Thanks for the report.I was at the golf outing, and can confirm both Jakub and Owen were there. Had the pleasure of sitting at dinner with both Jakub and Ottoville (who were also paired up on the course). Have to say, love Ottoville's dry humor. They were excited to have a Swede joining them this year, though OL remarked it's not as good as a Fin. Also, apparently Jakub is sharing a locker this year due to the large roster size (and that he wouldn't complain since he's too nice, per OL).
Attendance was bigger than last year, though that isn't saying much since it was sparse then. I counted 27 foursomes, certainly down from the 40+ during the Appert hey-day; that being said the speed on the course was much better than in years past. Notably absent from the event/dinner were two people who have featured prominently in the past - Dino Macaluso (who has emceed in the past / ran the auction) and Father Ed. Not sure what to read that as. Peter Pedone was at the dinner, which was a welcome surprise since I have sorely missed his involvement with the Alumni House since he left (he was happy to not be running the event for once, and instead enjoying it).
A few changes to the overall formatting. After last year's embarrassing auction of the 'big ticket' items (Night on the bench, golf outing with the coach, etc), these were moved to a silent auction where you'd place your bid on the corresponding sheet. They also created a 'pass' where $30 got you entry into the coach's challenge, putting competition, and the penalty shot (hit the golf ball into a hockey net 180 yards out and you'd get a hole in 1 on the par 5).
Overall, both Coach Smith & AD McElroy talked up the positive momentum the program has and how they are looking to make big steps. It was admitted the program is still a work in progress, and they are working to translate the strong team cohesion into on-ice results. Coach also joked that he knows the fans 'are with us, win or tie." Also mentioned was $200k in facelifts/updates to the HFH - Coach seemed to indicate most was around the locker room, however McElroy said to look for the changes to the HFH when you get there to see a game?