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Gravel grades hockey defense; Basketball coach credits parents

January 4, 2014
By BURT ANGELI - Sports Writer , The Daily News

ScuttleBu(r)t ...

Kingsford's Kevin Gravel gave his St. Cloud State defense a B plus for the first half of the college hockey season.

"We took the pedal off the metal a little in the last couple of weeks," Gravel, a team captain and defenseman, told Mick Hatten of the St. Cloud Times. "We need to try not to do too much and we need to be taking care of the puck."

St. Cloud State - tied for fourth in the nation in goals against (2.0) and seventh in shots allowed (25.62) - has yielded more than three goals in just one game this season.

St. Cloud, ranked fourth in the country, leads the National Collegiate Hockey Conference with a 6-1-1 mark. The Huskies sport an 11-2-3 overall record, with eight of those wins and no defeats on the road.

"I honestly don't know what it is," Gravel said. "We've got a group of guys who compete every night and we have a very unselfish group of guys in there who don't care who's in the spotlight or who's getting the goals as long as we win."

As far as individual stats, Gravel has collected two goals and six assists along with a plus 12 this season.

"We go into every game expecting to win," Gravel said. "We've had a few letdowns here and there, but it was a good first half.

"The big thing is you can't go into a game thinking you're just going to walk out with (a win). We've been confident, but still knowing that we have to prepare and do the work. It's not going to happen just based on the success we've had."

The Huskies play an exhibition game tonight at the Brooks Center against the United State National Development Team's U18 squad.

From Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe: "We are ridiculously spoiled. The Patriots have had a winning record in 13 consecutive seasons. The secondbest current streak is Green Bay's four seasons. In the Belichick era, the Patriots have won 17 playoff games, five AFC Championships, and three Super Bowls. The Detroit Lions have won one playoff game since 1957." ...

Two of Goodman-Pembine boys basketball's biggest fans, Donnie and Nancy Whitt of Alabama, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary recently.

"I dedicate my small effort in coaching to my parents," said Patriots coach Paul Whitt. "So much of who I am as a person, and what these guys see as a coach is because of their investment in me over the years.

"And certainly my love of athletics is a direct result of my dad. And as usual, his congratulatory text was the first one waiting on me after the game."

Goodman-Pembine climbed to 8-1 on the season after winning the Lena Holiday Tournament. The Patriots, unbeaten in the Northern Lakes Conference, meet White Lake at Goodman Tuesday ...

From Vikings great Bud Grant, to Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "The secret to coaching is to get the best players. Coaching is not as complicated as we like to make it out to be." ...

Not sure if this suggested Rose Bowl headline made any newspapers, but I do like: "Sparty beats Smarty." ...

Ewen-Trout Creek, normally a Class D boys basketball powerhouse, doesn't expect any sympathy with an inexperienced team this season.

"I told the guys they way we've been in the past, if somebody gets up 20 on us, they're not going to be satisfied," ETC Coach Brad Besonen said after the Panthers fell to Lake Linden 84-50. "They're going to try to push it and really bury us because we've had success in the past." ...

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