Sunday, June 10, 2018

New Era Begins with Dan Quinn Introduced as NY Rangers Head Coach

Dan Quinn introduced as new NY Rangers Head Coach
Dan Quinn holding the 2015 Beanpot Trophy
The MSG televised the NY Rangers Head Coach Press Conference Thursday afternoon and it was  of course all sunshine and rainbows regarding Dan Quinn as the new coach. Quinn, 51 years old, was with the Boston University Terriers for five years before accepting the Rangers job. At BU Quinn replaced the legendary Jack Parker in 2013, and he had a 105-68-21 record, which included four trips to the NCAA tournament and a national title game appearance in 2015. His BU team lost to Providence in that NCAA title game. Surprisingly Quinn's BU team won just one Beanpot Trophy (2015) in his five seasons. And his team lost in the Beanpot finals the last three years (2016-18). The Beanpot tournament (BU, BC, Harvard, and Northeastern) is a big deal in the Boston area and one win in five years is not very good. Other than that he does have an impressive coaching resume.

Coaching career (Head Coach unless noted)
1994–1996Northeastern (assistant)
1996–2002Nebraska–Omaha (assistant)
1999–2000Team USA (assistant)
2002–2004Team USA U17
2003Team USA U18 (assistant)
2004–2009Boston University (assistant)
2009–2012Lake Erie Monsters
2012Team USA (assistant)
2012–2013Colorado Avalanche (assistant)
2013–2018Boston University
2016Team USA (assistant)

The Rangers going for a rebuilding college coach instead of an NHL retread is considered by most observers to be a smart move given the type of players the Rangers are stockpiling. The Rangers have 13 players from the college game competing for a Blueshirt job: Kevin Shattenkirk (who was coached by Quinn at B.U.), Chris Kreider (B.C.), Kevin Hayes (B.C.), Brady Skjei (Minnesota), Jimmy Vesey (Harvard), Neal Pionk (UMD), Brendan Smith (Wisconsin), Rob O’Gara (Yale), John Gilmour (Providence), Steven Kampfer (Michigan), Boo Nieves (Michigan), Vinni Lettieri (Minnesota); and Ryan Lindgren (Minnesota).

Quinn reportedly signed a 5 year deal for $12 million ($2.4M per year), which was bumped up from a 4 year $8 million initial package, in order to pry him out of Boston University.

All of the commentary from MSG's Steve Valiquette regarding Quinn's coaching prowess was of course very positive. Quinn played as a defenseman, and he brings a defense first mentality, which apparently means that we should not expect to see Rangers defensemen dropping to one knee and screening the goaltender. When asked, Quinn said he still expects Lundqvist to be the Rangers goalie. Quinn said in reply to a Stan Fischler question, that his favorite hockey team while growing up in Cranston, RI, was the Boston Bruins and that Ray Bork, the Bruins Hall of Fame defenseman, was his favorite player. The Rangers were his second "favorite" team.

The Rangers have a busy schedule coming up and Quinn will quickly go to work, getting his assistants lined up, and then getting a roster put together with Jeff Gorton and Chris Drury.

Quinn's mission will be to develop young players and win at the same time. We wish him all the best.

Key dates coming up:


NHL Combine: June 1-2
NHL Draft: June 22-23
Prospects Camp: June 25
NHL Free Agency: July 1
New Era Begins with Dan Quinn Introduced as NY Rangers Head Coach

Monday, October 2, 2017

Results of 9th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival (Sept. 24, 2017)

We had a heatwave at the Stoweflake Resort and Spa for the Ninth Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival with 11 teams competing in the chuck, 1 throw for show, 5 teams in the Chili Cook-Off, 43 volunteers and over 1300 spectators enjoying the chuckin', chili, beer, wine, food, raffles, two bands, face-painting, balloon animals, games and volleyball. Over $5,000 was raised for the Lamoille Restorative Center (Hyde Park) whose staff and volunteers did an amazing job running the festival. LRC is doing great work and it was a pleasure to work with them.

Moosilauke Hurlers sweep the event!


The Chamberlain brothers from New Hampshire have been coming to the festival for six years, arriving early with their trailer of two trebuchets in the middleweight open division. This year Ray Chamberlain won the Middleweight Open division *and* overall Best Design by throwing 326 feet. His brother Ed was slightly behind at 276 feet and way ahead of the rest of the field.

Results of the trebuchet contest:

Lightweight Division (age 10 and under, trebuchet limited to 20 lbs. and 41”)
  • 1st place trophy plus $50 cash: Steven Mccann from VT (Max D.23)
  • 2nd place trophy: Theresa Tipper from VT (Elephant)
  • 3rd place trophy: Owen Christman from VT (Extreme Pie Face Two)
  • 4th place: Barclay Johnson from VT (Wheland Sword)
  • 5th place: Theresa Tipper from VT (Kitty)

Middleweight Junior Division (age 17 and under, trebuchet limited to 100 lbs. and 70”)
  • 1st place trophy plus $50 cash: Keiser Nesbitt from VT (Elastic X)

Middleweight Open Division: (any age, trebuchet limited to 100 lbs. and 70”)
  • 1st place trophy plus $50 cash: Ray Chamberlain from NH (Moosilauke Hurlers)
  • 2nd place trophy: Ed Chamberlin from NH (Ooh-Rah)
  • 3rd place trophy: John Christman from VT (Extreme Pie Face)
  • 4th place: Nick Helms from VT (Weapons of Medieval Destruction) 

Heavyweight Division: (any age, trebuchet limited to 500 lbs. and 120”)
  • 1st place trophy plus $50 cash: Troop 271

Grand Prize Best Design trophy plus $50 cash: Ray Chamberlain (Moosilauke Hurlers)

Scaling, height, weight limitations and penalties:

I often get asked why the scaling, height and weight limitations and penalties are so complicated. The answer is, they need to be that complicated to make it fair for all competitors. If a trebuchet design is made twice as tall, it will throw twice as far. This allows us to directly compare the design of a lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight by scaling up the smaller trebuchets so they compete on equal footing with the heavyweights. By comparing their relative heights, the magic number is roughly 2.9 for the lightweight and 1.7 for the middleweights. This is how we select the Best Design Grand Prize. The four winners of each division are scaled up to Heavyweight size. The Lightweight winner is scaled up by 2.9, both Middlweight winners are scaled up by 1.71 and the Heavyweight winner is not scaled. The best “scaled” distance wins the Grand Prize. In nine years, it has gone to the Heavyweights 3 times and to the Middlweight Open 6 times.

A trebuchet must be powered only by gravity, so by limiting the height and weight, we ensure each competitor starts with the same amount of energy. If they choose to make their frame very light, they can use more weight in the counterweight, at the risk of breaking something. It takes more energy to throw a heavier pumpkin, so the pumpkins must be at, or over, the specified weight to be legal.

If a trebuchet is over-height or over-weight, we don't kick them out of the festival; we allow them to compete with a penalty roughly proportional to how much they are out of spec. The penalty isn't really so much a penalty as a proportional offset to correct for the weight or height advantage beyond the “legal” limits.

The following summary of each division will show the adjusted distance, after scaling up including any penalty. If you want the actual distance, just divide by the appropriate scaling.

Summary of all competitors (all distances adjusted and scaled up to Heavyweight)

Lightweight Division: (scaling 2.9268)
  • 1st place: Steven Mccann, 276 feet
  • 2nd place: Theresa Tipper, 228 feet
  • 3rd place: Owen Christman, 218 feet
  • 4th place: Barclay Johnson, 185 feet
  • 5th place: Theresa Tipper, 172 feet

Middleweight Junior Division: (scaling 1.7142)
  • 1st place: Keiser Nesbitt, 282 feet

Middleweight Open Division: (scaling 1.7142
  • 1st place: Ray Chamberlain, 509 feet
  • 2nd place: Ed Chamberlin, 456 feet
  • 3rd place: John Christman, 330 feet
  • 4th place: Nick Helms, 63 feet

Heavyweight Division: (no scaling)
  • 1st place: Troop 271, 83 feet

Throw for show:
  • Dave Jordan, 185 feet

Chili Cook-Off champions:

The chili cook-off was a great success with three competitors and running out of chili before the end of the festival. Thanks for Keith Thompson running the show. In the feel-good hit of the festival, all of the winners donated their cash prize back to the Lamoille Restorative Center, in Hyde Park, Vermont. Here are the winners:
  • 1st place certificate and $100 cash: Keith Thompson (Thompson's Flour Shop)
  • 2nd place certificate and $50 cash: Bobbi Blanchard-Lewis (LRC)
  • 3rd place certificate and $25 cash: Jennifer Isabell (El Toro)

A big thank you to all our chili cook-off competitors.

A special thanks to our main sponsor, Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa for letting us use their beautiful field for free, as well as all the other sponsors:

  • North Country Federal Credit Union
  • Alpine Snowguards
  • The Alchemist
  • H.A. Manosh
  • Community National Bank
  • Smugglers Notch Resort
  • Stowe Country Club
  • Stowe Beverage
  • Union Bank
  • People's United Bank
  • MSI
  • El Toro
  • Thompson's Flour Shop
  • Laraway Youth and Family Services
  • The UPS Store - Stowe
  • Donald Blake Jr, Inc.
  • Ideltyme
  • Power Play Sports
  • Turtle Fur
  • Elmore Lakeview Farmstead
  • Stowe Motel
  • Stowe Soaring
  • PP&D

Special thanks to Bruce Wallace and his family for being the Master of Ceremonies and helping for the last 7 years, to Nick Pizzutti and Alyssa Gagne for registration and calculating the winners, to Gunner McCain for quick, cheery distance readings, to Mike Dunn for excellent sound system and House Dunn and John Smyth for great music, to Bob Gross and Russell Baum for helping out with safety and setup for the last 9 years.

We look forward to the next festival, Sept. 30th, 2018 at the Stoweflake.

Dave Jordan
Festival organizer
161 Henway Road
Morrisville, VT 05661

Monday, September 25, 2017

Flying Pumpkins in Stowe

Thanks everyone for another great Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival yesterday at Stoweflake. We will be posting the final results with a summary of the competition shortly.

In the mean time, here was a nice story with some video from yesterday's festival:

Pumpkins Flying Through Stowe

Haley Bouley / mychamplainvalley.com:
Pumpkins Flying Through Stowe - 9th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin'

Friday, September 22, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

#LiveFromVermont - It's Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin'

Who doesn't love Tom Hanks? His David S. Pumpkins character from SNL will apparently be making a reappearance according to a recent tweet from Hanks. You can't go wrong with a Pumpkin Song opening.

Tom Hanks - twitter

Prancing around in a pumpkin suit seems like a dream job. Maybe we'll get our own Dave Pumpkins to ditch the Viking helmet and go with a pumpkin suit.

David S. Pumpkins
Pumpkins Rule

Our very own home grown Vermont pumpkins will soon be doing their own performance this coming Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort, in Stowe, Vermont. Come on out and see our Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival. We have music, food, and fun ($10 admission, free for 4 and under). And it all goes to support a great cause, the Lamoille Restorative Center, in Hyde Park, Vermont, which promotes healthy families and communities within the Lamoille Valley Region of Vermont.

Hit us up on Twitter or our Facebook page if you have #AnyQuestions.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Press Release: 9th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Person: Heidi Dwyer
Company Name: Lamoille Restorative Center, Hyde Park, Vermont
Phone: 802-888-5871
Fax: 802-888-5400
Website: lrcvt.org

9th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival
Stoweflake Resort & Spa to Host 2017 Festival
Proceeds of September 24th event to benefit Lamoille Restorative Center

Stowe, Vermont, Aug. 11, 2017 – This year marks 9 years of the Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ (VTPC) Festival. This festival celebrates the sport of “chuckin’” pumpkins, for distance, using a do-it-yourself constructed trebuchet or gravity-powered catapult. Festival founder, Dave Jordan, describes the event as a cross between a Soap Box Derby (amateur building/engineering) and a shot put contest (throwing for distance). The event is a great opportunity for kids of all ages to build something with their hands and engage in some family friendly competition. Records have been broken every year; last year's winner threw 689 feet!
The VTPC Festival is one-day event and has grown every year. This event is sponsored by the Stoweflake Resort and Spa and many other local sponsors.  The event benefits the Lamoille Restorative Center, which has a thirty-seven year history addressing unlawful behaviors, supporting victims of crime, and promoting healthy families and communities within the Lamoille Valley Region of Vermont. 
Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 24th, 2017. The Festival runs from 11am to 4pm and features three rounds of competitive pumpkin chuckin’ at 12:30pm, 1:30pm and 2:30pm with awards shortly after the last round. No dogs or outside food or beverage are allowed at the event. Admission to the Festival is $10.00 and parking is free. Food, beer and wine will be sold by Stoweflake.
Along with the pumpkin chuckin’ contest there will be music, a chili cook-off, and kids activities; all creating an enjoyable fall day.  Music for this year's festival will be provided by two bands; House Dunn, John and Jen, which will be performing from 11am to 4pm.
INFO: Specifications, rules, and entry information can be found on the festival's website at vtpumpkinchuckin.blogspot.com or contact the festival organizer Dave Jordan, Djordan@GMAVT.net. Additional festival information can be found at lrcvt.org or by contacting Heidi Dwyer at: hdwyer@lrcvt.org.