headed to the Pepsi Arena this weekend or plan to catch
one of Colgate’s games on television and you’re
not familiar with the Raiders, be warned. It will appear
that Colgate’s number 7, Adam Mitchell, never leaves
the ice. There are a few other Raider players – Jon
Smyth, Darryl McKinnon, and Joey Mormina in particular –
that you’ll also see a bunch. Those guys wear 23,
15, and 27 respectively.
are the players that have made Colgate one of the best teams
in the ECACHL over the past two seasons. Despite their conference
success, last year’s Raider squad lost a semifinal
game to Clarkson and barely missed out on the NCAA Tournament.
With its NCAA position almost identical to last year, this
weekend’s return trip to Albany is a chance for Mitchell,
his senior classmates, and the Colgate program to claim
an ECACHL playoff championship and return to the national
tournament for the first time since 2000.
ahead and check your program time and time again. There’s
only one guy wearing number 7 – and he’s waited
his whole career for that privilege. Don’t say we
didn’t warn you.
caught up with Mitchell, a senior co-captain at Colgate,
earlier this week.
Record: 24-4-3 (18-2-2 ECACHL)
Red Fact: An 11-goal, 11-assist season is
good for most players. Cornell junior Matt Moulson
has those stats just on the power play, and has 21
goals and 37 points overall this season. His line
with Byron Bitz and Shane Hynes is one of the best
in the league.
Cornell wins: What’s that old formula
for playoff success? Get good goaltending and special
teams play? Done and done for Cornell. Dave McKee
is the ECACHL first team goaltender and Cornell led
the league in power play and penalty killing percentage.
They’ll hurt you on the scoreboard, even while
short-handed. Mike Iggulden has four short-handed
goals and Mike Knoepfli has two.
Record: 20-8-3 (15-5-2 ECACHL)
Fact: Harvard has never won this tournament
in consecutive years, but this year’s group
of seniors has won it as freshmen, and last year as
juniors. The seniors are 15-1-0 in this tournament.
Harvard wins: It starts with solving Colgate,
a team that defeated Harvard twice during the regular
season. The Crimson’s top four defensemen are
as good as any group in the nation, playing in front
of one of the best goalies in Dov Grumet-Morris. Harvard
can out-defend you and win a low-scoring game, and
they’ve also got the skill players to match
if you try to run-and-gun, but that’s not the
type of game they prefer to be in.
Record: 24-9-3 (14-5-3 ECACHL)
Fact: Colgate’s 24 wins ties the second-best
win total in school history, set in the 1999-2000
season. The most wins (31) came in the 1989-90 season.
It’s a good omen, as 2000 and 1990 were the
last two years that Colgate qualified for the NCAA
Colgate wins: Cornell’s Dave McKee
and Harvard’s Dov Grumet-Morris are the goaltenders
in contention for the Hobey Baker Award, but folks
around the Colgate program like their guy, Steve Silverthorn,
just as much as Dave and Dov. Vermont’s Joe
Fallon is no slouch himself. Silverthorn, Colgate’s
all-time shutout leader, has a chance to further his
legacy by shining among an elite goaltending group
Record: 21-12-4 (13-6-3 ECACHL)
Fact: The last time Vermont played at this
venue, it was 1996 and the Catamounts defeated Lake
Superior State 2-1 in the Eastern Regional to advance
to the Frozen Four in Cincinnati.
Vermont wins: This is clearly the least experienced
of the four teams in this stage of the playoffs. The
Catamounts will need to block out the excitement and
nerves they’ll face in the first period on Friday
afternoon. Cornell will certainly capitalize on early
jitters, and the Big Red is a tough team to beat after
they get a lead.
College Hockey: Your team had eight seniors dressed in last
week’s sweep of Brown, and nine seniors have seen
regular duty this year. You guys were in this position last
year and things didn’t go your way. How has that affected
your team this year?
It’s been huge all season. Every time you see things
slip, you remind the guys of Albany and what happened last
year. We saw that especially last weekend. We knew we had
a chance to get back to Albany and didn’t want to
let that get away.
I don’t know if regret is the right word, but how
have the memories of last season helped your team?
Some guys probably used the feeling of regret to motivate
themselves. When you miss out like that where one more win
might have been the difference you think about a game when
you might not have prepared your best or a time when you
didn’t work your hardest.
Coach Vaughan has relied on a handful of players in all
types of situations, and you’re one of those players
that plays power play and penalty kill, along with skating
on one of the team’s top lines. How do you prepare
yourself for that much ice time?
For me and Darryl (McKinnon, a lifelong friend and teammate
since youth hockey in Port Elgin, Ontario) it starts back
home in the summer. We really work hard to get in great
cardiovascular shape. Once the season starts, you’ve
got to take care of yourself all week long by eating and
sleeping properly. During a game, you have to always be
ready to go out there and have the mental attitude that
you’re not going to get tired.
Superstitions are a big part of hockey, especially in the
playoffs. You’ve worn a different uniform number every
year that you’ve been at Colgate. Is that because
you’re not superstitious, or extremely superstitious?
I’m VERY superstitious. My freshman year was the first
time in my hockey life that I didn’t wear number 7
and I knew that Matt Nicholson had it so I probably wouldn’t
be able to get it for at least three more years. So that
year, I took 16, because one plus six is seven. My sophomore
year it was 23, which was kind of out of the blue. Last
year, I went to 17, and got my hands on a part of a seven.
This year I finally got to wear seven.
What’s it like in Hamilton with the other students
away for spring break?
The town’s pretty much dead. The students are all
scattered getting some nice sunshine.
But I trust that you’d rather be going to Albany than