INTRODUCTION TO COLLEGE HOCKEY
Names You Should Get to Know
has some players and coaches you just can't help but root for, including:
Robbie Earl: Not only is he gifted with the puck, possessing that rare, "I'd definitely pay to watch him" quality, but Earl has a way with words, too. When Toronto took him on the second day of the draft in June, he proudly declared, "Toronto definitely got a steal here. Congratulations to them."
Stephen Gionta: His brother, New Jersey Devil Brian, may have been the most hated player in college hockey in his time, but Stephen's quite the opposite. He does all the little things right, from getting in the corners to blocking shots, and without taking dives or cheap shots. He doesn't have his brothers skill, but he may have a bigger following.
Michigan Tech has one of the greatest traditions in the college
game, but the pickin's have been pretty slim in Houghton for more
than a decade – the Huskies haven't finished above .500 since
1992-93. They won't end that streak this season, but the team has
played better as of late as evidenced by their 7-3-1 record since
Jan. 1. Murphy ranks third nationally in scoring with 47 points
and, with 27 points in his last 15 outings, has averaged nearly
two points a game since Dec. 1. What's more, he shows incredible
maturity: the Huskies' captain is married and has an 18-month-old
son, Easton. We smell a sponsorship opportunity there.
Jordan Sigalet: The Bowling Green goaltender was an All-CCHA first team selection last year, pretty heady stuff for a guy who had a 10-17-9 record and a 2.74 goals against average. His .919 save percentage, however, was among the league's best, and he faced more shots than a prisoner standing in front of a myopic firing squad last season when he made an NCAA-high 1,140 saves. This season, Sigalet has better numbers (13-8-5, 2.73, .921) as the Falcons are poised for their best record since 1995-96. Making the Surrey, B.C., native's story even more amazing - last March, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which he made public in an announcement in December.
The Harvard alum has turned around Vermont's program in just
two years, but that's not the most impressive part. Last weekend,
after some inappropriate post-game comments about the officiating,
he decided to suspend himself for the next game. Can you see an
NHL coach doing that? We'll salute him – and we might have
another doughnut in his honor.
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