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All Things St. Cloud

Don't ask me why, but for whatever reason, there's a bunch of quotes and what not from St. Cloud that I'd love to address.

We'll start with the Huskies functional dry dock against Robert Morris last weekend. Kevin Allenspach wrote a great story previewing the weekend series in last Saturday's St. Cloud Times. The article may not win any awards, but it did contain a couple nominees for quote of the week.

First off is former Western Michigan Bronco and current Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley who chose to channel rock music prodcuing legend Bruce Dickinson when he said:
"But (the Huskies) put their skates on the same way we do.
But once they put their skates on, they score goals. And make gold records.

Up next is Casey Borer. What Borer has in terms of hockey skills and solid defensive play, he clearly lacks in tact and subtlety.
"We sure don't go into any series saying 'Jeez, we're hoping for a split,' " Borer said.
. Gee, Casey, you wouldn't happen to be referring to a poorly-worded quote from a former coach at St. Cloud, would you?

While we're on the subject of Dahl follies (not to be confused with former Notre Dame forward Aniket Dhadphale), over Thanksgiving weekend, St. Cloud times writer Kevin Allenspach decided to share a cute little story about Dahl asking him to not give a fictional award to star Tyler Arnason. I realize Dahl didn't like Arnason. I realized Arnason was a bit uncoachable. But c'mon. That said, I'd love to get an email from a coach one day asking me not to mention one of his players.

Before the season, I had speculated that a coaching change would go a long way in terms of rejuvenating the St. Cloud program, and so far, I think that has come true. The players are playing harder and the fans are excited to go to games again. It also helps that Motzko is savvy enough with the media to inspire that confidence in the direction the program is heading.

Case in point is this paraphrase from Motzko's coaches show tonight where he said "I doubt we'll win the national championship, I know we could beat whoever will be the national champion on any given night." Now if former coach Craig Dahl had tried saying this, it probably would have came out as sounding like St. Cloud wasn't trying to win a national championship. Motzko says the same thing and St. Cloud fans come away feeling like they're team can beat anyone.

As for the guys that are actually out on the ice, Casey Borer finally notched his first career goal on Sunday in a 6-2 win over the Robert Morris. Not only that, but a last second goal by the Colonnials made Borer's goal the game-winner.

Having a starting goalie that got kicked out of another school may be a little hard for St. Cloud fans to deal with, but I'm a strong believer in second chances and Bobby Goepfert seems to be making the most out of his. In a post-game interview on Saturday, Goepfert owned up to the trouble he ran into at Providence and talked about how hard he was working at St. Cloud.

A less positive story is that of forward Matt Francis. I had very high hopes for Matt Francis when he came out of Surrey of the BCHL. Francis had a great final season in the BCHL when he averaged a point and a half per game and finished tied for 13th in league scoring with Kris Chucko and Shane McCormick. That success hasn't translated at all in college though. Francis still hasn't scored a goal in college yet. Last season, he put up 6 assists, though 3 came in a weekend series against Sacred Heart.

Despite the rought freshmen, I still thought Francis' skating ability would translate into college success. I even went as far as to predict him to finish as the Huskies leading scorer. But midway through the season there is the potential that Francis could finish with one of the lowest point totals on the team. He's become a healthy scratch in most games, and tallied his first assist of the season on Sunday.

It may be time for Francis to consider making a fresh start. He could try going to the WHL like many other college players that have struggled have done. It seemed to work wonders for players like Peder Skinner, Matt Auffrey, and Jeff Kryzakos. Or, if Francis wants to stay in college hockey, he might consider transferring somewhere to get a fresh start. It's a shame things haven't worked out like planned for Francis in St. Cloud and he is too talented of a player to waste away in street clothes as a healthy scratch every weekend.