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NMU Hockey Series Snapshot: St. Cloud is not a state

January 4, 2013 - Matt Wellens

MARQUETTE — Welcome to 2013 and the return of the NMU Hockey Series Snapshot, where after a 20 days off, the Northern Michigan Hockey team returns to the ice tonight and tomorrow to face the St. Cloud State Huskies in St. Cloud, Minn.

Now I know what you’re asking yourself right. How can NMU play the state of St. Cloud, in a city in the state of Minnesota?

What does St. Cloud think it is, the sovereign statehood of Winneconne, Wis.?

The truth is, St. Cloud is not a state. Saint Cloud is a city in France , which is named after a monk. He was a saint.

So if you do the math, St. Cloud State University got 75 percent of its name right, which would be a C. Since Cs mean degrees, SCSU passes. Good job St. Cloud (is not a) State!

On the ice, the Huskies are having much better than a C season as they sit atop the WCHA to start 2013. Much of SCSU’s success has to do with the 16 goals and 18 assists scored by its top line of fifth-year senior Drew LeBlanc and freshmen Kalle Kossila and Jonny Brodzinski.

What’s hindered the Huskies up until this point, however, are poor Friday nights. Five times SCSU has lost the first game of a series.

Northern has lost six Game 1s thus far, including their last five Fridays on the road. NMU head coach Walt Kyle believes the struggles away from Marquette, where NMU is 3-8-1, has less to do with the travel, and more to do with the Wildcats’ play on NHL-sized ice sheets compared to Olympic-sized sheets.

NMU plays its next 10 games all on Olympic sized rinks like the Berry Events Center, SCSU’s National Hockey and Events Center and Alaska’s Carlson Center. It will be a good stretch for Kyle to test his theory.

Speaking of tests, the Wildcats nearly failed their first half of the season. Kyle gave his ’Cats a overall grade of a D in The Mining Journal’s midseason report card feature.

The goaltenders received the highest grade of a B in the report, and it wasn’t all because of junior starter Jared Coreau. As good as he has been, freshman Michael Doan has been just as solid in his relief appearances.

Kyle told me before Christmas that Doan could see a start or two in the second half and this week, Kyle reiterated that to SCSU hockey beat reporter Mick Hatten in his weekly column (see page 2).

SCSU game notes for the weekend can be found here.

NMU game notes are located here.

A live video stream of this weekend’s series is available for $8 a game.

The Point 100.3 FM out of Marquette also offers a free audio stream with Dave Danis calling the action.

For those addicted to Twitter as much I am, Give Hatten of the St. Cloud Times a follow. He’s as detailed as I am for in-game coverage, if not better.

You can also check out Hatten’s blog on the St. Cloud Times website for pregame line charts from both teams.



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