Nate Schmidt Talks Leaving Minnesota, NHL Goals

Post-game interviews following losses are rarely pleasant. Exhausted players anxious to mourn their defeat away from the cameras and microphones are forced by people like to me to relive an unsuccessful 60 minutes. After watching the Hershey Bears fall 3-2 to the Syracuse Crunch on December 27th, I expected a short, sad interview with a defenseman recently assigned to Hershey from the Washington Capitals. Turns out, Nate Schmidt is an exception to this rule.

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 Annie Erling Gofus

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus)

The 22-year-old Minnesota native has played 29 games with the Washington Capitals this season, tallying 2 goals and 4 assists. After a long stint with the Caps, the 6’0″, 194-pound blueliner has bounced back and forth between Washington and Chocolatetown since mid-December. Most recently, Schmidt was re-assigned to Hershey on January 25th. After three seasons with the University of Minnesota, Schmidt made his professional debut with the Hershey Bears at the end of the 2012-2013 season. The blueliner totalled 12 goals and 62 assists in 96 games as a Golden Gopher.

Although he’s known as a d-man with a penchant for shooting the puck, Schmidt’s most defining trait might be his ever-present smile. And with his trademark grin firmly in place, Schmidt kicked off what was, hands down, the most cheerful and least canned post-game interview I have ever conducted. Read on to see what Nate had to say about Minnesota, his first NHL goal, and teaming up with a former rival.

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus)

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus)

You played three years at the University of Minnesota, what made you decide to leave early?

I was an undrafted free agent, so it was kind of like being recruited for college all over again. I talked to a lot of different teams. I was thinking about (leaving) after my sophomore year, but education was huge and I know my mom would not have been very happy with me. So, I almost finished (school), I think I had about two classes after the semester left. I almost did all four years in three, but we did summer school, we were down there all year. It was kind of time. I think there were three or four of us that all left at the same time. It was kind of like a big group decision.

You were all Juniors?

Yea, I think it was myself, Nick Bjugstad, he’s playing in Florida right now; Erik Haula, he’s playing for the Wild; and Zach Budish, he’s playing in Milwaukee.

Are you happy you made that decision to leave early?

I had an unbelievable time there. I loved it, every second of college I loved. We had a great team, the school is awesome, the college lifestyle obviously (laughs). The guys who play Major Junior in Canada don’t get to experience it. It’s one of those things: I made the decision, I moved on with it, I’m really happy with where I am right now.

What was your time like in Washington?

It was good. It started off kind of slow. It was being a little a nervous at first. Just trying to get out those first game jitters, but the guys are great up there. They really brought me into the team, and (showed me) how the NHL works, and how the game is different from any other level I’ve played at. It was a great experience, and something that I can try to apply here.

(Schmidt scored his first NHL goal on December 7, 2013 against Marek Mazanec of the Nashville Predators.)

What was your first NHL goal like?

Aw, boy. It was, awww… I didn’t do a whole lot (laughs).

You’re not supposed to say that! Take credit for it!

I’ve gotta give the credit where it’s due. Marty Erat made a great play off the face-off, throws a waist-high pass to me and he sucks the guy in and I’m wide open, so all I had to do was shoot it in. And Joel Ward makes a great screen in front of the net–the goalie never really saw it. But the best part was when John Carlson almost put me in the stands after I scored. And then everyone came over with the congratulatory hug and almost threw me into the third world. It was good though.

It must have been pretty surreal in your first year of professional hockey to be able to experience that.

I would never have guessed that this year would have gone the way it has. It’s been a lot of fun.

How are you planning to continue turning heads up here in Hershey?

I’ve just got to get back to my game. The game’s a little different, and you’ve got to adapt your style to the way the game’s played…. I’m trying to hone in more on my skills I haven’t worked on in the last couple months. I’m trying to be as complete as a player as possible.

Tonight, you were on the ice pretty often with Chay Genoway, who is a University of North Dakota alum. Is there any kind of rivalry between the two of you?

He brought it up before the game! He brought up this bad chemistry right before the game started (laughs). He said, “I can’t believe this, I’m playing with…” I don’t know if it was “a bleepin’ Gopher” or what he said, I’m not really positive, but it was along those lines (laughs). He said it with a smile, I knew he was joking. But you know, it hurt a little bit.

He’s got lots of attitude.

He does, I’m telling you!

I’m glad you were able to put your rivalry aside for tonight.

He’s a great guy and I like him. (UND hockey players) are not as all bad as we think they are.

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The Final Countdown: How to Prepare for the CrossFit Open

‘Tis the season to put your CrossFit training to the test! The CrossFit Games season is upon us with registration now live, and competitors training for the February 27th release of the first Open workout. You squat all year with this elite athletic contest in mind, but now is the time to up the ante in pursuit of a spot at Regionals.

Here are seven tips to jack up your CrossFit Open training:

1. MARK YOUR CALENDAR

The first Open workout will be released on February 27th. Over the course of five weeks, one workout will be released every Thursday, giving competitors until the following Monday at 5 p.m. Pacific Time to officially record their scores. Mark the dates and ensure you have adequate time to attempt the workout and record your performance. It’s also important to note that some affiliates join together to judge workouts publicly. This is done in an attempt to take pressure off individual boxes and to build camaraderie between athletes. Check with your box or local affiliates to see if any group workouts are schedule for the CrossFit Open.

2. DO PAST WORKOUTS

The CrossFit Games website has posted all the Open Workouts from the past three years. Try your hand at the workouts and judge your performance to determine what you should focus on when moving forward with your training. http://games.crossfit.com/workouts/the-open/2012

3. FINE TUNE SKILLS

As you attempt past Open workouts, are there specific moves you struggle with? It’s important to move efficiently to prevent fatigue and injury. If there are moves you cannot do flawlessly, now is the time to master them.

4. TARGET MOBILITY AND STABILITY WEAKNESSES

Each CrossFit move depends heavily on stable spines and flexible joints. As you work your way through past Open workouts, note any instability or stiffness you may feel. Add more stretches, yoga, or longer recovery sessions into your workouts.

5. BUILD STAMINA

In the three or four weeks leading up to the first Open workout, do all WODs at 100%. Upping the intensity is an excellent way to prepare for the pressure of the competition and also identify your weaknesses. Going 100% may mean adding more rest days into your schedule, but a little extra rest and relaxation is vital to your performance.

6. REST

The week before the first Open workout is released, consider cutting down your WOD volume. One option is to complete your regular WODs but cut the repetitions in half or reduce loads to the minimum. Minimizing the impact on your body while still staying sharp is key to performing at your best. Throughout the five-week Open, make sure to rest… a lot.

7. TEST YOUR MENTAL STRENGTH

Checking the leaderboard on the CrossFit Games website can be both exhilarating and debilitating. Seeing so many competitors from all over the world is exciting, but noting the ability of these extraordinary athletes can make you question your own strength and skill. Remember that you’re capable of more than you think. Training for the CrossFit Games puts a lot of emphasis on physical strength, but staying mentally strong is just as important.

Originally published by http://www.wodlounge.com/7-ways-to-prep-for-the-crossfit-open/

A Knight in Padded Armour: Profile of Calgary Flames Prospect Corban Knight

If one were to ask the average American grandmother to describe a hockey player she might say, “big, bruised and mean.” While big and bruised might be accurate, Abbotsford Heat centre and Flames prospect Corban Knight takes the thuggish stereotype and turns it on its head. With a strong connection to family, deep roots in Canada and a pure-and-simple love for the game, it’s tough to find a more passionate player and sincerely nice athlete than Knight.

Like so many professional players before him, Corban Knight, 23, learned to skate as soon as he was steady on his feet. Growing up in a small Canadian town, he first strapped on skates with his parents and five siblings at the outdoor rink (like any good Canadian boy). And while these early memories are fuzzy, he can vividly describe what it was like growing up with hockey in Canada.

“For me growing up every chance I could get I was playing, whether it be street hockey or on the pond or hand hockey in the house hallway. I was just always finding ways to play hockey. I think just the fact that you’re in Canada… from a young age you learn about the game. You grow up with it. Having a love for the game and learning a lot about it, too because you’re always playing.”

At 6’2”, 200 pounds, Knight sizes up nicely against the average NHL player who stands 6’1.3” and weighs 203.7 pounds. But measuring in at approximately 5’3” at age 14, Corban’s size worked against him as he was overlooked by Major Junior teams. After Midget Hockey, Corban played Junior A with the Okotoks Oilers—a team just down the road from his family in High River, Alberta and with connections to his dream school, the University of North Dakota.

“My mom always pressured education with us… The fact that I can go to college, get a degree and also play really good hockey appealed to me,” Corban explained. “I knew I wanted to go to college and specifically North Dakota. And (the Okotoks Oilers) had had a couple players go there before me, so it was almost like they had a pipeline, connections to the coaches. And I thought it would really help my chances with UND.”

Almost five years later, Corban still remembers the exact day he committed to UND—January 7, 2009. Over his four years in North Dakota, Knight left his mark as the 27th highest scorer in UND’s history with 146 points (52 goals, 94 assists) in 161 games, as a record-setting face-off winner and as a Hobey Baker Memorial Award Top 10 finalist. Not every player sees four years of college hockey through to the end—some follow the bright lights to a professional career early. But he doesn’t regret his decision to stay in Grand Forks.

“It could change in 20 years, but right now staying (at UND) for all four years has been the best decision of my life… Grand Forks and UND is such a special place that, for me, to leave early just didn’t make sense.”

Originally drafted by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round (135th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Knight assumed he would start his professional hockey career on the sandy beaches of The Sunshine State. But nothing is certain in the life of an athlete:

“My agent called me one day and said, ‘Calgary is really interested…’ So, I met with the management and I really had a good feeling about it. They all seemed like great guys and it just seemed like a good fit for me. So, the trade happened and it was pretty special that I got traded to basically my hometown.”

In June 2013, Corban was traded to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fourth-round draft selection in the 2013 NHL Draft. The 4,644 km jump from Florida to Alberta was a happy one for Knight:

“Growing up, I was around the Flames. Everyone in my part of the country just bleeds for that team. It was a pretty surreal experience that I was getting traded to a team like that. Even with their farm team here in Abbotsford, just the fact that I was closer to home and in Canada is pretty special to me. My mom was pretty happy that’s for sure.”

Knight wrapped up a successful college hockey career in the spring of 2013, and trained hard all summer in preparation for the Flames’ training camps. After a successful run at development camp, Knight approached September eager to fight for a spot on Calgary’s roster. Just four days before NHL roster submissions were due, Corban was assigned to Calgary’s AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat.

“Obviously, when it didn’t work out and they sent me down here to Abbotsford, it was tough at first just because you’re so close to achieving one of your childhood dreams of playing in the NHL. But at the same time, you realize that this is a process and I just needed to come down here and work on my game… At first it’s disappointing, I tried to focus in on the positives and really focus on getting better down here.”

Nestled in the mountains about an hour east of Vancouver, Abbotsford is a scenic place to kick-off a professional hockey career. Knight has enjoyed a strong start to his first pro season, tallying 28 points (9 goals, 19 assists) in 39 games. Outside of the rink, he has also settled into a comfortable (and dare we say, ironic) living situation, sharing an apartment with two teammates, including current linemate and former rival, Ben Hanowski.

“Ben Hanowski played at St. Cloud State when I was at North Dakota. So for four years we were hated rivals and now we’re living together and playing on the same line.”

Reflecting on his career so far, Knight offered some advice to young players with professional aspirations.

“You’ve gotta work hard. There are so many ups and downs in hockey. For me, I got cut from a couple teams. At the time maybe you’re like, well, maybe my career is over and maybe I should pack it in and look at something else. That’s the great thing about hockey, there are always so many chances to play and to make something out of yourself… As long as you work hard, there’s a lot of potential to do pretty great things out there.”

And why did Corban Knight keep playing after being cut from teams and overlooked by scouts as a teenager because of his size? It’s simple.

“Just the love of the game. Hockey is such a huge part of my life. And I love it so much that it was something that I just didn’t want to quit. I knew that if I just kept working hard that good things would happen.”

 

Originally published at http://flamesnation.ca/2014/1/17/a-knight-in-padded-armur-a-look-at-abbotsfords-corban-knight#comments

Annie Erling Gofus writes for http://www.summitolympus.com . Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

The Smallest and Best CrossFit Tool: Your Mobile Phone

Your CrossFit toolbox is full of kettlebells, foam rollers and weight plates. But your most portable CrossFit tool? Your mobile phone!

Put your iPhone to work at more than just Tweeting. Use it to track your progress, time your intervals and find sweat-inducing WODs hundreds of miles from the gym. Here are the seven hottest CrossFit apps for iPhone and Android.

 

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SUGAR WOD

SugarWOD puts your gym in the palm of your hand. Even away from the box, you can log your workout results, check the leaderboard and send your comrades virtual fist bumps. SugarWOD is available free for iPhone and connects you to CrossFitters across the globe as well as to thousands of workouts.

 

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TIMERS PRO

Utilized by the bigwigs at crossfit.comTimers Pro is an incredibly simple tool used by CrossFit pros. Timer Pro offers six different timers to its users, from interval timer, to stopwatch, to lap timer. Listen to music while running as many timers as you like, and count reps or sets by touching anywhere on the screen. This app is available for iPhone and costs $1.99.

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UBERSENSE

Used by more than a million athletes and coaches, Ubersense is the ultimate way to record, analyze and improve your skills. Record or import video of your moves and analyze your abilities with slow-motion playback, zoom and side-by-side comparisons. Share your progress online and turn to the Ubersense community for drills and coaching profiles that will help you improve. This is an invaluable tool for coaches hoping to train and track their clients’ progress. Ubersense is available for free on iPhone.

 

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RUNKEEPER

More than 26.2 million people use RunKeeper to track their runs, bike rides, cross-country skiing and more using their phone’s GPS. RunKeeper offers users detailed statistics about their physical activity, including pace, distance and time. Stay motivated with Personal Record notifications when you reach a new milestone, and follow training plans to meet your goals. This app is available for free on iPhone and Android.

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MYFITNESSPAL

Fitness is about more than just pumping iron and running a marathon. Watch what you eat with help from MyFitnessPal. This free app remembers your favorite dishes, saves entire meals and has a massive food database for users to browse. Set calorie goals and let MyFitnessPal break down your daily diet into fats, carbs, protein, fiber and more. Enter workouts and track how many calories you consume and burn each day with the help of this comprehensive app available on iPhone and Android.

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BIG LIFTS 2

Leaves the spreadsheets at home and track your strength, 5/3/1 and Smolov Junior training with this easy to use app. Big Lifts 2 is free on iPhone and Android and allows users to add and modify lifts and log lifts through cycles. Let Big Lifts calculate your plate load and check out detailed graphs that track your progress

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TRAVEL WODS

Travel across the globe with your CrossFit box packed in your carry-on! The Travel WODs app includes over 120 Workouts of the Day that require zero pieces of equipment. Use your bodyweight to rock various CrossFit workouts in hotel rooms, bedrooms or small workout areas. Use Travel WODs’ white board to track your progress and add new workouts to challenge yourself. A built-in timer and progress graph makes reaching new goals easy. Travel WODs costs $1.99 and is available for iPhone and Android.

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/smallest-powerful-crossfit-tool-mobile-phone-app/

Tune In To Tone Up: The Best CrossFit YouTube Channels

The internet is overflowing with incredible CrossFit resources. From Twitter feeds to blogs, online CrossFit knowledge is endless. For a visual look at this sport, look no further than YouTube where CrossFitters across the globe post videos about technique, competition and pure-and-simple WODs. Here are the five greatest CrossFit YouTube Channels.

CROSSFIT HQ

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This YouTube Channel is the official site for CrossFit® videos. CrossFit® explains, “The CrossFit® program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience.” This YouTube Channel demonstrates its inclusive philosophy by posting videos for everyone: from introductions to CrossFit, to inspiration for athletes, to weightlifting how-tos. This channel is for everyone from people curious about CrossFit to elite CrossFit athletes.

MOBILITY WOD

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Kelly Starrett’s YouTube Channel focuses on MobilityWOD which is billed as the ultimate guide to resolving pain, preventing injury and optimizing athletic performance. This YouTube Channel helps viewers increase flexibility and treat injuries through stretches and exercises that hone in on every joint. Starrett also helps his viewers deal with everyday pain, such as sitting through long flights in cramped airplanes.

BARBELL SHRUGGED

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Barbell Shrugged
 is recorded as a podcast but includes beautifully shot video that makes watching this CrossFit talk show even more enjoyable. Every Wednesday the Barbell Shrugged crew talks about CrossFit, strength, conditioning and throws in good natured humor that keeps viewers coming back. Check out Barbell Shrugged’s YouTube Channel to learn about the sport of CrossFit from an entertaining angle.

PAT FLYNN

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Pat Flynn’s YouTube Channel
 offers an “intelligent approach to strength, conditioning and lifestyle augmentation.” Flynn’s videos are comprehensive, covering topics from the Paleo Diet to workout tips. A majority of the videos are detailed weightlifting tutorials in which Flynn walks his viewers through various kettlebell workouts and techniques.

HOOK GRIP

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Hookgrip’s YouTube Channel is all about Olympic-style weightlifting. Viewers tune into this channel to see Olympic weightlifters in action and to learn more about professional weight lifting techniques. A handful of videos on Hookgrip’s channel offer slow-motion views of lifts, offering viewers a close-up look at expert weight lifting.

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/5-best-crossfit-youtube-channels

Spartan Race WODs at Your Fingertips

Spartan Races are among the many adventure-based races to challenge runners and fitness buffs. With four levels that range from 3 to 26 miles, Spartan Races will have you sprinting through unknown obstacles. Race organizers don’t release a map of the course before events, but you can be guaranteed mud, water, barbed wire and blazing fire—we’re serious. Created by seven ultra athletes and one Royal Marine, Spartan Race’s goal is simple: To get your heart pumping, your adrenaline rushing and motivate you towards a healthier, fitter lifestyle.

Sounds intense? It is, but Spartan Race organizers won’t just throw you into the fire—sign up online to receive Spartan Race’s Workouts of the Day. While training for your extreme race, these WODs will push you to focus on Spartan’s philosophy of total fitness: Flexibility, strength, muscle  endurance and aerobic power.

Spartan Race doesn’t keep a public database of past WODs, so what you have in your email inbox is what you get. Until now.

The fitness-focused minds over at Dirty Miles have compiled a database of past Spartan Race WODs. The list is sortable by speed, strength and endurance difficulty levels. You can also sort the list by average difficulty.

“As a Spartan Racer and general fitness enthusiast I’ve found the Spartan WOD’s to be very beneficial,” explains Dario Cantatore, the brains behind the Spartan WOD database. “The Spartan Race company emails the WOD’s every day but they don’t keep a running list of them, so if you haven’t subscribed before you will never see the list of workouts you have missed in the past.” To solve this problem, Dirty Miles has put each and every Spartan WOD at your fingertips.

Cantatore updates the WOD database every 1-2 weeks, which keeps you—and extreme racers like you—sweating it out with Spartan workouts. With an easy to navigate list, Dirty Miles will motivate you to kick up your training for a Spartan Race. Every extra burpee counts when there’s fire standing between you and the finish line.

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/spartan-race-wods-fingertips/ 

Warroad Drops the Gloves for Hockeytown, USA Title

Warroadians like to say that their small Minnesota town is known for three things: Walleye, windows and hockey. Walleye because of its prime location on Lake of the Woods, windows because Marvin Windows and Doors is headquartered there and hockey because of sheer numbers.

With a population of 1,781 in 2010, Warroad, Minnesota has produced a surprising number of professional and Olympic hockey players. With nine hometown kids skating in the big leagues over the years, Warroad is slowly reclaiming the title “Hockeytown, USA” from Detroit. While the Motor City earned this nickname years ago due to its habit of winning Stanley Cup championships, Warroad’s right to the moniker has been earned through its community’s rich hockey tradition.

Christian Brothers Hockey Sticks Warroad MN

Roger, left, and Bill (Billy) Christian outside their Christian Bros. hockey stick factory in Warroad, Minn., August 1988. Star Tribune staff photo.

Sure, the Detroit Red Wings’ 11 Stanley Cup wins may carry more weight than Warroad’s six high school state championship titles in the past 20 years, and a four-time National Champ—now defunct—amateur American Senior ice hockey team. But considering this tiny Minnesota town’s population is 350 times smaller than Detroit, it’s jaw-dropping that Warroad has produced more homegrown Olympians than you can shake a hockey stick at.

Warroad’s hockey pride can be linked back to its first Olympic athlete, Gordon Christian, who won a silver medal playing for the U.S. at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Italy. This was just the start of the Christian family’s strong hockey-influence on Warroad. In 1960, brothers Bill and Roger Christian won Olympic gold medals playing hockey for the U.S., and 20 years later, Dave Christian was a member of the “Miracle on Ice” 1980 U.S. men’s hockey team that brought home gold.

With gold medals earning them rock star status back home in Minnesota, Bill and Roger Christian, along with Hal Bakke, founded the Christian Brothers Hockey Company based in Warroad. The sons of a carpenter, the Christians began producing hockey sticks in 1964 using the slogan “Hockey Sticks Made by Hockey Players.” The company’s big break came in 1980 after Bill’s son Dave won Olympic gold as part of the “Miracle on Ice” team.

Thanks to free publicity from members of the U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team, sales increased approximately 40%, but by the mid-’80s, the Christian Brothers began to feel the squeeze of competition from Easton—a baseball bat manufacturer that expanded into hockey sticks. With some big-name endorsements and a profit margin of more than 30%, Easton slowly pulled ahead of the Christian Brothers, eventually leaving them in the dust. As hockey players shifted away from wooden sticks, the Christian Brothers could no longer compete and finally shuttered their factory in 2003.

After its factory, name and trademarks changed hands several times, the Christian Brothers’ tradition of made-in-America hockey sticks found new life in 2012 with BOA Athletics. After purchasing the Christian Brothers’ manufacturing equipment, Boa has continued producing high-quality hockey sticks, including the classic wooden sticks made famous by the Warroad Olympians. Operating alongside BOA, are Eleven Hockey and Olympus Athletics—founded by Warroad native Jay Fisher and James Marvin, Eleven Hockey began as a hockey R & D lab and private labeling company before morphing into Olympus, an online sporting goods retailer.

Hockey tradition in Warroad may have started with the Christian Brothers’ American-made hockey sticks, but it doesn’t end there. Since 1980, Warroad has produced four NHL players and two more Olympic silver medal-winning hockey players. Henry Boucha is a former NHL player and 1972 Winter Olympic Silver Medalist; Alan Hangsleben is a former NHL player; T.J. Oshie is a current NHL player for the St. Louis Blues; Gisele Marvin is a current member of the United States national women’s ice hockey team and 2010 Olympic silver medalist; Brock Nelson is a current NHL player with the New York Islanders.

During 2014’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Warroad has the opportunity to be the only town in America to be represented on both the men’s and women’s Olympic hockey teams. Gisèle “Gigi” Marvin will be skating for the Red, White and Blue at the Olympics for the second time, while T.J. Oshie is in the running for his first Olympic appearance.

If anyone is keeping count—and many Warroadians most likely are—the fact that this small community of 1,781 has produced 9 NHL and Olympic-level hockey players over the past 50 years is amazing. Not to mention the dozens of Warroadians who have played outstanding hockey at other levels, and the local, made-in-America hockey companies Warroad has supported over the years. No, there isn’t something in the water. This is simply a small Minnesota town absolutely steeped in hockey tradition and culture.

Step aside, Detroit. Warroad, Minnesota is here to claim its title: Hockeytown, USA.

Annie Erling Gofus writes for http://www.summitolympus.com/. Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her atannie.erling@gmail.com.

Image Courtesy of: http://www.startribune.com/local/133688683.html

Originally Published to http://ultimatehockeynetwork.com/uhn-%E2%94%82-warroad-drops-the-gloves-for-hockeytown-usa-title/

Ultimate Hockey Network

Hershey Bears Come Out of Hibernation for Shootout Win

Two hat tricks in one night is exceptionally rare in the hockey world, but the GIANT Center was treated to just that—or, at least a version of that—on Wednesday night. In addition to Evan Rankin’s three goals for the Syracuse Crunch, the Gordie Howe Hat Trick’s namesake was in attendance for Hershey’s 4-3 win over Syracuse.

Mr. Hockey himself witnessed the Crunch’s early lead over the Bears, and looked on as Hershey brought a victory home in an 11-round shootout. When told about Howe’s presence at the game Coach Mike Haviland said:

“That’s pretty cool. Certainly one of the best to player to ever play the game, so that’s pretty special.”

Hershey Bears Alternate Captain Tyson Strachan vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013. (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

Hershey Bears Alternate Captain Tyson Strachan vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013. (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

Slow Start Ends in Shootout Win for Hershey

After ‘Cuse lit the lamp 31 seconds into the first period, Hershey trailed until the third when, with 3:02 left on the clock, Brandon Segal’s wraparound goal tied it up with help from David Kolomatis and Nate Schmidt. After an unsuccessful overtime, Hershey and Syracuse faced off in a shootout that ran 11 rounds.

Ryan Stoa’s goal kicked things off, and was followed by Stan Galiev sinking one past Kristers Gudlevskis. Rankin and Cedric Paquette scored in the second and third rounds to tie the shootout. After seven rounds of shooters were denied by David Leggio and Gudlevskis,  John Mitchell scored in the eleventh round prompting the Bears to empty their bench for an on-ice celebration.

Hat Trick for Syracuse as Gordie Howe Looks On

Hershey’s win at home can’t overshadow Rankin’s extraordinary showing. After burying a shot 31 seconds in, the Syracuse ringwinger followed up with a second lamp-lighter in the first period and rounded off his hat trick 7:49 into the second period. Unfortunately for the visiting player, not a single hat was thrown on the ice in celebration. But perhaps tallying three goals in two periods with the legendary inventor of the Gordie Howe Hat Trick as witness was good enough.

Gordie Howe is a retired Canadian hockey player famous for his scoring, strength and lengthy career. Howe is the only NHL player whose career stretched between five decades, from the 1940s to the 1980s. A four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings, he won six Hart Trophies as the league’s most valuable player and six Art Ross Trophies as the leading scorer. A Gordie Howe Hat Trick is achieved when a player scores a goal, records an assist and fights all in one game. It’s named after the infamous Howe who recorded his first namesake hat trick on December 22, 1920.

Howe attended Wednesday’s game with his son Mark Howe, a scout for the Detroit Red Wings. Discussing Howe’s presence at the GIANT Center added a level of glee to  post-game interviews.

“It’s pretty amazing that he’s still coming to all these games,” Segal commented with a smile.

Hershey Bears Julien Brouillette vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

Hershey Bears Julien Brouillette vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

Hershey witnessed an outstanding performance from the Nicolas Deschamps-Ryan Stoa-Segal line combination on Wednesday night.

“They cycle, they support each other down low, they hold onto it and they attack the net,” Coach Haviland described the trio. “They’re playing with confidence and they’ve been huge for us.”

“We’ve got some good chemistry going,” Segal said of his linemates. “We moved the puck really well down low. Just a matter of getting in there.”

Hershey Bears' Nate Schmidt and Goaltender David Leggio vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013. (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

Hershey Bears’ Nate Schmidt and Goaltender David Leggio vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013. (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

“This game is a lot about confidence.” – Coach Haviland

After their win over Syracuse, the Bears are feeling confident going into this weekend’s match-up against the Worcester Sharks.

“The last couple games we certainly have showed a lot of character coming back, and when we play the way we know how to play, we can hem some teams in,” Coach Haviland explained. “When everybody’s on board and really doing the right things and playing the right way, we’re a tough team to defend in the offensive end.”

The Bears improve to 11-9-2-3 after Wednesday’s win over the Syracuse Crunch. Hershey meets the Worcester Sharks at the GIANT Center on Saturday, December 21 at 7:00 PM and on Sunday, December 22 at 5:00 PM.

Annie Erling Gofus writes for Olympus Athletics. Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

Originally posted at http://thehockeywriters.com/hershey-bears-beat-syracuse-crunch-in-11-round-shootout/

Bucks for Burpees: Open Athletic Awards Cash for Your Fitness

We could all use a little motivation when it comes to dragging ourselves to the gym. And what better motivator to set your squats into motion than bragging rights and cash? Open Athletic kicks fitness buffs into gear with online competitions that reward the fittest with cash and prizes.

Contests are posted online along with rules, video demonstrations and prizes. Think you can out burpee the best in four minutes for $400? Prove it! Anyone can enter their scores online, but video proof is needed to win prizes. Open Athletic challenges its community to not only beat their competitors, but also themselves—users are allowed to continue posting scores until they’ve entered a personal best.

And it’s not just the strongest who win, but also the most persistent. Open Athletic’s ranking system was designed to encourage and reward individuals who frequently participate in competitions. The number of contests entered is taken into consideration when points are awarded in competitions.

Overhead squats seem unappealing now, but throw the potential to win $600 into the mix and you won’t be able to put down the barbell. Open Athletics fosters a community where you can challenge yourself, challenge others and win cold, hard cash just for hitting the gym. Get involved at openathletic.com or let their active Facebook page motivate you at facebook.com/OpenAthletic.

Who knew squats could be so rewarding?

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/bucks-burpees-open-athletic-awards-cash-fitness/

Photos: Greek Coffee on Greek Isles

You learn a lot about travel companions while on the road. Even travel companions you lived with for 16 and 13 years, and who share DNA similar to your own.

During the summer of 2012, my sister, brother and I traveled to Spain, Italy & Greece. The tale of this journey could be told in multiple posts, but I’ll start with this one: Images of Greece.

I was reluctant to visit this country, which was my brother’s choice. But rarely a week goes by without my mind drifting to Hydra–an island not far from Athens. This is a beautiful country, and I hope my photos can share even a tiny bit of its awesomeness with you.