Sunday, 31 January 2021

A Little Housekeeping

Having spent the last two weeks posting team previews for the nine active Canada West teams and the one "in limbo" Canada West team, there's a handful of things that have happened in the hockey world that need a bit of attention so today's housekeeping will tend to those matters. I should note that the lede image is not of my legs or floor, so whoever is doing that sweeping seems to be doing a fine job in keeping that floor clean of debris and dirt. There won't be much debris or dirt in this article today, but, like a floor needing a sweeping, there will be some stuff that caught my attention that should possibly have caught yours Let's dive into that here and now!


All nine Canada West teams got a preview as to who would have suited up this season for each of the squads over the last two weeks, and I devoted one extra day to the Lethbridge Pronghorns who, as we know, wouldn't have played, but I feel those players, staff, and everyone working behind the scenes to bring the program back deserve the respect of having a preview done.

In case you missed any of those previews, they're all linked here for your convenience.

Where's Your Letter? - Part 1

I was doing some hunting for stats and information about former Mount Royal Cougars forward Kennedy Bozek who is currently playing in Austria as part of the EWHL's Lakers Kärnten. In my search for Miss Bozek's statistical records for this season, I came across the photo to the right on the Lakers Kärnten Instagram page that specifically shows the captain's "C" directly above the team logo across the chest, directly below the collar's low point in the middle of the jersey. That's clearly not where we're used to seeing the captaincy designation, but it's also pretty evident that the two logo on either shoulder forced the Lakers Kärnten into moving the captaincy designation to somewhere a little more noticeable.

Do I like it there? No. It looks out of place entirely. While I respect that the Lakers Kärnten need captains and those have to be designated for gameplay, could those logos on the shoulders not be moved onto the shoulder yoke just above where they currently sit, allowing for the captaincy designation to be put back on the left shoulder? This seems very easily resolved, but seeing that "C" over the wordmark just irks me something fierce!

The "W" Stands for "WHY?"

I still can't accept this jersey as being an honest-to-goodness regular NHL jersey for the Washington Capitals in today's day and age. After getting the "Screaming Eagle" jerseys back as part of the Reverse Retro collection, why would they opt to redesign the Stadium Series jerseys as their alternates for the next four seasons?!?

The "Capitol Building" jersey should have been the alternate jersey they brought back instead of the garbage they introduced this past week above. Even if they rendered this in red or white with blue accents, it would look better than the Stadium Series Redux jersey above. I don't understand why NHL teams insist on using garish designs when they have good ideas sitting in their closets. Just seeing that logo makes me think of the Capitals as opposed to the block "W" above that tells me nothing about who this team is or where they call home. Is it Wichita? Washington State? Winnipeg? Warsaw, Poland? Oh, it's the Washington (DC) Capitals, I'm told. Brutal.

Where's Your Letter? - Part 2

The player in the image to the right is Clarkon University Golden Knights forward Zach Tsekos. Zach calls Montreal his hometown, and he transferred to Clarkson from Sacred Heart University in 2018-19 so he was ineligible to play for that season. After playing a solid junior season in 2019-20 where he ended as Clarkson's fourth-leading scorer with 26 points in 34 games, Zach was named captain in his 2020-21 senior season for the squad. As you can see above, that leads to all sorts of problems with regards to the Clarkson white alternate jersey and the number placement on said jersey.

A few people on social media have joked that they know which seat on the airplane Tsekos is sitting in for road trips, and they're not wrong that the "17C" on Tsekos' jersey looks entirely wrong. But here's where things get weird: the photo above was taken during the December 23 game against Colgate where Clarkson lost 5-4 in overtime. We can be certain this photo is from that game as it's the only game this season that Tsekos and the Golden Knights wore their white alternates against Clarkson so far this season.

They'd play Quinnipiac next for a three-game series on January 8 to 10, and they wore their whites for the January 9 game where the image to the left of Tsekos was captured with the captaincy designation on the opposite shoulder as the number! I'm not saying that the equipment manager for the Golden Knights needs to be praised, but whoever looked at Tsekos' uniform after the December 23 game and thought, "Yeah, that 'C' just doesn't work there" should be given an immediate raise of whatever money he or she is making. While still slightly cluttered by the ECAC logo on the jersey, the number and the captaincy designation are clearly separate and defined on their own as they should be. Well done on cleaning up this jersey gaffe, Clarkson!

From The Ice To The Water

I had a note dropped to me yesterday by Stephanie Gross that her future on the ice has paused at the university level for reasons aside from the University of Lethbridge cancelling the program, but she is still proudly representing the university in another capacity. Stephanie, who would have been one of the two goalies for the Pronghorns this season, reached out to let me know that she's moved to a new team on campus as she looked to continue a sporting career, and you can find her in the pool as she's joined the University of Lethbridge swim team! We know a lot of good hockey players are multi-sport athletes growing up, and it's pretty clear that Stephanie has some talent as a swimmer as she is officially on the Lethbridge swimming roster.

How cool is that? I had implored other teams across Canada to reach out to the Pronghorns players in order to find them a new home, but I never even considered that a team from a different sport would reach out and bring in one of the players seeking a new place to play. Best of luck in the pool, Stephanie, and I'll keep an eye on the results in the water to keep everyone in the loop when it comes to your success!

Coming Up Next On HBIC...

This past weekend would have normally been a busy one for me as the annual Female World Sport School Challenge would have seen me at the BellMTS Iceplex all weekend calling games for one of the biggest and best tournaments for women playing at the Bantam level of hockey. With Manitoba currently in a restricted situation on account of the pandemic, that tournament was obviously not happening which makes me a little sad inside because it was always four days or exceptional hockey by a lot of women we'll see at the university level in the coming years.

That being said, I have recordings of some of the games from last year's tournament that will see me post some of the more exciting games that featured players you will see in Canada West starting in 2021-22 all week long. Unfortunately, I don't have recordings for all sixteen teams that were at the tournament last year as we were situated on one rink that contained one pool of teams. However, we did get to see a number of teams play on that rink as the tournament wound down, so there will be different teams featured each day for the most part with the gold-medal game featured next Saturday.

If you're a fan of high-level women's hockey - and, judging by social media furor for the two-week NWHL tournament, you are - you'll probably enjoy the audio of these games to go along with the notes I make about each of the games and the teams featured. Starting on Monday, we'll kick things off with the Edmonton Pandas and Thunder Bay Queens as they tangled last year on Thursday, January 30 at the Canadian Tire rink at the BellMTS Iceplex!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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