffs.

West 44, Northfield 20: Northfield will be a good team and a tough beat in the Big Nine, but West is the team to beat until someone proves otherwise.


Caledonia 26, R-P 21: R-P was impressive last week, but I just can't go against a Caledonia club that has had a chip on its shoulder for almost a year.


• Lake City 24, Byron 16: Lake City knocked off a Kenyon-Wanamingo team last week that I still think will make some noise in the Red. I'll stick with the Tigers in their home opener.

Stewartville 38, K-M 30: this could be the game of the week. Stewie has an experienced group and one of the best QBs in the area.


Pine Island 20, Triton 16: Triton had a very tough matchup in its opener, falling to K-M. The Cobras will be better this week, but I'll go with PI scoring late to win it.


Grand Meadow 41, Spring Grove 40: I'm going with the defending state champs until someone knocks them off.


PHERSY: Ugh, I hate it when our picks are so similar...


Mayo 30, JM 20: This will be interesting. It's a game I'd like to be watching. I want to see if Henry can play as well as he did last week and if JM has someone to cover Michalak.

West 42, Northfield 21: West is the best team in the Big Nine, and I don't think anyone else is close.


Caledonia 36, R-P 17: R-P had a stellar performance last week, but I think Caledonia is winning the state title this season.


Lake City 13, Byron 6: Byron struggled a bit, and Lake City won a nail-biter against K-W. Going to be a close game.

Stewartville 35, K-M 21: I don't think this game is going to be as close as others. K-M needs some time. It'll be a much closer tilt if they meet later in the season.


Triton 21, Pine Island 14: Here's our one different game, Feldy. Triton is better than the score would indicate last week. It's a talented group that's going to get better as the season progresses. PI needs to replace a lot of talent from last season.


Grand Meadow 42, Spring Grove 32: Jacobson ... enough said.

September 04, 2014

PHERSY AND FATIS SHOW: Sssssgo edition

PHERSY: The Phersy and Fatis Show is back, Ice Hawks fans!

The season gets underway this weekend out in Michigan's Upper Peninsula against the MnJHL's newest team, the Ironwood Fighting Yoopers. The Hawks play Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the road. The first home game isn't until Sept. 27.

We go over loads of information in the first show of the season! If you can't get enough, pick up a copy of today's Post-Bulletin to see other season-preview information. The full season preview will run right before the home opener, and that preview will include player profiles.

Enjoy the show!



August 29, 2014

High School Football picks | Week 1

FELDY: I was just flipping through the 2014 Pigskin magazine that came out in the Post-Bulletin yesterday, and it tells me we are going to have some outstanding football teams in southeastern Minnesota this season. That could make it tough for me and Phersy to keep our heads above .500 in our picks this season, but we'll try, and we're happy to be here for your mocking and ridiculing pleasure.

Phersy, I won't remind you who won our high school picks contest last season, because I'm sure you remember (it's not the guy who picks first this week). Anyhow, it's a new season, so let's get to it. I'll post the seven games, Phersy will pick first, then I'll add mine.

Happy football season, everyone!

(Last year's records in parentheses)

* Rochester Mayo (6-4) at Austin (5-5)
* Red Wing (0-9) at Northfield (4-6)
* Rochester Century (2-7) at Mankato East (1-8)

* Chatfield (13-1) at Rushford-Peterson (6-3)
* Lewiston-Altura (6-4) at Rochester Lourdes (10-2)
* Lake City (3-6) at Kenyon-Wanamingo (4-6)

* Randolph (2-8) at Glenville-Emmons (0-9)


PHERSY: First off Feldy, I must admit, it took me a while to remember the login and password for this blog. Yeah, it's been a few days since I've been in the old Faceoff blog. But, football season is here, so I'm back in action. Also, hockey season is firing up with the Ice Hawks wrapping up training camp with a scrimmage tonight in Kasson against Steele County ... so Ice Hawks posts coming shortly, including the Phersy and Fatis Show.

Enough of that for now. It's FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS BABY! Yeah, yeah, yeah, Feldy won again last year. After I won like the first 20 years, it's about time Feldy gets things going. OK, time for some picks...


* Rochester Mayo 35, Austin 33: Ugh, I knew you'd put this game up Feldy. I'd love to roll with Big Red, and if this game was later in the season, I would. But I think Mayo's talented receivers (ZRob and Michalak) and QB Jay Alston are enough to carry them to a close victory on Week 1. (Feldy tried to bait me into this one...not gonna work Feldy).

* Northfield 49, Red Wing 7: Of course the two former Missota teams square off in their first game in the Big Nine! Northfield is just on a different level right now. New coach or not, Red Wing will struggle early.

* Rochester Century 21, Mankato East 14: I think both of these teams will be much improved this season. But I look for Century's big offensive line to control the opener.


* Chatfield 26, Rushford-Peterson 14: R-P will give the former champs a run, but the Gophers are still too strong across the board.

* Rochester Lourdes 29, Lewiston-Altura 6: Lourdes is rebuilding and trying to find new offensive stars, but the Eagles don't truly rebuild, they just reload.

* Lake City 17, Kenyon-Wanamingo 14: Best game of the week right here. Lake City likes what it has back, and so does KW. I'm pumped to hear about how this one comes out!


* Randolph 49, Glenville-Emmons 6: Randolph isn't great, but GE will struggle to score this season.


FELDY: Sorry, Phersy, had to put the Mayo-Austin game up. We saw in that game last season that anything can happen. Let's make some picks...


* Mayo 28, Austin 16: Mayo feels ready to hit the ground running. If the Spartans can find a back to carry the rushing load -- and they do think they have one on the roster right now -- and if the Spartans egos don't get too inflated from what a certain sports reporter is writing about them, this could be a dangerous team. Austin's not an easy place to play, though, and the Pack will give Mayo a battle into the fourth.

* Northfield 33, Red Wing 20: It sounds like the Wingers have some talented leaders with the right attitudes, but Northfield has a lot of kids out (115 in grades 9-12) and experience at the right positions.

* Century 16, Mankato East 6: Like Phersy said, the Panthers have some stud linemen and a few guys who can make some plays offensively. Century will gain some confidence, too, with a good win its opener.


* R-P 24, Chatfield 21, OT: UPSET ALERT! Well, I have to gain ground on Phersy somehow, so might as well go big or go home. In its opener last week, Chatfield sure looked like it hasn't lost a step from its state championship season of a year ago. R-P is improved from a year ago and, by the way, aside from Caledonia, R-P gave Chatfield one of its toughest tests last season.

* Lourdes 24, Lewiston-Altura 17: Lourdes doesn't lose often, especially at home. But L-A will give the Eagles a battle. The Cardinals won six consecutive games last season before falling to state power Caledonia just 20-7 in a section semifinal.

* Kenyon-Wanamingo 22, Lake City 19: I agree with Phersy (ick, did I write that?), this could be the game of the week. K-W has high hopes, so does Lake City. I'll give the Knights the home-field advantage.


* Randolph 38, Glenville-Emmons 20: I generally can't get a 9-man game correct, so let's let a coin flip decide this one. 

August 16, 2014

Hockey: Former Bruin Sanford commits to Michigan State

Posted by: Feldman

The impressive list of former Austin Bruins players moving on to play college hockey continues to grow. Former Bs forward Brennan Sanford announced Friday that he has committed to play for Michigan State University, in the Big Ten Conference.

Sanford has one year of junior hockey eligibility remaining, and he'll likely spend the 2014-15 season playing for the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders of the USHL. Sanford finished last season in Cedar Rapids, where he compiled 3 goals and 4 assists in 33 games. He started the season with the Austin Bruins of the NAHL, where he had 10 goals and 8 assists in 29 games. The trade that sent Sanford to Cedar Rapids brought forward Casey Jerry to the Bruins, last December.

The 6-foot-1, 181-pound Sanford is a native of Holt, Mich., a 12-mile drive from East Lansing, the home of Michigan State.

Here is an up-to-date list of Bruins who have or are playing college hockey. The Bs have sent 21 players to D-I schools in just four seasons.

As you'll see noted in the list below, former Bruins forward Brandon Wahlin has transferred from UMass to Lake Superior State, in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Wahlin will now be a teammate of former Rochester Lourdes defenseman Pete Spratte.


F Charlie Adams, Nebraska-Omaha (NCHC)
G Keegan Asumundson, Canisius (Atlantic Hockey)
F Jay Dickman, Bemidji State (WCHA)
D Christian Folin, UMass-Lowell (Hockey East)
D Jon Gehrt, Army (Atlantic Hockey)
F Matt Hansen, Colorado College (NCHC)
F Sam Kauppila, St. Lawrence (ECAC)
F Lucas Kohls, UMass-Lowell (Hockey East)
F Guillaume Leclerc, UMass-Lowell (Hockey East)
G Nick Lehr, Minnesota (Big Ten)
D Charlie Manley, RPI (ECAC)
G Eamon McAdam, Penn State (Big Ten)
G Jason Pawloski, MSU Mankato (WCHA)
F AJ Reid, Air Force (Atlantic Hockey)
F Brennan Sanford, Michigan State (Big Ten)
F Joe Schuldt, Michigan Tech (WCHA)
F Johnny Simonson, North Dakota (NCHC)
F C.J. Smith, UMass-Lowell (Hockey East)
F Easton Viitala, Northern Michigan (WCHA)
F Brandon Wahlin, UMass (H.E.) / Lake Superior St. (WCHA)
D Trevor Waldoch, Air Force (Atlantic Hockey)

F Drew Anderson, Augsburg (MIAC)
G Tyler Bruggeman, St. Scholastica (NCHA)
D Mike Bond, Bethel (MIAC)
F Riley Colvard, UW-Stout (NCHA)
D Cody Dixon, UMass-Boston (ECAC-East)
F Cory Ellis, Gustavus (MIAC)
F Jeremy Finger, UMass-Boston (ECAC-East)
F Chris Fischer, UW-Eau Claire (NCHA)
F Cody Hotchkin, UW-Superior (NCHA)
F Nolan Kirley, UW-Stout (NCHA)
D/F Eli May, Augsburg (MIAC)
F Nate Mondry, St. John's (MIAC)
F Austin Nelson, UW-Stout (NCHA)
F Sam Olson, St. Thomas (MIAC)
D Connor Quinn, St. Olaf (MIAC)
D Jack Walsh, Gustavus (MIAC)

August 04, 2014

Points on the Purple Daily: Aug. 4 (will another safety please step up)

Posted by: Feldman

Each week during the Vikings season, me and fellow P-B sports writer Guy N. Limbeck write "Points on the Purple," a back-and-forth column about the Vikings' topics of the day. We'll make this Faceoff Blog version of POTP as close to a daily feature as possible throughout training camp and the 2014 season.

If we've learned anything about new Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer through a week-and-a-half of training camp, it's that he still keeps an eagle eye on defensive backs. Zimmer is a d-backs coach by nature and by trade, and watching him in several camp practices, you can tell he notices the tiniest miscue by his corners and safeties.

For example, during a walk-through a week ago, rookie Antone Exum was lining up at safety in a goal-line drill. Exum was only about 3-4 yards off the line of scrimmage and Zimmer stood directly behind him as the offense lined up. Just as the ball was about to be snapped, Zimmer stopped the play. He moved Exum over about 2 steps to his right and a step or two closer to the line. When the ball was snapped, Exum was in position to cut off the tight end's route to the goalpost. Following the play, Zimmer walked over to Exum and was clearly telling him what would have happened if he had stay lined up in his original position. Zimmer's arms were going in every possible direction and he never stopped talking, never stopped coaching.

Now, that's one play in a walk-through on Day 4 of training camp, when guys were only wearing jerseys and shorts.

But the point is, Zimmer is not going to settle for any defensive backs who aren't performing up to his standards for them. That's evident in the safety merry-go-round that we've seen in Mankato. Robert Blanton, Jamarca Sanford and Mistral Raymond have all been talked about as the starter at the safety position next to Harrison Smith.

Blanton and Sanford have both battled injuries or are battling injuries at various times already in camp. Andrew Sendejo, who played 10 games last year when Smith was injured, is just now beginning to practice after missing the first week of camp with a back injury. Veteran Kurt Coleman has also seen time with the first team in camp, but hasn't done enough to earn more trust from Zimmer and his staff.

Zimmer's patience with the revolving door at safety clearly grew thin over the weekend. Sunday he communicated with Chris Crocker, who has played for Zimmer for seven of the past eight seasons (one year in Atlanta, six in Cincinnati). Monday, Crocker showed up in Mankato and was signed, instantly becoming the team's oldest player, at 34 years old. Should he make the team, he'll be in his 12th NFL season. He has 15 career interceptions and 60 passes defended.

Crocker has played both safety and nickel corner in his career.

Zimmer said Monday he wasn't sure if Crocker will play in Friday's preseason opener against Oakland at TCF Bank Stadium. I'd be stunned if we don't see Crocker early in the game, possibly even starting with Smith. Zimmer is obviously fed up with the lack of consistency from the other guys battling for that spot, so why not give Crocker a good look?

Then again, Zimmer pretty much knows exactly what Crocker will give him. And that's why Zim made the call.

Who knows? If Blanton and Sendejo suddenly get healthy, or if Sanford or Raymond or Coleman, or even Exum, step up and play like a starter, maybe Crocker won't make the opening day roster. Maybe signing Crocker is Zimmer's way of sending a message to not only the safeties, but the everyone else on the 90-man: If you're not meeting expectations, you can and will be replaced.

Or, maybe Crocker is Zimmer's security blanket at a position that is most important to him. The Vikings' pass defense was atrocious last season, and the personnel going into this season is mostly the same, so Crocker really couldn't be worse. Could he?

You don't play 11 years in the NFL without being pretty good at your job, so don't be surprised if Crocker is lining up next to Smith on Sept. 7 in St. Louis.

“I think I’ve been accountable, that’s the biggest thing,” Crocker told reporters on Monday. “And (Zimmer) is just so honest. You really appreciate a guy who is going to tell you whether you’re good or whether you’re bad. At the end of the day, you know where you stand. I’ve always played at the highest level playing for a guy like that.”