Part of the
passion that fans have for college athletics comes from the fact
that, in most cases, fans can watch a student-athlete grow and
develop over a four-year career. There are no trading deadlines
or free agency periods in which the high profile teams can swoop
in and grab a marquee player from a less-heralded unit.
In the pros,
the New York Yankees can go out and grab an All-Star starting
pitcher or the Colorado Avalanche can grab a future Hall of Fame
goaltender of defenseman.
that doesn’t happen in college hockey. Could you imagine
if Minnesota made a deal for Grant Goeckner-Zoeller? Or Michigan
added Mike McKenna?
No, what you
start with in college hockey is what you’re working with
for the entire season.
said, it must have felt like a late-season acquisition for the
Colgate Raiders when junior winger Kyle Wilson returned to the
ice over the weekend. Wilson broke a bone in his foot in a Jan.
15 game at Union College and missed eight games while he was recuperating.
on Friday, fittingly, against Union and made an immediate impact
with a goal and an assist.
And like a
new face thrown into a baseball lineup during a pennant chase,
one that’s been rescued from non-contending small-market
mediocrity, Wilson brought an energy to the Colgate lineup.
brings a lot of offensive presence. He has great instinct. Tonight,
he had his instinct and he had a lot of jump. He was off for four
weeks and you could tell that he was real eager to play,”
Raider coach Don Vaughan said. “I think tonight it was obvious.
It motivates the other guys. They know what he brings to the lineup.”
a perfect read on a cross-ice pass and turned it into a short-handed
breakaway. He was pulled down on the play, but referee Tim Kotyra
opted to assess a standard 2-minute minor rather than award a
was nice to start off where I left off. It was sweet to come back
and win this game and get back on the right foot,” Wilson
said, obviously not intending the pun on his injured body part.
players for some of the top teams in the league also missed time
recently. Cornell will welcome Ryan O’Byrne back to the
lineup soon, and Vermont was missing defenseman Jaime Sifers.
Mumblings are that Hugh Jessiman’s injured ankle is progressing
nicely and he could return to the Big Green lineup for the playoffs.
AND HEARD IN THE ECACHL
Shutout Chase: The goaltending quality throughout
the league is incredible and recent events show that this might
be the best goaltending era in league history. That’s because
long-held goaltending records are falling at several schools.
tied Harvard’s career shutout mark with his 10th career
shutout on Tuesday against Brown. It was his fifth shutout of
the season and third in the last four ECACHL games. The Hobey
Baker candidate leads the nation in save percentage and ranks
second in goals-against average to Dave McKee of Cornell.
broke Colgate’s all-time shutout mark with the seventh of
his career as he made 21 saves in a 1-0 win over Rensselaer. He
also had the line of the weekend, as he stated afterward, “It’s
not that many.”
Dave McKee blanked Rensselaer on Friday night and moved to within
one of Ken Dryden’s school record of 12 shutouts for a career.
Vermont, freshman Joe Fallon made 11 saves in a 5-0 win at Yale.
It was the rookie’s fifth shutout of the season and he set
the school’s single-season record for shutouts. Vermont
as a team has six shutouts this year, which is also a single-season
Great Weekend Getaway
at Dartmouth (Fri.)
Brown at Dartmouth (Sat.)
best weekend series take place in Vermont and Dartmouth
where Brown and Harvard are visiting. Unfortunately, all
four games are sold out, although you could get standing
room tickets to Thompson Arena for the weekend set. Plenty
of scoreboard watching will be going on, as Vermont and
Dartmouth chase fourth place. The Catamounts enter the weekend
with a two-point advantage in the standings.
to see some “Old Time Hockey”
albeit in a strange venue. Temple men’s basketball
coach John Chaney admitted after Tuesday’s game that
he sent out “a goon” (his words, not mine) to
try to change the flow of the game. That, combined with
this week’s bounty-gate in the UHL, gives cause to
fondly remember legendary player-coach Reggie Dunlop.
on that St. Joe’s/Temple game from Tuesday night,
Chaney went nuts after a couple of illegal screens were
called against his team and was assessed a technical foul.
His elbows were flailing and he was screaming a word that
rhymes with puck as assistant coaches and players held him
back. After the game, he suspended himself for Temple’s
next game. College basketball analysts
praised the self-discipline. I wonder if they knew it had
already been done in the ECACHL two weeks earlier.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
was a milestone weekend at Colgate as Adam Mitchell set the career
games-played mark, Don Vaughan won his 200th game as head coach,
and as we mentioned earlier, Steve Silverthorn set the career
Keep an eye on the games in the Capital District this weekend.
The bottom four teams in the standings are facing off, but Union,
in particular, can work their way up to eighth and the right to
host a playoff series next week. The Dutchmen trail Clarkson by
just one point. Union hosts Yale and Princeton while Clarkson
has the tougher task of playing against Colgate and Cornell.
A fitting end to the Cornell-Union contest. As the clock ticked
down on their final regular season home game, Mike Schafer had
all five senior players on the ice for the buzzer to wrap up a
4-1 victory. Cornell’s seniors – Charlie Cook, Jeremy
Downs, Mike Knoepfli, Paul Varteressian, and Mike Iggulden –
were recognized in a post-game ceremony.
Union coach Nate Leaman benched senior defenseman Matt Vagvolgyi,
an alternate captain, for an extended portion of Friday’s
loss to Colgate. Vagvolgyi was a healthy scratch for Saturday’s
game against Cornell. Matt Blabac got the nod on the blueline
for the Saturday tilt, his first action of the season. He and
Jason Ortolano helped give Union one of its best defensive performances
of the year.
Andrew Lederman of Harvard was another key player that got to
see a game in street clothes over the weekend. The senior entered
the weekend as Harvard’s second-leading scorer, but wasn’t
in the lineup for the Crimson win over Clarkson. He returned to
the lineup, on the fourth line, for Saturday’s game against
St. Lawrence and played a spirited physical game.
everyone’s prone to getting a little stale after a while,”
Lederman told Harvard’s student paper. “The game sitting
out and watching and just taking mental notes for myself –
I think that helped a lot.”
Princeton shook up its lines and it paid off with a big win over
Dartmouth. Coach Guy Gadowsky broke up his No. 1 unit of Grant
Goeckner-Zoeller, Dustin Sproat, and Patrick Neundorfer. Sproat
joined Landis Stankievech and Keith Shattenkirk, and Shattenkirk
had two goals. Goeckner-Zoeller had three points on a line with
Sebastian Borza and Mark Masters.
I’ve often criticized Cornell fans for throwing things on
the ice, but it was good to see them celebrate at an appropriate
time on Saturday. When Matt Moulson wristed a shot through traffic
on the power play for his third goal of the night, the ice was
cluttered with a huge number of hats from Lynah Rink patrons.
Colgate’s Tyler Burton and Harvard’s Jon Pelle shared
Rookie of the Week honors. Burton had three points on Colgate’s
four goals over the weekend. Pelle had a goal and an assist versus
Clarkson and an assist against St. Lawrence and ranks second in
scoring for the Crimson. It’ll be interesting to see how
the league’s All-Rookie forwards pan out. There’s
only room for three forwards, making a tough decision between
Burton, Pelle, Torrey Mitchell at Vermont, Nick Johnson at Dartmouth,
and Steve Zalewski at Clarkson.
The ECACHL announced another marketing partnership this week,
as the league has joined up with outerwear manufacturer Turfer
Sport, not to be confused with Cornell rookie Topher Scott.
of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.