Falcon Rising

Once under threat, Bowling Green experiencing a renaissance

Originally published by College Hockey News on Nov. 21, 2014

bgsu storyWith eight wins in its first 12 games, Bowling Green (8-3-1, 5-1-0 WCHA) is off to one of its best starts in recent memory. The Falcons are sitting in a tie for second in the WCHA, are ranked for the first time in seven years, and look like a legitimate threat for its first NCAA tournament appearance in over two decades.

Right now things are looking up for BGSU, but it was not all that long ago the conversation about, and vibe around, the program had a much different tone.

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Making a Name For Himself

LaFontaine has Evolved Into One of the NCAA’s Most Dangerous Forwards

Orginially published by College Hockey News on Oct. 8, 2014

mns_jp_lafontaine-1008In hockey, the name LaFontaine has a certain aura. It elicits thoughts of one of a generation’s most dynamic offensive players and carries with it Hall of Fame-level expectations. Entering his senior season, Minnesota State senior forward Jean-Paul LaFontaine has lived up to the family name, having evolved into one of college hockey’s most dangerous forwards.

The Mavericks — ranked sixth in CHN’s Preseason Top 10 and the consensus pick to walk away with WCHA hardware this season — boast one of the top returning groups of forwards in the country this season, and LaFontaine is one of its top contributors. He set career highs in goals (20) and points (40) last season, both of which ranked third in the WCHA. He also was second in the country with 14 goals on a Maverick power play that paced the conference at 25.3 percent.

The Oxford, Mich., native has increased his point total in each of his three season in Mankato, a consistent improvement that reflects an inner drive powered by LaFontaine’s personal expectations. He wants to be the guy his team counts on.

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2014-15 WCHA Watch List

Originally published by College Hockey News on Oct. 8, 2014 

akf_c_parayko-1008As the 2014-15 season gets underway, the WCHA continues its task of re-establishing and stabilizing itself in the new college hockey landscape conference re-alignment created. Its “first” season a year ago was certainly entertaining, as teams battled until the final weekend for position in the standings, including at the top, where Ferris State edged Minnesota State by a single point before the Mavericks got their revenge in the Final Five title game.

This season, Minnesota State comes in as the undisputed class of the league, with Ferris State not far behind. After that, though, the picture becomes a bit murkier. Michigan Tech, Alaska, Bowling Green and Alaska-Anchorage will all be in the mix for home ice advantage in the WCHA Playoffs, while the rest of the conference has questions it will have to answer before those teams can be competitive.

The conference is entering year two of its new era and does so under the leadership of a new commissioner that is seeking to increase the WCHA’s exposure, re-build its brand and put itself back into the conversation of the college hockey’s best conference’s. One way of doing that is by putting more teams in the NCAA Tournament, which the league believes it has the depth and talent to accomplish this season.

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MME student competes on Chinese game show

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7th Grade Immersion student Olivia Meredith demonstrated her Chinese fluency on a popular Chinese game show over the summer

Originally published by Minnetonka Public Schools on Aug. 19, 2014

With back to school just around the corner, Minnetonka Middle School East 7th Grader Olivia Meredith is going to have a very unique story to share with her classmates about what she did over her summer vacation.

Back in July, Olivia, a Chinese Immersion student at MME, was invited by the University of Minnesota’s Confucius Institute to audition for a Chinese game show called “My Chinese Spelling Hero.” After an submitting her application and a two-minute video introducing herself (all done in Chinese), she was selected as a contestant and flown to Beijing with her parents.

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Remembering Track Star Marty Benson ’63

Originally published in the Minnetonka Alumni Magazine on July 15, 2014

bensonBack in 1963, Minnetonka didn’t even have a track that was usable for competition—it was nothing more than an uneven and rugged dirt path around the football field. However that didn’t stop senior Marty Benson ’63 from winning the Skippers’ first-ever individual track title and shattering state records in the process.

Benson got a late start in track, only taking up the sport in his junior year after finding himself too lean and lanky for football. He went out for cross-country that fall, and had modest success, but found track to be more to his liking in the spring. While he wasn’t suited for the gridiron, Benson’s leg speed and endurance made him a perfect fit on the track, specifically the 880-yard (half mile) dash.

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