Wilson and the Raiders are winless in their last three
When the last ECAC Hockey League Notebook
was published at Inside College Hockey, the Colgate Raiders
were near the top of the ECACHL standings with a 6-1-1 league
record and knocking on the door of the top 10 in the national
rankings at 10-2-3 overall.
Two one-sided losses since then and a tie
in a game that Colgate trailed 3-0 have people wondering
what’s wrong with the Raiders. Coach Don Vaughan has
a simple answer.
“We’re not playing well right
now, period. We’re getting outworked, we’re
not getting to the net, and we’re not moving our feet,”
he said. “If you stand outside and take shots from
the perimeter you’re not going to score a lot of goals.”
Colgate went to the Providence Holiday Tournament
with title aspirations and a chance to earn a big win against
a nationally-ranked team. But the host Providence Friars
scored seven times and blew out the Raiders in the semifinal
game. The consolation game against Brown saw Colgate fall
behind 3-0, but three goals in a six-minute span leveled
the score and gave the teams a tie.
Things didn’t get better after two weeks
off and a Tuesday night game at Bowling Green. The Falcons
won 4-0. Three Colgate games yielded two losses, a tie,
and a 14-4 deficit on the scoreboard.
The Raider coaching staff didn’t sit
around and wait for changes to be made.
“We had a long meeting on Wednesday,
and even though it was an early morning return coming back
from Bowling Green, we got back on the ice for practice
Wednesday afternoon and got back to work,” Vaughan
said. “The videotape doesn’t lie. We’re
getting caught standing still.”
Don’t expect anyone at Starr Rink to
look for a panic button, because even if they found one
it wouldn’t be pushed. The recent struggles are a
blow to the team’s confidence, but it also serves
as a reminder of just how good the Raiders have been over
the last two and a half years.
“The first impulse is to really shuffle
things up, but we know what we have here," Vaughan
said. "We saw that from some performances earlier in
the season. We’re going through a bit of a slump cycle
right now but we know that we’re going to turn it
“I am a firm believer that things can
get a little stale and we change lines, but I don’t
believe in making wholesale changes. If you go back and
look at some changes we’ve made, it’s usually
just one guy changing lines and we’ll try to keep
two players together. Just by adding one player it makes
The first steps toward getting back into the
win column will be taken this weekend when Colgate hosts
St. Cloud State of the WCHA. Playing on home ice in a non-league
game gives Colgate a chance to focus on details, especially
considering that school isn’t in session this week.
“We have to get back to finding our
game again and it’s dangerous to try to do that on
the road in league play,” Vaughan said. “We
can’t worry about looking at national rankings and
at-large bids. We have to focus on us, and these games are
important against a very good non-conference team in St.
AND HEARD IN THE ECACHL
Hard work rewarded –
In a year and a half at the helm of the Princeton Tigers,
head coach Guy Gadowsky has transformed the attitude around
the hockey program. Princeton went from being a defense-minded,
safe, responsible team into an attacking, aggressive bunch
that chooses to go to the net instead
of dumping it in.
Despite the style and attitude changes, Princeton’s
record over the last year and a half hasn’t improved
tremendously. A few notable wins over Dartmouth were the
only thing that the Tigers had to show for their effort.
That changed on Dec. 30 when Princeton went to Denver and
scored a 4-1 win over the Pioneers in the first round of
the Denver Cup.
That win capped a run of three very solid
efforts for the Tigers, which began with a split of a series
“When you look at those three games,
with the Denver game being the third one, the most complete
and best game that we played was the one we lost to Alabama-Huntsville,”
Princeton came back to win the second game
of that series, took a break for three weeks, and then knocked
off the national champs.
“The guys have remained very positive
and it was nice to see them rewarded because they’ve
put in a lot of hard work,” Gadowsky said.
Princeton then lost the Denver Cup championship
to Boston College, but the team came back from the Denver
trip with a belief that they can turn positive experiences
into on-ice victories. The Tigers are tied for last in the
ECACHL with a 2-8-0 record, but begin the month of January
with a load of confidence and four straight home games.
They host Yale and Brown this weekend, and Colgate and Cornell
on Jan. 13-14.
“We feel good about it, especially because
we start by being home for four games in a row,” Gadowsky
said. “The guys have worked hard and played well,
but we have to try to continue improving. They’re
positive because they’ve seen that the hard work will
Great Weekend Getaway
at Clarkson (Fri.)
Clarkson vs. St. Lawrence (Sat. in Ottawa) Head to Northern New York for a chance to
see Division I’s newest team try for its second
win of the year against a North Country foe when the
RIT Tigers visit Cheel Arena and the Clarkson Golden
Knights. RIT coach Wayne Wilson and Clarkson coach
George Roll are former teammates at Bowling Green
and competed against each other as Division III head
coaches for several years. They went head-to-head
for recruits during that time.
While You’re There: Make a
short drive and cross the border into Ontario on Saturday
to take in Clarkson and St. Lawrence going head-to-head
at the Corel Centre in Ottawa, home of the NHL’s
Senators. The NHL and CBC are also celebrating Hockey
Day in Canada on Saturday when three pro games will
pair the six Canadian-based NHL teams. Those three
games will be nationally televised and CBC will feature
additional programming that highlights the game of
hockey in Canadian culture.
our sticks this week to Princeton and Harvard,
ECACHL and Ivy League member schools that showed a
pair of teams from the WCHA that teams from the East
Coast can compete on the national stage. Harvard earned
a 1-0 win at North Dakota and Princeton knocked off
the Denver Pioneers in the first round of DU’s
holiday tournament. Those are good wins for the Crimson
and Tigers over a pair of Frozen Four representatives
from last year.
of eight ECACHL teams that participated in holiday
tournaments advanced to the championship game. Princeton’s
upset win over Denver in the opening round and Cornell’s
title in Florida were the lone bright spots of an
otherwise unimpressive holiday slate against
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• During our hiatus from publishing
these notes, ECACHL teams scored big wins against top-notch
teams. St. Lawrence went to Gutterson Fieldhouse and scored
a 2-1 win over Vermont. Mike Zbriger scored the game-winner
on a redirection with 5:00 left in regulation. Harvard earned
1-0 wins at New Hampshire and North Dakota. John Daigneau
posted both shutouts, making 32 saves against UNH and 29
against North Dakota.
• And speaking of late heroics at The
Gut, Clarkson and Dartmouth both beat Bemidji State in overtime
at the Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup. In the semifinal,
Clarkson’s Nick Dodge scored two third-period goals
to send the game to overtime. Clarkson eventually won in
a shootout as David Leggio stopped all five Bemidji State
shooters. Dartmouth blew a third-period lead in the consolation
game, but Garret Overlock’s goal with 1:49 left in
the third tied it, and Nick Johnson scored in overtime to
give the Big Green a win.
• Saturday’s matinee game between
Clarkson and St. Lawrence at Ottawa’s Corel Centre
is a follow-up to a well received game that Clarkson and
Colgate played in Ottawa during the 2002-03 season. Each
school will be sending fans by the busload. The game was
contracted with the Ottawa facility prior to the resolution
of the NHL lockout, and it was hoped that the NHL schedule
would accommodate a double-header with the Senators, but
the NHL club will be playing in Montreal on Saturday afternoon.
• Three ECACHL men’s players are
among the 18 players nominated for the Hockey Humanitarian
Award. Jon Smyth of Colgate, Eric Leroux of Princeton, and
Dave McKee of Cornell were named to the preliminary list.
The Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation presents the award
to the college hockey player who exemplifies personal character,
a commitment to studies, and whose contributions to his
or her larger community are worthy of recognition. The field
of nominees will be reduced to 10 finalists later this month
and the award is presented during Frozen Four weekend.
• Rensselaer gave No. 2 Miami all it
could handle in the opening round of the Ohio Hockey Classic.
The Engineers scored two goals in the third period to tie
the game, but eventually lost in overtime. RPI lost the
consolation game to Holy Cross, 4-2.
• The loss and tie in the Providence
Holiday Tournament extended Brown’s winless streak
to nine games. The Bears play at Quinnipiac and Princeton
• Yale went west for a pair of games
and picked up a 2-2 tie against Minnesota State Mankato
and a 3-2 overtime loss at Nebraska-Omaha. Alec Richards
made 76 saves during the trip and Brad Mills scored three
of the four Yale goals.
• Cornell won the Florida College Classic
with a 3-0 win over Northeastern in the semifinals and a
shootout win over Minnesota Duluth in the championship after
the teams tied 1-1 in regulation. Cornell goaltender Dave
McKee was named tournament MVP. Cam Abbott, Matt Moulson,
and Ryan O’Byrne were on the all-tournament team.
• Union’s Josh Coyle was declared
academically ineligible and will miss the second semester
of this season. Coyle led the Dutchmen in scoring with 18
points in 17 games.
• Quinnipiac had a 26-day layoff between
games but returned to action with an exhibition game against
Queen’s University. The Bobcats won 6-3 and Ben Nelson
had two goals and an assist. Quinnipiac returns to ECACHL
action this weekend against Brown and Yale.
Sunday’s Quinnipiac-Yale game will be
played at noon in Yale’s Ingalls Rink, but it is a
home game for Quinnipiac. The game will be televised on
of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.