Posted on: October 6, 2008 10:24 am

Duncan, Watkins lift UND to 6-2 exhibition win

A little bit of old blood mixed with a transfusion from the new kids proved to be a healthy combination for the University of North Dakota men's hockey team tonight.

Senior captain Ryan Duncan (Calgary, Alberta) scored two goals and senior forwards Andrew Kozek (Sicamous, British Columbia) and Matt Watkins (Aylesbury, Saskatchewan) had a goal apiece as the Fighting Sioux opened the season with a 6-2 exhibition victory over the University of Manitoba Bisons.

The game at Ralph Engelstad Arena drew 11,571 fans, the largest attendance for an exhibition game in UND history.

While seniors accounted for two-thirds of UND's goals, freshmen served notice as well.

Jason Gregoire (Winnipeg, Manitoba), the Player of the Year in the United States Hockey League last season, scored UND's first goal on a power play at 11:41 of the opening period. He found a tiny opening on the short side of the net to beat Manitoba goalie Steve Christie cleanly with a wrist shot.

Freshman Brett Hextall (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), scored the other Sioux goal on a goal-mouth scramble at 18:36 of the second period to give the Sioux a 4-1 lead.

Coach Dave Hakstol used the exhibition to give ice time to 24 of the 25 players on his roster,with only freshman David Toews, nursing a slight injury, not dressed.

Most all contributed significantly in the victory as well. Twelve Sioux players picked up at least one point, led by a three-point game from Watkins with a goal and two assists. Duncan had two points with two goals and senior Brad Miller (Alpharetta, Ga.) contributed two assists.

Both of Miller's points came when he was playing the right point on the power play, a new role for him.

"We're just trying it out right now (his role on the point on the power play), but it worked out well tonight,'' Miller said. "We only have one right-handed defenseman, so I think they want to get a little more option with that.

He's no stranger to that role. "I played the point (on power play) in high school and a little bit in juniors (in the USHL),'' Miller said. "I really enjoy it. It's fun. It feel it's a good fit for me.''

The Sioux, playing their first game of the season, controlled play against Manitoba, playing its 10th game of year, and third in three nights. The Sioux carried a 51-22 edge in shots on goal led by eight shots from Miller and seven from Duncan.

Watkins led the offensive barrage. "It wasn't too bad, lots of shots on goal,'' Watkins said. "We created lots of offense, guys were going to the net hard and shooting the puck, that type of thing. We were able to bury a few.''

The win doesn't count on UND's record, but it was a good way to kick off the season. "It's a good start for the team, and it's a step in the right direction,'' Watkins said.

Watkins, who had 19 goals in 127 games in his first three seasons, served notice he may be poised for a big senior season. "I have the ability to do those type of things,'' Watkins said. "It's more of a mental thing than physical, but if I can work on that, become more efficient with the puck, I think I'll see some benefits from that.''

"We had a lot of guys who made good plays,'' Hakstol said. "I thought we played with tempo and I thought we played hard for 60 minutes.''

The move of Miller to point on the power play was a question the media asked Hakstol about at the post-game press conference.

"He told me he was good there,'' Hakstol said, laughing. "So we said we'd give it a try.''

Hakstol said they saw Miller man the point on the power play four years ago for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL, when he had already given UND a verbal commitment. "He did a very good job,'' Hakstol said. "You see his puck poise when he has time and space with the puck. He makes a lot of things happen. I thought he made some plays happen up there.''

Whether Miller remains in that role is undecided. "We'll see where we go from here,'' Hakstol said.. "We've got a lot of decisions to make, but certainly he did a good job tonight.''

Hakstol liked that his seniors led the way. "Most importantly, the team played well, and that starts with leadership,'' Hakstol said. "That certainly starts with your captains and your seniors. Everybody else certainly followed their lead, I thought.''

The Sioux converted 3-of-7 power-play chances, generating 11 shots with the man advantage. Manitoba was 2-of-7 on the power play, its goals coming from Riley Dudar and Stephane Lenoski.

Hakstol used all three of his goalies with senior Aaron Walski (Fargo, N.D.) drawing the start and stopping all 10 shots he faced in nearly 28 minutes of playing time. He was followed in goal by freshmen Brad Eidsness (Chestermere, Alberta), who allowed two power-play goals and made eight saves in nearly 26 minutes, and Graeme Harrington (Glenside, Saskatchewan), who stopped both shots he faced in six minutes to close out the game.

The game featured two brothers from Grand Forks playing against each other and each hit the scoresheet. Freshman forward Mario Lamoureux had an assist and two penalties for UND and older brother Pierre-Paul Lamoureux had an assist and a penalty for Manitoba.

The Sioux open the regular season this weekend on the road in Boston at the IceBreaker Invitational. UND plays Boston University on Friday and Northeastern on Saturday in a pair of nonconference games.

Category: NCAA Hockey
Posted on: October 3, 2008 8:37 pm

Bakersfield, CA Fantasy Baseball Fans

Are there any Fantasy Baseball fans that live in Bakersfield, CA? Let me know who you are.
Category: MLB
Posted on: October 3, 2008 12:15 pm

Biden-Palin debate not 100% accurate

Biden and Palin debated, and both mangled some facts.
  • Palin mistakenly claimed that troop levels in Iraq had returned to “pre-surge” levels. Levels are gradually coming down but current plans would have levels higher than pre-surge numbers through early next year, at least.
  • Biden incorrectly said “John McCain voted the exact same way” as Obama on a controversial troop funding bill. The two were actually on opposite sides.

  • Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount, but a family of four would not have been affected unless they made at least $90,000 a year.
  • Biden wrongly claimed that McCain “voted the exact same way” as Obama on the budget bill that contained an increase on singles making as little as $42,000 a year. McCain voted against it. Biden was referring to an amendment that didn't address taxes at that income level.
  • Palin claimed McCain’s health care plan would be “budget neutral,” costing the government nothing. Independent budget experts estimate McCain's plan would cost tens of billions each year, though details are too fuzzy to allow for exact estimates.

  • Biden wrongly claimed that McCain had said "he wouldn't even sit down" with the president of Spain. Actually, McCain didn't reject a meeting, but simply refused to commit himself one way or the other during an interview.
Palin wrongly claimed that “millions of small businesses” would see tax increases under Obama’s tax proposals. At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases.
Category: General
Tags: biden, debate, palin
Posted on: October 1, 2008 2:44 pm

UND Fighting Sioux ranked number 2

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The Fighting Sioux men’s hockey team is picked to finish in second place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), according to the 38th annual Grand Forks Herald WCHA preseason coaches poll. UND, which finished second in the league last season and advanced to its fourth consecutive NCAA Frozen Four, received two first-place votes and is projected to finish behind only defending MacNaughton Cup champion Colorado College. The Tigers received the remaining eight first-place votes. Denver was picked third and Minnesota and Wisconsin tied for fourth place in the voting. St. Cloud State , Minnesota State, Minnesota Duluth, Michigan Tech and Alaska Anchorage are ranked sixth through 10th, respectively. The poll also revealed that UND freshman forward Jason Gregoire was voted the league’s preseason co-rookie of the year. Gregoire and Minnesota Duluth forward Jack Connolly each received three votes to tie for the honor. Gregoire, a native of Winnipeg , Manitoba , spent the past two seasons with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League (USHL), where he was named the league’s player of the year and forward of the year in 2007-08. Gregoire was also named to the All-USHL First Team last season after amassing 37 goals and 69 points in 54 games. He was drafted by the New York Islanders in the third round (76th overall) of the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Colorado College sophomore goaltender Richard Bachman was voted the WCHA preseason player of the year. The Fighting Sioux take to the ice for the first time on Sunday, Oct. 5, when they host the University of Manitoba in exhibition action at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The puck drops at 6:07 p.m. Grand Forks Herald WCHA Preseason Coaches Poll 1. Colorado College 2. North Dakota 3. Denver 4. Minnesota Wisconsin 6. St. Cloud State 7. Minnesota State 8. Minnesota Duluth 9. Michigan Tech 10. Alaska Anchorage Player of the Year: Richard Bachman, G, Colorado College Rookie of the Year (tie): Jason Gregoire, F, UND & Jack Connolly, F, Minnesota Duluth
Posted on: September 27, 2008 11:30 am

Presidential Debate...without the lies

Presenting the truth and nothing but the truth regardless of party. The thing that craks me up is that the washington machine will continue to run unimpeded with either one of these cogs inserted. Anyway, here you go......

McCain and Obama contradicted each other repeatedly during their first debate, and each volunteered some factual misstatements as well. Here’s how we sort them out:
  • Obama said McCain adviser Henry Kissinger backs talks with Iran “without preconditions,” but McCain disputed that. In fact, Kissinger did recently call for “high level” talks with Iran starting at the secretary of state level and said, “I do not believe that we can make conditions.” After the debate the McCain campaign issued a statement quoting Kissinger as saying he didn’t favor presidential talks with Iran.
  • Obama denied voting for a bill that called for increased taxes on “people” making as little as $42,000 a year, as McCain accused him of doing. McCain was right, though only for single taxpayers. A married couple would have had to make $83,000 to be affected by the vote, and anyway no such increase is in Obama’s tax plan.
  • McCain and Obama contradicted each other on what Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said about troop withdrawals. Mullen said a time line for withdrawal could be “very dangerous” but was not talking specifically about “Obama’s plan,” as McCain maintained.
  • McCain tripped up on one of his signature issues – special appropriation “earmarks.” He said they had “tripled in the last five years,” when in fact they have decreased sharply.
  • Obama claimed Iraq “has” a $79 billion surplus. It once was projected to be as high as that. It’s now down to less than $60 billion.
  • McCain repeated his overstated claim that the U.S. pays $700 billion a year for oil to hostile nations. Imports are running at about $536 billion this year, and a third of it comes from Canada, Mexico and the U.K.
  • Obama said 95 percent of “the American people” would see a tax cut under his proposal. The actual figure is 81 percent of households.
  • Obama mischaracterized an aspect of McCain’s health care plan, saying “employers” would be taxed on the value of health benefits provided to workers. Employers wouldn’t, but the workers would. McCain also would grant workers up to a $5,000 tax credit per family to cover health insurance.

  • McCain misrepresented Obama's plan by claiming he'd be "handing the health care system over to the federal government." Obama would expand some government programs but would allow people to keep their current plans or chose from private ones, as well.
  • McCain claimed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had drafted a letter of resignation from the Army to be sent in case the 1944 D-Day landing at Normandy turned out to be a failure. Ike prepared a letter taking responsibility, but he didn’t mention resigning.
Category: General
Tags: debate, mccain, obama
Posted on: September 25, 2008 2:13 pm

$700 BILLION Hand Out

I wish the government would deal as fairly and generously with me when I screw up my finances. Dr. Evil didn't even ask for that much money. If these companies are so large and influential that they can single handedly devistate our economy with their greed then the citizens of this country should have more control over these companies. The rich get help and the poor get fucked!
Category: General
Posted on: September 24, 2008 10:10 am
Category: SPiN
Tags: alba, bikini, jessica
Posted on: September 23, 2008 8:07 pm

Out of Context on Health Care

Obama ad twists McCain's words on health care "deregulation." Summary An Obama-Biden ad falsely claims McCain says he wants to "do the same to our health care" that "Wall Street deregulation" has done to the banking industry. The ad relies on a single phrase from a journal article under McCain's byline, in which he said he would reduce regulation of health insurance "as we have done over the last decade in banking." But the full context reveals that McCain was referring narrowly to his proposal to allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines. Analysis The Obama-Biden campaign released the ad Sept. 22 and said it will air on national cable TV networks. It claims that McCain said he would "reduce oversight of the health insurance industry ... just 'as we have done over the last decade in banking.' " But the ad takes the comments out of context, failing to explain what exactly McCain meant by the comparison to banking. He was talking specifically about allowing the sale and purchase of health insurance plans across state lines. McCain's words come from an article under his byline in the September/October issue of "Contingencies," a journal of the American Academy of Actuaries. Here's what the McCain article actually said, in full context: McCain: "I would also allow individuals to choose to purchase health insurance across state lines, when they can find more affordable and attractive products elsewhere that they prefer. Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation. Consumer-friendly insurance policies will be more available and affordable when there is greater competition among insurers on a level playing field. You should be able to buy your insurance from any willing provider—the state bureaucracies are no better than national ones. Nationwide insurance markets that ensure broad and vigorous competition will wring out excess costs, overhead, and bloated executive compensation." Note that McCain began by speaking of buying insurance "across state lines." His comparison with banking regulation was limited to "opening up the insurance market" to "nationwide" competition to "provide more choices" to consumers. McCain has in fact touted this aspect of his health care plan for months. His Web page on health care prominently says: McCain health care plan: "An important part of his plan is to use competition to improve the quality of health insurance with greater variety to match people's needs, lower prices, and portability. Families should be able to purchase health insurance nationwide, across state lines." Obama used this misleading accusation on the campaign trail over the weekend. In Daytona Beach, Florida, on Sept. 20, Obama said: "So let me get this straight – he wants to run health care like they've been running Wall Street." The analogy to banking in the article was poorly timed, given recent financial events, though it's likely it was written well before Wall Street's crisis reached its climax last week. McCain senior adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin complained to reporters that Obama misunderstood what McCain meant: "If Barack Obama thinks that today's financial troubles were caused by policies which allowed Americans to use an ATM anywhere in this country, then it is better that he continue to be silent about solutions to the crisis on Wall Street," he said. Holtz-Eakin told the Wall Street Journal that the article was talking about provisions that allowed for banking across state lines, which were approved in 1995 – not "over the last decade," as the article said. Obama adviser Jason Furman said that it seemed to him that McCain was referencing 2004 rules that, the Journal reported, "pre-empted state banking regulations and that, [Furman] argues, helped bring on the current financial meltdown." McCain did not cite specific legislation. But it is clear he was comparing such regulations to his proposal to allow the sale of health insurance across state lines. We’d also note that this was not "an article praising Wall Street deregulation," as the ad says. Wall Street itself is never mentioned, and the only reference to banking or the financial industry is that one line about regulation over the past decade. This ad reminds us of another by the Democratic National Committee that took McCain's comments out of context. That ad charged that McCain wanted to stay in Iraq for 100 years, but his full remarks showed that he was talking about a peaceful presence in the country, much like U.S. troops' presence in Japan or South Korea, two examples McCain used in his remarks. McCain said staying in Iraq for a hundred years "would be fine with me, as long as Americans, as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed." The DNC left that part of the quote out of the ad. An Accurate Quote The Obama-Biden ad ends by calling McCain's plan "a prescription for disaster," as those words, credited to the Boston Globe, flash on screen. Unlike the first quote cited in the ad, this one is accurate. It comes from a Sept. 21 Globe editorial that compared McCain's and Obama's health care plan, raising objections to McCain's. Here's the quote in context: Globe editorial (Sept. 21): "There is no comparable lab test, however, for the radical revision of healthcare that McCain is proposing. For all of his moderate positions on immigration and climate change, on healthcare he has endorsed a right-wing ideologue's vision: destroy employer-based coverage and turn Americans over to the tender mercies of private nongroup insurers in an unregulated environment. It's a prescription for disaster." Obama and Biden may share that assessment of McCain's plan, as their ad says. But the ad's main criticism rests on distorting McCain's words rather than evaluating an actual component of his health care proposal.
Category: General
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