Posted by: Feldy
Sorry I didn't get around to this over the weekend, but things are busy at the Feldman mansion on the northeast side of Rochester. Mrs. Feldy's tummy is looking like she's hiding a turkey in there these days (good thing she doesn't read the blog), but we're told by doctors that it's actually a baby girl, due in two weeks. So, much of my time at home has been spent sorting through pink clothes, pink blankets, pink bottles, pink-whatever-you-can-think-of. If you see me wearing pink, don't laugh. I'm just numb to the color now.
OK, back to what we're here for: Hockey, hockey, hockey.
Big week here for the Post-Bulletin boys hockey coverage team (it's a team of one, but "boys hockey coverage team" sounds better, doesn't it?). Our 2011-12 season previews are coming out in Thursday's paper, so if overloading on turkey doesn't make taking a nap easier, maybe my writing will.
Kidding! Make sure to read the previews, which will include a profile of Lourdes senior Landon Farrell as well as previews on all of our Rochester teams, Dodge County and Red Wing. If there's room, I may even get a brief Big 9 conference preview in.
So, read 'em all once, then read 'em again, and again. Please. Pretty please?
I, along with a nice sized crowd at Graham Arena, got a first look at all of Rochester's teams on Friday night. The first "scrimmage fest" was a hit, to say the least. It included Century, JM, Mayo and Lourdes, as well as St. Louis Park, coached by former JM standout and Stanley Cup champ Shjon Podein.
I think it's safe to say the recurring theme of the night among fans, players and coaches was: "Why didn't we do this before?"
I'd have to agree with that, whole-heartedly.
I walked into Graham 3 when Century and Lourdes were scrimmaging and there was almost no room to stand. The balcony was full and fans were rimmed around the boards almost the entire way around. For a later scrimmage in Graham 4, I did a rough count and came up with about 200 fans. That's pretty darn good for a 35-minute running-time scrimmage.
As for the teams themselves, it was tough for me to get a handle on who played well. The guys weren't wearing their game jerseys, so I wasn't always sure who was on the ice.
A few guys who did stick out to me: D Karl Krecke and Fs Alex Funk, Farrell and Jason Samuelson from Lourdes. Mayo G Case Hanson had one really strong scrimmage. Spartans d-men Steve Serratore and Jack Dingle are going to be forces this season, too. Same for JM, with veteran d-men Ryan Lakin and Matt Broman.
Century has six freshmen listed on its combined varsity/JV roster. I'll be interested to see if any of those guys have an impact on the varsity. I haven't talked with new Panthers coach Josh Klingfus yet, so I'm just guessing here, but there's one frosh with a familiar name who might — Riese Zmolek. I haven't seen Riese play yet, but I caught the end of one of his Bantam team's practices last season and watched him boom one-timers from the blue line. I felt bad for the crossbar and pipes that he hit.
The Panthers will be led by a great group of seniors. Look at these names, seems like it's about the 8th year on varsity for some of these guys, we've been hearing about them for so long: Brandon Kautz, Nick Jacobs, Wyatt Travis, Blake Heroff, Tyler Iverson, Isaac St. Marie. That's a good group for a first-year head coach to build around.
I'll be writing a lot more about all of those guys and plenty of others in the coming weeks and months, but just one more thought on last week's scrimmages: Please make that an annual thing.
Not only does it save the Rochester schools from having to travel for some of their scrimmages, but it's obviously something that fans enjoy. It's more loose and laid-back than an actual game, but there's still some good hockey, as all the boys are trying to earn their spots or prove that they've become better players since the previous season.
It might even be worth moving it back a week to, say, the day after Thanksgiving, and making it an annual thing. I know some teams like to start their regular season games at that point, so maybe that wouldn't work. Just a thought. Either way, keep that scrimmage fest going.