Monday, March 5, 2007

2007 WSHSHP BRITNEY SPEARS AWARD

Honoring the Greatest Collapse by a Former WSHSHP Champion

Chip "Toes" Krauss
115 points
30th Place Overall

Runner Up:
Aviva "A.D.D." Kapust
151 points
28th Place Overall

2007 WSHSHP M.I.P.


Honoring the Most Improved Point Total Amassed by a Single Participant in Consecutive Years:

Anthony "Coach" Landgraf
320 points
2nd Place Overall

Runner Up:
Shauna "Man Eater" Rudy
254 points
6th Place Overall

2007 WSHSHP ROOKIE OF THE YEAR


Honoring the Best Performance from a First-Year Participant:

Jeff Kerrin
282 points, 4th Place Overall

Runner Up:
Justin Courter,
253 points, 7th Place Overall

2007 WSHSHP CHAMPIONS CIRCLE


Honoring those far-seeking souls who correctly chose the ultimate state champion:
  • Tracy DeLuca
  • Anthony Landgraf
  • Oliver Albrecht
  • Jeff Kerrin
  • Shauna Rudy
  • Justin Courter
  • Nanuk Cathers

BREAKING NEWS: Kapust Losing Everywhere

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous forwards this evidence of former champ Aviva Kapust's dismal showing in a renegade Wisconsin High School Hockey Pool she claims to have entered my mistake. This office admires the hockey spirit, Ms. Kapust, but perhaps next year you should spend more time analyzing power rankings and less time answering the siren song of every hockey pool bracket on the internet. Just thinking out loud here.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Fondy 3, Superior 1

The thrill of victory...

...and the agony of defeat.
Put simply, it's a story about 23 crazy kids who believed in each other.

Fondy POV on Final Game

Superior POV on Final Game

Saturday, March 3, 2007

DeLuca Looks Fine in Cardinal and White, Captures 2007 WHSHP Crown

Folks, it's all all over but the beer bongs. Fondy kicks Superior right in their powder blue breezers, delivering another intimidating display of smothering defense and hard-nosed forechecking to grind out an impressive 3-1 victory in the Championship Game of the 2007 Wisconsin State High School Hockey Tournament. Congratulations to Coach Ryan Sarazin and the boys on a well-earned title.

And bravo to Tracy "Bam Bam" DeLuca, who takes the title in only her second year of participation. She received a gracious concession call from rival Dan "I Got Blisters On Me Fingers" Krewson right after the game, and is, as a I type, already optioning her story to Mirimax. She narrowingly beats out Tony "Coach" Landgraf, who's meteoric rise from the depths of hockey pool humiliation has captured the hearts of a nation, and Oliver Albrecht, whose grumpy disposition throughout the tourney reminded all of the serious business at hand both on and off the ice.

Looking at the rest of the Leaderboard, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a feel-good story. Talk about your humble sportsmen, Jeff Kerrin warranted nary a mention on this blog until now, and that's to congratulate him on a stunning 4th place finish. Shauna Rudy overcame much: an obsessive-compulsive, sexually dysfunctional husband, an unhappy marriage, and the unwanted attention of Dylan DiBona, to notch a career-high 6th place finish. And both newcomer Justin Courter and old hand Nanuk Cathers find themselves in the Final Top Ten. That's what happens when you pick the right team to win it all, kids.

The Commissioner's Post-Tourney Awards don't come out until Monday, and the Commissioner is going to need all that time, and then some, to pick winners from such a worthy group of contestants. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 2, 2007

FYI

For those of you too excited to sleep, there's some women's college hockey taking place right now on FSC Central. UW-Superior versus UW-Stevens Point, I think. Do the teams really matter at this hour? It's hockey, for Cripe's sake. Time to send the Missus out on a beer run.

Superior Wins Again; Local Sports Editor Apparently Obsessed With Hugging

Superior wins again, and the Superior Telegram leads with photo of Spartan players embracing..again. Something strange going on here, but I'm not the man to point it out.
Superior vs. Tomah Recap

Fondy Thrashes Another Undefeated Darling, Still Gets No Respect

Goalie Randy Willis turned back a furious Eau Claire assault in third period, much to the chagrin of a horribly biased WiPH broadcast team.
Fondy vs. Eau Claire Memorial Recap

Krewson and DeLuca Square Off for Crown; Native Wisconsinites Embarrass Themselves and Their Homeland

Sorry for the delay, but this reporter, still heartbroken by his last second decision to take Appleton United over Fondy in the Sectional Finals, had to ice down his hand after punching his framed photo of former Wisconsin goaltender Julian Baretta. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

There is much to admire in the scrappy Fondy Cardinals. They fought through a lot of obstacles tonight. They were outnumbered in the stands, in the pressbox (if you listen carefully, you can still hear the play-by-play team weeping over their Slippery Nipples at Jingle's.) Hell, they were even outplayed by the boisterous Old Abe Pep Band. But, ladies and gentlemen, they weren't outplayed where it mattered most, and that was on the shamefully subpar ice surface of the Alliant Center. This office only hopes the Cards have enough gas left in the tanks to give Superior a worthy fight tomorrow.

So does Tracy DeLuca, as she nervously glances at the Prediction Leaderboard. It's as simple as this, folks:

DeLuca wins with a Fondy win, while Krewson wins with a Superior win. This office's questionable math skills also points out some very exciting final standings given either scenario, so stand by for those.

One topic that can't wait, however, is the disastrous performance of former Wisconsin prep hockey players. What happened? After hours of exhaustive research, Peter "Captain of the All-Ugly Squad" Rudy delivers his lowest point total in the history of his participation in the pool. Perhaps the naysayers are right. The pressures of being both Commissioner and pool participant might just be too much for a man of Rudy's tender disposition. This reporter is not going to pull a Stevens Point and make any excuses, though. I just plain dropped the ball (or puck, if you will) on this one. And I certainly won't try to speak for my former Cruskater colleagues and Cheeseheads, though I'm curious to hear their take on a truly gloomy 2007 showing. What say you, gentlemen?

The real puck drops tomorrow around noon Pacific time. Get some sleep, kids.

Fondy Wins (I think)

Good Christ, trying to listen the constantly re-buffering broadcast of this friggin' hockey game is like trying to enjoy porn with all the juicy parts cut out. The damn thing cut out again with twelve seconds left and increasingly desperate play-by-play guy shrieking like his beer was on fire. I think Fondy won, though.

Standy by for leaderboard update.

Why do the play-by-play guys hate Fondy so much?

First the Stevens Point love fest. Now Eau Claire. I haven't seen two people do such a crappy job of hiding their true feelings since my Grandma gave my brother and me a belt-making kit for Christmas. Cripes, why don't these two guys just go down and broadcast from the Old Abes bench? GO FONDY!

Superior Holds Off Tomah: DeLuca Stays #1, But Stephens Crashes Party Once Again

It was a great game for two full periods. Tomah even held a 3-2 lead for a while, but Superior finds itself in yet another championship game, much to Dan Krewson's delight. Looking at the Leaderboard, we find DeLuca (251) still in charge, but all that will change if Fondy loses tonight's second game versus Eau Claire Memorial. If that happens, it comes down to Krewson (226) versus--drum roll, please--John "Day School" Stephens (226) in tomorrow's championship tilt. And ladies and gentlemen, how about a hand to Tony "Coach" Landgraf? After an up and down tournament, Tony has clawed his way all the way back into third position. This reporter can't say enough about that scrappy kid.

Tomah settling down, pressuring Johnson--SCORE!!

Could easily be 3-1, Tomah right now. Superior goalie Kyle Johnson suddenly busier than the bartender at Lindsey Lohan's bat mitzvah. And looky here! Willy Nicksic just scored for the Indians. The tide is turning, much to the joy of the clearly pro-Tomah crowd. Superior hasn't registered a shot on net since mid-period.

Superior 1, Tomah 1, end of first period.

Superior draws first blood; Krewson starting to feel it.

Tomah goalie Nick Nicewanger is standing on his head right now, and he's the difference between a tight score and an outright rout. Pat Delbec scores at 8:07 of the first period, giving Superior an early lead. Tomah being outshot 10-2. Not looking good for the Indians, despite a crushing check from Derek Nofsinger that has the Tomah fans hopping.

Tomah vs. Superior underway!

You can listen live here. Trasher and company seem to have solved some of the audio problems from yesterday. Also, if you are experiencing "rebuffering" errors, check your media player settings and increase your buffer length. Godspeed.

Quarterfinal Recaps

Tomah to Naysayers: BITE ME!
Tomah vs. Homestead Recap

Nick Nicewanger (pronounced "Neesh-wonger") makes big save.
Fondy makes plays, Point makes excuses.
Fondy vs. Stevens Point Recap

Coach Nichol tries to rally his stunned troops.
3,800 watch Superior shake off Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago.
Superior vs. KM Recap


The Conehead Line strikes again; Cinderella Regents go home.
Madison West vs. Eau Claire Memorial Recap

FRIDAY'S MAILBAG: Moe In Grip of Tomah Fever, More Surely to Follow

This office has learned that Erik Moe, facing a mountain of debt and lukewarm career opportunities, has contacted realtors in the Tomah area. "It's time to start fresh," the pale Norwegian writes, "And what better place to face life's third act than in the new Xanadu of Wisconsin prep hockey." This reporter can't help but read a little desperation between the lines of the brief email. "There's some great buys if anyone else in the pool is interested," Moe writes.

Cindy Crawford body double Lexi Moe, the once promising film director's wife, could not be reached at the couple's sprawling mansion in Westlake Village, but reports of shrill male shrieking and shattering chew cups are currently being investigated. More details forthcoming.

Ice Shavings Settle On a Great Day of Hockey; DeLuca Solidifies Lead

A quick look at the leaderboard: DeLuca looking strong with 219 points. Bisesto (203) one big win away from catching up. Cobb (203) stubbornly refuses to relinquish her stranglehold on a medal, but with only 32 possible points still on her table, will have to face the truth today. Albrecht (197) can still take home a long overdue medal, but has no hope of catching DeLuca. Ditto for Stephens (194), who grossly underestimated Bisesto's ability to gain ground in the middle rounds. The sleeper of the pool remains Dan Krewson (194), the only contender to choose Superior to take home the title.

Seminfinal games begin at 3PM PST. Stay tuned for updates.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

East Coast Bastards Screw with Rudy Again; Commissioner Vows Revenge

See long-winded explanation from Bracketmaker below. Top Line: Due to some overhyped bastards in Massachusetts (who cares about Massachusetts sports?), we will have spotty leaderboard access during the most critical point in our tournament, the only tournament that really matters. My sincere apologies.

Hopefully I'll be able to get online later tonight for an update. In the meantime, if anyone out there was nerdy enough to have printed out the last round of scores and isn't ashamed to admit it, send them my way and we'll track this baby the old-fashioned way.

Hey, if Fondy can take down SPASH, we can muddle through this latest challenge. Onward.
BracketMaker Users,

Our apologies for not being able to answer your phone calls and emails sooner. Our top priority was to focus on the emergency, otherwise the volume of inquiries we received tonight would have delayed the troubleshooting procedures. Rest assured that when the server goes down for ANY reason, we am aware of it and already working on it because we use the Hyperspin.com monitoring service with 10 geographic locations all over the planet and SMS cell phone plus email alerts.

We have confirmed that once again the problem tonight is a large traffic jam. At this time the server is responsive, but there is still heavy traffic and periodic waves of timeouts. Based on historical data, including yesterday's trend, it will get progressively better over the next hour or so.

After reviewing yesterday's server stats, we found the organization that is generating the most traffic. It is the MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association at www.miaa.net). They are starting some huge state-wide high school tournaments there and we're getting the most hits from miaa.ezstream.net.

We had already ordered a new server today even before tonight's episode, because yesterday made it obvious that BracketMaker and the MIAA's success have grown to the point where we need to install another server to distribute the load. We will have this new server within 24 to 48 hours. Our apologies for the inconvenience, but growing pains are inevitable. We're doing everything we can as quickly as possible to limit the duration. Thanks for your patience!

-Kenric

Bracketmaker Crashes; Panic Ensues

Eau Claire Memorial rolls over Madison West in a yawner, 8-3. Real excitement takes place with Bracketmaker.com, which has msyteriously crashed, thus locking us out of the leaderboard. Stand by for details.

SMASH goes SPASH; Fondy Rolls to Easy Victory

The snow is falling in Madison, burying the title dreams of previously undefeated Stevens Point. The Panthers just got their SPASH handed to them by the Fon du Lac Cardinals, much to the dismay of the shamelessly pro-Panther play-by-play broadcast team.

(Personal Aside to Trasher and RADIO WiPH: Come on, fellas, Fondy just pulled off an amazing upset. This game was never close. And you two spend the entire post-game congratulating the Panthers on their valiant loss? Like Rodney Dangerfield, these Fondy Cardinals just can't get any respect. Here's hoping Trasher's broadcast team can be a little more objective with the remaining games. Until then, this reporter is jumping back on the Fondy bandwagon and riding it like he never hopped off it in the first place.)

Meanwhile, the pool leaderboard has seen more changes than a Kevin Brown copydeck. Tracy DeLuca has widened her lead over Bisesto. Despite the KM loss, Cobb joins Bisesto in second place, but she's as doomed as a six-pointer in Stu Keith's backyard. Albrecht just won't go away, folks, scratching and fighting his way back into medal contention. But look out, here comes former Iggy Pop roadie Dan Krewson, quietly riding a dark horse named the Superior Spartans into a fourth place tie with John Stephens. And dare I waste any more ink on Anthony Landgraf's rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches rollercoaster? He's sitting on the outside in sixth position, and looks stronger than ever.

Peter Rudy (R), reacts to announcement that wife, Shauna Rudy (L), has just passed him in the latest Leaderboard Standings.
On the other side of the coin, once unbeatable Brian Kobylinski continues his slide to irrelevance, ringing in at #8. In an even sadder development, Peter Rudy finds himself now trailing his wife, Shauna, who spent three-and-half minutes filling out her brackets to his fourteen hours.

Stevens Point in Trouble, DeLuca and Bisesto Taking Charge

Fondy dominating the undefeated SPASH Panthers, 6-3, after two periods. Commissioner kicking himself for turning his back on these incredibly scrappy Cardinals. This could be their year, folks. And the WSHSHP just might have its second female champion! Stand by.

Who is Tracy DeLuca?

A lot of pool veterans want to know more about this sudden contender. How best to describe Ms. DeLuca? Talented copywriter? Versatile musician? Sardonic blogger? How about Prep Hockey Pool Dominatrix? This broad knows her hockey as well as Jamie Moe knows the lyrics to Blizzard of Ozz.

DeLuca & Bisesto Take Lead; Herpes-Like Stephens Refuses to Go Away

Halfway through Quarterfinals Thursday, and the Leaderboard looks like Andy Karofsky's living room after an all-night Dungeons & Dragons bash, that is to say, a shambles. Compulsive gambler Tracy DeLuca continues to play hard and fast, and now finds herself sharing the number one spot with, of all people, corporate ladder climber William Bisesto. And look who's crawled out of hiding? Schoolmaster John Stephens is back in medal contention with 178 points, following closely by pretender Dylan DiBona, currently savoring his last taste of contention the way this reporter savors a day-old Krispee Kreme doughnut.

Don't count out Koby, who looks to gain some major ground with the two contests yet to be played. And talk about the Rise of the Phoenix: take a look at Anthony Landgraf. Since announcing his own firing a mere week ago, this scrappy moto cross champ from the rough streets of Fremont finds himself back in the Top Ten with 160 points, proving that when it comes to Wisconsin High School Hockey, life does indeed have a second act.

Stay tuned for more exciting prep hockey action.

Superior Soars, Cobb Collapses


Juliana Cobb receives word of Sean Graskey's goal via her innovative scalp antenna; partner Aviva Kapust appears already blissfully resigned to her fate.
Sam Frank scored 32 seconds into the third period, briefly giving the Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago Lasers a glimmer of hope, before Superior's Sean Graskey put the game away for good at 14:11. John Ledox's second goal of the tilt, an empty-netter with less than a minute to play, was the final stake in KM's (and Juliana Cobb's) heart. Final score: Superior 4, KM 1. Juliana does not walk away from this battle empty-handed, though. It's safe to say she has earned the respect and admiration of prep hockey prognosticators everywhere.

Superior Dominates First Period Against KM, Cobb Reeling

We're done with one period in Game #2 and Superior has already put two goals past Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago's Kyle Johnson. Everyone at 600 Battery knows Juliana Cobb is one tough cookie, but she may have met her match against the Spartans of Superior. Stay tuned.

BREAKING NEWS: Nicewanger Not Pronounced the Way We Hoped It Was

According the barely audible team of hockey enthusiasts broadcasting the game live over the Internet, Tomah's red-hot goaltender, Nick Nicewanger, pronounces his last name "Neesh-wonger." Good to know. And lest Mr. Nicewanger thinks we're making fun of him, allow me to remind him that while he is having the time of his young and promising life (and missing school too boot), I'm a bitter alcoholic who rests his balding head every night on a pillow of shattered dreams.

Tomah Proves Doubters Wrong; Bisesto and Albrecht Make Their Move

Until five minutes ago, Tomah, Wisconsin was best known for being the hometown of Frank King, creator of the delightful Gasoline Alley comic strip. Now it's known as the Dairyland's new hockey hotbed, having just raged against naysayers, tradition and a savage Homestead Highlander squad to earn hard-fought 4-2 victory in today's first quarterfinal on the Big Ice.

Only two members of the pool picked the Indians to advance, which means a wine-sucking Bill Bisesto picks up 16 ginormous points and is suddenly very much in the thick of things, only one point behind leader Brian Kobylinski. And I don't mean to alarm anyone, but Oliver "Semper Fi" Albrecht also chose Tomah, and has quietly amassed 165 points in the process. If Tomah turns out to be not the paper tiger this office (and many others) labeled them, Bisesto (who has Tomah making it to the final game) could very well prove that leaving the agency-side is hardly his last excellent decision.

Trasher and Co. Broadcasting LIVE from the Big Ice!

Trasher and company have set up their pirate radio station at the Alliant Center and are broadcasting the Final Eight live, starting now. Audio quality and network performance spotty at best, but the Wisconsin accents and pure enthusiasm are priceless. And the expanded box scores, complete with player stats, is a nice touch. Nice work, gentlemen! I'd gladly surrender a digit, maybe even a testicle, to be there in person.

Erstad Named Player of the Year

Congratulations to high-scoring SPASH forward Travis Erstad for being named Wisconsin High School Hockey Player of the Year. It's quite an honor for the future Badger, one that overshadows his recent win in the highly-contested Aldo Nova Look-a-Like Contest.