Cleaning Out the West Regional Notebook

Miscellanea from this weekend...

-I got down to the X a little more than two hours before puck drop, and was really confused when the RiverCentre parking ramp was fairly full, and when I rode the elevator up to the skyway with two couples who, to put it politely, didn't look like typical college hockey fans. Then I remembered the convention center that is attached to the X was hosting a motorcycle show today.

-Attendance was 7100. I thought they would pick up more St. Cloud fans with it being a Saturday night, and being such a big game, but no luck. I still believe they priced out all but the hardcore fans with those tickets. Roman Augustoviz at the Star-Trib should have a article with quotes from the University of Minnesota's director of athletic communications Garry Bowman that talks about the attendance.

-All-Tournament Team: Blake Geoffrion, Garrett Roe, Tony Mosey, Brendan Smith, Ryan McDonagh, Scott Gudmanson. MVP: Blake Geoffrion. My ballot was pretty much the same, except swap Ryan Lasch for Tony Mosey, Erik Gustafsson for Ryan McDonagh, and Rob Madore for Scott Gudmanson.

I felt Lasch made a few more plays than Mosey. It was really hard leaving McDonagh off because he was a rock all weekend, but I felt Gustafsson deserved recognition for how well he played on Friday. It's only one game, but he probably logged as much ice time as most players do in three games, and it's all the more impressive since he did it on a pretty bad ankle. Gudmanson won two games, and was good when he needed to be, but he wasn't great. Really, the last two goals he gave up to St. Cloud were a little soft. Madore was brilliant against Wisconsin, but didn't get the offensive support he needed.

-Dinner Report: Choice of either BBQ sandwich or Philly cheese steak. I went cheesesteak since I'm a bit of a BBQ snob. The cheesesteak was solid. I didn't get a report on the BBQ. Sides were cole slaw, potato salad, and fresh fruit salad. Desert was assorted cakes. I tried a S'more cake, which was ok, and a layered chocolate toffee type of deal that was excellent.

-I watched St. Cloud's final nine games of the season, and quite frankly, that's way too much. I did gain a greater appreciation for the way Ryan Lasch plays. It helps that he registered points in each of his team's last five games. But I think still his professional future is overseas.

-There's been a lot of outrage about Frank Mazzocco being let go by Fox Sports North, but he'll still probably be around more than people think. His main job is as a professional photographer and I saw him at the arena tonight with his camera equipment.

-Between press conferences after the championship game, ESPN started packing up their lights, leaving the interview room fairly dark. It was kind of awkward, but eventually something got worked out with a spare light.

-I meant to post something about this last weekend when INCH's Jess Myers talked about the XCel staff not letting Jeff Saterdalen talk with Ryan Lasch after the Final Five championshp. I was going to say that in my experience about 80% of the XCel Center staff are the nicest people you'll ever meet. This weekend, that other 20% was missing. Of course, it probably helps when the arena is less than half full and there are very few people sitting above the lower bowl.

-I made the right call by not going to the state high school tournament. As it was, I felt like I should have filled out a census form at the X press box after the last two weekends. It's tough to complain though, because that may be the greatest place in the world to watch a hockey game.

-The Hobey Hat Trick gets announced on Wednesday. Blake Geoffrion has to be considered a little more seriously after his amazing performance this weekend. I think everyone around the country got a good chance to see how much he brings to the table in addition to scoring a lot of big goals. Maybe he takes a spot vacated by the rapidly disappearing Marc Cheverie? He won't be in the hat trick, but Mark Olver deserves more respect than he gets. He was the best player on the ice in the first game Friday, with a lot of good players on the ice.

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