Monday, February 27, 2006

Get Better Murphy - With Updates Below!

A lot of drama going on with the Falcons over the past week: They made the playoffs without playing (I still haven’t figured that one out), Save Mart’s bad ice finally got a game suspended and – biggest of all – Falcon defenseman Cory Murphy had a season ending injury; an injury that may have been due to the “bad ice”.

Falcon coaches went on the message board after Cory’s incident to give the fans an update:

Matt Thomas and I, Ryan Mougenel wanted to take this opportunity to
thank all of you who have offered Cory Murphy and his family thoughts
and prayers. I write this as Matt and I are still very numb from the injury
that Cory suffered last night, but we wanted to relay the message that
Cory is going to get through this and will be fine.
Cory is undergoing surgery as we speak to repair a piece of bone that
fragmented from his fibula breaking. He also suffered a dislocated ankle
which will also be set. Although losing Cory is a huge blow to our hockey
team, we wanted to let all of you know what a resilient and amazing
group of guys we have in this room and Matt and I know the response
that the guys will have for Cory will be well documented as we continue
our journey and bring the most dedicated fans in the ECHL a Kelly Cup.

We met with Cory and his wife Mellisa last night, and they wanted to
thank the amazing support and love you have all shown to Cory and his
Thanks again and we thank you for your thoughts and prayers!!!!!!

Heres to bringing a Championship Home to Fresno!!!!!!!!

All the best Ryan Mougenel and Matt Thomas

The Unofficial wishes the speediest of recovery’s for Cory and hope to see him back on the extra frosty ice of the Save Mart, next season.

** Other local bloggers have posted on Murphy. Check out The Zera's eyewitness account on the Murphy injury:

**Here's the latest on Murph: UPDATE

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Korn and Kondors

On Friday, while the country’s biggest metal rock band KORN opens its world tour in the Condors home Arena, the Condors will be in Fresno to play our Fresno Falcons. So while Bakersfieldians (Or is it Bakos? Fielders? Lords? Fresno Smog Suckers?), mosh with themselves and listen to their hometown band, the Falcons will hopefully be making their own mosh-pit with nothing but Condors in the middle.

The Falcons are 2-0-2 against Bakersfield. On the surface, this is a pretty good record. But dig deeper and you find something very disturbing. Of Pacific Division teams, the Condors have the best record vs. the Falcons. This can not stand. The Condors are the Falcons biggest valley rivals and arguably their biggest rival in the ECHL – The Gulls are in a down year and Stockton actually has to beat us to become a rival.

While Korn may not be coming to Save Mart, the Zooperstars are. So, maybe I can convince the Mart’s audio/video folks to play some Korn and let me form a Mosh pit with the Zooperstars in the middle.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


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Right now, New Jersey Devil Scotty Gomez, is trying to help the U.S. Olympic team win the gold medal in Torino. Last year, at this time, he was trying to help the ECHL's Alaska Aces win a Kelly Cup.

During Gomez stay on the Aces' roster, I made sure to catch the Aces when they came to play the Falcons at Save Mart (Why is there no cool grocery nick name for Save Mart Center yet?). Gomez had nothing else going on because of the NHL lockout so he decided to play for his home states team.

After watching Gomez for a couple games, I was surprised to find there wasn't much of a visible difference between him and the ECHL players. He did seem to have crisper passes, but that was about it. That says something about the ECHL's players.

Gomez isn't the only former ECHL player in this years Olympics. As reports, there are many current and former ECHL players in the 2006 games. Even Fresno Falcon division rivals Stockton Thunder have a player on the Latvian team.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Thunder Has Passed

This was getting old. Stockton Thunder vs. The Fresno Falcons. Startin' to feel like they're the only teams in the ECHL. I'll bet the Falcons are getting sick of seeing the Thunder's ugly black and yellow sweaters. Four games in five days is enough to make anybody sick of seeing the same uniforms, arenas, boards...mascots.

I don't think the Falcons minded too much since they acquired eight points from the Thunder. This four game stretch might be looked upon as where the Falcons won the Pacific Division. I wonder how Long Beach feels about the division leading Falcons getting to play the expansion Thunder four games straight?

Up next for Falcons is a tough Idaho Steelhead team. It really doesn't matter. Just as long as Idaho's sweaters aren't black and yellow.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I've Spent Six Dollars On Less

B2 Networks enables you to watch select ECHL games live, over the internet. Tonight, I decided to watch the Falcons take on the Thunder, live from Stockton.

During my decision to order the game, I briefly forgot that the game overlaps some other big broadcasts Wednesday night: The Grammys, "Lost", "American Idol" and the Canucks vs. Blues game - Vancouver's my favorite team. That's a lot of damn good TV for one night.

What the hell, that's what Tivo is for; on with the Falcons via the internet.


Real easy to order the game, I just clicked the B2 Network button a couple minutes before the game and I was taken to a page where I filled in some billing info' and, within a minute, I was watching the Stockton feed.

As expected, you only have a small screen to watch on. You can expand it to fill the screen but you lose a lot of resolution. It’s hard to see the puck but an educated hockey fan doesn't need to see the puck to follow the action.

The feed is mostly smooth, with only an occasional jump or freeze. Brian Clark's 1550 radio broadcast is played over it. Clark's play-calling is pretty much in time with the video feed.

For this broadcast, there is only one camera to view the game with. This creates a bland, no score overlay, view. But the camera man does get some occasional tight shots when play is mucking it up around the goal.

There are no commercials so you get to watch the raw "in house" feed. Brian Clark's mic is on the whole time but he rarely says something during the breaks. Although a funny moment (funny in an eight year old boy humor way) happened during the second intermission when Clarky announced to his director he was making a restroom run.

In the end, I was glad to have spent the six bucks for the game. It was a nice edition to Brian Clark's radio call. I wouldn't recommend doing it for home games, just go watch them. But, if I only have to spend six bucks to not go to Stockton, that’s money well spent. Plus the Falcons won in overtime, I picked a good game to watch.

Now where’s my Tivo remote?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Chippy Games Ahead

Am I seeing this correctly? If you take a look at the Falcons schedule this week, you’ll see the Stockton Thunder on it four times. First this Wednesday in Stockton, Friday in Fresno and Saturday and Sunday back in Stockton.

With all of that traveling up and down Highway 99, the Mammoth Orange Stand better have enough burgers to fry.

The nice thing for the Falcons is that Stockton - in the first year of the franchises existence - has the worst record in the ECHL. By the end of this quirky series, the Falcons should have an even firmer grip on first place; depending on what the second place Ice Dogs do this week. Long Beach is currently seven points back and the Falcons have two games in hand.

The down side of this series – for the Falcons – is it’s even tough to beat a bad roller hockey team, four games straight. And, by the end of the second or third game, chances are, things are going to start getting chippy – Is chippy like the BEST hockey term ever?

Also watch for some of that chippy stuff if the team busses coincidently meet at the Orange Stand.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Welcome to the world of ECHL blogging and the first Fresno Falcons blog.

What's the point of all this? It's to give some different angles on what's goin' on with the Falcons (with respect to everyone on the Falcons Forum and Bee writer Ken Robison). It's also to trade smack-talk between other ECHL bloggers.

Bloggers like Condor's lead smacker N.L. Belardes. Feel free to visit his blog and tell him how much Bako sucks.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Mr. Dorktown, Meet Stanley

The ECHL All-Star game was great. Couldn't have asked for a better game with the Nationals winning a goal-fest and Fresno Falcon Luke Curtin wining the game MVP. And I saw THE sports tropy: the Stanley Cup.

I would like to say "nice job" to Fresno and ECHL fans for showing up (on a Wednesday night) and providing the best attended ECHL All-Star game in five years.

Fresno Seeing ALL Stars

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Fresno's recent history of supporting major sports events has been weak.

A couple seasons ago, Fresno hosted the WAC Basketball Tourney - Fresnans didn't turn out. Last year, Fresno hosted the women's NCAA Basketball Regionals - You could hear the players sweat dripping.

Now Fresnans have another chance to show they can host an event. The Fresno Falcons and the Save Mart Center are hosting the ECHL All-Star Game Janurary 24-25th.

This is our chance Fresno. Our chance to show the sports world we can support a major event that doesn't exclusively involve a Fresno team.

The "Stars" of Dorktown will be there - How about you?


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Hockey is the best sport to watch live. If you're a Fresno Falcon fan, the only way to watch a game live is to, well, be there (no LIVE television version of the game).

There is a televised version of the game but it is taped and played the next day. The idea being you might not go Save Mart and see the game if you can watch it live on television.

I've always thought it would be nice to have a live "boob tube" broadcast, just to get ya thinking about the Falcons. Then you might go out and pay to see them the next time.

Well, now you can see a live broadcast and pay.

If you go to the Fresno Falcons website ten minutes before the start of the game, you can click on a B2Live button and be taken to a website where you can pay six bucks to watch the game live, over the internet. I haven't tried it yet but I plan to; just to get me thinking about the Falcons.

Fresno Feeding The NHL

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For only the second time in History, a Fresno Falcon has made it to the NHL - thanks to an injured Russian. Here's the story:

FRESNO, Calif. – Former Fresno Falcons goaltender Nolan Schaefer appeared in his first National Hockey League game this evening and helped lead the San Jose Sharks to a 5-4 overtime victory against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Schaefer replaced Sharks starting goaltender Vesa Toskala at 7:12 of the second period and recorded 12 saves on 13 shots against through the remainder of regulation and into overtime to earn credit for the victory. He was called-up to Fresno’s NHL affiliate from the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Barons last weekend when Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov suffered an injury in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets last Friday.

Schaefer, selected in the fifth round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Sharks, was assigned to the Falcons at the outset of the 2003-04 season following a four-year collegiate career at Providence College. He appeared in 12 games for Fresno that season, posting a 5-5-0 record with a 3.12 goals against average, .910 save percentage, and one shutout before receiving what turned out to be a permanent promotion to the Barons and the AHL.

Schaefer becomes just the second Fresno player to appear in an NHL game after wearing a Falcons uniform. Defenseman Garret Stroshein, who played 20 games for the Falcons during the 2001-02 season, played three games for the Washington Capitals in 2003-04.

As a result of Schaefer’s call-up to San Jose, Falcons rookie goaltender Jamie Holden was re-called earlier this week to Cleveland, which has yet to play a game since Holden’s arrival.

There was no thanking of Fresno by Nolan...whateverrrrrr. It's to be expected. People who get their starts in Fresno tend to forget all about their Fresno days.

You know, people like Kevin Federline Spears.