Cross Holds Out Hope
Monday’s loss to Boston College. That’s not what has
Holy Cross fans worried. What’s more alarming to the Worcester
faithful are the five games that preceded the Eagles tilt.
A 1-2-2 record
against Atlantic Hockey doormats American International, Army
and Bentley? The lone win resulting from a three-goal, third-period
comeback? That’s not the way things are supposed to be for
the defending league champions.
which led the league wire-to-wire in 2003-04 and also captured
the playoff championship, has had trouble scoring goals most of
the season. The Crusaders are in a tie for 48th nationally at
2.30 goals per game. During their five-game winless streak, they’ve
produced just seven markers.
is frustrating playing a team like AIC and getting 45
shots and only scoring one or two goals,” senior defenseman
Coskren said. “It’s a team you figure you should be
able to bury a lot of goals against, and then you don’t.
And the frustration carries over from one game to the next game
to the next game. It builds up.
I think it’s just a phase. We’re working hard. Our
top two lines aren’t really scoring for us, but when they
get going, we should be rolling over teams. It’ll come back.”
Coskren is tied for second on Holy Cross’ roster with nine
points. He already has three goals this season after being shut
out last year (he called it “a dry streak for a season”).
For a while, it felt like everything Coskren shot toward the net
was going in.
fun to raise your stick once in a while,” he said.
But if Coskren
is leading the offense, there’s a problem. Sophomore Jimmy
Sixsmith (10 points) and junior Pierre Napert-Frenette (nine points)
are playing OK, but other difference makers such as captain Andrew
McKay (three points) and freshman Cal St. Denis (one point) haven’t
gotten up to speed yet.
that it’s harder to defend a championship than it is to
win it the first time because everybody’s gunning for No.
1. He said some of the team’s freshmen trying to crack the
lineup might be a bit nervous out there, and the Crusaders have
run into a few hot goalies. But if there was one theme that ran
through Coskren’s analysis of Holy Cross’ standing,
it was optimism.
not worried,” Coskren said. “We’re aware of
the situation, but we’re only, what? Five or six games into
the (league) season? We’re equally as skilled, if not more,
than last year. We’re a team – we win together and
we lose together. It’s not just because the forwards aren’t
doing their job. We all play offense and we all play defense.
We just have to keep working.”
AND HEARD IN THE LEAGUES
Holidays – Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore
has a lot for which to be thankful this week, but three road wins
against strong league competition might be at the top of the list.
The Beavers came out of a grueling four-games-in-five-days trip
through Niagara and Wayne State with three victories. Most impressively,
Bemidji swept Niagara in a battle between the two popular preseason
picks to win College Hockey America.
who have won five of their last six, look a lot different than
the team that was shut out on back-to-back nights by Minnesota
State, Mankato earlier this month.
team in the nation is going to have its ups and its downs,”
Serratore said. “We had a bad stretch earlier this season,
and you know what? We’re going to have it again. It just
happens that way. But we’re playing pretty well right now,
and you take it when you have it.”
is Fair Play – After Wayne State’s 7-3 home
loss to Bowling Green last Thursday, the Warriors did what everyone
expected them to do in Saturday’s rematch in northern Ohio.
They scored nine goals and won by six.
say BG could not have played a worse game, with defensemen making
“millions” of turnovers, forwards failing to backcheck,
and goalies giving up softies. Wayne State, meanwhile, got a hat
trick from freshman Adam Krug and solid goaltending from confident
have now defeated representatives of Hockey East (Merrimack, Providence),
the ECACHL (Clarkson), the CCHA (Bowling Green) and Atlantic Hockey
(Canisius) this season. But barring a matchup in the NCAA tournament,
no WCHA teams are on the schedule.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Great Weekend Getaway
Annual RPI/Bank of America Holiday Tournament (Fri.-Sat.)
didn’t exactly stick out its neck when inviting teams
to its tournament, but it worked out for all you CHA and
AHA fans who like seeing multiple teams in one place. Friday’s
first-round matchups are Robert Morris vs. the hosts and
Air Force against Sacred Heart. It would be pretty surprising
if the Engineers don’t win it all, but the Falcons/Pioneers
game should be interesting. And there’s a decent chance
you’ll get to see Frank Serratore and Derek Schooley
match wits for the third time in nine days in the consolation
You're There: Downtown Albany is a short ride from Troy,
and the bars near Pepsi Arena are full of hockey fans during
Frozen Fours, NCAA regionals and ECACHL championship weekends
at that venue. Check out the Big House Brewing Company,
which houses several rooms, all featuring a unique environment,
and find the "scene" that suits you.
great line from Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley
after his team’s 5-0 loss to Air Force last weekend:
“They came out like they were shot out of a cannon,
and we were the clown in front getting shot in the gut.”
a ride? There’s plenty of room on the Connecticut
bandwagon right now. The Huskies, thought to be one of the
up-and-coming teams in Atlantic Hockey, have gotten off
to a rough 2-9-1 start this year. Granted, one of the wins
was against Massachusetts, and the rest of their schedule
hasn’t been easy, but not many people would have guessed
that UConn would have had just one win entering Thanksgiving
week (the Huskies beat Bentley on Tuesday). UConn is off
this weekend before hosting Army and Canisius – just
its third and fourth home games of the year – in early
sophomore goalie Treye Kettwick turned in two impressive
performances against Holy Cross last week –
including a 2-0 shutout Friday – and he did it in front
of some pretty good company. After his whitewash, Kettwick was
presented with the Superintendent’s coin, which honors outstanding
service at the Academy. Making the presentation was Lt. Gen. William
J. Lennox Jr., West Point’s superintendent, and U.S. Army
Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker.
didn’t have a bad trip to Mankato last weekend,
but it could have been better. The Chargers couldn’t cash
in on 1-0 and 2-1 leads in their 4-2 loss Friday, then let a 3-0
advantage get away in Saturday’s 3-3 tie. At one point Saturday,
UAH was outshooting MSU 24-3.
Quinnipiac’s box scores for the past week
has been like leafing through the middle of a baby names book
– Marks, Matthews and Michaels out the wazoo. Didn’t
see any Montells, though. For the record, Mark Van Vliet had two
goals and an assist, Matt Froehlich had two assists and Matt Craig
had a goal and an assist Friday. On Saturday, Van Vliet, Froehlich,
Craig and Michael Bordieri all scored and Van Vliet and Craig
had assists. On Tuesday, Froehlich scored and had an assist, Craig
helped on two and Matt Sorteberg also had an assist. From now
on, fans in Hamden can call me Mames Jahnke.
sounds like a bad sequel, but last Saturday could have been billed
as “The Return of the Goalie” across the CHA and Atlantic
Hockey. Among the returning netminders (with their situation and
results): Connecticut’s Scott Tomes played
for the first time since injuring his knee in early October, and
allowed five goals on 17 shots in a loss to Canisius.
Niagara’s Jeff Van Nynatten returned from
a two-week unofficial team suspension to make 39 saves in a 2-1
overtime loss to Bemidji State. Quinnipiac’s
Josh Siembida, who began his college career at North
Dakota, made his first regular-season start for the Bobcats in
a 37-save 5-0 shutout of Bentley. Finally, former
Findlay netminder Jon Horrell got a relief call for
Bowling Green during Wayne State’s 9-3
win. It was his first action as Jordan Sigalet’s understudy
with the Falcons, and he stopped nine of the 14 shots he saw in
33 minutes of work.
news out of Colorado: Junior Mike Knaeble, Air Force’s
leading returning scorer from last year, will miss six to eight
weeks after fracturing his fibula Friday against Robert
Morris. Knaeble has just one goal and two assists thus
far, but he’s been a streaky player throughout his college
news out of Colorado: Sophomore Brandon Merkosky set a CHA single-game
record with 12 shots on goal during Saturday’s 2-1 overtime
win. The previous record was 11, set by UAH’s
Jared Ross (12/1/02) and tied by Niagara’s
Joe Tallari (2/22/03). Strangely, Merkosky was kept off the scoreboard
during his 12-shot barrage. He had a goal and three assists in
Friday’s series opener.
sitting atop Atlantic Hockey with a 5-1 record and 10 points,
had never been in sole possession of first place in a Division
I league until this week.
the biggest surprise in the CHA thus far has been Niagara
senior forward Ryan Gale, who has nine goals and five assists
in 13 games this year after notching 16 goals and 11 assists in
his first 99 games as a collegian. “We had him penciled
in as our third-line right wing, first penalty killer over the
boards and, potentially, playing on the power play,” Niagara
head coach Dave Burkholder said. “But he has just deserved
to get more ice time. Now, he’s playing with Barret (Ehgoetz)
and I don’t know where we’d be without him.”
Jared Ross is kept in check at Western Michigan this weekend,
expect several career CHA marks to fall when Niagara heads
to Alabama-Huntsville on Dec. 3-4. The question,
simply, is who will break them? UAH’s Ross and Niagara’s
Ehgoetz are staging nearly simultaneous assaults on the all-time
league records for goals, assists and points (all currently held
by former Air Force Falcon Andy Berg). As it stands, Ross trails
Berg by four points (142 to 138), four goals (64 to 60) and is
tied in assists at 78. Ehgoetz is seven points, four goals and
three assists behind the leaders. Former Purple Eagle Joe Tallari
also has 60 career goals and is tied for second with Ross and
Ehgoetz in that category.
slow passage through the NCAA Clearinghouse, Robert Morris
forward Sean Berkstresser was declared eligible two weekends
ago. He has played in all four games since, registering one assist.
getting blown out, Wayne State set a school record with 25 shots
on goal during Thursday’s second period against Bowling
Green. They tallied two of their three goals during the stanza.