Top 5

Kyle Clifford

Los Angeles Kings forward Kyle Clifford is known for taking — and receiving — some of the most punishing checks in the NHL. He lists teammates Dustin Brown and Matt Greene among the hardest hitters in the game. Who are his hardest-hitting opponents?



  1. Ryane Clowe

  2. Milan Lucic

  3. Niklas Kronwall

  4. Cal Clutterbuck

  5. Alexander Ovechkin



NHL Confidential

James NealTravis Mathew Apparel specializes in casual menswear for on and off the golf course. It’s a favorite of Wayne Gretzky as well as current NHL stars James Neal, Dustin Penner, Scottie Upshall and Ryan Getzlaf. “That laid-back, SoCal athletic vibe resonates with a lot of guys who want to look good during an off-day on the golf course,” said Leif Sunderland, the marketing director for the Seal Beach, Calif.-based retailer. travismathew.com.

JP

Posts Tagged ‘University of North Dakota’

Hawks start to soar.

It’s early on a Friday night, but the Ralph Engelstad Arena is already rocking. Just minutes before the puck drops at center ice, the lights go down in the arena and the cheering somehow manages to get louder. The players gather in the tunnel and slowly emerge from the shadows as they approach the ice.

The PA announcer bellows from the rafters. “Here come your Fightiiiiiiing Hawks!”

Sigh. It’s just not the same.

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On mascots, nicknames, and why something is better than nothing.

I was talking to a former NHL executive Wednesday afternoon about mascots. We tossed around the question of where to draw the line between a mascot and a character. What separates the woman dressed up as Snow White at Disneyworld from the Leprechaun at Notre Dame? Are they mascots or characters? What about the Atlanta Braves’ Chief Noc-A-Homa?

Somehow the Spanish word for “pets,” mascotas, entered the discussion, and that rekindled my gut feeling about what a mascot should be: Furry and non-human. But that’s just my opinion. A team doesn’t need a mascot, though they are always popular with the kids. I once covered a minor-league hockey team that had three mascots, turning each game into a Disneyland-type experience and proving that a team can have too many. In the NHL, the Stars, Oilers, Rangers and Flyers have zero mascots. That might be too few.

UND logo

At the bare minimum a team could use a nickname, which brings us to the curious case of the University of North Dakota. Officially, UND is just UND. No nickname. Its logo is an interlocking ND, similar to the more famous University of Notre Dame logo. In 2005 the NCAA decided the nickname in use at UND since 1930 — the Sioux (since the 1960s, the “Fighting Sioux”) — was “hostile and abusive.” In June 2012, state voters collectively banned the nickname, and the accompanying mascot and logo, at the polls. A few days later, the state’s Board of Higher Education officially banished the Sioux nickname to the history books. The university is prohibited from adopting a new team name until 2015.

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Reliving the greatest upset in college hockey history.

North Dakota Holy Cross hockey

Holy Cross returned to North Dakota last weekend for the first time since 2006.      Eric Classen/UND Athletics

The world of sports is full of great upsets and hockey boasts some of the best. I mean, did anyone expect the Los Angeles Kings, of all teams, to suddenly become unstoppable and win the Stanley Cup two months after barely making the playoffs?

College hockey has had its share as well. Just about every year, a small school upsets a traditional powerhouse and provides a great story for sportswriters and fans to behold. In some cases – Bemidji State in 2009 and RIT in 2010 – the teams pull off two upsets and make it to the Frozen Four.

Ask most college hockey fans to name the biggest upset ever, there’s really only one: Holy Cross’s win over Minnesota in the 2006 West Regional in Grand Forks, N.D.

This past weekend, Holy Cross returned to Grand Forks for the first time since 2006 so I figured now would be the perfect time to look back at their big win. (After all, they almost pulled it off again Saturday before North Dakota woke up in the third period).

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