Grandville lost to Michigan high school hockey power Detroit Catholic Central, 3-0, in what was an emotional day for players on both sides of the ice. After the game, fans cheered the team loudly and held up both index fingers in honor of Fischer, who wore No. 11 for the Bulldogs, as Grandville joined together at their end of the ice.
The team then gathered closely and knelt to the ice in prayer. Soon after, they were joined by their opponents from Catholic Central, who surrounded the Grandville players to pray with them and honor Fischer.
It is one of the great acts of sportsmanship and a display of the goodness in humanity. They were opponents for 54 minutes, but after, they were just people. And the boys in maroon needed the support.
There’s a lot we already know about Boston College junior Johnny Gaudreau.
We know he is the nation’s leading scorer with his 64 points being 10 clear of the next closest player. We know he has points in 29 straight games and has been held off the scoresheet just once this year. We know he’s averaged nearly a point and a half per game over three years at BC. We know he’s the most electrifying player in college hockey in years (possibly of the last decade or more) and we can say without much trepidation he’s going to win the Hobey Baker this year.
What we don’t know is what Gaudreau is going to do next and the biggest question of them all, one that has followed Gaudreau since he started getting noticed in the USHL, will his game translate to the NHL level? (There’s another important question, too, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.)
Ryan Fischer was supposed to be there standing on the blue line with his Grandville High School teammates. If not for him, none of them may have been standing there at all. But when the Bulldogs took the ice at Compuware Arena in Plymouth, Mich., for their semifinal matchup against Michigan High School Hockey power Detroit Catholic Central Friday night, they did so without their 17-year-old co-captain.
Earlier Friday morning, Fischer was found unresponsive in his bed. Later that day, it was determined that the young hockey and football star had died of hyperthotic cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart. No warning. Few answers.
He had gone to bed around 11 p.m. the night before according to MLive.com, likely with his mind on the biggest game of his young career, and he never woke up.
Ryan Fischer was quite clearly a special person. He had been accepted to both the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy. He chose West Point and had planned to study aerospace engineering.
He was popular and kind as classmates and friends recalled. A multi-sport athlete with so much more to him than a life in sports.
After the U.S. Olympic Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams came up short in Sochi, the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team has a chance, a good one, to end the American hockey gold drought in Sochi.
The Paralympics will open Friday in Sochi, with Team USA getting on the ice for the first time Saturday against Italy.
After winning gold in Vancouver, expectations for this edition of the U.S. sled hockey team are sky high. Under the direction of legendary college hockey coach Jeff Sauer, who was not with the team in 2010, the team has several returnees from that squad that will be providing leadership and production for Team USA.
Led by goaltender Steve Cash, who did not allow a single goal in Vancouver, Team USA will also be looking to an experienced core of Paralympic veterans including returning captain Andy Yohe, Taylor Chace and Taylor Lipsett.
The great news is that NBC Sports Network will be covering some games, some live, some on tape delay with all streamed live from TeamUSA.org. If you’ve never seen sled hockey before, this is a great chance to check it out. It is as physical and fast as anything you’ve seen from stand up players, too.
More on the TV schedule and the team after the jump.
The dust has only begun to settle in the days since the Olympics ended on the sourest of notes for USA Hockey at the Olympics. From 3:26 away and a post away from a gold medal in women’s hockey to the disaster that the bronze-medal game devolved into for the men, it was not a great 72-hour span for American hockey.
There has been much written about what it all means and what it tells us. But I keep looking back at it and wondering how much can we really learn from 72 hours of hockey?
I’m sure had the men found a way to beat Canada in the semis and the women claimed gold, there would be much written (not here) about the arrival of American hockey and I bet north of the border it would have been viewed as a national travesty requiring sweeping changes from top to bottom and blowing up the whole system.
That is the Olympics for you. This grandiose event from which we’re supposed to learn so much about these athletes and the programs is built up to be the end-all, be-all. It is the biggest event in international hockey, but it’s hardly the defining event of the sport it is so easily made out to be. In fact, no one event is. At least not when trying to figure out what it says about where a country’s hockey program is or is going. Continue reading →
The U.S. dropped a 5-0 decision to Finland in the bronze-medal game at the Olympics and will leave Sochi without any hardware. It’s a bitterly disappointing end to a tournament that started out as well as the U.S. could have expected.
Despite all of the raised expectations from the preliminary round, the U.S. failed to score in either of its last two games in Sochi and will have plenty of questions to answer when looking back on what went wrong.
The game started out well, with the U.S. generating chances and carrying the play for at least the second half of the first period. However two goals 11 seconds apart in the second period from Finland put Team USA on its heels and it never recovered.
It was an unacceptable result. To have gone from one shot away from gold in 2010 to no medal at all four years later is simply stunning.
The U.S. has to quickly regroup after a sobering loss to Canada in the semifinals. A medal is still on the line and going home with nothing only makes that loss to Canada look worse. The U.S. and Finland will square off at 10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network with a live stream on NBCOlympics.com.
Dan Bylsma is sticking with the same lineup as he had against Canada and Jonathan Quick will have a chance to close out a rather remarkable performance at the Olympics.
Team USA needs to get up for this game because Finland should be bringing it. They won bronze in 2010 and have medaled in all but one of the past five Olympics. The Finns will get Tuukka Rask back after he missed the semifinal with the flu, so goals are probably going to be hard to come by again.