Thursday, February 5, 2009

Answering your questions

It's been awhile since we've had a You Want Answers post, so here's a stab at your questions from this week.

Don Lucia can't seem to handle last weekend's sweep and is now complaining about alcohol being served at "certain arenas" and is going to talk to the WCHA about it. Thoughts?
I haven't heard those comments and would be curious to see what he said exactly. However, I'd have a hard time thinking the WCHA would have any say over whether or not a city-run building would be able to serve alcohol during a college sporting event. I think that would have to come down from the NCAA and apply to all sports. I know there are many on-campus arenas and stadiums that do not allow alcohol to be served. Mankato's not the only rink in the league that sells it. North Dakota, Colorado College (Lucia's former team) and Denver also play in rinks that serve beer at least. Was it an issue last weekend? I don't know for sure, except to say that plastic beer bottles were thrown on the ice a couple of times. That's happened from time to time at the Alltel, and it's embarrassing and annoying. There have been some well-documented alcohol problems in Mankato and involving MSU students in recent years that have prompted both the city and the university to make policy changes. Yet in what appears to be the biggest joint venture between the two -- hockey -- alcohol remains a big part of the draw.

Why don't the Mavericks have 3rd jerseys? Many WCHA teams do. Also, why haven't the Mavericks auctioned off game worns in a couple of years? It seems like a good way to make some money for the program. Heck, they could even to a raffle every game for a jersey, like Michigan Tech does. By doing it every game, the tickets are just $1-- not the $5 like when MSU did it at the Gopher series. What's the word on a jumbotron being added to the Alltel Center? The Mavericks have had third jerseys in the past, some pretty good ones, too, in my opinion. The throwback jerseys honoring the 1980 national champions were rock-solid. Last year, MSU got new home and road jerseys, which I also think are great uniforms. I wouldn't be surprised if they added a third next year, although I have no inside information about that. St. Cloud had a retro jersey this year and held a silent auction for them with a minimum $100 bid to raise money for the athletic department. ... As for the jumbotron, I've heard rumblings that officials are looking into getting a center-ice scoreboard, but I don't know the timeline.

Where ... is Jason Wiley? I know he's out on injury, but is it still unspecified? Do we have to wait for a miracle to get him back in the lineup, too?
I saw Wiley skating this week in practice. I'm not sure what that means for the North Dakota series yet. It seems like he has had injury issues throughout the season. He's missed 12 games, including the last five. Otherwise, the only other injury issues right now are Channing Boe and Cameron Cooper, which leaves the Mavs a little thin on defense.

What ever happened to Peter Lompado?
I don't believe he's at Minnesota State anymore. Last year, he was a redshirt defenseman who also played baseball for the Mavericks. I think he was recruited primarily as a baseball player but was thought to be someone who could be an extra D who could play in a pinch for the hockey team.

Any insight into Andy Sackrison's (sophomore) slump? His performance this year reminds me of Jerad Stewart last year. This is one of the more perplexing issues on the team. Sackrison had a rock-solid second half of his freshman year, which prompted many -- myself included -- to think he'd be a go-to guy this year. He has just one goal and four assists in 22 games. Last year, he finished with six goals and 14 assists. Like Wiley, he's had some injury issues, but he's also been in and out of the lineup because of performance. Last Friday against Minnesota, Sackrison was on the fourth line but he centered the top line with Mouillierat and Irwin on Saturday because of Trevor Bruess' suspension.

Do you know how much recruiting the Mavericks do in Canada? More specifically the BCHL & AJHL? They do some. Irwin (BCHL) and Mouillierat (AJHL) are the only players from those leagues on this team. There have been many others in the past, and I know assistant coaches have made trips to Canada this year. As for incoming freshmen (see next question), none are from Canada.

Should the Mavericks be getting some more commitments soon? Since there are 13 Jr's and Sr's not to mention Bruess who might as well be a senior. I guess I'm just wondering when the commitments are going to come in to fill the gap of that huge Jr class? I know this is a hard question so just give me the information that you can: Just this week MSU got a commitment for defenseman Tyler Elbrecht from St. Louis of the North American Hockey League. He's a 6-foot-5, 220-pound 20-year-old. Also coming in next year are goalie Kevin Murdock, defenseman Danny Heath and forwards Eli Zuck and Eriah Hayes of the USHL and forward Tyler Pitlick from Centennial High School. They'll bring in another goalie, too. That class should cover the losses of both senior goalies, both senior defensemen (Friesen and Kilburg), senior forward Mick Berge and any other losses (Bruess, perhaps, although he told me last week he's not considering anything until after the season ends). Brett Peterson, who likely wasn't going to play anyway, appears to be done after undergoing back surgery, which opens another roster spot. I'm sure they could also redshirt one of the incoming forwards for the following season when they lose a large class of forwards. As for 2010, they currently have commitments from forwards Josh Berge (Mick's brother), Zach Lehrke (Minnesota's top high school scorer last year) and Mankato's own Core Leivermann. They'll have to get more, obviously.

There has been some discussion on the USCHO board as to Jutting's contract. Can you clarify if it is or isn't up for extension at the end of the season? Thanks Shane. Jutting signed a two-year contract extension after the 2006-07 season. Last year, after he won the WCHA coach of the year award, athletic director Kevin Buisman said they could begin talking about a possible extension/new contract in the summer, meaning starting last July. From what I understand, Jutting's next contract must be a four-year deal, so the university has a big decision to make after the season.

Thanks to everyone who asked questions.


Anthony said...

thanks for the info shane! you do a great job of handling all of us, even when we're unruly.

TheFanClub said...

I am fairly certain that the beers were coming from Minnesota fans.

LetsGoMavs said...

Here is the blog post on Lucia's comment about Alcohol in Arena's and the "F-the Gophers Chant". He doesn't say the Alltel but it's pretty obvious since both happened last weekend and the following Monday he talked to the WCHA.

I'm with you on pointing out that 4 arenas serve alcohol. When I was at CC it wasn't rowdy, given the demographic of their fans. I've heard the same with Magness, as it's atmosphere is more like Mariucci with a bunch of older people and less students. I find the Alltel to be about the same as the NHC, which is "dry". Let's face it, the kids drink before the games and like to yell stuff. Is it a glamourous part of the game? No. But is it part of the game and people have to deal with it? Yes.

Also, from my observation it's mostly non-college kids drinking at the Alltel, as most college kids can't afford to pay that much for drinks.

That's just my take on it. I think Lucia's scrambling to find any reason possible that the Gophers were swept. Perhaps he should say "We sucked it up and the Mavericks completely outplayed us." End of story. I used to have a lot of respect for Lucia but much was lost this week with him justifying Schack's actions, blaming the refs, and now whining about chants and alcohol. For someone who makes just shy of $500,000 a year you would think he would focus more on the play of his team and not everything else.

LetsGoMavs said...

Hopefully MSU does decide on a 3rd jersey again. It's nice to switch stuff up. Doing something in a throw back would be cool. Or maybe a Black jersey. Just some thoughts. I've seen a variety of jerseys over the years from all the teams and it would be nice for the Mavs to mix it up too with a third jersey.

David said...

Over the last week I have been taking in all the interviews with coaches and players from the U and MSU. I don't feel Lucia is trying to make excuses for why they lost, I think he is more upset at his players for losing than who they lost to. I bet he was 10 times as mad when ND handed them their butt.

My fear is that I have talked to way too many MAV fans this week that are walking in the clouds like we won the national championship. We didn't, we swept a series from a team that has some serious defensive short comings. This off weekend could hurt the guys by not playing, and ND is really the last team I want to face this time of the season. They are a team that makes a living at playing physical and we are one big guy down.