A Dramatic Entrance
You have to give Quinnipiac athletic director
Jack McDonald and other folks around the Bobcat program
a lot of credit. They certainly do know how to make an entrance.
The Bobcats won’t be tiptoeing lightly
into their first weekend of ECAC Hockey League play as a
conference member. Quinnipiac’s opener is against
a storied program (Harvard) in a huge professional venue
that represents the best in Connecticut hockey (the Hartford
Gordie Howe will participate in a ceremonial
puck drop prior to the game and fans are encouraged to wear
yellow shirts. The university has 15,000 sets of thunder
sticks to give away as promotional items. Quinnipiac hopes
to set an ECACHL regular-season attendance record at this
To some, it might appear that there’s
a little bit of swagger surrounding this grand spectacle.
But who can dispute that in many ways the Bobcats deserve
to walk with their heads held high? They enter the weekend
with a six-game winning streak. In their two losses, they
demonstrated that they are capable of competing against
one of the nation’s best teams by challenging Michigan
at Yost Ice Arena back in early October.
Star defenseman Reid Cashman, now a junior,
started his freshman season by being swept in a series at
Michigan. This year’s rookies did the same, but Cashman
saw a key difference. "In years past, in games like
that we've had to make our goalies make 55 or 60 saves just
to stay in it," he said. "This year we carried
the play at times, the shots were pretty even, and we were
a bounce or two away from getting a split."
Going through experiences like that, and building
momentum with six straight non-conference wins, has a lot
of people excited about this milestone weekend.
“We are trying to take it as just another
game but it’s certainly more than that. It’s
the first game we’re playing in the league and the
first time that the program is playing against Harvard,”
coach Rand Pecknold said. “There is a lot of excitement
on campus for this game and also the game against Dartmouth
on Saturday and the rest of the conference schedule.”
Three goaltenders have played this season
and all have been solid, but freshman Bud Fisher has emerged
thus far as the lead candidate. He has five starts through
eight games. Fisher bears a physical and stylistic resemblance
to the goaltender that he replaced in Jamie Holden. Three
sophomores – Jamie Bates, Ben Nelson, and Matt Sorteberg
– join Cashman and freshman David Marshall atop the
Quinnipiac scoring charts.
AND HEARD IN THE ECACHL
Consistency at Clarkson –
The Clarkson Golden Knights are another team with a winning
streak intact. Even though two of their four-straight victories
were exhibition contests, it doesn’t lessen the excitement
felt in Potsdam these days. A positive attitude has become
contagious. The winning streak hasn’t only meant more
confidence in games, it’s made the weekly practice
grind much more enjoyable.
“You can see it in practice, you can
feel the energy on the ice,” Clarkson coach George
Roll said. “Most days there are guys out there at
2:15 or 2:20 in the afternoon for a 3 p.m. practice. And
(Thursday) we just went for an hour, and then did some video.
The players were going back out on the ice after we were
done. The guys are doing the things necessary to win.”
Clarkson players – no matter where they
stand in the lineup – are committed to turning in
a strong effort on a daily basis. That’s translated
to consistency on the weekend. In recent seasons, Clarkson
has played well at times and then fallen back into bad habits.
So far this season, that hasn’t been a problem.
“Without question, from top to bottom
our work ethic and discipline, everything has been much
better. The atmosphere is so much better,” Roll said.
“Fans have told me that it’s good to see the
guys enjoying being out there for each other rather than
being out there for themselves.”
Goaltending has always been the concern surrounding
this year’s team and although there have been some
soft goals allowed, the play between the pipes between Kyle
McNulty and David Leggio has been better recently. The Golden
Knights feature three offensive lines that can put the puck
in the net. The third-line trio of senior Jeff Genovy, freshman
Chris D’Alvise, and junior Brodie Rutherglen provides
depth in that area. Genovy has eight points through six
games. In 25 games last year he had just seven points.
Schafer suspended –
An on-ice situation during last Saturday’s home game
against Michigan State has resulted in Cornell head coach
Mike Schafer being suspended for one game. He will serve
the suspension in Cornell’s game at Yale on Friday.
ECAC Hockey League Commissioner Steve Hagwell was in attendance
at the game and the league office announced the suspension
According to several reports, Schafer traded
words with Michigan State players following the 4-3 Spartan
win and grabbed the jersey of one of the Spartans while
Michigan State’s players congregated in the corner
of the rink and saluted the visitor’s seating section
at Lynah Rink.
Great Weekend Getaway
at Quinnipiac (Fri.)
The marquee game of the weekend in the ECACHL
takes place at a pro venue. The game establishes history,
includes promotions and giveaways, and (by the way)
features two talented teams. The Crimson are coming
off an impressive win over Dartmouth to start the
season. The Bobcats have steamrolled recent opponents
during a six-game winning streak. Both teams debuted
in the INCH Power Rankings this week.
While You’re There: City
Steam Brewery Café is located within walking
distance of the arena and features excellent food
and several unique brews. The Naughty Nurse Pale Ale
is especially popular with the locals.
salute INCH editor Mike Eidelbes for
being the first person anywhere (INCH
Podcast, Nov. 1, 2005) to call for disciplinary
action against Schafer in regard to the situation
following Saturday’s game. Interacting with
opposing players in a hostile setting is never a good
idea. Grabbing their jerseys and allegedly shoving
them is particularly bad behavior.
It is my duty to report all sides of
the story, however, and I will also salute Mike
Schafer for considering the safety and well-being
of the Michigan State players. That’s the take
from Cornell Director of Athletics Andy Noel, who
said in a statement, “Coach Schafer tried to
calm a situation before it escalated. He regrets grabbing
the jersey of an opposing player in an attempt to
guide the team safely off the ice.”
any Division I opponent is capable of beating another
but in comparing resources and tradition, St.
Lawrence’s loss to RIT is worth noting.
The Saints outshot RIT by a significant margin but
lost the game 3-2. While it gave RIT its most noteworthy
Division I win to date, it reflects poorly on the
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• As conference play begins this week,
everyone can expect the hard-fought close games that the
ECACHL is known for. RPI captain Brad Farynuk summed it
up very well by saying, “Those are the most fun games
to play. They’re always a lot tighter and you get
a lot of 3-2 games and 2-1 games. I think the energy in
the building is a lot greater and the fact that it’s
conference play, it means a lot more.”
• The winning streaks posted by Quinnipiac
and Clarkson were mentioned in detail at the top of this
week’s notebook, but Union certainly can’t be
overlooked. The Dutchmen are unbeaten in four outings (3-0-1)
heading into this weekend’s games at St. Lawrence
and Clarkson. Kris Mayotte has been in goal for all three
of Union’s victories and was named ECAC Hockey League
Goaltender of the Week.
• Colgate’s visit to Brown on
Friday officially opens the Bears’ season, and it
is against the opponent that ended last season. This is
a rematch of a 2005 ECACHL quarterfinal playoff series,
which Colgate won in two games by scores of 4-1 and 3-0.
• If you participated in extended celebrations
during last week’s Princeton-Notre Dame opener you
might have missed more action. In the first period, Princeton’s
opening goal by Grant Goeckner-Zoeller was answered 10 seconds
later by the Irish. In the second period, Princeton scored
consecutive goals just 21 seconds apart when Goeckner-Zoeller
and Patrick Neundorfer lit the lamp.
• Princeton’s opponent on Friday,
the Dartmouth Big Green, was also in the mood to do things
quickly. Dartmouth scored in the opening minute of the first
period and the opening minute of the second period, but
those were the only Big Green goals in a 6-2 loss to Harvard.
• Six players recorded multiple-point
games in Yale’s 7-3 exhibition win over Concordia
University including four seniors – Joe Zappala, Jeff
Hristovski, Zach Mayer and Nate Jackson. Freshman Alec Richards
started in goal and allowed one goal on 16 shots through
• RPI won its fourth game in row as
the Engineers rallied from four goals down (primarily due
to shaky goaltending from Matthias Lange) to defeat the
Northeastern Huskies 7-5. Lange was pulled after the first
period and Rensselaer outscored the Huskies 7-1 over the
last 40 minutes. The four-game winning streak was snapped
on Saturday when Merrimack beat RPI 5-3.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report.