has rarely been a problem in Gopherland, which makes some
think that Jeff Frazee, and not Phil Kessel, will be the
most valuable rookie on the Minnesota roster.
Pioneers already have the offspring of Peter Stastny and
Joe Mullen on their roster. FYI to the Denver recruiters:
Ty Gretzky is only 15, so be patient for a few years.
seasons ago, the resurgence of the Sioux dynasty began
with an unexpected Frozen Four title in Milwaukee. NoDak
fans are hoping, come April, to party like it's 1997.
Buckeyes lost just two seniors from the team that went
27-11-4 last season. Eight players who scored 20+ points
a year ago, led by the excellent Tom Fritsche, return.
biggest challenges figure to be complaceny if the Big
Red run and hide from the ECACHL pack and raising their
game once March comes along.
the Badgers to make the short trip to the Frozen, they'll
need Brian Elliot to follow the examples of Melanson,
Carey, Brückler, Joseph, Daubenspeck, Behrend, Kleisinger,
Richter, Derksen, etc. No pressure there.
loss of scorers Sean Collins and Preston Callander looms
large, but the play of the defensemen will key the Wildcats'
Station doesn't see this many people coming and going.
The Wolverines lost a dozen players from a year ago, but
bring in 11 new faces this season.
Boyle, Dan Bertram and Chris Collins have all shown flashes
of brilliance in the past which the Eagles would like
to see more consistently.
departures hit the Tiger blueline almost as hard as they
did Maine and Nebraska-Omaha's goal crease. Stability
in back from the likes of Brian Salcido and Lee Sweatt
will be crucial.
Wildcats' biggest win of the year may have occurred in
August, when the NCAA reversed an earlier decision and
granted forward Andrew Contois (19 goals in 2004-05) another
season of eligibility.
Bourque's contributions were much more significant than
his offensive numbers suggest. The Terriers need to make
up for the loss of his presence more than his points.
12 seniors, the biggest challenge is to make the very
most of this season. They won't be ranked this high entering
Hockey East landscape is new territory to the Catamounts,
who won't be getting the friendliest of greetings on the
Jessiman had the first-round notoriety, but Lee Stempniak
will be the one truly missed in Hanover this season.
year marks the first Spartan team completely put together
by Rick Comley. It could be the last if he can't put
together a squad of NCAA Tournament caliber.
of the youngsters' scoring ability is going to matter
if the goaltending situation, which has been inconsistent
since the third period of their 2004 Frozen Four trip,
Bears have had back-to-back solid recruiting classes,
but much of the talent has been on defense. That means
some young blueliners, and needs up front for a team that
finished 38th nationally in scoring last year.
goalies, in Black Bear fashion, should be fine. What this
team will seek, for a second straight year, is a true
finisher among its forwards.
on T.J. Trevelyan's first line, the Saints could use more
depth from the likes of Kyle Rank and Kevin DeVergilio.
Raiders must overcome being every ECACHL team's best chance
to get a point in weekend series against Cornell and Colgate.
year, Chris Holt was developing into a solid goaltender
and the young Mavericks were growing into a contender
for CCHA hardware. Now that Holt's bolted for the pros,
expectations for this team aren't quite as high.
good as Andy Greene, Matt Christie and Marty Guerin are,
the RedHawks' success likely hinges on the play of young
goaltenders Charlie Effinger and Jeff Zatkoff.
is the obvious challenge for the 18 freshmen and sophomores
in Amherst, but keeping Matt Anderson healthy could ultimately
be the key.
give Ted Donato mad props for the job he did as a first-year
coach. Any chance his message becomes stale in year two?
of Doom: the Nanooks are paced by hulking forwards Kyle
Greentree (6-3, 200), Curtis Fraser (6-2, 200) and Kelly
Czuy (6-2, 200). Waifish goalie Wylie Rogers (5-10, 165)
plays just as big.
Mavericks are looking for a solution in goal with a New
Yorker, a Minnesotan and a Californian all vying for playing
time. They've covered the country from coast to coast,
but can they cover the net from post to post?
believed that George Roll's got a club with more chemistry
and leadership than in years past. Time will tell if that
translates to wins.
Falcons used to get great goaltending from Jordan Sigalet
but couldn't score. Now coach Scott Paluch has assembled
a talented offensive group, but he'll need a netminder
(perhaps freshman Jimmy Spratt) to step to the fore.
special teams as a challenge for the Skating Dutchmen,
who finished 49th in power play and 37th in penalty killing
We're not ones to gloat, but INCH rode shotgun on the
Matt Climie bandwagon last season. If the Beavers are
to return to the NCAA Tournament this year, the sophomore
goalkeeper will have to be in the driver's seat.
As a freshman, Seawolves goalie Nathan Lawson earned team
MVP honors by stopping 40 or more shots seven times. His
choice of sweater no. 52 seemed strange until we saw his
Fighting Irish had the nation's worst scoring attack and
second worst power play last season. Can new coach Jeff
Jackson work Charlie Weis-like miracles with the offense?
the Huskies to escape the WCHA doldrums, Chris Conner
will need to emerge from the shadow of departed Hobey
finalist Colin Murphy and recapture the magic he made
as a sophomore.
Army's a long-term answer behind the bench. We'll see
whether Tyler Sims is in goal, and more importantly, whether
there's enough offense in front of him.
Pierre Napert-Frenette is a preseason favorite for Atlantic
Hockey player of the year honors. Here's hoping the league's
trophy engraver gets paid by the letter.
Tigers will play an up-tempo game and enjoy a better-than-average
freshman class, but they'll need to improve dramatically
on their 3.87 goals against per game..
Mike check: unheralded goalie Mike Ella came out of nowhere
to backstop the Lakers to an NCAA Tournament berth last
season. Now that everyone knows who he is, can he duplicate
brutal early-season schedule and many unanswered questions
may have Huskies fans taking a page from Green Day by
singing "Wake Me Up When November Ends."
Jeff Van Nynatten, who missed about half of last season
with an injury, is back and healthy. Contrary to popular
belief, the 2004 CHA Tournament MVP didn't hurt himself
pronouncing his last name.
The departed Jeff Legue and Derek Nesbitt combined for
254 career points. Coach Bob Daniels hopes newcomer Dan
Riedel, the USHL's leading scorer last year, can make
up for some of the loss.
With Jared Ross (159 career points) out of the mix, the
Chargers' strength lies in veteran defensemen Jeremy Schreiber
and Jeff Winchester and resurgent goalie Scott Munroe.
in the Soo are high now that Jim Roque (pronounced "rock")
has replaced Frank Anzalone. Getting the Lakers to score
goals, however, has been like trying to get water from
a Roque, err, rock.
Morris is the last man standing among the Huskies' four
best players last year (losing Jason Guerriero, Keni Gibson
and Tim Judy). That leaves a lot of pressure on the talented
a 13-5-1 league mark midway through February, they were
masters of their domain. Then the Pioneers lose to woeful
American International, yada yada yada, and get bounced
in the first round of the conference playoffs.
hockey's New Orleans Saints: they'll win games they shouldn't,
lose ones they should, finish just below .500 and get
bounced in the first round of the playoffs.
Bulldogs were the nation's worst defensive team by more
than a third of a goal per game. And the ECACHL isn't
exactly the wide-open QMJHL.
Stavros Paskaris, the team's leading scorer as a rookie
last season, picks up a game-winning goal, does that make
him the Warriors' gyro?
Kirk MacDonald returns to the lineup, the Engineers don't
lose too much up front. The pressure falls on freshman
Mathias Lange and sophomore Jordan Alford to provide stability
if a new league and a much tougher schedule weren't challenge
enough, the Bobcats will have to play all those ECACHL
games away from home while their new rink is built.
Warriors will need to feed off the energy of new coach
Mark Dennehy to compete in Hockey East with an undermanned
biggest issue for new coach Dave Smith on the ice is replacing
goalie Brian Worosz. With any luck, he won't have to deal
with the myriad of off-ice problems that plagued the program
a year ago.
though the school is closer to Atlantic, Iowa, than the
Atlantic Ocean, the Falcons join Atlantic Hockey next
season. Goalie Peter Foster holds the key to a last hurrah
in the CHA.
Olson hung around Superman. The graduated Tim Olsen was
Superman for the Huskies. Replacing his 100 career points
will be difficult, but less of a problem if goalie Scott
Tomes is kryponite to opposing shooters.
diapered double dozen: the RMU roster includes 24 freshmen
and sophomores. Still, the team's projected lineup is
older than that of the Penguins.
goaltender Jason Kearney, the NAHL MVP last season, and
Maine transfer Ray Jean are in the mix to replace the
dependable Simon St. Pierre.
offensively challenged Black Knights averaged under two
goals per game last season, and the only double-digit
goal scorer (David Andros, 12) has graduated.
teams leaned on goalies as much as the Yellowjackets did
Frank Novello. Two freshmen and Matt Tourville, veteran
of 21 seconds of playing time last season, better be ready
to face some rubber.
all a challenge off the bat for RIT, which will find out
quickly that a trip to Fredonia is a far cry from Lynah