It's 3:28am on Sunday morning and I am wide awake. Part of the reason is that I went to bed at 10pm last night and I am accustomed to operating on about five or six hours of shut-eye per eve. That's my hockey season standard.
Another reason is because Hudson was restless and wanted some food and/or attention. So I stumbled downstairs and filled his plate with some ProPlan tuna entree (his favorite) and then set out several 'bait piles' of cat treats at some of his favorite perching areas in the living room.
I should also mention that the railroad tracks are about a half-mile from my house, and when the Canadian National goes by blaring its warning horns, makes it sound like the tracks are right outside my window. I'm just guessing here, but there are probably more people awake in Port Edwards right now than just me.
Now that Huddy has devoured a couple handfuls of yum-yums, he has settled down on his Christmas-themed fleece on the dining room table, and I can punch some keys on the old Dell and see if I can create some streams of letters (or consciousness) that make at least a modicum of sense.
Seems weird that I am up this early on the second evening of my weekend, but that is because I had Friday off so that my wife, my daughter, and I could drive over to River Falls to check out a UWRF graduate program for Emily, who is graduating from Concordia in May and needs to spend a couple more years doing post-grad stuff.
As we were standing in the waiting room for the tour to start, one of the other dads holds out his hand and says, 'My name is Rory.'
The man who stood about 6'5" and had hands the size of a large bear turned out to be Rory Cava, who is kind of a legend in the Canadian juniors and minor league hockey circles. He played for seven different teams in eleven years in seven different leagues.
No stranger to the sin bin, Cava averaged 150 PIM a year as an enforcer/defenseman. But he showed a kinder, gentler side on occasion as he had two years of more than 20 goals and 75 points.
We talked for a while and I learned that he got a chance to play in some exhibition games for Detroit in the early 80s, but Cava was never able to get a cup of java in the NHL.
But he played with several that did advance to the big leagues, including Gilles Gilbert, Gerard Gallant, and Joey Kocur. Former teammates also included Ken Holland, the current Red Wings general manager, and Barry Melrose. Yes, that Barry Melrose.
As our tour continued past Hunt Arena, UWRF mens' hockey coach Steve Freeman said hello to our group. He is a Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame member and pretty much a coaching legend in the state.
I introduced myself and asked him if he ever heard of WiPH. He laughed and said, 'You guys do a great job of covering high school hockey.'
Well, that is really cool.
So what else is going on, let's see...
WAHA is holding its High Performance tryout camps this weekend in three different locations, for the opportunity to advance to Central District and National Festivals later this spring and summer.
The girls' Junior-Senior Festival is also taking place, with four teams competing in Chippewa Falls over the weekend.
Next weekend four Wisconsin prep teams (plus a Wisconsin AAA team) will compete at the USA Hockey Nationals at various venues across the United States. Good luck to all the teams. We will do our best to provide some coverage and have links to get to the USA Nationals pages, at the very least.
The America's Showcase tournament will take place the week(end) of April 11-15 in St. Louis, with boys' and girls' teams competing. We will provide updates for this fine event as well.
The week after Easter, Team Wisconsin will send boys and girls squads over to Plymouth and Blaine, MN, respectively, to take part in the CCM NIT National tournament. We have plans to cover as many games as possible in person, so watch for that in late April.
TW will choose 2019-20 'pre/post' teams this summer, with the boys' tryouts in mid-May for the four teams (18U, 16U, 15O, and 14U) and final tryouts at the end of May in Fond du Lac.
I believe the girls' tryouts are being held around the same time, but that information is not available. Maybe someone can share...
And last but not least, we try to keep fresh content as much as we can during the summer months, but that is sometimes difficult. I am working on a human interest story right now and welcome any ideas for more of what could become great articles.
Send those ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks and have a great spring and summer!