Monday, October 29, 2007

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll (Oct. 29)

Courtesy of: USCHO.com



TeamPoints(First Place Votes)Last PollRecord
1
Miami (Ohio) University506(30)26-0-0
2
University of Michigan446
35-1-0
3
University of North Dakota433(2)13-1-1
4
University of New Hampshire430(2)63-0-0
5
Boston College385
53-1-2
6
Michigan State University323
94-1-0
7
University of Denver250
74-2-0
8
University of Minnesota247
104-2-0
9
University of Wisconsin235
113-1-0
10
Colorado College219
42-2-0
11
Clarkson University174
84-2-0
12
University of Maine143
134-2-0
13
University of Notre Dame99
124-3-0
14
Michigan Tech University97
154-2-0
15
University of Minnesota-Duluth47
NR4-1-1
Others receiving votes: St. Lawrence University 14, Niagara University 10, The Ohio State University 9, U.S. Air Force Academy 7, University of Alaska-Anchorage 4, College of the Holy Cross 1, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Final Scores (Oct. 25).

Thursday, October 25th
Non-Conference:
Minnesota 3, Ohio State 1.

Week 4 Breakdown.

A quasi-truncated breakdown this week, as real life is slowly catching up with me again...

#1 North Dakota v. #15 Michigan Tech (WCHA)
Fri./Sat., MacInnes Student Ice Arena, Houghton, MI; 7:05p EST.

The best team in the land, the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, begin WCHA play on the upper peninsula of Michigan, taking on the that feisty group of Huskies from Michigan Tech in what should be this weekend’s most intriguing series.

For the Sioux, who are leading into this series on the heels of a somewhat tough early-schedule, this will be their first true conference test. The weekend pair will showcase the Sioux against a gritty, tough hockey team at a hostile environment on the WCHA-league stage. Simply put, if North Dakota, still, has any “doubters” leading into this contest, the Sioux can shut them up with a good, 3+ point showing in Houghton.

The Sioux will apparently send Aaron Walski up to the U.P. this weekend in-net, and, despite lingering shoulder-related problems, forward Michael Forney will also dress (according to B.E.S.).

It could be also argued that, already this early in the season, this is a statement series for Michigan Tech as well. Again, if there is any team poised to break the glass ceiling in the WCHA this season, it will be Michigan Tech, as they are sporting a dangerous mixture of experience and talent. The Huskies are already off to a fast start, netting a 4-point weekend sweep against Minnesota State-Mankato (Fri.: 2-0, Sat.: 7-1) – a series where eight different Huskies netted nine goals.

#4 Colorado College v. #6 New Hampshire (Non Conf.)
Fri./Sat., Whittemore Center, Durham, NH; 7:00p EST.

College hockey is a game of quirks, particularly, playing surface-related quirks. Minnesota-Duluth’s D.E.C.C. has their famed undersized rink, measuring 190x85. Boston College’s Conte Forum, when not covered with fog and darkened, houses a slightly-larger-than-professional-sized 200x87 sheet. Multiple teams sport rinks with Olympic-sized sheets.

And of course, we’d be plain forgetful if we missed the Whittemore Center’s reportedly boxy corners. As CC blogger Kate Crandall notes in her somewhat new and aptly-named “Mucking in the Corner” blog,

“UNH’s Whittemore Center, which features an ice sheet with the same dimensions as the World Arena (200x100), is rumored to have nearly square corners (I’ll be pulling out my measuring tape). That means more space for the CC forwards to work with, but conversely, a tougher defensive task for the Tigers’ young defensemen.”

Although CC certainly does have some young cubs at the defensive positions (five of which are either sophomores or freshmen), the young’uns bite is just as ferocious as their older counterparts – ask the #10 Minnesota Golden Gophers, who were gnawed-upon by the Tigers in somewhat-convincing fashion last week in Colorado Springs (Fri.: CC 3-1, Sat.: CC 2-1).

The Wildcats aren’t bad either, despite getting off to a rough start in exhibition play, losing to New Brunswick, 4-3. UNH rebounded well from that sluggish start, taking their conference opener against Boston U. by a score of 4-1.

Boston U. v. #3 Michigan (Non Conf.)
Fri./Sat., Yost Ice Arena, Ann Arbor, MI; 7:35p EST.

Could the road be any rockier for the Boston Terriers? The Terriers are 0-2-1 thus far, tallying a disappointing 3rd place finish at Alaska-Anchorage’s Nye Frontier classic two weeks ago, then came back to the lower 48 last week to lose their first Hockey East contest of the season against now-#6 UNH. Now, the Terriers take a road-trip to Ann Arbor to take on the #3 Michigan Wolverines for the opening season-series at always-hostile Yost Arena.

Kevin Porter’s been electric for Michigan in the early-season; the senior forward has tallied three goals and an assist thus far in the season, while freshman forwards Matt Rust and Carl Hagelin have netted a pair of goals and an assist each for the Wolverines.

Nebraska-Omaha v. #2 Miami (CCHA)
Fri./Sat., Cady Arena, Oxford, OH; 7:35p/7:05p EST.

This could be a statement series for UNO. The RedHawks have already tallied four points in CCHA play, sweeping Ohio State in impressive fashion last week by a pair of 5-1 scores.

This will be the first CCHA series for UNO, who have already notched a victory against Alabama-Huntsville at the Maverick Stampede earlier in the season (5-1 was the final).

#8 Clarkson v. Lake Superior State (Non Conf.)
Fri./Sat., Taffy Abel Arena, Sault Ste. Marie, MI; 7:35p EST.

An off-kilter, but marquee series nonetheless to spotlight, as the U.P.’s LSSU will host the #8 team in the land, the ECAC’s Clarkson Golden Knights. Lake State is coming into the contest on the heels of a draw against a pretty decent Minnesota-Duluth team and a hard-fought loss against #15 Michigan Tech.

Meanwhile, Clarkson’s taking their second trip away from Cheel this season – their first trip away from their home-barn produced a loss against St. Lawrence.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Final Scores (Oct. 23).

Tuesday, October 23rd
CCHA:
Notre Dame 4, Bowling Green 2.
Justin White (ND) - 2 assists.

Monday, October 22, 2007

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll (Oct. 22)

Courtesy of: USCHO.com







TeamPoints(First Place Votes)Last PollRecord


1



University of North Dakota499(24)12-0-1


2


Miami (Ohio) University482(9)24-0-0


3


University of Michigan378
63-1-0


4


Colorado College376
102-0-0


5


Boston College353
41-1-2


6


University of New Hampshire350(1)81-0-0


7


University of Denver303
53-1-0


8


Clarkson University295
73-1-0


9


Michigan State University254
92-1-0


10


University of Minnesota189
32-2-0


11


University of Wisconsin182
T-133-1-0


12


University of Notre Dame151
112-2-0


13


University of Maine53
NR2-2-0


14


The Ohio State University47
122-2-0


15


Michigan Tech University37
NR3-1-0


Others receiving votes: University of Minnesota-Duluth 33, St. Lawrence University 27, University of Massachusetts 20, University of Alaska-Anchorage 16, Cornell University 16, U.S. Air Force Academy 9, Boston University 3, Merrimack College 2, Niagara University 2, University of Nebraska Omaha 2, Union College 1.

Final Scores (Oct. 21).

Sunday, October 21st
CCHA:
● Miami U. 5, Ohio State 1.
Justin Mercier (MIA) - goal, assist.

Hockey East:
● Boston College 3, Vermont 3. (OT)
Ben Smith (BC) - goal, assist. Dean Strong (VMT) - goal, assist.

Exhibition:
● Trois-Rivières 2, Union 2. (OT)
● Cornell 8, Ottawa 0.
Colin Greening (COR)­ - 2 goals.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Final Scores (Oct. 20).

Saturday, October 20th
CCHA:

Michigan 4, Northern Michigan 3.
Chad Kolarik (MICH) - goal, assist.

ECAC:
● Clarkson 5, St. Lawrence 4. (OT)

Steve Zalewski (CLK) - goal, assist.

WCHA:
Colorado College 2, Minnesota 1. (OT)
Chad Rau (CC) - 2 goals.
Michigan Tech 7, Minnesota St.-Mank. 1.
Peter Rouleau (MTU) - goal, 2 assists.
● Minnesota-Duluth 4, St. Cloud St. 2.

Non-Conference:
Michigan State 2, Colgate 1.
Justin Abdelkader (MSU) - goal, assist.
North Dakota 3, Northeastern 0.
● Air Force 3, Quinnipiac 1.

Greg Flynn (AF) - goal, assist.
Maine 4, Mercyhurst 1.
Wes Clark (MAI) - goal, 2 assists.
● Holy Cross 6,
Providence 4.
Ryan Driscoll (HC) - 2 goals. Kyle Laughlin (PVD) - 2 goals
Wisconsin 8, Robert Morris 2.
Blake Geoffrion (WIS) - goal, 4 assists. Kyle Turris (WIS) - goal, 3 assists.
Merrimack 2, Bemidji St. 1.
Wayne St. 2, Ferris St. 2. (OT)
● RPI 1, Sacred Heart 0. (OT)

Tyler Helfrich (RPI) - goal.
● UMass 4,
Connecticut 3.
Andrew Olson (UCONN) - 2 goals. Scott Crowder (UMASS) - goal, assist.
Western Michigan 3, Bentley 1.
Jeff LoVecchio (WMU) - goal, assist. Max Campbell (WMU) - goal, assist.
● Alaska-Anchorage 5, Alaska 3.
Winston DayChief (UAA) - 2 goals. Dion Knelsen (UAF) - goal, assist.

Exhibition:
Lake Superior St. 3, Western Ontario 3.
Princeton 5, Trois-Rivières 3.
Kevin Kaiser (PRI) - 2 goals.
Dartmouth 2, York 1.

Maverick Stampede:
● Nebraska-Omaha 5, Alabama-Huntsville 1.

Mick Lawrence (UNO) - 2 goals, assist.
● Canisius 3,
Manitoba 2.

Final Scores (Oct. 19).

Friday, October 19th
Atlantic Hockey:
Connecticut 4, American International 2.
Andrew Olson (UCONN) - 2 goals.

CCHA:
Michigan 3, Northern Michigan 1.
Kevin Porter (MICH) - 2 goals.
Miami U. 5, Ohio State 1.
Justin Mercier (MIA) - 2 goals.

Hockey East:
● Northeastern 3,
Providence 2.
New Hampshire 4, Boston U. 1.
Matt Fornataro (UNH) - goal, assist.
● UMass.-Lowell 2, UMass 2.

WCHA:
Michigan Tech 2, Minnesota State 0.
Colorado College 3, Minnesota 1.
Bill Sweatt (CC) - goal, assist. Andreas Vlassopoulos (CC) - 2 assists.
● Minnesota-Duluth 2, St. Cloud St. 1.

Non-Conference:
Denver 3, Notre Dame 1.
Rhett Rakhshani (DU) - 2 assists.
Maine 4, Mercyhurst 2.
Christopher Hahn (MAI) - goal, assist.
Michigan State 6, Colgate 3.
Dustin Gazley (MSU) - 2 goals.
North Dakota 0, Boston College 0.
Game called after two periods due to poor playing conditions and multiple power outages.
Bowling Green 5, RIT 2.
Derek Whitmore (BGSU) - 2 goals.
Western Michigan 5, Bentley 2.
Patrick Galivan (WMU) - goal, assist.
Wisconsin 7, Robert Morris 2.
Ben Street (WIS) - 2 goals, 2 assists.
Merrimack 3, Bemidji St. 2.
● RPI 3, Army 1.
Ferris St. 6, Wayne St. 2.
Casey Haines (FSU) - goal, assist. Matt Case (FSU) - goal, assist.
● Air Force 4, Quinnipiac 1.
Mike Phillipich (AF) - 2 goals.
● Alaska-Anchorage 4, Alaska 3.

Josh Lunden (UAA) - goal, assist. Craig Parkinson (UAA) - goal, assist.

Exhibition:
Trois-Rivières 0, Cornell 0. (OT)

Maverick Stampede:
● Alabama-Huntsville 4, Canisius 3.
● Nebraska-Omaha 8,
Manitoba 1.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Week 3 Breakdown

Just a few games of note for the upcoming weekend...

#1 North Dakota v. #4 Boston College (Non Conf.)
Fri., Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA; 8:00p EST.

The Frozen Four revenge tour continues for North Dakota this week, as the Sioux travel eastward to Massachusetts, taking on both BC and Northeastern at their respective barns on Friday and Saturday.

North Dakota is coming into Chestnut Hill on the heels of the utter destruction of Michigan State last Saturday, downing the defending national champions in an embarrassing 6-0 manner. Frankly, things aren’t looking much better for the Eagles, who are coming into the contest after a 3rd-place showing at the Icebreaker in St. Paul, as they will be missing forward Brock Bradford due to a broken arm and defensemen Brent Motherwell and Brian O’ Hanley due to team rules-violations.

Meanwhile, according to Brad Elliott Schlossman, all North Dakota players will be available over the weekend despite some minor lingering injuries. It should also be noted that North Dakota, after one game, is illustrating some good, potent offensive balance, as six different players scored each of the Sioux’s six goals against Michigan State last Saturday.

#2 Miami U. v. #12 Ohio State (CCHA)
Fri./Sun., Value City Arena, Columbus, OH/Steve Cady Arena, Oxford, OH; 7:05p/5:05p EST.

Miami and Ohio State square off in a home-and-home CCHA tilt over the weekend, with Friday’s game in Columbus and Sunday’s game in Oxford.

Both teams are riding highs coming into this series. Miami, last week, swept Vermont, a team that had beaten Miami six times previously, at home, with Miami goaltender Jeff Zatkoff making 47 saves on 49 shots. Also, six different RedHawk players lit the lamp last week against the Catamounts.

Ohio State won the Lefty McFadden Invitational last week, taking the crown after beating Wisconsin for the first time in the program’s history. Buckeye senior forward Matt McIlvane tallied a goal and two assists, while sophomore goaltender Joseph Palmer made 54 saves on 58 shots over the duration of the tournament.

Both teams met five times last season, with Miami taking the majority of the contests – 2-1-2.

#3 Minnesota v. #10 Colorado College (WCHA)
Fri./Sat., World Arena, Colorado Springs, CO; 7:35p/7:05p MST.

All referee-related conspiracy theories aside, Minnesota did, in fact, win the Icebreaker last week, downing RPI last Friday on the strength of three power-play goals, 4-3, then beating Michigan on the next tournament day, this time without a trio of power-play goals and rabid controversy, by an identical 4-3 final. Minnesota wasn’t entirely victorious in tournament play, however, as the Gophers lost junior forward Ryan Stoa to a season-ending knee injury during the game against Michigan. Junior forward Blake Wheeler tallied a pair of goals for Minnesota in the tournament games, while junior goaltender Jeff Frazee made 69 saves on 75 shots.

Colorado College will begin regular season play on Friday against the Gophers. The Tigers won their pair of exhibition games leading into this series – 4-3 over Calgary and 6-3 against the US U-18 NTDP.

St. Lawrence v. #7 Clarkson (ECAC)
Sat., Cheel Arena, Potsdam, NY; 7:30p EST.

How does that old proverb go? Revenge is a dish best served cold?

The defending ECAC regular-season champion Clarkson Golden Knights have shown some nice resiliency early on in the season – after dropping their season opener at St. Lawrence by a score of 4-3, Clarkson bounced back by downing UMass and Providence by scores of 2-1 (OT) and 2-0 respectively. Clarkson senior goaltender David Leggio has made 73 saves on 77 shots thus far in-net this season.

Now playing at a hostile away-from-home environment for the first time this season, the Saints will look to stop their first bout of in-season bleeding. After defeating both Clarkson and Providence at home, the Saints dropped their first game of the season against UMass by a score of 3-1 at home, despite a fevered third period where SLU launched 13 shots on-net after amassing only ten in the first two frames.

Regardless, St. Lawrence’s senior forward Charlie Griffin is off to a decent start, notching three goals and two assists in three games thus far.

#8 New Hampshire v. Boston U. (Hockey East)
Fri., Agganis Arena, Boston, MA; 7:00 EST.

One could make the argument that both of these teams have done their fair share of wound-licking leading up to this Friday contest. New Hampshire enters on the heels of an exhibition loss to the Varsity Reds of New Brunswick, while Boston U. will be fighting off jet-lag and frustration after taking a disappointing third place at the Nye Frontier Classic in Anchorage (losing to Robert Morris and drawing with Alaska-Anchorage).

Boston’s Bryan Ewing notched a pair of goals in tournament play in Anchorage last weekend. First regular-season contest for UNH.

Final Scores (Oct. 18).

Thursday, October 18th
Non Conference:
● Notre Dame 4, Denver 3.
Garrett Regan (ND) - goal, assist. Brock Trotter (DU) - goal, assist.
● Niagara 2, Bowling Green 0.
Matt Caruana (NIA) - goal, assist. Kyle Rogers (NIA) - goal, assist. Tyler Gotto (NIA) - 2 assists.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

College Hockey Blog Mini Round-Up (August 17th)

I think I’ve recovered enough from my bout with the stomach flu to begin posting again. First, some bloggery, and I’ll work on a week in preview post which should be up by early-Friday, if everything works out.

● First, a news-related note – Minnesota junior forward Ryan Stoa will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. According to Brad Elliot Schlossman, Stoa’s injury, suffered during an Icebreaker tournament game against Michigan, will require surgery, and it is likely that Stoa will take a medical redshirt. Read about it at B. E. S’s blog here.

Some post-Nye Frontier Classic tournament notes…

● First, the tournament champions, Robert Morris. Andrew Chiappazzi at the Colonials Corner blog has posted a link to a local newspaper article regarding the tournament. You can take a look at Andrew’s reactions to that article, as well as the article itself, here.

● Meanwhile, The Terrier Hockey Fan Blog takes a look back at Boston U.’s performance at the Nye Frontier Classic in Anchorage, and also takes a look at the Terrier home opener on Friday against UNH. Read about it here.

● Donald, at the UAA Fan Blog, has profiled the WCHA’s offensive player of the week: Alaska-Anchorage’s Josh Lunden. Lunden scored three goals and tallied a pair of assists over the weekend at the Nye, beating out, among other nominees, North Dakota’s Ryan Duncan and T.J. Oshie, and Minnesota’s Kyle Okposo. Read about it here.

In addition, Donald has fired the first blog-shot of the season against a particular team he dislikes quite a bit – the Alaska Nanooks, as the UAA v. UAF governor’s cup series begins Friday. I’m sure that the Alaska Hockey Blog will fire off something in return, however, for now, the proverbial puck has been played out of Donald’s rink-end (although he does promise another article regarding the series at a later time). Donald, in regard to the rivalry itself, notes,

“It’s a big vs. little thing. It’s a resentment thing. It’s about distribution of resources. It’s about frontier-life vs. city-life. Folks in smaller cities don’t fully understand why people like living in larger cities. Those in the big city don't understand the appeal of a smaller town.”

And also,

“All this and more carries over to the ice. There are only two schools in the state that compete in NCAA athletics. UAA and UAF. UAF is the flagship school of the UA system though. UAA however is the recognized flagship athletically.”

You can read Donald’s comments on the rivalry here.

● The Clarkson Hockey Fans blog, in their continuing multiple-part series, has profiled the 2007-’08 RPI Engineers. In regard to RPI’s youth, “Gobe” notes,

“The best thing going for RPI might be its youth in the third and fourth lines. With the amount of new recruits coming in, the third and fourth lines will be fighting for ice time…. With a little luck, Appert will find a diamond in the rough and a spark for the third line.”

Gobe picks RPI to finish, at best, 8th, and a worst 12th in the ECACHL this season. Read about it here.

● Finally, the Let’s go DU blog is, as usual, busy. First, a post showcasing national championship ring-designs from 2003 to 2007 – nifty little thing to take a look at. Second, Let’s Go DU celebrates alongside Denver defenseman Peter Mannino, as he won WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors for his play against Maine. Thirdly, Let’s go DU has posted a DU Clarion article spotlighting the upcoming Denver vs. Notre Dame games to take place in South Bend on Thursday and Friday – of course, that can be seen here.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Final Scores (Oct. 9).

EDIT #2: We'll be back to normal on Wednesday. I (still) have a touch of the flu, and am going to rest for a while.

EDIT: A Note for Thursday: I know that I said previously that I'd have a post planned for late Thursday breaking down the tournaments and a few games this weekend. Sadly, do to things that were beyond my control, that will not be happening.

Tuesday, October 9th
Non-Conference:

Rensselaer Poly. 4, Bentley 0.
Andrei Uryadov (RPI) - 2 goals. Matt Angers-Goulet (RPI) - goal, assist.

Exhibition:
Michigan State 6, Windsor 0.
Corey Trupp (MSU) - 2 goals. Tim Kennedy (MSU) - goal, assist.

Final Scores (Oct. 8).

Easy update for today...

Wayne State v. Eastern Michigan (ACHA) - cancelled.
● Air Force 4,
Calgary 1.
Eric Ehn (AF) - 2 goals, 1 assist.

Pair of games Tuesday - a non-conference contest and an exhibition contest.

Bentley v. RPI - 7:00p EST.
Michigan State v. Winsor - 7:05p EST.

Week in preview post this week will feature a few big games, and all upcoming in-season tournaments. Expect that around Thursday night.

Oh, and writing 12-page essays still is not fun. I have suddenly rediscovered that over the last two days. :D

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Final Scores (Oct. 7).

Saturday, October 7th
Non Conference:
St. Lawrence 3, Clarkson 2.

Exhibition:
● Holy Cross 4, Dalhousie 2.

Joe Brock (HCR) - 2 goals.
Michigan 5, Western Ontario 1.
Carl Hagelin (MICH) - hat trick.
Northern Michigan 8, Toronto 0.
Mark Olver (NMU) - 2 goals, 2 assists. Andrew Sarauer (NMU) - 2 goals, assist.
Vermont 4, Acadia 0.
Dean Strong (UVM) - goal, assist. Corey Carlson (UVM) - goal, assist. Viktor Stålberg (UVM) - goal, assist.
Niagara 5, York 4.
U Mass 6, Trois-Rivieres 0.
Canisius 5, Royal Military 0.
Jason Weeks (CAN) - 2 goals.
● Robert Morris 8, Ryerson 5.
Sean Berkstresser (RMU) - 1 goal, 2 assists. Marcus Booth (RYE) - 2 goals.
Mercyhurst 4, Waterloo 4. (OT)
Ryan Toomey (MHR) - goal, assist. Matt Sitko (WTR) - goal, assist.
North Dakota 9, Manitoba 3.
Rylan Kaip (NDK) - hat trick. Kyle Howard (MTB) - 2 assists
Denver 5, Calgary 1.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Final Scores (Oct. 5, 6).

Friday, October 5th

● Alaska-Anchorage 8, Southern Alberta Inst. of Tech. 0.
Merit Waldrop (UAA) – hat trick. Peter Cartwright (UAA) – 2 goals, assist.

Saturday, October 6th

Michigan Tech 7, Toronto 0.
Justin St. Louis (MTU) – goal, assist.
● Clarkson 5, Arcadia 2.
Shea Guthrie (CLK) – 2 assists. David Lomas (ARC) – goal.
Maine 5, US Under-18 NTDP 3.
Billy Ryan (MNE) – hat trick. Vinny Saponari (NTDP) – goal, assist.
● Dalhousie 5, Bentley 1.
Tyler Dyck (DHE) – 2 goals, assist. Kyle Lamb (DHE) – 2 goals. Tom Dickhundt (BEN) – goal.
Miami U. 5, Waterloo 0.
Justin Mercier (MIA) – hat trick.
Colorado College 4, Calgary 3.
Three players (CLG) – goal. Eric Walsky (CC) – goal, assist.
Alaska 4, Southern Alberta Inst. of Tech. 2.

2007 NCAA Ice Hockey Rules and Officiating Video.

Behold! An instructional video with bad production values and cheesy music!



Seeing that we are so close to hockey, its time to educate ourselves on the NCAA D-I rule-emphasis points for the upcoming season. Pass this along to any of your buddies that are NCAA D-I hockey officials – many of them might need the education more than anybody. ;-)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Week 1 Breakdown, Part 2: Here Come the Canucks!

In part one, we previewed Friday action. So, it’s only natural that, in part two, we take a look at Saturday play.

(Note: Again, I will be unable to post a Sunday preview, as I will be busy working on things that I wish I weren’t working on.)

Saturday, October 5th, 2007
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology vs. Alaska (Exhib.)
The Carlson Center, Fairbanks, AK; 7:05pm AKST.

The “mysterious Canadian potential powerhouse” that is the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology continues its play in Alaska on Saturday, as they go north – way, way north.

First-year head coach and former Nebraska-Omaha assistant Doc DelCastillo will stand at the helm for his Alaska Nanooks for the first time, but without the aid of former captain Lucas Burnett and forward Curtis Frasier, who graduated, and without defenseman Darcy Campbell, who signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Nanooks still look to be strong, however, returning defenseman T.J. Campbell (6 assists), left-winger Kyle Greentree (21g-21a-42pts.), and goaltender Wylie Rodgers for their senior seasons. The Nanooks tallied an overall record of 11-22-6 and finished last in the CCHA last season.

Dalhousie vs. Bentley (Exhib.)
Ryan Skating Arena, Watertown, MA; 4:30 EST.

Making the trip from Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Tigers of Dalhousie University will take on the Bentley Falcons. According to their website, Dalhousie has “three players capable of being a number one goaltender,” and forwards that possess “… (an) excellent mix of size, speed, skill, strength and scoring touch.” Granted, I sense some bias, but those descriptions sound legitimately scary. With that said, however, the Tigers finished 7-21-0 last season under the command of former Dalhousie player Brad Crossley. Take it for what its worth.

The 2005-‘06 Atlantic Hockey runner-up Bentley is trying to improve off of their 2007 campaign, in which they went 12-22-1 – a record which included a fairly nasty 2-8 slide in their last ten games. The good news for the Falcons – they return all but two players from last year’s squad, including lead scorers Jeff Gumaer (18g-15a-33pts.), Dane Prewitt (13g-15a-28pts.), and Anthony Canzoneri (9g-17a-26pts.).

Acadia vs. #7 Clarkson (Exhib.)
Cheel Arena, Potsdam, NY; 7:00 EST.

The Acadia Axemen come to Potsdam, NY on Saturday, and honestly, I cannot find much accurate information on them, either. It looks as though the Axemen are moderately strong, as they amassed an overall record of 11-17-0 last season and went somewhat deep into their league’s playoffs. Aside from graduating five from last year, it is a bit tough to gauge these guys, however, without question, they will bring their leading scorer from last season, sophomore forward David Lomas (11g-15a-26pts.).

Clarkson, on the other hand, will be gearing up for their opening regular-season game on Sunday against St. Lawrence, and will do so with five impact seniors – forwards David Cayer (11g-26a-37pts.), Nick Dodge (18g-21a-39pts.), and Steve Zalewski (16g-18a-34pts.), defenseman Clint Clintsome (7g-12a-19pts.), and goaltender David Leggio (24-7-5, GAA – 2.16, SV% – .930). In his fifth year with Clarkson, head coach George Roll will look to build upon a 2006-’07 season which included an NCAA tournament appearance and an overall record of 25-9-5.

Calgary vs. #11 Colorado College (Exhib.)
World Arena, Colorado Springs, CO; 7:05 MST.

Sixth-year head coach Scott Atkinson brings his Dinos (Yes, perhaps the “Godzilla reference would have been best suited here.) stomping into the Rocky Mountains, taking on all three Colorado-based schools in as many days (CC, DU, and AF, in that order). The Dinos could have a slight advantage going into the weekend, as they appear to have momentum on their side – the Dinos are 4-1 thus far early in their season, with three wins on the road. The Dinos are a young team, however, with only seven players in their forth or fifth year of eligibility. Can’t find any statistics, so I cannot state much about particular players, but, judging solely from final scores, the Dinos appear to have moderately good offensive output and a decent goaltender.

Colorado College is coming into 2007-08 on the heels of a respectable 2006-07 campaign, in which the Tigers placed in the top-half of the WCHA (18-17-4 overall, 13-12-3 in league play). The Tigers are returning the majority of their team from last year, including leading scorers Scott McCullough (18g-6a-24pts.) and Chad Rau (14g-17a-31pts.), as well as assist leader Jimmy Kilpatrick (7g-25a-32pts.). Goaltending could be a problem, however, as CC’s starting goaltender from last season, Matt Zaba, was lost to graduation.

US Under-18 NTDP vs. #13 Maine (Exhib.)
Alfond Arena, Orono, ME; 7:00 EST.

Hey! Americans! The U-18 NTDP comes to Bangor on Saturday. In NAHL play, the U-18 NTDP are 4-1, with one shootout loss and an overtime victory. The USA Hockey website has season statistics on the young’uns, but in MS Excel format (I don’t have Excel installed on my machine, so I cannot tell you anything interesting statistic-wise).

The Black Bears are coming into this contest on the heels of a pair of Frozen Four-placing seasons, going 23-15-2 last year under now-7th-year coach Tim Whitehead. Despite losing leading scorers and linemates Josh Sores and Michel Leveille to graduation, and also losing #2 scorer Teddy Purcell early to the professional ranks, Maine does get back goaltender Ben Bishop (who is in likely healthier condition after an off-season of rest) for his junior year, who registered a GAA of 2.14 and a save percentage of .923 last season.

Toronto vs. Michigan Tech (Exhib.)
MacInnes Student Ice Arena, Houghton, MI; 7:05 EST.

The Varsity Blues of Toronto come rolling into Houghton to play the U.P.’s program on-the-rise Saturday. Can’t tell you much about the Blues’ supporting cast, but they appear to have a heckuva goalie in forth-year player Ryan Grinnell. Grinnell, last season, touted a CIS leading GAA of 2.20 and a save percentage of .921, and won MVP honors in Toronto’s conference. Grinnell also amassed a pair of shutouts in the CIS playoffs.

If the Huskies haven’t had their true “breakout” season in the WCHA as of yet, they’re likely very, very close to having just that this season. Under 5th-year coach Jamie Russell, the Huskies nearly broke through the WCHA’s glass ceiling in 2006-’07, finishing tied for sixth with Wisconsin in the WCHA standings (18-17-5). Only three players graduated from the 2006-’07 squad, and thus, many key players return for 2007-’08 – including junior goalie Michael-Lee Teslak, who registered very impressive numbers last season for Tech while in-net (SV% - .916, GAA - 2.00). Lead scorers Tyler Shelast (15g-9a-24pts.) and Jimmy Kerr (10g-9a-19pts.) also return for their senior seasons.

York vs. Niagara (Exhib.)
Dwyer Arena, Lewiston, NY; 3:05 EST.

Can’t find much on information on York either, aside from the fact that they recently competed in an exhibition tournament, in which, they lost two games and won a consolation game against Acadia. A problem for York is their youth, as they might dress as many as 14 first-year players while in Lewiston.

The defending regular-season CHA champion Niagara comes into 2007-’08 only graduating five seniors from last year’s club. Sophomore Ted Cook returns to the Purple Eagles, hoping to build upon an excellent 2006-‘07, in which he lit the lamp 32 times and tallied 16 assists. Also returning, along with others – forward Matt Caruana (14g-24a-38pts.), forward Les Reaney (16g-28a-44pts.), forward Egor Minorov (10g-8a-18pts), defenseman Ryan Annesley (3g-6a-9pts.), and goaltender Juliano Pagliero (14-11-3, SV% - .915, GAA - 3.09).

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Week 1 Breakdown, Part 1: Here Come the Canucks!

Well, thankfully for many, competitive college hockey is looming. For some, it’s no more scrimmages, no more “incomplete-ness” of life, no more innuendos and rumors (as new innuendos and rumors will surely generate as the new season progresses), and, among other things, no more boredom.

So, we ditch all of that stuff, along with our summer/fall mistress sport(s), and we take a look at the exhibitions that will take place over the first two days (Friday and Saturday) of play.

This is part one of two, and we will begin by spotlighting the one exhibition Friday contest. As many of us know, we’ll see plenty of Canadian schools that I’m not entirely familiar with, but I’ll try to dip my hand in the analysis bucket anyway.

Again, part one of two (I will be unable to post a Sunday preview, as I will be busy with other matters.)

Friday, October 5th, 2007
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology vs. Alaska-Anchorage (Exhib.)
Menard Arena, Wasilla, AK; 7:35pm AKST.

The Last Frontier plays host to the first exhibition hockey game this season, as UAA takes on the Trojans of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in not-too-far-away (from Anchorage) Wasilla, AK. SAIT, according to their website, are the two-time, defending ACAC conference champions (with an overall record of 16-5-3), and also, are the two-time, defending “Canadian Colleges National Champions.” Another interesting note – SAIT head coach Ken Babey is in his 19th year.

Will SAIT’s potential three-peat season begin by knocking off UAA? Well, the heck if I know. SAIT, from my understanding, did not graduate anybody from last year’s club, but with that said, I cannot properly gauge SAIT’s youth as of yet, as an official roster for the upcoming season has yet to be posted. All I can say for certain is that SAIT will play the role of “mysterious Canadian potential powerhouse” as they trek to #49 for the weekend. They might suit up Godzilla to play defense for all I know.

Meanwhile, third-year head coach Dave Shyiak (19-48-6) is at the helm again for the Seawolves this season, hoping to improve on a somewhat disappointing 13-21-3 record last year. Despite losing last season’s lead-scorer Justin Bourne to graduation, UAA will still have firepower in youth, as sophomores Paul Crowder (11g-13a-24pts.) and Josh Lunden (11g-9a-20pts.) return, along with a young, hungry supporting cast.

Anchorage also has a candidate for NCAA D-I All-Name Team in freshman defenseman Kane LaFranchise. Just thought I’d mention that.

Saturday is on its way, and so is part two.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll (Oct. 1)

Courtesy of: USCHO.com


TeamPoints(First Place Votes)

Last PollRecord
1.)
University of North Dakota467(14)

324-15-5
2.) Michigan State University436(14)

1
26-13-3
3.) Boston College416


229-19-1
4.) University of Minnesota409(3)

531-10-3
5.) Miami (Ohio) University357(2)

1124-14-4
6.) University of New Hampshire346(1)

926-11-2
7.) Clarkson University289


825- 9-5
8.) University of Notre Dame261


432- 7-3
9.) Boston University213


1320-10-9
10.) University of Michigan208


10
26-14-1
11.) Colorado College143


NR
18-17-4
12.) University of Denver134


15
21-15-4
13.) University of Maine111


6
23-15-2
14.) University of Wisconsin108


NR
19-18-4
15.) Quinnipiac University



NR

Others receiving votes: St. Lawrence University 47, St. Cloud State University 39, Rochester Institute of Technology 8, University of Massachusetts 8, U.S. Air Force Academy 7, Colgate University 6, Dartmouth College 6, University of Minnesota-Duluth 4, Michigan Tech University 3, University of Vermont 2, Harvard University 1.

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