Round of Applause
Lake Placid is my destination this weekend for the ECAC Hockey championships. (That’s college hockey, friends.) I’ve been a bit mum on Quinnipiac hockey here in these pages this winter, but that doesn’t mean the Bobcats are having anything but another great season. They’re ranked fifth in the nation right now and are the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, which holds its semifinals and finals this weekend in Lake Placid. Yes, they’re being held in the 1980 Rink at Herb Brooks Arena, which is the same sheet where the Miracle on Ice happened 34 years ago. As a full-fledged Olympics nerd, it’s going to be unreal to be inside that building. The hockey should be pretty darned good, too, with four of the top 14 teams in the country playing for the championship. Quinnipiac will be playing in the NCAA tournament the following weekend, too, most likely (hopefully) at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. The basketball tournament is awesome and all, but make sure you keep an eye on hockey coming up, too.
The #dogbracket is back for its second year after a smashing success last March. You may remember that my dog, Kacy, picked her first NCAA basketball tournament bracket last year and did a tremendous job. She nailed Wichita State and Michigan both in the Final Four and at one point early in the tournament was among the top 10th percentile in ESPN’s bracket game. Her bracket actually ended up being better than mine (not so much of an accomplishment, I guess), so I’m going to be taking some of her advice last year. Her Final Four this year is No. 15 Eastern Kentucky, No. 1 Virginia, No. 3 Creighton and No. 2 Michigan. She has Virginia beating Michigan in the national final. Her selection method is very scientific: I place two tennis balls on the floor in front of her (labeled “low” and “high” for seeds) and tell her to “GET IT” in that stupid voice we all use to talk to our dogs. Whichever one she decides to approach first is the team that moves on. When she gets disinterested, I introduce peanuts and treats as incentive. It all comes together for a great production.
The Valley Dodgeball Classic is just about two months away, and as a member of the planning committee, I’m getting awfully excited. The tournament is set for May 31 at Woodland, and it will be an all-day event filled with cutthroat dodgeball, good food and great times. It’s being put on by The Susie Foundation, Beacon Hose Co. No. 1 and the WRHS Alumni Association, and we’re hoping to attract teams from local high schools and fire departments in addition to current and former athletes just like you. All sorts of information is available on www.TheSusieFoundation.org and on our Facebook event page (“The Valley Dodgeball Classic”). We don’t have an entry deadline quite yet, but we’d love for you to register your team online sooner than later. Teams can be made up of between six and 10 players and the entry fee is $20 per player. The winning team will receive the Chief Roger Brennan Memorial Trophy, named after my grandfather, so we’re all extremely excited about it. One last thing: We really need the support of local organizations and businesses to put on this event, so if you’d like to sponsor or make a gift donation, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.