Tuesday, May 26, 2009
It's time for our first foray into the world of college hockey here at Third String Goalie, as today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 University of Minnesota Duluth Junior Lessard jersey from his freshman year.
Duluth changed jersey styles for the 2001-02 season, adding New York Rangers style stripes to the shoulders and a large "UMD" arching over a reduced in size bulldog head logo, but we preferred this much cleaner style with the larger bulldog head as Lessard wore in his first season of college hockey.
In 2003-04, Lessard would lead the NCAA in goals with 32 and points with 63, earning the prestigious Hobey Baker Award, as the United States top collegiate hockey player, the fourth player for UMD to earn the award, joining Tom Kurvers (1983), Bill Watson (1984) and Chris Marinucci (1994).
Lessard, born on this date in 1980, signed with the Dallas Stars as a free agent and played 8 games with them over 3 seasons, spending most of his time with their American Hockey League affiliate the Iowa Stars. He was subsequently traded to the Tampa Bay Lighting, getting 19 more NHL games in Tampa in 2007-08 before signing a free agent contract with the Atlanta Thrashers organization. He was assigned to the AHL Chicago Wolves, only to be traded to the New York Islanders and spending the remainder of the 2008-09 season with their AHL team in Bridgeport, CT.
This jersey is was produced by Koronis Sports Apparel and features a large, very nicely executed Bulldog head logo as well as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) logo on the chest. We also really like this color combination of maroon and gold and wonder why more professional teams don't use it to set themselves apart from all the red and blue teams.
Dasherboard: Tonight the Hurricanes try to stay alive at home vs. the Penguins at 6:30 CST on Vs. We fully expect the Hurricanes, backed by their "Caniacs" fans, to give the Penguins a tough battle to keep their season going.
Cam Ward has never lost a playoff series in his career and certainly hopes to keep that statistic intact. It's going to be a long shot for that to happen to be sure, but more than Ward, the Hurricanes hopes lie with Eric Staal, who led the team in the regular season with 40 goals, but has not scored a goal in six games now. Staal, with just 1 assist this series, and Ray Whitney, the team's regular season points leader, with only 2 assists in this round, must find their scoring touch in a true do-or-die situation to prevent the Penguins from returning to the finals for a second year in a row.
If having their leading scorers shut down wasn't bad enough for Carolina, the Penguins' Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are on fire, with a combined 8 goals and 6 assists in this series three previous games. Even if Staal and Whitney start scoring more, it won't do them any good unless they can find some way to slow those two down some way.