you gotten dizzy following tracking polls for next Tuesday’s
Presidential election? One day your guy is up, another down,
and the results vary from state to state?
is life in the Mullins Center right now, where the UMass
Minutemen have all the predictability of a knuckleball.
Friday night, fresh off a trip to Alaska, they skated to
a 3-2 win over highly regarded UMass Lowell, with Stephen
Werner scoring the game-winner 48 seconds into overtime.
than 48 hours later, head coach Don Cahoon’s club
suffered its first-ever loss to an Atlantic Hockey team.
Again it was 3-2, again in overtime, but this time Connecticut,
which finished fifth in Atlantic Hockey a year ago, came
away with the win.
a group in transition," said Cahoon. "We've seen
some positives, and we've seen a lot of uncertainty. But
I like the foundation we have with our players, and if we
add some consistency, I think we are going to be fine."
now, as his team heads into Hockey East’s first home-and-home
series of the year against Providence, Cahoon doesn’t
know what to expect.
Alaska, we played Minnesota and limited them to 21 shots
(in a 1-0 loss),” he said. “We played the game
we need to play. Then we trade 40 shots with UConn.”
not one to slight the talent he has – especially the
likes of Werner, Matt Anderson, or defenseman Marvin Degon
– or dwell on the past. But he admits that things
could be a whole lot easier with a player like Thomas Pock
around, especially in a game like the one the Minutemen
were in against UConn.
are not as dynamic as Thomas was,” Cahoon admits.
“We’re going to be in battles, and we have to
play it a certain way to win those battles. We have to keep
risks to a minimum, and we’re going to be fine.”
AND HEARD IN HOCKEY EAST
Calls – It’s a bit early to declare
a trend – although I did successfully predict that
hockey sweaters would become a fashion trend a few years
back – but it’s worth noting that all four Hockey
East games thus far have been decided by one goal.
plenty at work here to explain all the non-blowouts, including
good early-season matchups and every coach’s favorite
quote – top-to-bottom this league is stronger than
it’s ever been (and we’ve got to take ’em
one game at a time, etc.)
or not, there’s certainly some truth to that statement.
Looking beyond our borders it can be applied not just to
Hockey East, but college hockey as a whole. How else can
you explain second-division teams from Atlantic Hockey and
the CHA beating Massachusetts and Merrimack, respectively,
or St. Lawrence stunning Maine? That all happened last weekend,
proving that the gap between 1 and 58 is pretty small.
contributing to the close scores is the emphasis on rules
enforcement. All those whistles can interrupt the flow of
the game and keep a superior team from building momentum.
Power play chances can help teams stay close as well –
witness the two power-play goals Mercyhurst scored against
New Hampshire on Saturday to make that a one-goal game.
Welcome – Walter Brown Arena may be closing
its doors at midseason, but unlike the NHL, it’s not
about to lock out former BU stars.
of ex-Terriers took on the current club on Sunday in a benefit
game for the Travis Roy and Mark Bavis Foundations. The
star-studded alumni team showcased its skill in a 9-5 victory.
was great for our team, it was great for me personally and
of course it was for a great cause," said head coach
Jack Parker. "When you can organize something like
this, you get guys like Adrian Aucoin to come up, and Jacques
Joubert to fly in from Chicago."
was a great time," said Chris Drury, who had a hat
trick to lead the alums. "It's good to get on the ice
at Walter Brown again, especially since it's not going to
be used much longer."
different players scored for the current BU team, including
a late “empty-netter” from Brad Zancanaro after
Rick DiPietro wandered from his crease to try a little creative
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Great Weekend Getaway
Dakota at Boston College (Fri.)
teams met in two great games in Grand Forks last season,
and are supremely talented once again. But things
haven’t gone perfectly thus far, and both are
coming off losses. A two-game losing streak wouldn’t
doom either one by any means, but a win here could
be big when it comes time to seed the NCAA Tournament.
talent has been on display for both clubs, which were
ranked 1-2 in Inside College Hockey’s recruiting
rankings. Freshman Rastislav Spirko leads the Sioux
in scoring, with Travis Zajac chipping in as well,
and rookie Dan Bertram has lived up to expectations
on BC’s first line. The Eagle defense, decimated
by injuries to Andrew Alberts and Peter Harrold, will
be tested by the Sioux.
You’re There: What a wonderful weekend to be
in Boston. Saturday’s Red Sox parade could be,
quite literally, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
It starts at 10 a.m. near Fenway Park.
They’ve gotten a lot of credit over the years,
to be sure, but we’ll raise a stick again to
Mike Eruzione and the other members of the 1980
Olympic team who played a role – however
small – in the Red Sox World Series. The idiots
gathered in their Bronx clubhouse last week and watched
Miracle before Game 7 against the Yankees, then took
care of Finland – er, St. Louis, – with
no problem. Nobody had to tell the Sox that they’d
take a Series loss to their graves.
conference lost to teams from Atlantic Hockey,
the CHA and the ECAC (twice!) last week. The non-league
slate doesn’t get any easier with two against
North Dakota this weekend. Then again, the Sons of
Bertagna are a perfect 2-0-0 in the Commissioners
Hockey East coaches and officials will gather Nov. 11 in
Boston to discuss this season’s new standards in rules
enforcement. Commissioner Joe Bertagna has been one of the
most steadfast supporters of the changes, and he shouldn’t
find too much opposition at this meeting – Hockey
East coaches have been generally supportive, probably moreso
than their counterparts in other conferences.
Boston College landed a good one this week,
receiving a verbal commitment from Omaha Lancers forward
Brock Bradford. Bradford was one of remaining jewels in
the fall 2005 recruiting race, probably second only to Phil
Kessel in most scouts’ estimations. BC and Boston
University reportedly remain in the race for the services
Jerry York seeks to become just the third coach in college
hockey history with 700 career victories Friday night against
Not only has John Curry been a pleasant surprise between
the pipes for Boston University, with a
1.19 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage through
three games, but he also posted an assist in the Terriers’
first conference game, a 3-2 win over Providence.
Sophomore Matt Byrnes has emerged as a supreme set-up man
for Merrimack, posting seven assists (and
eight points) through three games. He had six assists and
nine points all of last season.
Experience paid off in Hockey East last season, as the top
three overall scorers were all seniors. It’s early
yet, but there’s a youth movement on this season.
None of the top eight scorers in the league are seniors
in 2004-05, led by Maine junior Derek Damon
(10 points). The top freshman scorer thus far is BU’s
Pete MacArthur, with three goals and five points in four
UMass Lowell, stuck at a disappointing
1-2-0 after a pair of 3-2 losses last week ventures outside
the league to face Rensselaer and Union. On the way to New
York’s Capital District, the River Hawks hope to find
some five-on-five offense – they haven’t scored
an even-strength goal yet this year.
One guy we missed in last week's rundown of the "Hockey
Sox": Derek Lowe. A good comparison, to match Lowe's
versatility, might be Maine's Tom Zabkowicz
or Boston University's Bryan Miller. I'll
stick with Zabkowicz since, as a sophomore, he'll be back
next year, and I'm hoping the same can be said for Lowe.
Keep an eye out for next week’s “The Show”
on ESPN.com, when New Hampshire’s
Sean Collins will join Inside College Hockey to field questions.
He’ll have plenty of time to prepare, since the Wildcats
are off this weekend.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this