Mac Will Be Back
As most followers of the ECAC Hockey League
know, Rensselaer senior forward Kirk MacDonald is recovering
from testicular cancer that was diagnosed in April of 2005.
MacDonald planned to participate in this, his senior season
with the Engineers. Due to complications from several surgeries
his recovery will take longer than he initially expected
and MacDonald will instead attempt to return to the ice
and play his senior season in 2006-07.
“Based on the advice of my doctors I will
not be playing college hockey this season and will apply
for a medical hardship waiver,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald underwent a total of four surgeries
and an extended hospital stay since being diagnosed with
cancer in the spring. Complications from the initial surgery
resulted in additional procedures and a 65-day stay in a
Vancouver hospital. His initial surgery to remove the affected
testicle took place on April 12. Then, an abdominal surgery
on Aug. 2 was particularly difficult on MacDonald and led
to additional operations on Aug. 30 and Sept. 24. MacDonald
was eventually released from the hospital Oct. 6.
“I’m feeling good, but tired mentally and
physically. I’ve lost a lot of weight and am looking forward
to starting to eat regular foods,” MacDonald said.
The Victoria, British Columbia native now
weighs approximately 155 pounds, and his weight on last
season’s roster was listed at 210 pounds. He appreciated
that his medical advisors didn’t encourage him to return
too quickly in an attempt to play hockey this season.
“It was better that they said that, because
I would’ve pushed myself too hard and tried to come back
this season,” MacDonald said.
Going through his medical situation has given
MacDonald a perspective on how difficult things really are,
and an appreciation for things that he might have considered
a nuisance. “You might complain about things like getting
up at 6 a.m. for practice or a workout, but I could really
go for a bag skate right now.”
MacDonald was the Engineers’ leading scorer
in 2004-05 with 16 goals and 36 points. He was named as
one of three captains on the team for this season, along
with Brad Farynuk and Kevin Croxton. He was second with
20 assists in 37 games. At season's end he was named the
team's Most Valuable Player and he won the Coach's Award.
In 104 career games, MacDonald has 35 goals and 41 assists
for 76 points.
AND HEARD IN THE ECACHL
Secondary scoring sources –
One of the exciting things to follow in the early
part of the season is the emergence of so-called second
lines. Most teams in the ECACHL are very capable defensively,
and can effectively limit scoring opportunities by an opponents’
number-one line. If a team can get production from a supporting
line, it takes the pressure off of a marquee group and may
force a team to alter its defensive strategy.
One of the best second lines in the league
can be found at Colgate, where Kyle Wilson, Marc Fulton,
and Ryan Smyth provide excellent backup to the top unit
featuring Jon Smyth, Tyler Burton, and Jesse Winchester.
“They’ve played that way from the very beginning
of training camp. I put that line together right away and
they’ve played very, very strong. Kyle has great offensive
instinct and Ryan’s in the best shape of his life, and Marc
Fulton when he’s healthy, can shoot the puck like a pro,”
Raider coach Don Vaughan said. “It takes a little of the
pressure off of Burton’s line and allows us to throw a couple
of lines over the wall that we think can create and generate
Two other second lines have also impressed
in the early going. Olivier Bouchard, T.J. Fox, and Josh
Coyle at Union are providing plenty of support for the Jonathan
Poirier, Scott Seney, and Torren Delforte trio. At Clarkson,
big things are expected from Jeff Genovy, Chris D’Alvise,
and Brodie Rutherglen to counter the top unit of Shawn Weller,
Steve Zalewski, and Shea Guthrie.
Great Weekend Getaway
at Boston U. (Fri.)
Engineers travel to Boston University and Agganis Arena
for a Friday night non-conference game. It marks the
first game played by an ECAC Hockey League team in the
new facility at BU, although Harvard practiced there
last spring in preparation for the NCAA Tournament.
While You’re There: There’s plenty to
do in Boston, including taking in other college hockey
games. Stick around the area on Saturday, RPI fans,
and check out Boston College at Northeastern or Providence
at UMass-Lowell. Then it’s just an easy return
trip on the Mass Pike back to Troy in time for Sunday
afternoon’s home game against Army.
Nature, I thank you for one more mild, sunny
afternoon in upstate New York that allowed for a round
of golf to relax and motivate me to finish writing
this notebook. Hopefully, there are a few more, because
before long, road trips to the rinks will involve
brushing snow off of my car.
the real Colgate please stand up?
A team that looked so sharp and dominant in its home
opener against highly-regarded UMass-Lowell stumbled
to a tie and a loss at Lake Superior State. This weekend
is a chance to get back on track with a road game
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Cornell will certainly roll out the red carpet (no
pun intended) for the United States Under-18 team
this weekend because they're obviously sick of practicing
and playing against each other. In the final minute of last
week's Red-White Scrimmage, forward Matt Moulson and defenseman
Jon Gleed were involved in an on-ice altercation, as reported
by the Cornell Daily Sun and Ithaca Journal. Mike Schafer
broke up the skirmish and ended the scrimmage immediately,
then proceeded to a shootout.
St. Lawrence has been without the services of John
Zeiler for the last four games. He was injured
in the season-opening game at Wisconsin. Joe Marsh has alternated
a few right wingers into Zeiler’s spot on the top line with
fellow seniors T.J. Trevelyan and center Mike Zbriger.
Union’s Olivier Bouchard has eight points
through the team’s first four games. He has been playing
on a line with freshman center T.J. Fox and sophomore right
wing Josh Coyle.
Five of the six Ivy League schools take the ice
for exhibition games this weekend as Harvard and Dartmouth
host McGill, Princeton and Yale host Waterloo, and Cornell
hosts the US Under-18s. Brown is idle.
Reid Cashman of Quinnipiac is picking up
right where he left off last year, and has a goal and six
assists already this year through four games.
It’s a sophomore slump for Union goaltender and
Washington Capitals draft pick Justin Mrazek. He
allowed five goals on 14 shots in 20 minutes against Air
Force before being pulled, and then let in four goals in
a tie against Connecticut on Saturday. He has only stopped
75 percent of the shots fired at him and has a 6.35 goals-against
average in two appearances.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this