State Gets a Second Freshman Class
Wayne State coach Bill Wilkinson didn’t think he had any
chance to land forward Jason Bloomingburg when Bloomingburg decided
to transfer away from Providence.
So he wasn’t
even going to try.
a native of Canton, Mich., assured the head Warrior that Wayne
State was a desirable destination for him. One campus visit –
and a brief thought to walk on at Michigan – later, and
the talented 6-foot, 205-pounder was signed, sealed and delivered.
Good thing, too, because without him, Wayne State probably wouldn’t
have pulled one of the biggest upsets of the young season last
Saturday – a 5-4 home win over Clarkson. Bloomingburg, a
sophomore, netted a hat trick in that game (including the final
two goals) and added another tally in a near-miss 5-3 loss to
the Golden Knights the next day.
He might be
the crown jewel in Wayne State’s formidable “second
freshman class” – a batch of experienced players that,
for one reason or another, Wilkinson didn’t have at his
disposal last year. Bloomingburg was sitting out under transfer
rules, goalie Will Hooper, an INCH all-league selection as a freshman,
was playing for lame-duck Findlay, and forward Mike Forgie missed
all but two games with a serious shoulder injury. This season,
all three are wearing the green and gold, and combined with crafty
freshmen such as Tylor Michel, have breathed new enthusiasm into
we’re going to be better than people expect us to be,”
Bloomingburg said. “We’re an up-and-coming program.
Heart can get you far.”
Warrior squad was an aimless group at times, trying to recover
from the loss of a senior class that had won three straight CHA
tournaments and also fighting through an endless stream of injuries.
More unexpected attrition hit the program this summer, but Bloomingburg
still senses that team unity is growing.
might have had a lack of leadership last year,” said Bloomingburg,
who practiced with the squad all season. “We had good players,
but they didn’t have the seniors from before to keep them
in line. But this summer, there was a huge change in team chemistry.
It’s a lot better now, and we just want to get last year
out of our minds.”
would like to put last year behind him. Although he played well
on the ice for Findlay, he had to endure the uncertainty of playing
for a folding program and more or less going through the recruitment
process again. He said Union and Robert Morris also were in the
running for his services, but he decided to transfer to Wayne
State because of the combination of tradition and financial aid
it could offer.
both games against Clarkson, and would have won both if not for
a three-goal (one on empty net) third period by the Knights on
Sunday. Hooper’s expected to share time with junior Matt
Kelly for the foreseeable future – including this weekend
junior hockey at Wexford, the policy was to split the goaltenders
no matter who was on the team,” Hooper said. “So I’m
used to it. It’s like being in juniors all over again. Obviously,
you want to play every minute, but I think it’s pretty wide
open right now.”
glad to be a key component of the Warriors’ rebuilding process,
but he said he doesn’t have much to offer from a former
that Wayne State’s biggest problem last year was scoring,
but I think having Bloomie and Tylor Michel and Higgy (Nate Higgins)
and (Jason) Baclig will be good this year,” Hooper said.
“Everyone around the locker room is real excited so far.”
AND HEARD IN THE LEAGUES
Husky infirmary – UConn took a big hit
when starting goalie Scott Tomes injured an ACL against Rensselaer
in the Maverick Stampede. Freshman Brad Smith has played well
in his stead (3.19 GAA, .917 percentage) at the end of the first
RPI game and a rematch between the schools this past week, and
he’ll likely get the call again at Massachusetts on Sunday.
Tomes’ rehabilitation timetable is four-to-six weeks.
also are without junior forward Eric St. Arnauld (ruptured spleen)
and freshman defenseman John Burns (separated shoulder). Fortunately
for head coach Bruce Marshall, the team only has one game each
of the next two weekends. Unfortunately, the upcoming schedule
calls for contests at Massachusetts, at Dartmouth, at Northeastern,
versus Mercyhurst and at Ferris State.
find upset city – Except for Wayne State’s
win over Clarkson, teams in the CHA and AHA weren’t able
to knock off anyone from the Big Four conferences last week. Mercyhurst
was swept at Wisconsin, UConn lost to RPI and Niagara was swept
at Maine. Canisius officially tied Alaska Anchorage in the Nye
Frontier Classic, but lost the shootout and fell in the consolation
game to UMass.
But, as my
friend Marv the boxing writer says, I’ve got a feeling somebody’s
going down this weekend. CHA power Bemidji State hosts Ferris
State for two, while Niagara plays a set at Vermont. Even Air
Force could get in on the action, welcoming crosstown rival Colorado
College to Cadet Ice Arena on Friday. And as we already mentioned,
Wayne State plays a pair at Merrimack. On the Atlantic Hockey
side of things, Mercyhurst travels to New Hampshire on Saturday,
the same day Army hosts RPI and Quinnipiac plays at CC. Throw
in UConn’s tilt against UMass on Sunday, and there’s
bound to be a couple of big victories this weekend. I think.
series will be Holy Cross’ visit to Alabama-Huntsville.
The Crusaders get to leave baseball-mad Massachusetts for football-mad
Alabama. And, with one of the better offerings each league has,
the series will go a long way toward determining bragging rights
(if there are any) between the CHA and Atlantic Hockey.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Great Weekend Getaway
Spend the weekend at the foot of Pikes Peak, and
you’ll get to see three teams from three leagues in
two arenas. On Friday, Air Force hosts Colorado College
for their crosstown rivalry game. Then Atlantic Hockey power
Quinnipiac comes to town to face the Tigers on Saturday
and the Falcons on Sunday. What more could you want? OK,
besides free tickets?
you’re there: Take a tour of the grandiose U.S. Olympic
Training Center in town. If you’re lucky, you can
take home a souvenir ice dancer.
renowned as one of the best players in Atlantic Hockey,
Quinnipiac goaltender Jamie Holden received
a significant academic accolade at the Q-Cup this weekend.
The senior with a 3.98 grade-point average in biology was
named the 2003-04 Atlantic Hockey Scholar Athlete of the
don’t know if there’s anyone to blame, but it
was just kind of sad watching college hockey last weekend.
All the penalties just killed the game. Can’t blame
the refs for following orders. Can’t blame the players
for competing the same way they have all their lives. Can’t
blame the commissioners for wanting to crack down on obstruction.
I guess it’s just going to take some time. Let’s
hope the game comes out of this transition stronger than
it went in.
appears that Sacred Heart has lured another good one from Quebec.
Freshman Alexandre Parent, a Boisbriand product, dished out three
assists against Army in his college debut. Two of the helpers
went to Nicolet native Pierre-Luc O’Brien. Dynamique!
a 2-0 lead was a death knell for several teams last weekend. Among
the squads that lost after scoring the first two goals of a game:
Mercyhurst (vs. Wisconsin), American International (vs. Quinnipiac),
Air Force (vs. Bentley, although this one officially was a tie,
Bentley won the battle of the Falcons in a shootout), Clarkson
(vs. Wayne State) and Western Ontario in an exhibition at Alabama-Huntsville.
2-0 lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey.
is supposed to be a down year for Air Force, but you wouldn’t
have known it at the Q-Cup. The Falcons outshot their opponents
98-38. Included among that barrage was an incredible 27-2 advantage
over AIC in the first period. And the score after said stanza?
would like to welcome back Army forward Chris Migliaro and Niagara
forward Jason Williamson, both of whom missed significant time
with injuries last season. Migliaro broke a leg against Air Force
last January, missing the rest of the season. He returned to score
twice in an exhibition against Ryerson earlier this month. Williamson
missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. Now, he’s
back in a purple sweater (with an “A” on his chest,
no less) and has a goal already this year.
Army coach Jack Riley has been inducted into the Army Sports Hall
of Fame as one of 16 members of the inaugural class. Festivities
were Oct. 1 at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC. Riley amassed 542 total
wins between 1951 and 1986 at West Point. Other honorees included
Mr. Outside Glenn Davis, Mr. Inside Doc Blanchard and Heisman
Trophy winner Pete Dawkins.
would have been hard not to cut down, but credit Niagara for taking
fewer trips to the penalty box against Maine than it did against
UMass Lowell. The two-game set in Orono yielded a total of 17
Purple Eagle penalties for 34 minutes – the same figures
as the single contest against the River Hawks.
to Quinnipiac forward Matt Craig, who notched career point No.
100 with his second goal Saturday night.
much-maligned power-play performers had a rough weekend at the
Q-Cup, going 1-for-19 in two games, including 0-for-13 in the