Bear Market For Brown
Halloween, Vermont traveled to Minnesota Duluth and picked up
a win and a tie that turned into an 11-game unbeaten streak. It
was a shock at the time, but that road trip sparked the Catamounts,
who are now nationally ranked.
later, Brown went to UMD and lost the first game of the two-game
series to fall to 1-4-1 on the year. Saturday's game saw Brown
rally for two third-period goals and win 2-1 at the DECC. The
winning goal was scored with one-tenth of a second left in the
game by freshman Jeff Prough, and freshman goalie Adam D'Alba
got his first start and made 44 saves in the win.
Like Vermont, that
trip to northern Minnesota has jump-started Brown's season. Including
the last-gasp win against the Bulldogs, Brown is riding a 4-0-1
streak in its last five games before breaking for final exams
and the holidays.
"We're a young
team in terms of experience and it took us a while to figure out
what we're about. We realized that we need to be a blue-collar
team," senior captain Les Haggett said. "Having a freshman
score that last-second goal was huge. We took confidence from
that weekend and ran with it. Now when we go into a game we know
that we have a hot goalie and you know you're going to have a
great chance to win."
to Vermont's season is the emergence of a freshman goaltender.
Where Vermont has Joe Fallon, Brown has D'Alba. He's started all
five of the Bears' games during the unbeaten run and has a 1.35
goals-against average and has a save percentage of .962.
"The thing about
that game against Minnesota Duluth and the last game against Union
is the play of the defense. The defense has played excellent.
Shots against might seem steep but they're doing a good job and
the other teams are only getting perimeter shots," D'Alba
D'Alba watched from
the bench during Brown's first five games and took advantage of
that experience. He played the last five minutes of the Friday
night game against UMD and hasn't been back on the bench since.
trying to study, to pick up the pace of the game and what teams
are doing, why goals are going in," D'Alba said.
His education from
the bench served him well, as has the expertise that's been passed
along to him by Brown assistant coach Tony Ciresi, who works with
the team's goaltenders. Ciresi has helped D'Alba improve on the
fundamental aspects of the game to complement the outstanding
quickness, reflexes, and reaction that the rookie brought to campus.
D'Alba's been able
to be his own goaltender and has hardly heard the name Yann Danis.
"The team doesn't
mention anything about him. We're moving on," D'Alba said.
"You can't underestimate what he's done for the program but
everyone realizes that it's time to move forward."
SEEN AND HEARD IN THE ECACHL
Stick – Depending on how the polls shake out in
the coming weeks, Harvard could play six straight games against
ranked opponents, and it started earlier this week with a 3-1
win over Vermont on Tuesday in Cambridge. Two of Harvard's earliest
games of the season came against Cornell and Colgate, now 12th
and 13th in the national rankings, and it was a struggle. Since
then, Harvard's won all three of its games against ranked teams.
team wasn't the team that we are now," captain Noah Welch
said. "I think we have come together. On the ice systems-wise
guys are staying disciplined and playing within the system and
that's huge. It's tough as a freshman to come in and learn six
different new systems, but it's clicking now. Systems-wise we
are and confidence wise we are. Beating BC and BU and a couple
of others we're getting used to winning now and that's huge. We
have so much confidence coming down from our coaching staff and
it really does rub off. When we were going into those games we
were real loose and we played hard."
next game is Saturday at home against Maine, followed by a match
up against Northern Michigan and possible game against the host
Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Dodge Holiday Classic. Then, Harvard
hosts Cornell and Colgate on Jan. 7 and 8.
Faces – Clarkson's struggled to score goals this
year, and at 2.00 goals-per-ECACHL game find themselves at the
bottom of the scoring charts. One way that the Clarkson coaching
staff had hoped to generate some offense was by re-shuffling the
power play units in recent weeks. The result was a veteran-laden
unit, and another power-play that's comprised of five freshmen.
kind of put a veteran unit together and an all-freshman unit.
Even though we didn't get any power-play goals I thought our puck
movement was better and we had a lot of chances," coach George
Roll said after a recent series against Brown and Harvard. "It's
fun to watch. We're going to have three more years with that unit
after this year, but it's something we thought with their skill
level to go in that direction."
The unit is
made up of forwards Nick Dodge, Shawn Weller, and Steve Zalewski
and defensemen Grant Clitsome and David Cayer. The Golden Knights
recruiting class was highly touted and it hasn't taken long for
them to get fully involved.
mail – Earlier this week I received
an e-mail from a hockey fan who had a very positive experience
upon seeing his first college game. Here's what he wrote.
Without the joy of the NHL, I went to my first college game
a couple weeks ago. It was Denver vs. Boston U. A few observations
on what makes the college game better:
refs actually call the rules and there's no obstruction.
2. Tag-up offsides makes the game much faster.
3. No-touch icing.
4. And I can't believe I'm saying this...no two-line pass rule.
The NHL should at least get rid of it during power plays. The
breakouts are so much faster this way.
5. Hot college girls all over the place!!!
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Great Weekend Getaway
Maine at Harvard
a rematch of last year's first-round NCAA tournament game
in Albany as the Black Bears face Harvard. Maine scored
four third-period goals in that one to pick up 5-4 win on
the way to the national championship game. These are two
of the hottest teams in the nation as Maine is 5-1-2 in
its last eight games and Harvard has won eight of nine.
You're There: Stop at Leo's on JFK St. for some of the best
burgers in the area.
Of course we're partial
to the college game, but that doesn't mean we don't love
the NHL too. It's good to see the NHL owners and
the players association back at the bargaining table.
Here's hoping to a quick and fair resolution to the work
the combination of the INCH Power Rankings and the
Union Dutchmen. Union appeared in the rankings
for two weeks last year, moving up to No. 15 before losing
9-2 to New Hampshire the following week. This year, Union
was slotted 18th in the rankings on Nov. 21 and hasn't won
a game since..
mentioned earlier, Vermont's 11-game unbeaten streak came
to an end against Harvard on Tuesday. The coaching match
up pitted ex-Crimson teammates Kevin Sneddon against Ted Donato
against each other. Sneddon and Donato shared three years in the
Harvard lineup and stood side-by-side in the team photo for the
1988-89 season, Harvard's only national championship campaign.
a come-from behind 4-3 win over Providence on Wednesday, Rensselaer
picked up its first one-goal win of the year. The Engineers
were 0-6 in games decided by one goal prior to the win over the
senior defenseman Justin Spencer is reliable on the ice
and excels in the classroom. Check
out this feature story on Spencer at the university's site.
Clarkson's Shawn Weller was the lone ECACHL player
named to the United States roster for the upcoming World Junior
Championships. The Golden Knights host Ohio State this weekend
at Cheel, looking to snap a five-game losing streak.
Adam D'Alba was the ECACHL Rookie of the Week and Goalie
of the Week. The last player to accomplish that feat was RPI goaltender
Nathan Marsters on Oct. 30, 2000.
Hockey East road trip took on the travel-partner format,
but it didn't help the ECACHL teams, as St. Lawrence and Clarkson
were both swept at UMass-Lowell and New Hampshire.
is 7-0-0 at Lynah Rink this year after failing to win
in its first six home games last year.
• All-session passes for the ECACHL Championship
weekend at Albany's Pepsi Arena go on sale Monday. Visit
the league's official
Web site for details.
of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.