Colorado (Eagles) Clinch Playoffs

Congrats to the Colorado Eagles of the Central Hockey League for not only clinching the playoffs, but also the Northwest Division title. So there is still going to be hockey worth watching in Colorado come playoff time, just not in Denver.

Oh, and if you don’t know anything about the Colorado Eagles, not only do they have one of the all time best minor league players (no, that is not an oxymoron) in Greg Pankewicz, but this year’s CHL All Star Game was between the Eagles and the rest of the league, and the Eagles won. Actually, the Eagles spanked them. The Eagles have won the Championship twice in their six years in the league (of 15 or so teams, no like the six in the IHL).

Go Eagles!

Why I Love the Minors

How many hockey fights have I seen live this year? One, maybe two. Not like this. From tonight’s Colorado Eagles vs. Oklahoma City Blazers game.

Screenshot 01-29

Drop puck, drop gloves, drop puck, drop gloves, drop puck, drop gloves.

69 penalty minutes.

Minor League Update

So, the Cup has been handed out, but there are still some championships being played out. The Cincinnati Cyclones are up 3 games to 2 against the Las Vegas Wranglers in the ECHL, and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are down 3 games to none to the Chicago Wolves in the AHL. After that, some stuff is going on.

The Youngstown Steelhounds found out they are not going to be part of the Central Hockey League, via a press release. As anything with hockey, it seems that money is the problem. The Steelhounds had already started selling season tickets for next year, so that puts them in a bad situation. The fans aren’t happy.

The Iowa Stars are no longer the Iowa Stars, after they have dropped their affiliation with Dallas, and have picked up the Anaheim Ducks as the new parent team. A new name, logo, and team colors should be coming soon.

The Austin Ice Bats (Central Hockey League) isn’t playing nest season, due to a lack of rink. Why should you care? Do you enjoy books? The book Zamboni Rodeo was about the Ice Bats, and while not a storied franchise, they have earned their spot. They may be better off, though. I skated with the team after a game, and it was the absolute worst ice I have ever been on.

The IHL (the make believe version of the International Hockey League) has announced their schedule for next season, which means they are still sticking with six teams. Unless the Steelhounds are able to get in there, this should be an embarrassment. While they may not tickle the radar of fans of the NHL, teams like the Fort Wayne Komets, Kalamazoo Wings, and the Flint Generals are as important, not only to the cities where they reside, but also in the grand scheme of hockey. These are teams that have a history, have persevered, and have fans just a as passionate as any team in the NHL.

Nothing new about Colorado Eagles player Les Borsheim, but the doctors are saying his surgery went well. After that, time will tell.

Expect more updates from the wacky world of minor league hockey, the best value on ice, through the offseason.

Les Borsheim Out of Surgery, Still Critcal

From the Coloradoan:

Colorado Eagles veteran Les Borsheim remains in critical condition today at a Greeley hospital following emergency surgery Sunday night, but coach Chris Stewart and two teammates said the surgery went better than expected.

Borsheim, 29, suffered a broken neck in a motorcycle crash Sunday afternoon about 3 miles east of Greeley. He was riding with two friends at the time, teammate and neighbor Ed McGrane said.

We’ve seen players come back from “broken necks” before, but there isn’t much indication as to how bad this is. Obviously, he’s lucky to be alive.

“This morning he looked good, he responded well,” Stewart said. “They felt he had done extremely well through the surgery and through the night.
“Make no mistake, this is a very serious injury. The spinal cord, there’s some trauma there. But they’ve relieved all the pressure, and now as we hope and pray, it’s going to be day-by-day to see how he recovers.”

Dr. John Viola, a surgeon with the Front Range Center for Brain and Spine Surgery in Fort Collins, performed the surgery. Gene Haffner, North Colorado Medical Center’s public relations director, couldn’t provide details of the surgery, but Stewart, who was with Borsheim in the emergency room before he went into surgery, said it lasted “probably an hour-and-a-half to an hour-and-45 minutes.”

As for what he was ticketed for:

Borsheim has been cited for driving under the influence of alcohol, careless driving and violating restrictions on a drivers license, the state patrol said. He was not wearing a helmet, which is not required by Colorado law, and did have proper eye protection, which is required.

Of course, the allegation of driving under the influence has yet to be proven.

I just shake my head.

Another Hockey Player Injured in Motorcycle Accident

From the Coloradoan:

Les Borsheim, 29, a franchise player and fan favorite with the Colorado Eagles hockey team is in critical condition at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley tonight following a possible drunk driving accident 3 miles east of Greeley.

Eagles Coach Chris Stewart said Borsheim suffered a neck injury was was having surgery following the accident that occurred at 1:22 p.m. on Weld County Road 60 1/2 and Weld County Road 55.

Yes, this isn’t a 21 year old NHL player, but you have to think that he heard about Luc Bourdon. You have to wonder what was going through his mind.

Borsheim was cited for driving while under the influence of alcohol and careless driving. He was not wearing a helmet but was wearing eye protection.

Colorado does not have a helmet law, but does have eye protection regulations. Mind you, they do have laws against drinking and driving

Borsheim joined the Eagles for the 2005 season after playing for the Quad City Mallards in the United Hockey League in 2004.

Stewart said Borsheim was pursuing plans to play in Europe next season because of the veterans’ clause in the CHL.

More details when they become available.

What’s This Then? With Updates!

Hey, how about this:

“This team that everyone said wouldn’t go anywhere made it to the second round of the playoffs and I think we should be really proud of them,” said one woman.

“I’m feeling pretty bad, pretty disappointed. But next year … we’re gonna get our cup!” said another fan.

No, that isn’t about the Avalanche, it’s about the Canadiens. From the CBC, the word is that the streets of Montreal are calm tonight, following the Habs elimination from the playoffs. Which is strange, that a first round win over the Bruins, whom the Canadiens traditionally own, draws fools rioting, and this draws flies. And people wonder why the world doesn’t understand French-Canada. It takes so few…

But I love those quotes. It reminds me that the Habs and Avalanche are linked in many strange ways (mostly by their goalies). I know that they are miles apart in many ways, but tonight, I know how those fans feel.

Let’s Go Update:

Last post, I mentioned what I was looking forward to now that the Avs are out of the playoffs. Saturday, the Colorado Mammoth were eliminated by the Calgary Roughnecks 15-13 in the first round (lacrosse playoffs are only one game per round). Also, the Colorado Eagles lost 5-1 to the Arizona Sundogs. It was not a night to be a team that I root for.

Quick note: The Avalanche were swept from the playoffs, as were the Denver Nuggets, and the Colorado Rockies (in the world series, mind you). The Mammoth got eliminated in one game, which isn’t much of a stretch to say that they were swept. I doubt the Broncos are even going to make it to the playoffs, so I think they are safe from what seems to be a Denver curse. Since the Eagles play outside of Fort Collins (40 miles North of Denver), I’m hoping they are safe. In the CHL, anything can happen, and usually does.

Avs Done: What Now?

Now that the Avalanche have ended their season so unceremoniously, what now?

Let’s Go, Mammoth:

The Colorado Mammoth of the NLL (National Lacrosse League) start the playoffs Saturday against the Calgary Roughnecks. It’s not hockey, but I like it.

Let’s Go, Eagles:

The Colorado Eagles are already in their playoff series, against the Arizona Sundogs in the Central Hockey League. If the Eagles win, it will be back to back cups, and three in five years of existence.

Let’s Go, Someone:

It’s still the playoffs, and hockey is still alive. It looks like I have to get behind a Pacific Division team for a little while, then I can re-evaluate. It’s still the most exciting time of year.

Let’s Go, Mud Hens:

Being in Florida for the next seven weeks, then on to DC, I will have plenty of opportunity to take in some minor league baseball. Although I would not consider myself a baseball fan, I love going to minor league parks, almost as much as I enjoy going to minor league hockey games.

Let’s Go, Tapeleg:

I have at least one new project I want to get off the ground in the next few months, and will be working towards those goals. I will need a little help, such as possible logo design, but that can wait for now.

Until then, there is hockey left to watch.

Eagles in the Finals

The Colorado Eagles are going back to the CHL finals, with tonight’s win over the Texas Brahmas (a brahma is a cow like bull, or something – I used to know). For those not in the know, the Eagles won the Championship last season, and have won it all twice in their five year lifespan. They are awaiting their opponent, either Laredo, with whom they have a history, or Arizona, with whom they do not. It’s also the third time the Eagles have been in the Finals in their five year history.

Go Eagles!!!!!

CHL Hockey: Eagles at Rage

CHL Hockey: Eagles at Rage, originally uploaded by Tapeleg.

Instead of watching the Avs take on (care of, hopefully), I’m seeing part one of a home and home between the Rocky Mountain Rage and the Colorado Eagles. Fifteen dollars got me in the door, and 2 got me a program. Hard to beat that. Sadly, I left my camera at home, so it’s camera phone for me tonight. I won’t forget tomorrow night. At stake tonight is first place in the division, with the Eagles enjoying a 2 point lead, and both teams having almost the same record (35-17-5 vs 34-18-5). Should be a good tilt.