Tag Archives: Donald Lierman

O. D.‘s Rant 57-11

Donald Lierman

Sports Editor

Let ‘em play, let ‘em play, let ‘em play …

Now that’s old time hockey. The Olympics provided a stage for what purists call the way the game should be played.

Few whistles, hard hitting, tight checking… all that was left out was a few droppings of the gloves.  Oh, I forgot no Bettman and no NHL Toronto High Court Tribunal to dictate which team should have extra advantage… oops, I mean whether it was a goal or not.

The final game’s outcome would have hurt much worse if Mike Babcock wasn’t the coach of Team Canada. Mike is a class act who takes both wins and defeats as a true professional.

There are the cretins out there well play the “Nah Nah you lost” card against us U.S. fans. But hey, scoring with 24 seconds left to send it to overtime makes the game a victory in my book.

Both teams were winners. If only anyone but that classless Crosby scored the winning goal.  You have got to admit the Devil got his due, but we got a game for the ages. No whining just good, hard hockey.

Speaking of whiners. O.D. has not only covered but has been a spectator at many events in many diverse sports.

Yet, even he was appalled at the antics of the Oakland women’s basketball coach in last Wednesday’s 66-55 SC4 victory. Throwing fits then rolling over when chastised by refs, acting out. This is how you teach values to your players?

That is only what was viewed from the stands. If only the SC4 players could tell their tales.   Oh, that’s because our team comports themselves as professionals.

Even Bobby Knight would blush.

Congrats, Lady Skips in coming within seven against number one ranked Schoolcraft, Friday.  The next day, Schoolcraft humbled Western Conference and number 14 Lake Michigan College, 85-54. Which leads me to, why wasn’t SC4 ranked?

As to men’s basketball, pending Wednesday’s District 9 quarterfinals result against Alpena, the Skippers should be heading to Mott Community College in Flint on March 5 and 6 for the NJCAA District 8 and 9 semi-finals and championships.

With Henry Ford and Mott ranked nationally in the top five, what an opportunity to attend some highly competitive basketball and support a Skippers basketball squad that should also be ranked.

All right, O.D. will admit when he was wrong. The 2010 Winter Olympics were absolutely fabulous. The camera work allowed home spectators to feel a part of the action. O.D. does not have H.D. but felt like he was there.

Yes, those athletes put in the dues to get there. Only when the professional status gets crossed does this humble reporter tremble.

But O.D. was right about curling which is becoming more and more popular. The U.S. performance was sadly lacking yet the competition overall was superb.

Those who decry the sport because it is different, well, some of those have yet to learn that T.P. is for something besides tossing on a neighbor’s house.

So Johnny Damon (demon?)  is a Detroit Tiger. Wasn’t he the guy who said he would never be a Yankee and now claims to be such a factor in their purchased title?

I used to be a fan until he whored off to New York and went corporate. Remember C,S,N&Y’s “Almost Cut My Hair?” That’s what happens when you trim those locks for a few dollars more.

And they got rid of Curtis Granderson?

Just a reminder that O.D. has gone global.  More rantings can be found on www.bareman25.blogspot.com.

Skippers down Oakland

Donald Lierman          

Sports Editor

   Not in our house. The week before Oakland handled the Skippers easily to split the league series. The return match for the opening MCCAA tournament game was a much different story. 

   The SC4 Lady Skippers downed the Oakland Raiders, 66-55 on February 24 to avenge last week’s 15 point defeat.

   The first half was a tale of tenacious Lady Skippers’ defense followed by an icy touch at the other end of the court.

   “I have never been associated with a team that had five defensive stops due to shot clock violations,” SC4 Coach Carrie Lohr said. “We had five in the first half then went cold on the offensive side. You can’t fault our players from trying to get some quick shots in.”

   SC4’s biggest lead was four as the half ended with the Lady Skippers in front 24-20.

   The second half was wider open from both a scoring and physical perspective. The Lady Skippers took advantage of their fast break speed to surge to leads as much as 18 in the second half. Oakland battled back to cut the lead to 62-55 on a series of three pointers.

   SC4’s Chanahl Putnum nailed five points and SC4’s Jessica Stevenson shot four clutch free throws in the final minutes to seal the victory. Oakland play became more physical as the time melted away.

   “I was a little disappointed in the Oakland play as the game ended,” Lohr said. “I think their frustration got the best of them. That was unexpected in a team of that stature.”

   SC4 players were satisfied with the result.

   “Our entire team including our bench worked together,” SC4’s Jessica Stevenson said.  “We were a family out there and that’s what we needed to win the game.”

   Stevenson’s 21 points would lead the Lady Skippers. Lady Skippers’ Jackie Highstreet added 18 points and a team-leading twelve rebounds.

   “Our team did a great job in keeping our composure at the end,” SC4’s Megan Johnson said. “We were gunning for them after last week’s game and we were ready for them.”

   The Lady Skippers face number one in the nation Schoolcraft Friday for the MCCAA Eastern Conference title.

   “I think that Schoolcraft is not too worried about us,” Lohr said. “But I’m excited by our play tonight. If we can bring that emotion to Friday’s game I think we will be competitive.”

Icehawks chopped by Lumberjacks

Donald Lierman          

Sports Editor

   Tuesday was one of those nights where the Hawks soared early. However, Muskegon deflected Port Huron’s claws just long enough to grab momentum.

   Two crucial plays not only gave the Lumberjacks the lead but stymied the Hawks’ fury.

   Muskegon downed Port Huron, 6-2, on Tuesday, February 23 at McMorran Arena.

   “The difference of the game was two minutes,” Port Huron’s Coach Stan Drulia said. “The first shift of the second period we have total possession and they score a third goal.

   “Then there was the kicked in goal at the end of the second. The kick was plain as day. That cannot count. I don’t know what the referee was thinking … what he was looking at.”

   Icehawks’ Ian Turner was also amazed at the call.

   “That puck was kicked in,” Turner said. “I think the referee was the only one in the whole building that missed it. It’s frustrating. There’s nothing we could have done to win that game.”

   The Lumberjacks scored early on a first minute goal.

   “The shot hit Lovie’s (Jamie Lovell) stick and changed direction,” Drulia said. “The shot was from 20 feet out. Larry (Sterling) was positioned for one angle and the puck changed direction.

   “I thought we dominated the first period,” Drulia continued. “We could have had a dozen tonight. I thought it could have been 5-1 for us after one.”

   Muskegon added a second goal before the end of the first period. Port Huron did not score on 15 shots while the Lumberjacks scored two on only ten attempts.

   The puck bounced Muskegon’s way throughout the first ten minutes of the second period, notching three more goals for a 5-0 lead. With ten minutes left in the second Port Huron goalie Adam Russo replaced Larry Sterling in net.

   After surrendering another goal, Port Huron finally tallied on the score board with two minutes left in the second period. The Hawks added one more in the third but it was too little, too late. 

   “As smart as we played most of the time,” Drulia said. “We gave up the possession of the puck three times for three goals. You’re not going to win games like that.”

   Unlike some recent defeats, heads were held high in the dressing room. Turner felt it just wasn’t the Hawks’ night.

   “We played well,” he said. “It’s not the result you want to see but we just have to come out and play better the next game.”

   The Muskegon Lumberjacks return to McMorran to battle the Hawks on both Friday, March 5 and Saturday, March 6. Game time for both matches is 7:30 p.m. For further Icehawks information, visit  www.porthuronicehawks.com.

O. D.‘s Rant 57-10

Donald Lierman

Sports Editor

I nearly changed the name of the column to Rah Rah’s Rant. Because O.D. is excited.

Pending Wednesday’s outcome with Oakland Community College, the 11 nationally ranked SC4 men’s basketball team could be playing for a slice of the MCCAA Eastern Conference pie.

Saturday, February 20, the 5 ranked Mott Bears will come to town. The game will tip off at 3 p.m. following the Lady Skips at 1 p.m.

Last term, the volleyball team played for first, now the Skippers could be sending another banner to the rafters.

I told Mr. Vos after the volleyball victory that we should be aiming for three banners this year.  With the Lady Skips standing at only two losses that could very well happen. We may not be Big Ten but these student athletes put out just as much, if not more, effort.

Speaking of the Big Ten, rumors (OK maybe pipe dreams) abound that the University of Texas may join the Big Ten.

Imagine the Big Ten suddenly treated with respect again.

Imagine the rivalries…like waking up in bed with…

A Gary Bettman voodoo doll. Hey, the Saints fans were carting around Manning ones. Can someone get me the address of the manufacturer? I would tie it together with a Sid “the DUH” Crosby one and dunk it in Lake St. Clair. Hmmm, Satanic carp, anyone?

Speaking of the Super Bowl, the game was great, the commercial bashed men like a red-headed O.D. and I wished I was there for the party. Their voodoo must work when you see the replay of the Favre and Manning interceptions.

Hmmm, send those dolls by priority mail, will ya?

Yawn, the Olympics have begun. I lost all interest when the professional athletes began to compete in a corporate sponsored showcase. Profits not competition have become the point.

Already there has been a real tragedy. But this real tragedy will quickly be forgotten in the mudslide of sound bytes about whose daddy died yet the rich skater/skier/whatever overcame such overwhelming difficulties (like the million dollar sponsorship) to win a medal that will soon have corporate logos stamped on the back.

Not to mention that every fourth year the Olympics decimate the NHL schedule. Forget my beloved Red Wings, the NHHELL jams together the schedule to get 80 games into the same span of time. Can’t lose a dollar, eh? Just the quality.

Will curling be back? That is one sport I do enjoy. There aren’t too many corporate grants for Scottish shuffleboard on ice. Add a few brewskis and let’s just wait to drop the gloves… uh, I mean stones.

Just a reminder that O.D. has gone global. More rantings can be found on www.bareman25.blogspot.com.

Icehawks’ Struggles Continue

Donald Lierman          

Sports Editor

   Friday hosted another night of ‘should have, could have’. The Port Huron Icehawks dropped their sixth game in seven attempts.

   The lowly Flint Generals outshot the Hawks 35-27.

   Worse, the 3-1 Feb. 12 defeat was not the sort of Valentine gift Port Huron needed.

   “Flint came out and dominated us in the first period,” Port Huron goalie Larry Sterling said. “There is no way Flint should ever be able to dominate us. They are just not as good as us.”

   Flint scored a power play goal six minutes into the opening period.

   “The first goal was scored on an offensive zone penalty,” Port Huron Coach Stan Drulia said. “Give Sterling credit. He made at least four or five brilliant saves to keep us in the game.”

   In the second period, Port Huron’s Brandon Kaleniecki scored his third goal in seven games, six seconds into a Flint power play.

   The Hawks were unable to sustain pressure and the Generals regained the lead before the buzzer sounded to end the second.

   “We have to pay a price to score goals,” Drulia said. “We are not paying that price.  Some guys are trying to do too much and some guys are not doing enough.”

   The slump affects the way players handle the pace of the game.

   “You are going to have surges throughout the game,” Drulia said. “You have to handle the ebbs and flows. The guys have to weather the opponent surges and be smart. When there’s the opportunity to get the puck down the ice you got to get it deep.”

   With seconds remaining in the third period, ex-Hawk Bryan Smolinski sealed the victory with an open net goal.

   The loss had Hawk Tab Lardner shaking his head.

   “This is very frustrating,” Lardner said. “It will take some doing to get out of this slide. We have to stay positive and go from there.”

   Sterling did not see this game as just a loss of two points.

   “It’s hard to erase a game like this because we’re fighting for each point,” he said.  “Muskegon and Fort Wayne are playing well. In a race like this we cannot afford to drop two points to a team like Flint. We just cannot do it.”

   The first-place Muskegon Lumberjacks visit McMorran on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Game time is 7 p.m. Ex-Detroit Red Wing and Bruise Brother Joe Kocur will sign autographs during the first period. For further Icehawks information, visit   www.porthuronicehawks.com.

O. D.’s Rant 57-9

Support your local Skippers athletics!
‘Twas a big day Saturday for both the men’s and women’s basketball athletic programs. The men’s team knocked off number one in the nation Henry Ford Community College, 76-72. This was the first singeing of the Hawks’ feathers all year. Henry Ford had won 19 consecutive games until that night.
The Skippers trail the first place Hawks and number six in the nation Mott Community College Bears by one game. Their 7-2 record places them in third with plenty of time to make a move on first place.
The Lady Skippers won handily against Henry Ford by 14 points, 90-76. The Lady Skippers reside in second place in their conference.
They trail number one in the nation Schoolcraft Community College by two games with a 9-2 record. Schoolcraft has yet to lose a game and are 12-0 in the Eastern Conference and 22-0 overall.
Just as our Lady Skippers volleyball squad was in a fight to the finish, so are our basketball teams. Now is the time to fill the gym and cheer on the ladies and gents teams as they make their run for the roses.
The next home game is on Saturday, February 6 at the school gymnasium. Kirtland Community College comes to town. The ladies’ game begins at 1 p.m. and the men’s at 3 p.m.
Call me rah-rah if you will but these student athletes are performing outstandingly and deserve the support of the fans, the staff, and the community.
Don’t change the column’s name but again I am rah-rah for the Port Huron Icehawks. I don’t know why McMorran is not filled for every game. I could understand this 25 years ago when the teams skated like a group of old timers who just finished the keg.
But this is quality hockey. The price is reasonable. The ownership supports our community. Why not support a team that cares?
Now for the ranting (hip-hip hooray!).
According to msn.foxsports.com, Miguel Cabrera spent three months in rehab after supposedly being a bit tipsy for the big series to conclude last year’s pennant race.
Being drunk (or at least hung over as most unrepentant Lions fans on Monday) then playing sports on the major league level is a time honored tradition. In the early days of baseball players had to be dragged to the ball park from the barroom. The Detroit Lions won a championship with Bobby Layne who, if the rumors are true, did not need blocking. The alcohol fumes of his cadence would stupefy the defensive line.
As baseball is now an entertainment property of the New York Yankees, perhaps all players should be required to drink a twelve before every game. That way money would not determine the world championship, but the strongest liver.

Icehawks Ka-ream Komets

It was truly clobbering time for the Icehawks Tuesday, January 26 … both with red lights and black eyes. With the game out of hand the Fort Wayne Komets dropped the gloves. The Icehawks did not stand down.
“We know most of our toughness is in the back end,” Port Huron Coach Stan Drulia said. “They know what they have to do. Everyone stepped up and that’s an encouraging sign. You cannot intimidate anyone on our team.”
The final score was Icehawks 6, Komets 1 but Port Huron dominated all aspects of the game.
“The big key was our penalty kill early,” Drulia said. “Surviving the first period to get back to five on five set the tone for the rest of the night. As soon as we did we scored and took over from there.”
Drulia referred to Mickael Bedard’s goal after the Icehawks began the game with two penalties. The Icehawks scored two more in the first along with sending two more players to the penalty box.
“We were fortunate to take advantage of the kills,” Port Huron’s Derek Patrosso said. “Anyone will tell you that a couple killed penalties will give you energy. However, we need to minimize the opportunities we’re giving our opponents.”
Port Huron added two more goals in the second including Bedard’s second of the night with a minute remaining in the period.
“Their goalie goes low a lot,” Bedard said. “I held the puck behind me, watched the goalie drop, and flipped the puck past him.”
Port Huron’s Jamie Lovell ended the scoring at the five minute mark of the third with a power play goal. Despite a 6-1 victory, the Icehawks only out shot the Komets 30-26.
The newest Icehawk, Brandon Kaleniecki, arrived at game time after a 17 hour drive from his previous team, Wichita, Kansas, of the Western Hockey League.
“I didn’t meet anyone until I got to the rink,” Kaleniecki said. “I played with (Brandon) Naurato before and I know him from back home. They put me with him on every shift. Lindberg helped me a great deal, too.”
The Hawks realize that a pounding of the Turner Cup champions tastes sweet but there is much more to accomplish.
“Yes, we need to defeat the big teams,” Patrosso said. “But we realize it’s only one game in 76. In the big scheme of things, there is a lot more to do.”
Drulia added, “We cannot rest on our laurels. We’ll enjoy the win for a few hours, then put it behind us and concentrate on the next one. That is one thing we have done very well as a team this season.”
The Icehawks return to McMorran to begin a three game home-away-home weekend series with the Flint Generals on Friday, February 12. Game time is 7:30 p.m. for the Friday match and 5 p.m. on Sunday. For further Icehawks information, visit www.porthuronicehawks.com.

Icehawks bag Mallards

Two days without practice proved just the right medicine for the Icehawks.
“A couple of the guys were very tired after the tough schedule of the past few weeks,” Icehawks’ Nick Lindberg said. “It was good for us to get the rest and an easier schedule. We played very well tonight.”
Despite 29 shots apiece, Port Huron downed the Quad City Mallards 4-1 on Saturday, January 23.
“Our power play got us going early,” Icehawks Coach Stan Drulia said. “(Adam) Russo made some big saves at the end but it was our special teams that made the difference.”
The Icehawks opened the scoring at the seven minute mark with a power play goal from Lindberg with assists from Daniel Tetrault and Brandon Naurato.
“We knew they were going to play passive,” Lindberg said. “I passed the puck to Tetrault and when he passed it back the goal was wide open.”
Quad City tied the score before the period ended. In the second Port Huron scored its second power play goal. Mike Gershon fired a shot from just inside the blue line to beat Quad City goalie Jerad Kaufmann.
Later in the second, Icehawks’ Derek Patrosso passed cross ice to Jamie Lovell at the blue line who shot the puck by Kaufmann.
“I knew Patrosso would see me,” Lovell said. “He waited until the seam was open and made a great pass. I was able to rip it home.
“These guys have played us hard the last couple times they played us. But when we stuck to our game plan it became almost easy.”
The Hawks added one more goal in the third by Mickael Bedard and held the Mallards scoreless although they were outshot 16-6 in the final period by the Mallards.
“We try to push the envelope every night,” Drulia said. “For the most part we were able to do that and tonight we were successful.”
The Icehawks return to McMorran to begin a three game home-away-home weekend series with the Flint Generals on Friday, February 12. Game time is 7:30 p.m. for the Friday match and 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. For further Icehawks information, visit www.porthuronicehawks.com.

O. D.‘s Rant

Just as every cop is a criminal / and all your sinners saints…
Well, Glimmer Twins, we may as well bid sympathy to the Old Nick, for fair play is definitely being thrown out with the bath water. Let the ranting begin.
Watching Saturday’s game with the Red Wings and the Dallas Stars, I can only come to the conclusion that if there is not an unofficial prejudice against the Red Wings, the NHL officiating staff from the ice to Toronto should be held for charges of gross ineptitude.
During the shootout, a shot sent Wings goalie Jimmy Howard to the goal line to trap it. An NHL referee was standing a foot away, level with the goal line. He waved the play a save. Another referee skates up and whispers to check the play with Bettman’s lair in Toronto.
During the consultation there are shots of what appears to be the original referee being forced to justify his case. After prolonged consideration a goal is given to the Stars that proves to be the deciding measure of the shootout.
I challenge the viewer to show me indisputable evidence that the puck was over the line. That is the rule in overturning an on ice call.
Does this mean the referee who made the call is so blind that he cannot see the play better than an idiot in Toronto who has more note, indisputable evidence from afar?
Some may claim it is only a point. Yet a point could determine whether the Wings make the playoffs. The Wings play with honor. Imagine how that must stick in the craw of the suits.
This is only an example of what I have seen over the years. A non-call here, an overturned call there. The evidence is damning. I challenge a non-partial observer to overturn my call.
Finally, get rid of the NHL players participating in the Olympics. Number one, they are not amateurs. Number two, they screw up the schedule so badly that races are being determined in February. Number three, someone tell NHL wannabe Fuhrer Gary ‘hit them with a purse’ Bettman, that not only will the NHL never be the NBA, true fans don’t want it to be.
Check out www.firebettman.com for a few laughs.
On a sober note, if you can, contribute to the Red Cross for Haitian relief. We are so lucky in this country to have some sort of infrastructure. Our country is in desperate financial straits thanks to George ‘what me worry?’ Bush but when an event like the Haitian earthquake occurs, America takes the lead. That is what makes our country still the greatest.
Look around, if Port Huron had such a magnitude earthquake it would be leveled too. Let’s count our blessings and help our fellow brethren.
OK, I sounded like Tiny Tim for a sec. Next time, back to baring the fangs at affronts against truth, justice, and the American way!

Icehawks soar past Gems

The gods of hockey move in mysterious ways.
Elusive bounces of the puck gave the Dayton Gems a 3-1 lead after the first period despite being out shot by the Port Huron Icehawks, 13-9. Whether it was a change of goalies or a renewed focus on the game plan, the Icehawks roared back to score five unanswered goals.
Port Huron defeated Dayton, 6-3, on Friday, January 15 to continue to hold sole possession of first place in the IHL.
“The guys really rallied and found a way,” Port Huron Coach Stan Drulia said. “Dayton got a real lucky one, a deflection, then a late one.”
After the first period Port Huron replaced goalie Larry Sterling with Adam Russo.
“All their goals had nothing to do with my change of goalies. I can’t blame Larry,” Drulia said. “That was the first time I pulled a goalie all year. The move was a wake up call to the whole team.”
“I was really surprised they got lucky on all three goals,” Russo said. “The last goal was a snipe right past Larry’s head.”
Russo blanked the Gems the rest of the night, stopping 19 shots.
“In the last two periods our hitting swung the momentum,” Russo said. “We laid down six or seven checks in the first five minutes. We got the back to back goals that changed the tempo.”
After a Port Huron Brandon Naurato power play goal, the Hawks’ Tab Lardner tied the game at the ten minute mark of the second period. Mike Gershon gave the Hawks the lead with two minutes left.
“Big hits seemed to get contagious,” Drulia said. “That’s the way we know we can play. We need to get physical by committee. When we do that we are going to wear teams down with our speed. That’s what changed the game around.”
Jason Kostadine scored his first goal of the season at the 3:27 mark of the third period.
“It feels like I got a huge gorilla off my back,” Kostadine said. “I felt I was happy but my teammates started acting like we won the cup.”
“Kostadine has been working so hard for that goal,” Russo said. “He’s been playing so well lately.”
Port Huron’s Derek Patrosso added the Hawks’ sixth goal with less than two minutes left to ice the cake.
Quad City will visit McMorran on January 23. Game time is 8:00 p.m. For further Icehawks information, visit www.porthuronicehawks.com.