The Penticton Vees still control their own destiny in the RBC Cup even though they are in last place after six of the 10 games of the five-team tournament's opening round robin.
The top four teams advance to Saturday's semifinals. The winner of the tournament is the Junior A national champion of Canada.
The Vees, who have eight Minnesotans on their roster, play Woodstock in a late game on Tuesday and then play Portage on Wednesday. They have to win at least one of those two games, maybe both not to be eliminated.
Here are the standings at the moment:
Humboldt 3 0 ... plus-7 in goal differential, host team has spot in semifinals clinched
Woodstock 1 1 ... even in goal differential
Portage 1 1 ... minus-2 in goal differential
Soo 1 1 ... one win over Penticton 2-1 in first game of Cup, minus-3
Penticton 0 2 ... suffered two one-goal losses, one in OT; minus-2
(Goal differential is the tie-breaker if two teams finish with the same record)
NCHC HIRES KEY STAFFER
The National Collegiate Hockey Conference has hired Joe Novak as its director of hockey operations.
The NCHC is an eight-team league which will start playing in 2013-14 and includes five present WCHA teams.
Novak is the associate athletic director in charge of events management at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Among his duties will be to be responsible for hockey schedules, to hire officials, establish and enforce conference rules and keep in touch with coaches and other hockey communities.
BEMIDJI STATE DROPS PARKING FEE
Gophers hockey fans are not the only ones who get upset when prices rise for them to watch their college team.
Look at what happened at Bemidji State.
The school,.earlier this year, changed its parking fee from $5 per car, taken by attendants at entrances, to a $2 fee added to the purchase of every ticket.
There was an outcry. So much so that the school has reduced the price of its men's hockey season tickets by $36, so the parking fee is gone.
“I am pleased to announce free parking for Beaver hockey’s most loyal fans -- our season ticket holders,” said Rick Goeb, BSU's AD, in a recent school news release.
“We heard loud and clear how dissatisfied our fans were with the center’s new parking fee, and we are doing something about it,” Goeb said. “Season ticket holders have been essential and enthusiastic partners in the success of the Sanford Center. This decision to offset the new parking fees is an expression of how much we value that support.”
This will be the third season for the Sanford Center, a classy-looking, medium-sized arena on the shores of Lake Bemidji. I enjoyed covering a Gophers series there near the end of the 2010-11 season.
This is an interesting little story in light of the U of M's switch to premium seating for the 2012-13 season.
PREFERRED SEATING AT U
The total number of seats at Mariucci that will require a donation of $100, $200 or $300 is 6,056 out of 9,536 reserved seats in the arena. That's 64 percent.
Of the seats remaining, 1,131 are student seats, leaving 2,349 seats open to the public which won't require a donation.
AMERICANS IN THE NHL
In an earlier version of this blog, I ran a breakdown by state of American-born players in the NHL this past season. It was an incomplete list because I missed some pages from the source I used.
Here is a revised list, provided by QuantHockey.com:
State NHL players '11-12 Pct.
1. Minn 48 20.6
2. Mich 37 15.9
3. NY 31 13.3
4. Mass. 17
5. Wis 13
6. Ill. 11
7. Conn. 10
23 other states had seven or fewer players who skated in at least one NHL regular-season game this past season.
To check the complete list, click here.