Monday, December 11, 2006

The WCHA's "Little Guys"

by: Donald
UAA Hockey Fan Blog

A picture on the MTU blog got me thinking. The picture was of Chris Conner on the ice getting his first chance up with the Dallas Stars. I've always had a place in my fanheart for the smaller players. You know ... guys that have great quickness and can dazzle the joint when they get the puck on their stick. Back in the day at UAA that guy was Dean Larson. Lars was magic with the puck. Really. No BS. Not in the run-of-the-mill Scotty Gomez pull another great assist way. He literally was often show stopping. But at 5ft 6in (rostered at 5'8") 160lbs nobody from the NHL ever really gave him a shot. The Gophers had an Alaskan little guy back in the day. Steve MacSwain had a great career there (65g-74a in 3 years) and no interst from the NHL because of his size. One of my (few) favorite Gophers had to be Jake Fleming who put up 22 goals in 4 years with the Gophers. I always thought he didn't get a chance on that team because of his size and could have had MacSwain numbers with couple of elite players instead of the 4th line grinders he played with.

So during my roster scouring this weekend I took note of all the little guys in the WCHA. But before I get to all that; I first have to establish what a "little guy" is (which no doubt all the little guys hate being called). I went with 5'8" or shorter. You could argue points either way about the cutoff. It seemed like a fair enough number since it's sort of arbitrary anway. In any case it left me with only 9 players.

So I went back and looked at the rosters and there's some 5'9" players that are definitely worth mentioning. My last post talked about this ALG (almost little guy)". Tyler Hirsch. Nuff said. His teammates Evan Kauffman (4g-4a) and freshman Jay Barriball (10g-11a) don't make the cutoff either. Down the highway from those three is St. Cloud's aLG freshman Ryan Lasch who has 9 goals and 10 assists so far this season. CC's aLG is senior defenseman and Captain Lee Sweatt (5g-7a). MTU has an aLG as well with junior Jimmy Kerr (4g-7a). There's quite a few points there from quite a bit of talent. These guys are all probably 5'8" anyway ... but aLG is aLG and their rostered at 5'9". So then ... here's my first annual (probably last as well) All-Little Guy WCHA team.
Phillipe Lamoureux (UND)

Robbie Bina(UND), Lars Helminen(MTU)

Michael Davies(UW)(Fr)(5g-6a), Ryan Duncan(UND)(So)(11g-7a), Kevin Clark(Fr)(UAA)(4g-4a)

Honorable mentions (and all the rest of the little guys):
Brandon Polich (Sr)(CC)(3g-7a)
Peter Rouleau (Fr)(MTU)(4g-2a)
(C)Mike Batovanja (Sr)(MTU) (0g-1a)(and at least one big hit every shift!!)
I'd take my All-Little Guy WCHA team combined with the aLG's and play "anyone". They'd do just fine I think. Batovanja would be the official enforcer. When the real All-WCHA lists come out at the end of the year take a look and between my "little guys" and the aLG's you're going to see between 5 and 7 of those names.


MeanEgirl said...

Great entry! Batty would definitely be the enforcer. He likes to get into it with guys who are 6'4". No matter how tall I was, I would NOT want to mess with him.

Oh man, you should've SEEN him take out UMN's Kaufmann last Friday night. That is easily one of the best hits I've ever seen.

Donald said...

I saw both of those games. He was awesome. He's a S.W.A.G.S ... (stud without any good stats).

He hit EJ ... He hit Stoa ... He hit Wheeler. He hit everyone.