Sunday, January 15, 2012

One last dance with an old friend.

There has been a lot of discussion about this weekend's series between the Gophers and the Fighting Sioux/UND Hockey team. This was the last regular season series at the REA between UND and UMN. It's only fitting that the series would end in split and a near line brawl between the two teams.

The arena was really electric this weekend and it was very loud at the Ralph on Friday night, especially during the third period.

After Friday's game the Ralph Englestad Arena lobby was still buzzing at about 10:30 pm and as I left the arena after the post game press conference, I thought this is what we are going to miss. One of the best rivalries in college hockey.

I can't see OSU vs. UMN or PSU vs. UMN matching this series in intensity, there is no way. Sure Michigan and Minnesota will be a good rivalry game and I am sure that Miami and UND will have some epic battles, but this is where it's at.

So in a season and a half we are going to no longer be able to see this historic series at the Ralph Englestad Arena again. FireHelmetGuy#26 post on Gopher Puck Live nails it.

As for Ben Blood going nuts this weekend, I would be willing to bet that he probably regrets that move today as he looks back on that incident.  Not the smartest move on Blood's part and it didn't portray him in a very positive light. We are all human beings and we all make mistakes. The near brawl at the end of the game also put a damper on an other wise great series. Here is the quote from head coach Dave Hakstol from Brad's gamer.
The last time UND and Minnesota skated off the Ralph Engelstad Arena ice as Western Collegiate Hockey Association rivals, they were unable to make it through the handshake line without a scuffle breaking out.

UND coach Dave Hakstol said he didn’t like that, nor did he like his team’s energy during a 6-2 loss to the rival Gophers in front of 11,964 in Ralph Engelstad Arena. [Grand Forks Herald]
That being said, I am not going to throw Ben Blood under the bus, what good would it do? Blood screwed up and broke a rule and violated tradition. Blood pulled someone out of the hand shake line after the game was over.

I got the impression that some wanted me to eviscerate Blood on my blog because he made a bad decision, he did. I don't think we are going to see Ben Blood do that again, and I am sure most of us would not like to see that again. Finally, there is an old saying, Let Him Who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone.

s/t to Puck Daddy for the Link today as Blood's post game reaction when viral around the hockey world.
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