October 28, 2004
Fresh Start at Princeton

By Joe Gladziszewski

 ECACHL Notebook

Grant Goeckner-Zoeller scored twice in Princeton's 9-2 exhibition rout of Windsor.

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Atlantic Hockey/CHA Notebook
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WCHA Notebook

The game won’t be remembered by many people at the end of the year, but a 9-2 exhibition game victory over Windsor was an important way for Princeton to start its season in a couple of different ways.

Most importantly, the nine goal output was long overdue. Princeton’s struggles over the past two years have resulted from an inability to produce offense. It usually took the Tigers three weeks to score nine goals, not three periods.

Secondly, it was a chance for new head coach Guy Gadowsky to get a good look at his team in a competitive situation. He was thrilled to see their reaction to each and every goal.

“It was nice to see. Wonderful to see the emotion they showed and the fun they had doing it. It was fun for me too,” Gadowsky said.

Grant Goeckner-Zoeller, the Tigers’ leading returning scorer, scored twice in the game.

Gadowsky has been awed by his surroundings at Princeton and his players’ rate of learning.

“The biggest thing is that they are so intelligent,” Gadowsky said. “They pick things up so quickly. I expected them to be intelligent, but it’s incredible how quickly they get things down.”

There’s a lot of education going on these days at Princeton, as the coaches are learning as much as they can about their players and their team. This weekend’s series against St. Cloud State and Alabama-Huntsville will be an opportunity to do that.

“It’s another chance for us to evaluate. St. Cloud State is a tough opponent from the WCHA and we’ll get to see how some of our guys will flourish against a tougher, tighter-checking opponent and how gritty we can be,” Gadowsky said.


Getting Freaky – For years, the Big Red Freakout has been a staple of the second-half schedule for the Rensselaer Engineers at Houston Field House. Last year marked the beginning of a new tradition, which met its goal of giving the RPI hockey community something to get excited about at the beginning of the year.

The resulting concept was “Black Friday” which takes place during RPI’s first ECACHL home game every year. The team wears special one-game only black sweaters and that’s slated for Nov. 5 in Troy. A special part of this year’s Black Friday will be the induction of Adam Oates into the RPI Athletics Hall of Fame and the initiation of the men’s hockey program’s Ring of Honor.

Turning our attention toward the current Engineer players, junior forward Kirk MacDonald has been the early surprise for Rensselaer. He scored the game-winning goal in each of last week’s wins over Northeastern and Army. MacDonald shares the team lead in scoring with Kevin Croxton. Each player has nine points through five games, and Rensselaer is off to a 3-1-1 start with two more non-conference games this weekend against UMass-Lowell and Mercyhurst.

Voice of the People – The league’s coaches and media turned in their votes for the pre-season poll with the coaches selecting Cornell for the top spot and the media picking Dartmouth. That was more than a month ago and the ECACHL office invited fans to do the same before the start of league play, an appropriate gesture during this presidential election year.

Like the coaches and media, the fans also have big expectations for Cornell and Dartmouth. Among 32 voters in the men’s poll, Cornell earned 15 first place votes and Dartmouth earned 14. The Big Red edged Dartmouth overall for the top spot.


Great Weekend Getaway
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Harvard at Brown (Fri.):
The first conference game of the year will be played tonight at Meehan Auditorium and it’s got several intriguing storylines. It’s our first good luck at Harvard under first-year coach Ted Donato and the debut performance of the Brown Bears without Yann Danis between the pipes.

While you're there: It’s not every day that you get to see the elite collegiate water polo teams from the Northeast splash against each other. Brown’s hosting the men’s Northern Division Championships all day Saturday at the Smith Swim Center on campus.

Stick Salute

The St. Lawrence Saints, unheralded at the beginning of the year, knocked off another elite program this past weekend with a 1-0 win at Maine. The Saints also beat Michigan State on the road this year, and despite a 2-3-1 overall record, St. Lawrence has earned a reputation for being a team that’s tough to play against. They meet another challenge this weekend against Miami.

Bench Minor

It’s only a short trip from St. Lawrence to Clarkson and unlike their travel partners down the road, Clarkson’s Golden Knights have started the season very slowly. Clarkson has one win and three losses, and after taking last weekend off, the Knights host Niagara for a pair of games this weekend.

• While Harvard and Brown start the slate of league games this weekend (see the Getaway), for most teams it’s another chance to test themselves versus non-league opponents and no team has it tougher than Vermont. The Catamounts travel to Minnesota-Duluth, the number one team in the INCH Power Rankings.

Cornell freshman forward Topher Scott began his Big Red career with a pair of goals in an exhibition win over McGill. His goals were supplemented by tallies from captain Mike Knoepfli and Cam Abbott. The Big Red allowed only 10 shots on goal in the game, and faces Army and Sacred Heart this weekend at Lynah Rink.

• Hugh Jessiman also started his season quickly as he factored in all three of Dartmouth’s goals with two assists and an insurance tally to seal a 3-1 win over Western Ontario.

Dartmouth hosts future ECACHL member Quinnipiac on Saturday and the game will be televised by NESN and CSTV.

• Earlier, we mentioned Princeton’s nine-goal output against Windsor College. The following night saw Harvard face the same team and only manage two goals, despite outshooting Windsor 47-8.

Union’s 1-0 loss to Bowling Green on Saturday was the fourth straight defeat for the Dutchmen this year, but it was noteworthy because it was the debut of highly-touted freshman goalie Justin Mrazek. He made 29 saves and allowed just one power-play goal against.

A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.

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