Showing posts with label Minnesota. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minnesota. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Minnesota Wild: A trip down memory lane (videos)

These are two of the biggest goals in Minnesota Wild history... Just think about this, Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy lost the last two games that he played in.

Also, the last game of  Roy's NHL career was against the Minnesota Wild. Looking at some of the names of the players, the Av's were loaded.

Watching these old video, I can't imagine the NHL without HD TV. Also, I really don't miss NHL Hockey on ESPN anymore. I think that NBC and NBCSN have done a very good job with the NHL broadcasts.
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Hearld Letter to the Editor: Union, Yale share key trait: Coaches who deliver

 If you haven't read the Grand Forks Herald, this letter to the editor is worth a look. So a Herald Reader wants us to take a look one row back.

If anything, this was probably Dave Hakstol's beat coaching job so far to date. Yeah, I would hate to disappoint this letter writer, but Don Lucia and Dave Hakstol aren't going anywhere. #firehakstol #firelucia
WARREN, Minn. — The past two NCAA hockey champions have been fun to watch. Both Union College, this year, and Yale University the previous year captured the essence of collegiate athletics, in that neither give out athletic scholarships but both still rose to the pinnacle of an NCAA sport.

UND and the University of Minnesota Gophers should also be commended for their fine efforts in reaching the Frozen Four. The expectations for those two schools should be high, in that they are among the elite in resources, both financial and facilities in the collegiate hockey world. Union plays in an arena that seats just over 2,000 fans.

Both Union and Yale had lesser talent, if the number of NHL draftees on their roster is considered. But as ESPN’s lead hockey analyst Barry Melrose pointed out — and I do respect his knowledge of hockey — you could see plays develop and players executing a plan.

The announcers talked in this tournament about the fine traditions of both UND and the Gophers, which is true with many titles in their past. But what brought both Union and Yale to the epitome of the college hockey world was behind the bench. Don Lucia, head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, last won a title about 11 years ago; but from what I read, there is some pressure developing on him, as the expectations in Dinkytown are high — plus, he now has an athletic director who demands accountability. In Grand Forks, the current regime has yet to win a national championship.

You can only ride the tradition mantra so long. In my mind, part of tradition can be equated to longevity. In that regard, the Chicago Cubs have a fine and long baseball tradition; but not so in championships.

Given the “tradition” but more importantly the resources available, fans of the Gophers and UND should expect more than mere winning records. I commend the players of both teams; their effort cannot be questioned. I look one row back.
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Frozen Four: Thursday Morning Links

Good morning, today's game day. Here's a few links of interest on game day

I have mine. Pre-order the Herald's collector's edition for exclusive Frozen Four coverage

MEN'S HOCKEY: Starman breaks down UND, Frozen Four field.

College Hockey News: The 'Scary' Night Everything Changed . Forward Rocco Grimaldi talks about the players only meeting.

I answered a few question for The Daily Gopher: Frozen Four Q&A: from Goon's World & @hockeywildernes talks UND's chances plus changes in team style.

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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Couple of NCAA tweets

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Blast from the past: the handshake game #2

Who could forget the ending to this game, not many times you see a guy getting yanked out of a handshake line. Although, historically, it might have been a typical ending to a North Dakota vs. Minnesota game.  Blood would lose his "A" for his part in the handshake.
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Monday, March 31, 2014

UMN vs. UND (throwing out a few numbers)

The University of North Dakota (25-13-3) meets the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (27-6-6) in the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal game.

Date: April 10 2014, at 7:30 p.m.

Location: Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia, Pa.

Breaking down the historic series: The two teams haven’t met on the ice this season. Minnesota had a 1-0-1 record against North Dakota last season.  Minnesota is 6-3-1 in the last 10 games against North Dakota. In his 10 seasons, UND head coach Dave Hakstol has a 17-14-4 record against Don Lucia’s Golden Gophers. All-time playoff record against Minnesota: UND has a 22-19 record against Minnesota in the NCAA and WCHA playoffs.

Common opponents: UND (6-4-1), UMN (7-3-0)

UND vs. Bemidji State 1-0-1, Minnesota-Duluth 3-1-0, SCSU 1-3-0, Wisconsin 1-0-0

UMN vs. Bemidji State 2-0-0, Minnesota-Duluth 1-1-0, SCSU 2-0-0, Wisconsin 2-2-0

There is some discrepancy in the records

According the Minnesota: Minnesota leads the all-time series 145-130-15

According to North Dakota: Minnesota leads the all-time series 130-138-15

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tough Road Trip Ahead for Minnesota

After last night's head shaker, the Minnesota Wild now find themselves leaving home on what could be their toughest road trip of the season. On this trip, the team will make stops in St. Louis, Phoenix, LA, and their last stop is at the Madhouse on Madison against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Tonight two huge points are on the line as the green and white invade Scottrade Center in St. Louis to play the first place Blues. In the two teams last meeting at Xcel, Minnesota would rally for one point as they would fall in the shootout. However, many positives would come from this game. One, this proved that the Wild are capable of skating with the top dogs in the NHL. Two, they are able to overcome adversity coming from behind, tying the game in the third, and sending it to overtime and eventually the shootout.

Tonight's game may be a little different though. Minnesota, who just played last night, is coming into St. Louis after a 5-2 loss against the Vancouver Canucks.  Yes they would throw 31 shots on goal, but had major struggles to capitalize on premium scoring chances, and had a few costly turnovers. I would expect Ilya Bryzgalov to get the call in St. Louis tonight as the Wild look to get the much needed two points and remain the top wild card team.

After tonight, Minnesota travels to face a Phoenix team who sits just three points behind the Wild for the top wild card spot. This is probably the biggest game of the season for Minnesota, and a must win in regulation. The Coyotes are a team that not many talk about, so there is no pressure on them making their season a lot less stressful on this team.

From the desert the Wild will travel to Hollywood as they face-off against the LA Kings at Staples Center. Minnesota really has not done too well in LA in recent history, but need to change history in order to keep their playoff push strong. LA is also the new home to the first ever Minnesota Wild draft pick Marian Gaborik. Although Gabby would have many injury problems towards the end of his time in Minnesota, New York, and Columbus, he is always a threat to score when he is on the ice and makes this LA offense that much more lethal. The Minnesota defense is going to have to be at the top of their game or LA will blow this one wide open.

Finally, from LA Minnesota travels to the Windy City to play the Chicago Blackhawks. These two teams have had a lot of history in the last two seasons, including last year's playoffs, and look to have another tight battle on the ice. Minnesota has found some success playing in Chicago this season and lets hope they can continue to have it.

The road doesn't get much easier as the season draws to a close for Minnesota, but this tough end of season schedule might be just what this team needs to prime themselves for the playoffs. It is looking like right now the Wild will be playing the winner of the Pacific Division, provided no major changes in the standings between now and the second week in April.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

NCAA Hockey: Under the old Pairwise Rankings

Jim Dahl has what the old Pairwise rankings would have looked like, if the NCAA used the Pairwise Ranking from last season. To be honest with you, I don't like the new Pairwise formula. I think it was an over reaction to the smaller schools whining about the big schools not traveling to the smaller schools home arenas. 
West (St Paul)
1. Minnesota vs 16. Robert Morris
8. Wisconsin vs 9. Ferris St
Northeast (Worcester)
3. Boston College vs 14. Cornell
6. Providence vs 11. Notre Dame
East (Bridgeport)
2. Union vs 15. Denver
7. St Cloud St vs 10. North Dakota
Midwest (Cincinnati)
4. Mass-Lowell vs 13. Mankato
5. Quinnipiac vs 12. Colgate
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Mens NCAA Tourney is Set

After a crazy weekend of conference tournaments, the 2014 men's ice hockey field was set on Sunday morning. The NCAA looks at the Pairwise rankings, along with auto bids from winning conference tournaments to determine the 16 team field of play.

Lets take a look at this years tournament, first starting with the West Regional in St. Paul working our way east. In the region's first game, we have the number one overall seed Minnesota Golden Gophers facing off against auto bid Robert Morris. This match up seems to have everything made for an easy Minnesota victory, but so did their opening round game against Yale last year. Do we need to even mention the Holy Cross game in 2006 in Grand Forks? What I am trying to get at here is that the Gophers better not take this game too lightly or they could be golfing early once again. One thing they do have on their side is the home ice advantage of playing at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. In the last West Regional hosted here, the Gophers would skate to a regional championship with a 5-2 victory over the University of North Dakota.

For the second game in this regional we have another Minnesota team in St. Cloud State facing off against the always tough Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This opening round game has everything in store for it to be a classic. It has all of the tools to be set up as a classic goaltending duel. Between SCSU's Ryan Faragher and Notre Dame's Steven Summerhays, I would say this is going to be a very low scoring contest. However, one must look at the end of season disaster in the first round of NCHC play against Miami, is one to think that the confidence will be down after getting swept, or will the extra week of no games have them primed and ready to go? Notre Dame, on the other hand, is coming into this tournament knocking off the number two overall seed Boston College, to get to their conference tournament, but would lose 4-0 in the semifinal to the surging UMass Lowell.

I have Notre Dame and Minnesota winning in the first round of this region with Notre Dame advancing to the Frozen Four. I know this is bold, but much like Michigan did in 2011, Summerhays is a goalie who is hot and can carry this Notre Dame team far in this tournament.

Moving to the Midwest Regional where we have number four overall seed Wisconsin playing the team they helped get in by beating Ohio State Saturday, North Dakota. The team formerly known as the Fighting Sioux is coming into this tournament off of a 5-0 victory over Western Michigan in the NCHC third place game. However, their Friday night game against Miami was by far one of the worst games that this UND squad had played all season. Not cashing in on opportunities when in front of them and giving up goals that were not North Dakota like goals to give up. However, if the UND team that played on Saturday shows up in this tournament, watch out. There could possibly be an eighth banner being hung up at the beginning of next season. As for Wisconsin, they are coming off of a dramatic 5-4 overtime victory in the Big Ten championship game against Ohio State. In their last 10 games, the Badgers are an amazing 8-2-0 and if you go back to 12 games, you will find a home ice sweep of Minnesota. These former WCHA rivals are going to beat each other up in this game. Look for a lot of physicality and a very low scoring contest.

For the other game in the Midwest Region, we have Ferris State playing Colgate. Colgate is coming off a 5-2 loss to Union, who is this week's USCHO poll number one team, in the ECAC championship game. Before that, Colgate is 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, including a 4-4 stand-off against Union. As for one of the new WCHA members, Ferris State, they are also coming off a conference championship loss to Minnesota State Mankato of a score of 4-1. Both teams are coming in with something to prove, and have a very tough road to get to the Frozen Four, but never count out a team who just was recently in a Frozen Four with Ferris State.

I have North Dakota and Ferris State winning their opening round match ups with North Dakota advancing to the Frozen Four.

Moving east, we have Union skating into Bridgeport, Connecticut to play the Vermont Catamounts, who is coming off of a very impressive season. However, the Catamounts are coming off of a 3 game Hockey East playoff series loss to UMass Lowell so they also are coming into the tournament on a losing note. However, maybe the extra rest will give them all of the tools for an upset against this very tough Union team. Union is coming into the tournament winning the ECAC championship and as the number one ranked team in the poll. I just can't see Vermont coming out on top in this game, but in this tournament, you can't count anyone out.

For the second game in the East Regional we have Providence playing Quinnipiac. Quinnipiac is looking for a second straight trip to the Frozen Four, but hoping for better results then last season. They also are coming off of a heartbreaking double overtime loss in the ECAC semi finals to Colgate so they come in with a little extra weight on their shoulders. As for Providence, they also are coming off their conference semi final to a loss 3-1 against UNH. going 11-7-2 in a very tough Hockey East, Providence looks to prove that they are deserving on making this tournament by advancing past the first round.

I have Union facing Quinnipiac in the regional final, in what could be another tournament classic if the game actually does happen, with Union advancing to the Frozen Four.

Finally we move to the Northeast Regional in Worchester, Mass. Both opening round games look to be classics with UMass Lowell playing Minnesota State Mankato in the regions first game. MSUM is coming off of a very successful season, only missing out on the WCHA regular season crown to Ferris State by just a single point. However, Mankato would get their revenge in the conference tournament by beating the Bulldogs and win their first WCHA tournament crown. As for Lowell, they probably are coming into this tournaments as one of the hottest teams in the country and will be a tough opponent for anybody in this tournament.

For the second game, we have auto bid Denver facing off against number two Boston College. After a lot of people were skeptical about Denver this season, especially with the departure of George Gwozdecky, but this Pioneer squad never gave up and won the first ever NCHC Frozen Face-Off. As for BC, the Eagles took an early exit from their conference tournament, losing to Notre Dame, Hockey East's newest member. However, the Eagles to play home to the NCAA's likely Hobey Baker winner in Johnny Gaudreau. BC is always a tough opponent this time of year and if they keep up their pattern since 2008, it is their year to win the NCAA title.

I have BC and UMass winning their first round games with UMass advancing to the Frozen Four. The choice for this region wasn't that easy, but I had to go with the hotter team.

Finally for my Frozen Four picks. I have Notre Dame advancing over North Dakota to the title game, with UND having nightmares once again with another hot goalie, much like in 2011. I also Have Union advancing over UMass. UMass can only ride the hot streak for so long and Union is going to put the fire out. Finally for this year's national championship game, I have Union beating Notre Dame.

Now I know some of you are probably thinking I am crazy for picking these two schools to advance to my title game, but that's the power of opinion. Feel free to share what you think with me on twitter at the handle of @siouxhockey33.
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Captain Scores a lot - Mikko Koivu

Congrats to the Wild Captain for becoming the All-Time leading scorer for the Minnesota Wild
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

UND Hockey: About 2000 Tickets Remain for this Weekend's Playoff Series against C.C.

Today, I talked to UND Sports Information Director Jayson Hajdu at the Wednesday media day, and there's about 2000 tickets remaining for this weekend's NCHC first round playoff series against the Colorado College Tigers. 

If UND can get 12000 fans for each game, this weekend, they will pass the Minnesota Golden Gophers for top "average" home attendance in NCAA division I hockey. Currently, Minnesota is leading the NCAA in attendance with 231,057 and UND is sitting in second the NCAA in attendance with 218,436. UND will pass Minnesota in total attendance with the second game this weekend.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

UND Hockey: SJHovey Nails it...

Like I have mentioned on Twitter, Last March, I started a tongue in cheek post on Sioux Sports. The title of the thread "Time to Fire Hakstol". The thread in question has kept growing, by the day. For those that don't red Sioux Sports, SJHovey is one of the more level headed posters from Sioux Sports and he absolutely nails it... Check it out.  I feel the same way, I wouldn't trade out situation at UND either. 

I ask this question, in all seriousness, to those who think that the program has fallen on hard times, below our standards, or that it's time to start thinking about coaching changes.

Look back over the past 9 seasons (I'm excluding the present season primarily because we don't know how it will turn out).  If you could magically substitute the performance of another college hockey program for our own, would you?  Whose?

UND is 235-119-37 over that span, with no losing seasons, 2 regular season crowns, 4 conference tourney titles, appearances in all 9 NCAA tournaments, but admittedly no national titles.

So who do you wish we were, over Hak's tenure, if not our own performance?

BC?  Obviously.  3 national titles, 3 regular season titles, 6 conference tourney championships, appearances in 8 of 9 NCAA tournaments and a 238-97-33 record.

But now who?

Michigan?  The supposed greatest college hockey program of all time?  No national titles, 3 regular season titles, 3 conference tourney titles, 8 of 9 NCAA tourney appearances (and one losing season), with a win/loss record virtually identical to ours at 237-116-25.  I'm not trading.  That's the same car I'm driving without the 1 missed tourney.

How about Miami?  3 regular season titles, 1 conference tourney title, 8 of 9 NCAA appearances, but no national titles and a record no better than ours at 222-107-39.  No thanks.

Minnesota?  No national titles.  4 regular season titles but 1 conference tourney title.  Only 6 of 9 in NCAA appearances with one losing season and a considerably worse record at 210-120-39.  Plus, you're Minnesota.  Forget it.

How about last year's champs, Yale.  They have the almighty national title.  But 2 regular season titles, 2 conference titles and only 4 NCAA appearances out of 9 seasons, to go along with 3 losing seasons and a pedestrian 153-129-24 record.  I don't make that swap.

Duluth won a title, too.  But not a single regular season title, one tournament title and made the NCAA's a paltry 3 of the 9 seasons, with 5 losing seasons and a barely .500 record of 161-149-47.  Go ahead if you want to be a Bulldog.

How about Michigan St. and their national title?  Zero regular season titles.  1 conference tourney title.  3 losing seasons.  Only 4 NCAA appearances in the 9 years and a very average 173-150-42 record.

So far I'm not impressed.

So what about Wisconsin, BU or Denver?

Lot of baggage with Wisconsin.  They have that title real early in the stretch of these 9 seasons, but no regular season titles, one very unexpected conference tourney title, 5 of 9 on NCAA appearances, a couple of sub-.500 seasons and a 196-133-39 record a long way behind UND.  It might be for some of you, but not me.

BU?  One great season with a national title.   A couple of HE crowns to go with a couple of HE tourney titles.  But they only made the tournament half the time and their overall record is still a long way behind UND, at 204-117-39.

Denver?  For me this would be a maybe.  2 regular season crowns, 2 Broadmoors and appearances in 7 of the 9 NCAA tournaments.  Pretty good record at 220-115-33.  A bit of a toss up, but I might be persuaded to take that record for these past 9 seasons, understanding that the title did come at the very beginning of the run and there has been a generally downward progression.

Anybody that I missed?

So, of course I would love to have BC's record the past 9 years.  Who wouldn't?  Denver's?  Maybe, although I don't like the direction they're going.  Who else would you rather be?

Unless someone else has some good answers, I'm not sure I'd be jumping ship right about now. 

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

(Video) UND 3 UMD 0

"It was a good road win tonight," head coach Dave Hakstol said. I have to agree, UMD is a good hockey team and they mirror the UND hockey team. With the win, UND moves into a tie with SCSU, who lost 4-3 to Miami tonight. UND is 6-2-1 when their games are available on DirecTV.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

UND vs. UMD game one lines

UND Forward lines
9 Drake Caggiula–16 Mark MacMillan–15 Michael Parks (A)
28 Stephane Pattyn (A)–19 Rocco Grimaldi–27 Luke Johnson
21 Brendan O’Donnell–13 Connor Gaarder–11 Derek Rodwell
25 Mitch MacMillan–29 Bryn Chyzyk–17 Colten St. Clair
North Dakota Defense Pairings
5 Nick Mattson–6 Paul LaDue
18 Dillon Simpson ©–24 Jordan Schmaltz
4 Keaton Thompson–2 Troy Stecher

UND Goalies
31 Zane Gothberg
33 Clarke Saunders

Minnesota Duluth’s lines
11 Austin Farley–21 Caleb Herbert–18 Joe Basaraba
14 Alex Iafallo–17 Dominic Toninato–26 Adam Krause
8 Kyle Osterberg–13 Tony Cameranesi–25 Justin Crandall
19 Max Tardy–27 Cal Decowski–23 Austyn Young
Minnesota Duluth Defense Pairings
4 Carson Soucy–7 Andy Welinski
6 Derik Johnson–15 Willie Raskob
5 Willie Corrin–3 Dan Molenaar

Minnesota Duluth Goalies

1 Aaron Crandall
36 Matt McNeely
30 Alex Fons

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Friday, January 31, 2014

(Video) MSU vs. UMN Joe Cox Shootout no-goal

So, the moral of the story just is -- just kick the net off  -- if you feel like the opposition is going to score on you in the shootout. Right? I have to say, that the officiating in the NCHC, for the most part has been pretty good, except for the second game of the DU vs. UND series.

That being said, it seems like the B1G has been getting some brutal officiating this season. Thoughts? I guess we could say that the shootout is a work in progress.

From SBN College Hockey: Spartans head coach Tom Anastos said to SB Nation's Nate Wells after the game that the referees told him "the net was not in its place when the puck crossed the line." So, the ref spends 4+ minutes reviewing a video and that's the explanation the coach gets. Wow!
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Weekend Match-Ups (by Donn)

This weekend is a light schedule for this time of year, but hey, it is what it is…


North Dakota………………8-6-0-0……….….24
St. Cloud St……………….7-3-2-0…………...23
Western Michigan………..6-5-1-1…………...20
Colorado College……….. 3-8-3-1…….….….13

NCHC Games

#5 SCSU @ Nebraska-Omaha
Last weekend the Huskies lost to Minnesota (4-1) in St. Paul and beat Minnesota State (6-4) in the North Star College Cup in St. Paul. The Mavericks were off last weekend. 

The Huskies are road warriors this season, crushing their opponents, in their own house, owning an away record of 9-1-0.  The Mavericks are 5-7-0 this year at home in the CenturyLink Center.  The Mavericks are still within sniffing distance of the dawgs. If they get swept at home, they still be in decent shape at five hundred.  HUSKIES SWEEP

Minnesota-Duluth @ #20 Western Michigan
Last weekend the Bulldogs Beat Minnesota State (5-4ot) and tied Minnesota (4-4) in the North Star College Cup in St. Paul. The Broncos were off last weekend. 

The Bulldogs looked good offensively last weekend in St. Paul, but defensively there is still room for improvement.  UMD has been decent on the road going 6-4-0 in road games, and after last weekend 1-0-1 at neutral sites.  The Bulldogs last four games have gone to overtime.  The Broncos are 5-4-1 at home in Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo (did mention how fun it is to say Kalamazoo).  I did ever mention that the head coach of WMU, Andy Murray, use to coach the LA Kings, and his son, Brady played for the Fighting Sioux?  These teams played a series in Duluth back in mid-December, with WMU winning the opener and UMD winning the closer.  I think the visitors win the first game again before the home team settles the score.  SPLIT

Bye Week
Colorado College
#16 Denver
#17 North Dakota

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

(Picture) North Star College Cup

I hate to say this, but we want the NCHC teams in the North Star Cup to win this weekend. So, this weekend we should cheer for the Huskies and the Bulldogs. Shall we say that the tourney has gone to the dogs.

Session 1

Friday, Jan. 24
Game #1: Minnesota State-Mankato vs. Minnesota Duluth - 4 p.m.
Game #2: St. Cloud State vs. Minnesota - 7 p.m.

Session 2

Saturday, Jan. 25
Game #3: Consolation Game - 4 p.m.
Game #4: Championship Game - 7 p.m.
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Minnesota has a visitor tonight

The Bald Eagle is one of the most awesome sites in the world.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hockey City Classic: tOSU jersey

Wow! talk about ugly jerseys this one takes the cake. Yuck!
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