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Most Important Game In Ice Bears History On Friday

02/25/09 - CHICAGO, IL - Many people have used the phrase: It all comes down to this, when describing a make or break situation, or the culumniation of a season, but this weekend it truly does for the Missouri State Ice Bears hockey team.

"It's going to be a big game," said Ice Bears Defenseman Ryan Armstrong.

Indeed it will be. Shaping up to be the biggest game in the history of the organization, thus far, when Missouri State faces the two-time American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division 2 National Champions, the Michigan State Spartans.

It could be the kind of game that could be talked about for years to come. The type of game that will conjure up memories of where you were and what you were doing when you heard or witnessed the unbelievable unfold.

For the Ice Bears, it will also show that 8 years of growing an organization, recognized for it's strengths off the ice, can become more of a strength on the ice.

The Ice Bears are 2-1 in ACHA first round post season play since the ACHA instituted the top 10 Regional playoff system 4 seasons ago. On February, 17th 2006 the Ice Bears won their first ever Regional playoff game stunning fashion beating Robert Morris College-Chicago 4-3 in overtime on Andy Hellwig's goal.

Hellwig scored the game winner off a pass from Kent Adams, who waited until Eagles goaltender Ron Michalek went down to block the shot then passed across the net to Hellwig, who put the puck over the goalies shoulder.

Missouri State lost to Michigan State 8-1 in second round action on February, 18th 2006.

In the 2007 ACHA Regionals on February 16th, 2007, the Ice Bears mounted an incredible comeback against Central Michigan after being down 3-0 in the 3rd period. But with 27 seconds left in the game the Chippewas pulled ahead, then added an empty net goal for a 5-3 win.

Then on February 22nd, 2008 the Ice Bears beat the same RMC Eagles team 5-3 and advanced to the second Regional game eventually losing by the same score to Michigan.

As to Friday's match up: on paper the Ice Bears and Spartans look like similar teams.

Missouri State is 22-14-2, has scored 158 goals and surrendered 121, while Michigan State is 21-14-0, has put 152 pucks in the net, and given up 110.

The biggest difference is Michigan State has played stronger opponents overall. The Spartans schedule included over eleven games against Division 1 teams, and faced the #1 (Davenport a 1-4 and 6-1 split), #3 (Grand Valley a 6-2 and 4-3 sweep) and #8 (Central Michigan a 6-2 and 4-5 split) teams twice.

On the positive side for Missouri State, they may be getting goaltender Mike Poepping back for this weekend. Untested, will Poepping be at playoff form? C.J. Jung, the Ice Bear's assist leader before his ankle injury, may also be in the line up.

Regardless of who is or is not dressed on Friday, what will need to be answered is if this year's Ice Bears team has within themselves the ability to move on to play one day longer, come Saturday?

"We can beat these guys," said Armstrong without hesitation.

Post Season Starts In Illinois For Both Ice Bears Teams

02/16/09 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Ending the regular season with a 22-13-2 record, the Missouri State Ice Bears will try and capture their 3rd straight Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) League Championship starting this Saturday in the U.S. Ice Sports Complex in Fairview Heights, Illinois at 7pm central time.

The Varsity squad earned a first round bye finishing 16-2 and with 32 points in MACHA Gold division tied with the Iowa Hawkeyes (15-1-2), but end up in 2nd place based on head-to-head results. The Ice Bears lost both league games with Iowa, 4-1 and 5-3.

The Ice Bears play the Friday winner of the Missouri vs. Illinois State game, on Saturday.

Missouri State captured its first MACHA Championship in 2007 after coming from a 3-0 first period deficit against the Southern Illinois-Edwardsville University Cougars.

With 12:05 left in the 3rd period -- and the Ice Bears on the powerplay -- Paul Saitta took a pass from brother Bobby Saitta put the puck over the right shoulder of SIUE Goaltender Casey Kicielinski to finish a 4-goal comeback.

In 2008, the Ice Bears won their second straight MACHA Gold Championship in overtime against the Missouri Tigers in exciting fashion.

While working the power play, Dan Odenwald caught a vicious high stick to the chin that nearly took his helmet off, drawing a delayed penalty to the Tigers. Odenwald, visibly shaken and down on the ice, fought to keep it on and play continued.

The Ice Bears pulled goaltender Michael Brown for the extra skater and a 6 on 4 man advantage. Five seconds later Salman Shah picked up the puck and found Joe Combs alone at the top of the slot. Combs let loose a blast that grazed the shoulder of Tigers goaltender Keith Van Gels before stretching the back of the net for the game winner at 15:26 of the extra period.

Ice Bears White Team

The Ice Bears JV - White squad (19-7-1) also qualified for the MACHA Silver Division playoffs in third place and will play the Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Silver team on Friday at 12:45 pm.

Missouri State - White lost a bid for a first MACHA Silver Championship last year against the McKendree University Bearcats, 6-5, when Kyle Ilges scored for the Bearcats 5:14 into overtime.

MACHA Broadcast Coverage

WebSports Radio will cover both the Missouri State Varsity and JV team's run through the MACHA playoffs as well as the Iowa Hawkeyes run in the MACHA Gold Division.

WSR's first broadcast will be at 12:45 pm Friday afternoon as the Ice Bears JV-White team meets SIUE-JV.

The second broadcast will be the Gold Division Semi-Finals as the Hawkeyes will face the Friday winner of SIUE Gold versus Kansas on Saturday at 1pm.

Then the Ice Bears Varsity team will play the Friday winner of the Missouri versus Illinois State game on Saturday at 7pm.

The pregame show for all games start 10 minutes before.

Here It Is: WSR's Unofficial Central Region Poll #5

02/16/09 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Here we are, the last ratings period of the year and everyone is holding their breath trying to figure out who deserves to be in the magic top 10. Several teams are on the fence, and its anybody’s guess who the official ACHA Division II Central Poll will show as playoff bound.

Steve and I have wrestled with the puzzle all year long, and have actually done quite well in predicting what the official polls will say. However the puzzle is 3D now, even more complex than ever.

Does Missouri State stay in by virtue of being the only team with six wins (against no defeats) in the final period?

Some would argue not, based on the fact that none of the defeated teams were in the top 15. But all three of them WERE at some point in the season; in fact, Missouri and Kansas were in the top 15 until they started beating up on each other.

Kansas Road Trip Ends Ice Bears Regular Season

02/13/09 - OVERLAND PARK, KS - The regular season wraps up this weekend with games against the Kansas University Jayhawks, as the Ice Bears can't seem to shake the Iowa Hawkeyes in the chase for the Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) league crown. Missouri State is 14-2 and chasing a 14-1-1 Iowa team.

The Ice Bears are still suffering from injuries as Jon Odenwald, who suffered a shoulder injury similar to that of Joe Cero, may see limited action. Joe Combs and Andy Bethmann will not make the trip due to job requirements. Ice Bears already out for the season are Anthony Trupiano (leg) and C.J. Jung (ankle).

Game Score

Missouri Meets Missouri State At Mediacom

02/06/09 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - The second round of Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) league games take place this weekend in Mediacom Ice Park.

Missouri State hosts the Missouri Tigers and this series will be the final home games of the 2008-2009 hockey season for the Ice Bears. Both games are sellouts.

The Ice Bears come into the series 12-2 in MACHA League play and the Tigers are 10-6 and could meet the Ice Bears for a 4th time in the league playoffs.

Game Score

MACHA League Games Start With SIUE Cougars

01/30/09 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Starting the first of a six game run in the Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) league, the Ice Bears host the Southern Illinois - Edwardsville Cougars.

Missouri State is 10-2 in the MACHA Gold Division, and are looking to take the MACHA crown for the 3rd straight year.

Game Score
 

WSR's Unofficial Central Region Poll #4 Even Till The End

01/29/09 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - You know, I never liked this business of ranking. The only reason I do it is because Steve assures me it’s listed in my job description somewhere. But rather than pay my lawyers to decipher the legal gibberish of my contract, I’ll just play along one more week.

Actually I was quite shocked to find that Steve and I had agreed on the top nine. How that happened I’m not too sure, but there it is. The big problem was the number 10 spot, which any one of a number of teams could occupy depending on who’s doing the voting.

It’s a mess; we’re a mess trying to figure it out. Both of us are kinda glad we’re not the official pollsters, because they get yelled at for this kind of stuff. And if anybody yells at me, I’m renegotiating my contract.

Enjoy!

PS: If you’re wondering where Michigan went, just read their record over the last 2 months.

Oklahoma's Bronchos The Next Stop For The Ice Bears

01/21/09 - OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - The weekend series between the Missouri State Ice Bears and University Of Central Oklahoma Bronchos will be played on a new sheet of ice at Arctic-Edge Ice Arena in Oklahoma City, and with these games will bring new chances for the Ice Bears.

Since teams in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 2 Central have been losing games left and right, the Ice Bears may still have a chance to qualify for the ACHA Division 2 Central Region playoffs.

Northern Michigan split with eighth ranked Iowa, while Robert Morris College-Chicago (who's on the Ice Bears back) was swept by #5 Lindenwood, and #11 Central Michigan was beaten by #2 Grand Valley State.

Missouri State will also have a chance to post a victory against the Bronchos (16-9, 2 shoot out losses) for only the second time in Ice Bears history.

In the six meetings between the two teams, Missouri State is 1-5 against Central Oklahoma winning only once, 5-4, in an exciting overtime thriller at Mediacom Ice Park on January 19th, 2007.

A.J. Alfrey (7), with Goaltender Justin Sgro (30), is 3rd in scoring for UCO with 19 points

Since ACHA Division 1 teams do not normally travel to Division 2 home arenas, that will most likely be the only home win for the Ice Bears against UCO unless the team jumps to Division 1 play. Missouri State was given the opportunity to host the Bronchos because they were a relatively new team, established in 2006.

Prior to that series, Ice Bears were involved in a game situation (in their 4th game of the 2006-2007 season) that will probably never happen again.

After a scoreless overtime, the game went into a shoot out. Former Ice Bears Coach Benjamin Alexander elected to pull starting goaltender Kevin Rekowski and put Michael Brown in the net. Both teams traded scores and it came down to a sudden death shoot out with the Bronchos' AJ Alfrey putting the puck over Brown's shoulder for the win.

Since shots on goal are not recorded in a shoot-out (and Brown came into a tie game) he receives the loss but did not officially face a shot.

This year it's the Ice Bears who will be trying to defeat a Bronchos team that handed the top dog in ACHA Division 1, the University of Illinois, one of only two losses this season.

Danny Bethmann is back on top of the scoring lead for Missouri State with 33 points (16 G, 17A) and 5 game winning goals, while Salman Shah tops the team and the defensemen with 24 assists. C.J. Jung, who leads the forwards, trails Shah by one.

Playing on the road has been tough for the Ice Bears. At 6-8-1, Missouri State will be looking to improve on their last road trip that ended in a loss and a tie to Ferris State and a loss to Central Michigan.

Central Oklahoma is 7-5 at home and will be playing their first game at home since a 3-2 shoot out loss to Arizona State on January, 10th.

Game Score

Missouri State Meets Minnesota State At Mediacom

01/16/09 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Being at home will hopefully bring the Missouri State Ice Bears better luck and some much needed wins in the second half of the season when they play the Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks this weekend.

The 10th ranked Ice Bears are 14-11-2 after going winless last weekend in Michigan against Ferris State and Central Michigan. Both teams are ranked below Missouri State, and that may have delt a serious blow to the teams' chances of making the ACHA Regional playoffs in February.

The Mavericks (10-3-1) are on a 6 game winning streak, although their last pair of wins came against (Division 3) Dort College. Minnesota State-Mankato is led in scoring by the team's president Nathan Ries (15G, 31 A) along with Mike Franks (22G, 16A) and Alex Maginnis (18G, 18A).

The Ice Bears leaders include Danny Bethmann (14G, 17A) along with Salman Shah (6G, 22A) the team's assist leader. C.J. jung is second in assists with 19 and has found the back of the net 5 times.

Game Score
 

Big Weekend Road Trip For Ice Bears In Michigan

01/07/09 - BIG RAPIDS, MI - With the Ice Bears currently ranked 10th in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Central Division 2 poll, this weekend will be very important games for the Missouri State in Michigan. The Ice Bears will play two games with the Bulldogs on Thursday at 9pm eastern time, and Friday at 10pm eastern at Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Ferris State (6-12), which started the season losing 9 straight games to teams including Davenport, Michigan, and Michigan State, has started to turn things around. The Bulldogs, who are ranked 14th, won 4-2 over Davenport on December 6th, and played to a 2-3 and 6-2 split with 5th ranked Lindenwood on December 12th and 13th.

Ferris State is lead by two players; Jonathan Julinao and Mike Bush who have 13 goals a piece. Ryan Tubbs is next with 6 goals. Goaltender Kevin Delamarter (916 mins, 4.91 GAA, 89.9% Sv. Pct.) has played in 16 of the Bulldogs 18 games.

Missouri State (14-9-1) will then spend a day in Mt. Pleasant and meet the Central Michigan Chippewas at the Isabella County Events Arena.

The last time the two teams met was in the 2006-2007 ACHA Division 2 Central Regional Tournament in Orland Park, Illinois - a 5-3 loss. It was a game in which the Ice Bears came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game, but eventually surrendered the game winner with 1:24 left in the 3rd period.

CMU (9-10) has recently found their winning ways, handing Grand Valley State a 5-4 loss scoring 2 goals in the last 5 minutes. The Chippewas also posted a 5-4 overtime win against 3rd ranked Michigan State in the ACHA Central. Jordan Jakubic and Mike Lesnau lead the team in scoring.

Three Chippewas goaltenders share the duties in nets. Willie Mistretta (420.00 mins, 4.71 GAA, 88% Sv. Pct. in 6 games), Matt Ellis (400 mins, 4.65 GAA, 87.9% Sv. Pct. in 5 games) and James Bowan (200 mins, 5.40 GAA, 87.3% Sv. Pct. in 4 games.)

The Ice Bears are fresh off a 7-4 win over the Mizzou Tigers at last Friday's 2nd annual 'Show Me Showcase' in Webster Groves, Missouri.

Danny Bethmann leads the team in scoring with 13 goals and has 5 game winning goals.

Bryan Beaman is second with 11, while Salman Shah leads all players in assists with 20. C.J. Jung tops the forwards with 17 helpers.

Mike Poepping continues to be locked in nets for Missouri State with a 13-8-1 record. He's played 1247 minutes, faced 652 shots, allowed 52 goals, and has a 2.50 GAA, and a 92.0% SV. Pct. to go along with 2 shutouts.

 

Ice Bears Start Second Half With Mizzou in St. Louis

12/29/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - After a problem with the ice making equipment at Webster Groves Ice Arena in Webster Groves, Missouri on November 28th forced the postponement of the "Show Me Showcase," the second annual Thanksgiving weekend meeting between the Missouri State Ice Bears and University of Missouri Tigers hockey teams, the rescheduled game will take place on Friday at 7pm.

This game will now signify the start of the second semester, and be a tune-up before the Ice Bears meet the Ferris State Bulldogs and Central Michigan Chippewas starting January 8th in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Missouri State (13-9-1) is coming off two wins against the Robert Morris - Springfield Eagles, 4-3 and 9-2 on December 12th and 13th. Missouri (8-11) also swept RMCS the following weekend 10-6 and 14-6.

The Ice Bears dropped two spots in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Central Division 2 poll after the Iowa Hawkeyes swept them at home on December 5th and 6th. They remain ranked in the top 10 at #10.

WSR will have the game for you live starting with the pre-game show at 6:50pm.

WSR's Central Region Poll #3 Shakes 'Em Up Again

12/22/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - One of Steve’s favorite sayings is credited to Gordie Howe: “Hockey players are bilingual; they know English and profanity.”

Gordie could add sportscasters to that comment as well. Unexpected splits and sweeps have really thrown a monkey wrench into the poll process this week, and have both Steve and I pulling our hair out. If you don’t believe me, take a look at how Steve’s week began with this chart.

 

 

Mine looks a lot like it. Amazingly enough, Steve and I came out pretty similar through the first five slots.

Then chaos reigns.

Missouri State Tries To Get Back On Track With RMCS

12/12/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - After two big losses against Iowa at home in Mediacom Ice Park, the Missouri State Ice Bears will be looking to get back into the win column with two games against the Robert Morris College - Springfield Eagles.

These two contests will be the final home games of first half of the 2008-2009 season for the Ice Bears.

Missouri State will play the rescheduled game from Thanksgiving weekend against Missouri during the Christmas break, then the Ice Bears will visit Ferris State on January 8th, 2009.

Last year the Ice Bears swept the Eagles on the road by scores of 8-2 on September 29th, 2007 and 8-5 on January 20th, 2008.

In game one the Ice Bears erased a 2-1 deficit early in the 2nd period scoring 4 goals en route to the win. Andy Whitener and Danny Bethmann figured in the scoring.

Despite sickness in game two, the Ice Bears again came from a 1-0 deficit with four unanswered on goals including one by Bryan Beaman and a pair from Danny Bethmann. Later in the game Clayton Baker and Mitch Leonard pitched in with solo efforts.

Game Score
 

Lead In MACHA League Could Be Decided With Iowa

12/05/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Still sporting a 32 game Mid America Collegiate Hockey Association League (MACHA) winning streak, the Missouri State Ice Bears (8-0) will face the Iowa Hakeyes (9-1) Friday and Saturday in a battle for first place in the MACHA Gold division at Mediacom Ice Park.

The Ice Bears (11-7-0 overall) have won six straight games in a row, with 6-3 and 6-2 wins over Saint Louis last weekend.

They will have their top line intact as Bryan Beaman is back in the lineup, as well as Ryan Armstrong who left with a sprained left ankle.

The Ice Bears and Hawkeyes battle this weekend Illustration by Bill Baunach

Iowa (17-4-0 overall) is coming off a 7-2 and 6-1 loss to Saint Thomas who is now ranked 8th in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Central Division 2 ranking period #2. Missouri State is ranked 9th and Iowa is 10th.

Game Score

Thanksgiving Game With Missouri To Be Rescheduled

11/27/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - A problem with the ice making equipment at Webster Groves Ice Arena in Webster Groves, Missouri has forced the postponement of what has been dubbed the "Show Me Showcase," the second annual Thanksgiving weekend meeting between the Missouri State Ice Bears and University of Missouri Tigers hockey teams on Friday.

The problem with the equipment was discovered Monday when the ice would not stay frozen at the level needed to play hockey safely. Late word of the game cancellation was to allow rink officials to fix the problem with the hopes of having the playing surface ready for Friday.

"We wanted to give the ice rink every opportunity to have a good sheet of ice, and the final decision was made late Thursday morning on cancellation of the game,” said Ice Bears General Manager Stan Melton.

When rink officials said the ice would not be ready in time, representatives from both teams agreed to postpone the game and reschedule.

Melton said there was not enough time and logistically moving the game to another rink, given the short time frame, was not an option.

"We regret the inconvenience to our fans and the game will be rescheduled over the Christmas break," explained Melton. "We will make an announcement early next week on the date and game time.”

 

WSR's Central Region Poll #2 Proves To Be A Challenge

11/26/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - I don’t recall when Steve and I have been more diverse in our reasoning for our Unofficial DII Central Region poll picks than here in period #2. This was, to say it gently, the slang term for a female dog.

There are so many so-and-so beat so-and-so who beat the first so-and-so and so on, that you could argue a good case for half a dozen of our selections.

 

MACHA Games On Line With Missouri Rival

11/19/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Extending their winning streak in the Mid-America Collegiate Athletic Association (MACHA) to 30 games last weekend, the Missouri State Ice Bears will host the Saint Louis University Billikens this weekend at Mediacom Ice Park in Springfield.

The Ice Bears split the series last year with the Billikens. Missouri State won the "Midnight Madness" game 5-1 on goals by Bryan Beaman (2), Bobby Saitta, Danny Bethmann, and Anthony Trupiano.

Less then 12 hours later, Saint Louis took the second game 9-6 with the Ice Bears coming from two goals down twice to tie the game 4-4 and 6-6 until 3 unanswered goals gave the game to SLU.

WebSports Radio will have the game for you live starting at 6:50pm (central) with the pre-game show both Friday and Saturday.

Game Score

Illinois State Next Stop For Ice Bears This Weekend

11/12/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - The Missouri State Ice Bears, who have won 24 straight Mid-America Collegiate Athletic Association (MACHA) league games, will put their streak on the line when they face the Illinois State Redbirds this weekend in Bloomington, Illinois at the Pepsi Ice Center and US Cellular Arena.

Both games will be available on WebSports Radio's Live TV (www.wsrlive.com) and Friday's game will also be simulcast in Springfield, Missouri on KBFL 99.9 FM.

(Update 11/17/08) You have to go back to November 18th, 2006, a 7-10 loss to the Southern Illinois - Edwardsville Cougars as the last time Missouri State has surrendered a hockey game to any MACHA Gold team they have faced.

Friday will be the 3rd meeting between the Ice Bears, who are 4-0 in MACHA this season, and the Redbirds who are 4-3 in league play.

Last year Missouri State dominated the first meeting between the teams taking a 9-2 win and out shooting the Redbirds 50-23 on Friday, November 2nd, 2007.

The second game was closer as the Ice Bears had to rally back from four 1-goal deficits and a late third period Redbird goal (that was disallowed) to win the game 5-4 in overtime, just 32 seconds into the extra 5 minute period.

Missouri State is 3-6 on the road this season, while Illinois State is 8-1 at home, with their only loss an 8-4 decision to the So. Illinois - Edwardsville Cougars on October, 24th.

Danny Bethmann and C.J. Jung lead the Ice Bears in scoring with 15 points. Bethmann has 8 goals and 7 assists, while Jung has 3 goals and 12 assists.

Although Missouri State has scored 57 goals this season, their opponents have only notched 45.

Illinois State has scored 130 and allowed 66, but against teams not at the level of competition as the Ice Bears have faced.

Defenseman Salman Shah (#20) has 2 game winning goals for the Ice Bears this season, and a shorthander.
Game Score
 

Ice Bears Road Trip Continues With No. Illinois Huskies

11/07/08 - WEST DUNDEE, IL - Trying to stop a two game losing skid, the Missouri State Ice Bears had a pre-game closed door meeting to help themselves get back on track against the Northern Illinois Huskies.

Game Score

Missouri State Ice Bears On Road With Lindenwood Lions

10/31/08 - LINDENWOOD, MO - The Ice Bears head into Wentzville, Missouri for a series with the Lions. Missouri State is ranked 8th in the ACHA D2 Central Region after the first ranking period was announced earlier in the day.

Game Score
 

Here We Go Again! WSR's D2 Central Region Poll Out

10/29/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Steve and I were not planning to do a poll this year after finding out last year just how hard and how much research time it takes to do a fair job of it. But apparently we did something right, and we were surprised at the number of people who kept asking when it would come out. Well, flattery will get you everywhere, so here we go again!

Ice Bears Looking To End Winless Streak

10/24/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Missouri State's winless streak is at 4 games going into the weekend series with Florida Gulf Coast and the Ice Bears hope to change that against the Eagles.

Game Score

High Hopes In Harrisburg For Ice Bears At Showcase

10/16/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - ST. LOUIS, MO - INDIANAPOLIS, IN - COLUMBUS, OH - HARRISBURG, PA - The Ice Bears will face two number one ranked teams in the ACHA D2 last year - Davenport and Siena. They'll throw in 13th ranked in the Northeast, Vermont for good measure.

During the 17 hour bus trip and through out the weekend WSR will chronicle the trip to the Showcase through comments, photos and video.

Vs Davenport:

Vs Siena:

Vs Vermont:

Missouri State Looking To Extend Winning Streak

10/10/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - The Robert Morris College-Chicago Eagles head into Mediacom Ice Park for a two game set with the Missouri State Ice Bears, who hope to extend their winning streak to 4 games.

Ice Bears Host Panthers In Home Opening Weekend

10/03/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - The Ice Bears return home for two weeks and host the Eastern Illinois Panthers for two games at Mediacom Ice Park over the weekend.

Missouri State's Hockey Season Opens Against ISU

09/26/08 - AMES, IA - The season begins with a weekend series against the Iowa State Cyclones, ranked 8th in the ACHA Division 1 pre-season poll.

The Ice Bears will return home for the season home opener at Mediacom Ice Park on October 3rd with the Eastern Illinois Panthers at 7:00pm . WSR will have the pre-game show for you starting at 6:50pm central time.

Ice Bears Name New Head Coach; Team Goes On Road

09/23/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Sometimes teams go through a long process to find a new coach, but the search ended quickly with Mike Schroeder, father of Ice Bears defenseman Matt Schroeder, accepting the head coaching position just 10 days after the resignation of sixth year coach Benjamin Alexander.

The decision was made Sunday at a lengthy players board meeting with Coach Schroeder.

"When word of an open coaching position came around, Mike offered to step in and help," said Ice Bears General Manager Stan Melton.

Schroeder will be only the third head coach in the history of the Ice Bears organization dating back to the 2001-2002 season and will be on the ice starting Wednesday evening at the varsity team practice session.

Don Carlson, and former Ice Bears captain Dan Odenwald and goaltender Michael Brown will continue their assistant coaching duties with the team.

Although other candidates were considered and interviewed, Schroeder seems like a good fit. He has attended more than half of the Ice Bears games in which Matt has been a member of the team and has extensive coaching experience.

Coach Schroeder's background includes 11 years coaching experience as a head coach and assistant coach for select travel programs in the St. Louis area and in the Atlanta, Georgia area. His teams have participated 2 times in the USA Hockey Nationals championship tournament,  3 times as finalists in the Silver Sticks championship tournaments and were 5 time Southern Youth League champions.

Missouri State heads to Ames, Iowa this weekend and will open the season with Iowa State, (31-11-2 in 07/08) a team that is ranked 8th nationally in the ACHA Division 1 pre-season poll. The Cyclones have had the benefit of playing two games last weekend with the University of Missouri, both 6-3 and 7-3 wins.

 

Missouri State Ice Bears' Head Coach Resigns

09/12/08 (Update 9/16/08) - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Benjamin Alexander, the longest tenured coach of the Missouri State Ice Bears hockey organization, resigned as head coach Thursday. Assistant coach Don Carlson will take over as interim coach.

The announcement was made during a players meeting at Mediacom Ice Park.

"We all were shell-shocked when Benjamin told us," said Ice Bears General Manager Stan Melton.

It's possible travel time and commitment to being the best coach he could be was affected by outside work responsibilities, prompting Alexander to step down.

He had been with the organization since its inception in 2001.

Former Ice Bears Head Coach Benjamin Alexander and WSR's Steve Casson talk during the 2007/2008 Ice Bears Hockey Coaches Show at Coesters in Springfield.

He served as Assistant Coach for one season before taking over the top job for the past six seasons.

In the past three seasons since WebSports Radio has covered the team, Alexander posted a 63-36-5 record and lead the Ice Bears to two straight Mid-American Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) Gold Division tournament championships, the MACHA Gold Division 07/08 regular season championship, and three straight berths in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Central Region playoffs. Missouri State was ranked 9th during the 05/06 season, 8th in 06/07, and 4th during the 07/08 season.

Last year's team captain Dan Odenwald (20 G, 20 A) goaltender Michael Brown, (12-4-0, 2.88 GA, 3 SO) both recent Missouri State graduates, will join Carlson on the ice during practices, and behind the bench on road trips.

Thanks to Alexander's leadership, Missouri State is now considered a significant college hockey program in the Midwest. The team has progressed from a small club team with a few friends and ice rink staff watching, to several (1,100 seat) sell-outs in the past three seasons and high caliber player recruitment for the Ice Bears hockey program.

"He has made many vital contributions both on and off the ice, and his key role in the growth and success of the organization will be greatly missed," said Assistant General Manager Curt Bussen.

Coach Alexander's legacy is not finished.

The 2008-2009 season schedule he has put together, in my estimation, is one of the most challenging ever. Not only will the Ice Bears open the season on the road against D1 powerhouse Iowa State on September 26th, the the team will travel to the ACHA D2 Showcase in Hershey, Pennsylvania and face the 2008 D2 National Champion Davenport University Panthers; the Sienna University Saints (ranked #1 in the Northeast region in 07/08); and the Vermont University Catamounts, regionally ranked 13th in the Northeast in 07/08.

It's now up the players to finish what Alexander had in mind for Missouri State, and what previous teams have been working toward for the past few years - a trip to the ACHA D2 National Finals.

"I knew eventually something like this could happen," said Melton. He referred to the ending of an unusually long term by Alexander, a coach who was not paid by the organization.

"I'm just happy we've had 6 great seasons under Benjamin's leadership."

'08-'09 Hockey Radio Broadcast Schedule Announced

08/24/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - WebSports Radio will again broadcast 12 Ice Bears hockey on JOCK 98.7 FM, KBFL 99.9 FM and 1060 AM, part of the Meyer Communications network. This is the third season WSR will simulcast Missouri State Hockey games on Springfield radio.

The radio broadcast schedule starts with an away game against one of the top American Collegiate Hockey Association's (ACHA) Division 1 teams, the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday, September 27th at 7pm central. Other road games include a Friday, November 14th visit to play the Illinois State University Redbirds (Division 2) at 9:30pm, and the final game of the regular season; a February 13th, 2009 meeting with Kansas University.

Home broadcasts at Mediacom Ice Park include October dates with Eastern Illinois, Robert Morris-Chicago and Florida Gulf Coast. Saint Louis University is the lone home game broadcast in November on the 22nd. Other broadcast games include Missouri, Southern Illinois - Edwardsville, Minnesota State, Robert Morris-Springfield and Iowa.

All games will be broadcast inside the arena (without a delay) on FM frequency (99.1 FM) for fans to follow the action live.

 
 

Ice Bears Hockey Schedule Includes ACHA Showcase

07/29/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Starting the 2008-2009 hockey season off with a bang is just what the Missouri State Ice Bears are hoping to do when they open the season on the road against the Division 1 Iowa State Cyclones Friday, September 26th at Ames-ISU Ice Arena in Ames, Iowa.

This year's robust schedule will feature 37 regular season games including 18 dates at home in Mediacom Ice Park and 19 on the road. Missouri State will play three of those road games in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division 2 Showcase in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Friday, October 17 through Sunday, October 19th at Twin Ponds Ice Skating Complex.

"This is the most games we've ever scheduled," said Ice Bears General Manager Stan Melton.

The Ice Bears, winners of the Mid-American Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament (MACHA) the past two years, will play their first home game of the season at Mediacom Ice Park on Friday, October 3rd against the Eastern Illinois Panthers, a MACHA league opponent. Robert Morris - Chicago, a team the Ice Bears beat 5-3 in the 2008 ACHA Regionals in March, will travel to Mediacom the following week to meet Missouri State.

Other home games include visits by the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles (ranked 8th in the ACHA D2 final poll), and Saint Louis University Billikens (as a D2 member team) along with another visit from the Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks.

Scheduling this year will have the team mostly on the road during November (including the second annual meeting with Missouri at Webster Groves Ice Arena over Thanksgiving) and playing as late as December 13th (with Robert Morris - Springfield) during the Fall semester. A trip to play the Ferris State Bulldogs and the Central Michigan Chippewas will start off the second semester on Thursday, January 8th through Saturday, January 10th.

The season will wrap up with a series against the rival Cougars of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, and the Missouri Tigers. The Ice Bears will will also hit the road near Kansas City and play the Kansas Jayhawks.

See JV White 08-09 Game Schedule

Missouri State Hockey Schedule To Be Released Soon

07/22/08 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Pending approval from the hockey team, the 2008-2009 Missouri State Hockey schedule will soon be released on the WSR website.

The Ice Bears, who won the Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament for the second consecutive year and were three minutes shy of a possible birth into the ACHA D2 National Championship last season, will be looking to add to their roster a host of players in a bid to finish their task of securing a bid to the D2 Nationals this season.

Missouri State will be without team Captain Dan Odenwald (20G, 20A regular season, and 3G, 1A playoffs), Bobby Saitta (12G, 10A, and 1G, 1A playoffs), Joel Livingston (17G, 13A, and 2G, 1A playoffs) and goaltender Michael Brown (shown left) (12-4-0, 2.88 GGA, 2 SO), who are among the seniors that graduated after the fall 2007 semester.

Potential replacements will be looked at during the Ice Bears Mini-camp July 26th and 27th at Mediacom Ice Park in Springfield.

"We're going to have a awesome team this year," Ice Bears defenseman Matt Schroeder said to me when I caught up with him during an adult hockey session. Schroeder, along with the rest of last years team, will still have to attend tryouts at the end of August to earn a spot on the 2008-2009 roster.

Junior goaltender Mike Poepping (12-6-0, 3.24 GGA, 3 SO) should have the early nod as starting netminder after splitting that role last season with Brown, the outgoing Senior. "Pep's been working out alot during the off season," said Shroeder. "He's getting ready."