FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Gillette News-Record:Already operating on borrowed time, Cloud Peak Energy Corp. borrowed a little more when it was granted another seven days forbearance on a $1.8 million interest payment originally due March 15.In a filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday afternoon, the Gillette-based thermal coal producer paints a grim picture that may be headed to Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.“We will need to restructure our balance sheet in order to improve our capital structure, adjust our business to ongoing depressed Powder River Basin thermal coal industry conditions, address our significantly reduced liquidity and continue as a going concern,” the company says in the filing.In addition to securing a forbearance until May 7 for the $1.8 million payment on debt due in 2024, Cloud Peak said it won’t pay $17.4 million on its 2021 notes that was due Wednesday. Instead, the company is using a 30-day grace period for that debt, extending that interest payment out until May 31.Wednesday’s announcement may or may not mean the company has a deal in the works that could spare it having to file for Chapter 11 reorganization, said Robert Godby, director for the Center for Energy, Economics and Public Policy at the University of Wyoming.By first using the 30-day grace period and getting two forbearances after that, Cloud Peak “has made it pretty clear they’re not in a position to make that payment,” Godby said. “They’re also not in a position to make that other ($17.4 million) payment.”More: Cloud Peak gets another 7-day reprieve Seven-day reprieve for Powder River Basin coal producer Cloud Peak
It isn’t really a controversy, but the situation between the pipes for the Wisconsin men’s hockey team is anything but set in stone as it heads into a weekend series at Minnesota State.After missing a month’s worth of action due to a right knee injury, junior starter Brian Elliott returned to his spot last Saturday only to walk away with a 4-4 draw. The night earlier, freshman Shane Connelly, who went 3-5-0 in the eight games Elliott missed, notched his first career shutout in a 5-0 shellacking of the Huskies.While his record doesn’t look spectacular, Connelly was thrown into the fire facing the WCHA’s top two teams to start his career. And to his credit, he has settled in and is 2-1-1 in his last four games.Then again, it’s easy to see why there is no controversy. Elliott not only leads the league, but the nation with a 1.51 goals against average and a .939 save percentage.”It was a nice way to end this first chapter of his career by having a shutout, going 3-5 and getting a shutout in his last game,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said of Connelly on Monday. “We know what we have. We also know what we have in Brian Elliott, and probably our main task is to get him back to where he was before he got injured, and that’ll be a priority for us.”Getting Elliott back is the priority, but Eaves said Tuesday that Connelly’s shutout might not have actually closed out the chapter. The fourth-year head coach said that Elliott will start Friday, and a decision about Saturday night’s series finale would be made following that game.”We’ll go one game at a time,” Eaves said.Meanwhile, it creates an awkward week of practice for Elliott and Connelly, who will both prepare as if they are going to play. “If Brian’s going to play, then he’ll play, but I just want to make sure I’m ready,” Connelly said. “I haven’t changed my mindset either if I’m not going to play at all or if I’m going to play both games. I’m just trying to get myself prepared.”While last weekend provided the rookie his first experience of playing in just one game during a weekend series, Elliott knows full well that feeling. He spent his sophomore season last year backing up Bernd Bruckler. Whatever experience he got, usually came in a one-game weekend.”I’d like to play two games and get back in that rhythm,” Elliott said. “It’s something that’s hard to do when you just play one game. Just getting that one game, it’s tough to get in there and then get out another couple games. If I get the opportunity, I’d be glad to play the two games.”It would be hard to envision Elliott not starting both contests with the Mavericks this weekend, as the Badgers will have just one more series in the regular season in which to prepare their star goalie for playoff action. But Eaves doesn’t mind being in his situation one bit.”The bonus that we have right now is the fact that … that makes us a deeper team at that position,” Eaves said.A no-lose situation for Connelly: Whether he will see more action between the pipes for Wisconsin this year, the experience that he has gotten in his freshman year is immeasurable.Once just the latest rookie goalie under goaltending coach Bill Howard, Connelly was going through the rebuilding process. While he was on the upslope of the process when Elliott went down, playing eight games has sped up his progress.”I was coming up and getting a lot better,” Connelly said of his status before he was thrust into the spotlight. “I think everything sped up just a little bit, because the last four or five weeks I’ve had to pick it up a bit. There’s no time for sitting back and waiting for things to happen.”It was also an experience that he never saw coming and will never forget.”It’s extremely valuable. I’ve learned a lot about myself, the team and hockey in general,” Connelly said. “I didn’t really think I’d get the opportunity to start eight games in a row, play at Lambeau, play against Denver and Minnesota. It’s been a very good learning experience for me. It’ll help me down the road when Brian graduates, and it’s my turn. It will be an easier transition.”Connelly may or may not get another opportunity to show what he’s made of before this season is over. But whether he’s in net this weekend, or two years from now, the Cheltenham, Penn., native — thanks to eight quick games during his freshman year — will be ready to turn away the pucks that are flung at him.