Struggles in Hanover
One week of play in the ECAC Hockey League
has already yielded several surprises. Newcomer Quinnipiac
stands in a share of first place after convincingly winning
two games. Dartmouth was thought by many to be a contender
for league titles and an NCAA Tournament berth and stands
in last place at 0-3-0. What’s up with the Big Green?
The problems start at the defensive end. Dartmouth
has allowed 16 goals in three games – six at Harvard,
three at Princeton, and seven at Quinnipiac. The goals against
have come from a combination of defensive breakdowns, uncertain
goaltending, and good special teams play by the Dartmouth
Sean Samuel has started all three games and
been replaced by Mike Devine in all three games. Devine
has a 4.41 goals-against average and a .875 save percentage
and leads the team in those categories. Ouch.
Penalty-killing has been an issue for the
Big Green, who have killed just 17 of 24 penalties so far.
That was especially evident in the loss to Quinnipiac. Four
of the Bobcats’ seven goals came on the power play.
Dartmouth did respond with four PPGs in the same game.
The results haven’t gone their way,
but the winless streak hasn’t caused outrage or despair
in Hanover. The Big Green are confident in themselves and
believe that things will start to go their way. Practices
and preparation have remained the same.
“We haven’t really changed anything.
It’s not time to hit the panic button,” senior
defenseman Sean Offers insists. “As long as we keep
working and take care of the little things we’ll turn
things around. We want to concentrate on the defensive end
The expectations that preceded Dartmouth's
season, which had the Big Green picked second and third
in the ECACHL preseason polls, make a three-game losing
streak more alarming than it might be elsewhere. One thing
that is known is that Dartmouth wasn’t burdened by
those expectations. In fact, the team hardly noticed when
people were showering the team with praise.
“We don’t talk about that stuff,”
Offers said. “What matters to us is what we can concentrate
on and not what people are saying. That way we can keep
the negative stuff out.”
Like practice and preparation for games, the
same approach holds true in not listening to some of the
negative vibes surrounding the team’s fortunes this
For the first time this season, Dartmouth
gets to play a meaningful game in front of its supportive
home crowd, and this weekend’s games at Thompson Arena
have some added significance. These games kick off the celebration
of Dartmouth’s 100th year of college hockey. Three
members of the 1942 national championship team will be on
hand for the festivities.
Welcoming nationally-ranked opponents in Colgate
and Cornell make things even more exciting for the Big Green,
who have a chance to make a statement with wins that people
“It’s a great opportunity to get
our season back on track,” junior forward Tanner Glass
said. “We match up well with them and these are two
of the elite teams in our league and the nation. What better
way to turn it around than against them?”
AND HEARD IN THE ECACHL
On the road to success –
The first road trip of the season for the Colgate Raiders
was not a pleasant one. The Raiders bussed up to Sault Ste.
Marie, Mich. for a weekend set against the Lake Superior
State Lakers, but a loss and a tie made for a long bus trip
back to central New York.
The trip wasn’t a total wash, however,
as the Raiders learned what it takes to be successful on
the road. Specifically, they found that it takes a stronger
“It was hard on us because we didn’t
play as well as we thought we could have,” junior
assistant captain Liam Huculak said. "We worked really
hard in practice last week and now and it paid off. We understand
that it takes hard work to win on the road."
Jon Smyth, captain of this year’s team,
said the lessons learned were valuable and that the Colgate
coaching staff helped the team get better.
“With a young team, we might not have
known what to expect on the road and we didn’t have
a lot of road experience. While we didn’t get the
results that we wanted, we took something from the trip,”
Smyth said. “The coaching staff did a great job of
showing us what we did well and also brought up a lot of
All of those lessons were put to use last
week in a pair of one-sided wins (5-0 at Brown and 6-2 at
Yale) and now the Raiders have a lot of momentum and confidence.
In the two weekends prior to the start of ECACHL play, Colgate
played single games against Army and Bentley. It was a break
from the regular Friday-and-Saturday scheduling, but it
gave the players some time to physically prepare for the
grind of conference play.
Colgate faces Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard
“I think we are ready," Smyth said.
"This is a tougher road weekend than some of the others
on the schedule and we expect tough games. We were able
to get rested up before league play started, and then we
had some success on the road last week, which will help
us this week.”
Taking a hard-working attitude into each and
every road game is something that Colgate prides itself
“On the road it’s harder because
the other team has the advantage of the home crowd. We want
to come out and work hard and win loose pucks and let them
know that we’re there,” Huculak said. “We
want to be known as that team that other people don’t
want coming into their building.”
Great Weekend Getaway
at Rensselaer (Fri.)
The Bobcats are the surprise team in the
ECACHL and they hit the road for league contests for
the first time. They’ll be introduced to road
play at the venerable Houston Fieldhouse in Troy and
a big and boisterous crowd is expected. It’s
Black Friday at RPI, the first-semester sister to
the Big Red Freakout! in Troy. Dress in black if you’re
headed to the game.
While You’re There: Arrive
in plenty of time to get to your seat (Black Friday
usually draws a big crowd) and make sure to get a
good pre-game dinner or munchies during the first
period. You won’t want to miss the first intermission
ceremony honoring RPI great Joe Juneau. His #9 will
be added to the hockey ring of honor. Juneau was elected
to the Institute’s athletics hall of fame earlier
former ECACHL star made NHL history on Wednesday
night when Erik Cole became the first player in the
league to attempt two penalty shots in the same game.
Cole scored on the first, which turned out to be the
game-winning goal, but missed on the second attempt.
tough to give out three stars awards to players on
visiting teams. Following Colgate’s 5-0 win
at Brown last Friday, the three stars were all from
the Raiders, but the selector missed the boat
by neglecting goalie Mark Dekanich. He made
26 saves and posted his first career shutout, and
was particularly strong in the first period when Brown
pressured the goal.
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• We talked about Dartmouth returning
home and Colgate’s play on the road. The Clarkson
Golden Knights get back on the bus for the first time in
over a month following an extended homestand. Clarkson’s
last road games were on Oct. 7 and 8 at Niagara. They’ve
played eight home games since that time, two of which were
exhibitions, and posted a 6-1-1 record during that stretch.
• Brown senior Jarrett Robinson scored
a short-handed goal against Cornell. It was the first “shorty”
of his career and his first goal of any type in a season
and a half.
• After failing to score on 16 shots
on goal during a loss to RIT on Oct. 28, St. Lawrence senior
T.J. Trevelyan scored on a breakaway just 32 seconds into
the game against Union last weekend. It snapped Trevelyan’s
longest goal-scoring drought since his freshman year. He
finished the game with a goal and five assists.
• Saints goaltender Kevin Ackley was
hurt during the opening weekend of the season but returned
to practice this week and could be available for this weekend’s
games at Yale and Brown. In the meantime, sophomore Justin
Pesony has started seven games and has a 6-1-0 record.
• All three Yale goalies saw action
during their opening weekend of ECACHL play. Senior Josh
Gartner started and finished the game against Cornell. Junior
Matt Modelski and freshman Alec Richards split the duties
• Score four. Four goals is usually
enough to get a win in college hockey and Union is demonstrating
that. They have a 3-0-1 record in games when they score
at least four times. In their four losses, the Dutchmen
have been held to two goals or fewer.
• Princeton goaltender B.J. Sklapsky
made 41 saves, a career-high, and blanked Dartmouth 3-0.
It was also his first career shutout.
• It’s a Harvard-Cornell weekend,
so you know that there will be plenty of utterances and
graphic representations of the word “SUCKS”
at the Bright Hockey Center. But Cornell fans, who show
up in full force for the road game against its bitter rival,
prefer to call it Lynah East.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report.