Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas from Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic.

It's been a real fun time being a hockey fan this year. There have been really significant gains in popularity and the transitions to a more skilled game. It's made for great hockey to watch and this year the rivalries are as strong as ever in the NHL.
I don't know if you have any Christmas hockey traditions or not, but here's my annual Christmas greeting.
I truly hope that in these times, the spirit of human generosity finds you tonight and throughout the next year.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Project For Awesome 2014 - USA Hockey Foundation "It Starts With A Stick"

For this giving season's featured charity video in the ongoing project #P4A Project for Awesome, I wanted to call to attention a little funding project initiative for USA Hockey. Their latest program to grow the game of hockey to future generations of kids as well as needier kids is called "It Starts with A Stick". Click on the links at the Project for Awesome 2014 page and the the official USA Hockey Foundation page can take you to a donation page. 
The USA Hockey Foundation’s goal is to get 12,000 sticks into the hands of the next generation of hockey stars during February’s Hockey Weekend Across America.

To do this, and to provide an opportunity for thousands of kids to fall in love with the game, we need to raise $150,000 in the month of December.
I, of course, have given several times to the project as a gift donation in my friends names. You can check out the video featured right here. Even though I don't really get into the specifics of the plan in the video - you can see them here in the blog.

Unfortunately, there is no PayPal link to help people who aren't as adept at giving credit card numbers or those who want the extra security that PayPal provides. I'll have to let them know in future projects.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

It's the time of year again where many school kids (mites) are out of their curriculum routine and on to the holiday vacation. Those who are serious about their hockey training take part in the annual tradition of traveling to Thanksgiving tournaments all over the States.

My favorite tournament in the States has got to be featured here as one of the oldest traditions on Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic. Sharing the creative logo of the The Pond Arena in Delaware, I hope that it fits in the holiday and the hockey theme at the same time. You can check out the rest of the scheduled tournaments at this link here as well as find information about registering your teams in time. 2014-15 Pond Tourney list.

Lets take a look at this year's logo:
The logo is still a cartoon anthropomorphic, but with a more detailed facial and neck features. But the pose is almost like the one they used last year. The colors are still in the familiar autumn shades. The font is different in that they put the year off into the corner, but used the text title to focus on. The leaves are a nice touch.

Who knows,.. maybe after years and years of promoting this thing, I'd actually play in it someday.

Monday, September 29, 2014

St. Michael's Day 2014

St. Michael's College in Colchester, VT
We no longer have St Michael's Majors to cheer for since their move to Mississauga and renamed the Steelheads. So, we begin again another year in the annual tradition of updating hockey fans of the St. Michael's College on this particular day. In future years, I would like to update this annual tradition and include other schools or other teams honoring St. Michael, but for now, I have only the Men's and Women's respective organizations to introduce to my readers.

St. Michael's College is a catholic liberal arts university in Vermont. According to their website, 25% of the student body are active varsity athletes while another 40% are in recreational programs. But, appropriate that according to 2,000 enrolled students according to their facebook page, that must mean it's a campus full of jocks. The sports team mascot is a Purple Knight (as seen in the upper left). They play their home games in Cairns Arena in Burlington, TV.

I've critiqued their jerseys before, and I'm still waiting to see if I could ever add one to my hockey sweater collection.

Men's Program

Courtesy: Saint Michael's College
The men's program is coming off of a great season last year by comparative standards. They found themselves competing for the New England 10 championship against University of New Hampshire, but fell short to lose 4-1. They "shocked the world" defeating the number 1 overall seeded team Stonehill to get there. That is something to be proud of considering they went 7-17-3 overall in the season. From the news website they went down to the wire only being down by a goal (2-1) with under a minute to play.

They are going to have to do something about their defense. Overall, they've been outscored on by their opponents with a 74-105 margin.

But as determined as they are on the ice to win, they have been developing great students as well off the ice. Back in March, they announced that 7 players achieved All-academic honors in the ECAC.

Their first game of the 2014-15 season is a rematch of last year's season finale to be played on on All Saint's Day Nov. 1st against Southern New Hampshire at home. Good luck, guys!

Women's Program

The women's team is struggling these past couple of years. Their final record last year was 3-19-4. Disappointing doesn't begin to describe that.One of the telling reasons is that they went
34-86 in goals for and goals against respectively. That's almost 40% more being scored on than scoring goals themselves and the biggest loss was 0-9 at Norwich on November 8th 2013.

When they aren't doing well on the ice, at least they are doing well in the classroom. St. Michael's College lead the ECAC East in All-Academic with 12 players. Which makes it 2 years in a row.

Courtesy: Saint Michael's College
But one of the better signs of a developing hockey program is not only the academic achievements, but also how well regarded the alumni are of it. Back in April, the Lady Purple Knights held a reunion game with 20 players returning to play. I think that takes a real commitment to the 6 seniors who also played in the game.

Their first game of the new season starts on "All Hallows Eve" October 31st 2014 at home against the University of New England. Good luck, ladies.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic Takes on NHL Deadline Day 2014

What always feels like a great big national holiday, the NHL trade deadline is met with a lot of hype and anticipation from every hockey fan in North America. Any trade could make or break a team. In my opinion, the cascading result is going to focus onto some of the teams that are on the bubble (just out of the playoffs looking for a boost back in the playoff hunt). Toronto, Detroit, Minnesota, Dallas,.. I'm looking to each team to make a blockbuster deal at the 3pm.

As Penguins fans now know through learning the hard way, the way to build a championship team is through avoiding messing with team chemistry. They have been mentioned a couple of times linked with several

Let's take a look at the trades that have led up to this trading deadline thus far:

To the Florida Panthers goes goaltender Roberto Luongo (aka "strombone" for his twitter handle) for young prospect Markstrom.

To the St. Louis Blues goaltender Ryan Miller and Steve Ott for goaltender Jaro Halak and...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

The one only universal force that brings people around the world together more than hockey is the spirit of Christmas. So, this year, the annual Christmas tradition of a video greeting is in the all-inclusive intentions. I hope that other fans might voice themselves more in to finding what kind of content they expect from Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic in 2014.

From us here at the Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic weblog. Have a very Merry Christmas. May all your hockey dreams come true for one 24 timespan.

I hope that Santa Claus knows how to shop at Shop

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Project for Awesome 2013 - Mandi Schwartz Foundation

One of the best ways to give on the holiday season is to give to those in need. Every year, I highlight a special hockey related foundation to highlight for the Project for Awesome website campaign. It's a great way to get introduced to new funds and charities that really need the attention and money to keep hope (and awesomeness) alive into the next year.
This year, I've chosen to highlight the Mandi Schwartz Foundation because it's a situation that became a heart-felt story where a young woman was in dire need of help. Whereas I think hockey fans are so special, the true goodness in everyone shines through when one of our own is in trouble.

But as I wrote about Mandi's tragic loss in 2011, her life and personality and will to persevere is carried on through her family and friends.

Please consider giving to the Mandi Schwartz Foundation or get yourself tested as a possible bone marrow doner. It would be awesome!