A Matter of Perspective for St. Lawrence
Hockey League Notebook
Zeiler scored a goal in St. Lawrence's crucial win
against rival Clarkson last weekend.
You can look at St. Lawrence’s season
and heap praise on the Saints for wins over Wisconsin, Vermont
and Providence. Or you can look at the Saints as a team
with just five wins in its last 13 games.
Your perspective will show you a glass that
is half-full or half-empty, but don’t expect some
college hockey followers to listen to the reasons why you
see the glass a certain way. They will only tell you that
liquid occupies 50 percent of the glass.
After picking up a big win over rival Clarkson
last weekend, the Saints were definitely in the half-full
group. There was a lot to take from the victory. St. Lawrence
rallied from a two-goal deficit, seniors led the way, and
it ended a three-game losing streak.
T.J. Trevelyan scored twice, captain Adam
Hogg scored the go-ahead goal on a spectacular second effort
to poke home his own rebound while sliding on the ice and
John Zeiler added a vital fifth goal in the comeback win.
With those players leading the way, and classmates
such as standout defenseman Mike Madill and first-line center
Mike Zbriger backing them up St. Lawrence is poised for
a February charge.
Coach Joe Marsh didn’t underscore the
importance of senior leadership.
“It means a ton. I think that it’s
very important to them. The clock is winding down and there
are only a handful of games left,” he said. “You
know that they’re going to want to put their stamp
on something and they’ve been unbelieveable. They’ve
all done so much for this team in the four years that they’ve
played. If you look at our record, we’ve gradually
Hogg said the group of seniors knows that
the time is now for building momentum toward the postseason.
This group of seniors arrived on campus after the progam’s
last title in 2001 and has never been to the ECACHL championship
weekend. That’s the intended destination this time
“We have eight more games left and they’re
going to fly by,” Hogg said. “We need to keep
building on what we’ve accomplished and we’ve
got to keep playing well towards the playoffs.”
Building toward the month of March started
at the end of January with intense battles against Clarkson,
providing great preparation for what lies ahead.
“These are as close to a playoff-type
game that you’re going to get. It’s one of the
most intense rivalries in college hockey. It benefits both
teams to be playing in it,” Marsh said. “We
have a lot of work to do and the biggest thing is that we
have to tighten things up defensively and understand how
the games are going to be in February and March.”
If the Saints continue to show the character
and intensity they displayed on a memorable Saturday night
at Appleton last week, there will be no debate to be had
about the glass. Their cups will overflow.
SEEN AND HEARD
IN THE ECACHL
Pretty good for being so bad:
Like a child banging its fists on the table demanding more
dessert, some Cornell fans seem spoiled
by their club’s consistently excellent performance.
Some of the questions and statements submitted to senior
assistant captain Chris Abbott during his participation
a chat at ESPN.com included queries about a poor strength
of schedule, Mike Schafer’s line combinations, and
the Big Red playing down to the level of its competition.
Other causes for concern voiced by the Lynah
Faithful this season have included poor offensive production
at even strength, Dave McKee’s merely average start
to the season, occasional defensive blunders, and an unimaginative
With so many alleged problems, it’s
a minor miracle that this team is 10 games over .500, ranked
fifth in the nation, and chasing another ECACHL regular
season title and NCAA Tournament berth.
Abbott offered an explanation. “In seasons
past we’ve always had close games and that’s
where this team thrives. The score hasn’t been big
either way. When we lost to Dartmouth (6-1) people notice
it more,” he said. “Being in close games and
coming back to tie or win in overtime just shows the character
of this team.”
Any negativity that has been expressed by
outsiders hasn’t crept into the Big Red dressing room.
The players and coaches know that they could stand to bury
a few more scoring opportunities and tighten up defensively
through the stretch run, but they’re pretty happy
with how things have gone for the better part of the year.
“We feel really good. We’re going
to focus on ourselves and be ready to go. February is going
to be a huge month with the schedule we have and these last
eight games,” Abbott said.
That schedule includes two games this weekend
against the only team ahead of Cornell in the ECACHL standings,
a difficult road trip to Clarkson and St. Lawrence, a home
weekend against Dartmouth and Harvard, and a season-ending
road trip to Rensselaer and Big Red nemesis Union.
Expectations were high for the Big Red, who
were unanimously picked by coaches and media to win the
ECACHL title. Cornell is in position to meet those expectations,
just not those of some demanding dissenters.
Great Weekend Getaway
at Union (Fri.)
Union at Rensselaer (Sat.) This pairing of travel partners is overshadowed
by the games between Cornell and Colgate, but like
their colleagues to the west, Union and Rensselaer
have a battle on their hands for coveted territory
in the ECACHL standings. The Dutchmen and Engineers
enter the weekend with identical 5-6-3 records in
the conference and are tied for eighth place. Finishing
eighth earns a home-ice series in the first round
of the playoffs.
While You’re There: Something for the kids
... Dora the Explorer brings a Pirate Adventure to
the Palace Theatre stage in downtown Albany for two
shows Saturday afternoon and three on Sunday.
A tip of the catching glove to several of the league’s
goalies for an outstanding week. Dartmouth’s
Mike Devine made 49 stops in two wins. Yale’s
Alec Richards had 65 saves against the top two teams
in the conference. Union’s Kris Mayotte rebounded
from a difficult Friday and allowed just one goal
in a win at Harvard.
I stopped into the regionally-renowned
Sergi’s in Canton following
last Saturday’s game at Appleton Arena. Several
people have raved about Sergi’s signature food
item, the pizza roll. I found it to be OK, but not
what I expected after years of anticipation. It wasn’t
much more than an under-stuffed calzone to me. The
slices enjoyed by other patrons appeared to be much
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• ECACHL goalies may be seeing more
teeth and tongues if shooters follow the pre-shot routine
that led to Clarkson defenseman Michael Grenzy’s ninth
career goal on Friday. “You just sort of smile, lick
your lips, and do what you can put it on net,” Grenzy
told the Watertown Daily Times.
• Sunday’s game between Yale and
Connecticut will decide the champion of the second Commissioner’s
Cup trophy. A Bulldog win will keep the trophy in Steve
Hagwell’s office for the second year in a row.
• Quinnipiac wore gold-colored third
jerseys in Saturday’s game against Niagara. It yielded
the first-ever win by Quinnipiac over the Purple Eagles
in six all-time meetings. So why not trot them out again?
Quinnipiac will be donning the golden sweaters again on
Saturday against St. Lawrence.
• Another trophy will be on the line
beginning Monday in Boston when the Harvard Crimson face
Boston University in the semifinals of the Beanpot. Harvard
has 10 titles in the tournament’s 53-year history
and last won the trophy in 1993.
• Harvard and Princeton returned to
the ice after a long layoff and had mixed results. The Crimson
started with a win over Rensselaer but dropped a game to
Union the following night. Princeton hit the road and was
beaten by Robert Morris 5-2 on Tuesday. The Colonials scored
two empty-net goals against the Tigers in that contest.
• Ex-Brown goaltender Yann Danis was
named co-MVP of the AHL All-Star Game on Wednesday night
after helping the Canadian AHL All-Stars rout the PlanetUSA
stars 9-4. The Montreal Canadiens prospect represented the
Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. He played the second period
for Canada and made 12 saves on 13 shots.
Four former ECACHL players were on the losing
side of the game, played in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Eric Healey
(Rensselaer), Tim Thomas (Vermont), Ryan Vesce (Cornell)
and Noah Welch (Harvard) were members of the PlanetUSA squad.
• Dartmouth celebrated its 100th anniversary
of college hockey and had more than 100 former players back
in Hanover for a special weekend. The current members of
the Big Green honored their predecessors impressively by
picking up two wins over Union and RPI by a combined score
• Colgate’s Marc Fulton is enjoying
a breakthrough season. He recorded his 30th point over the
weekend and is second on the team in scoring to Tyler Burton.
Fulton, a junior, had just 14 points in his first two seasons
• Clarkson’s loss at St. Lawrence
wasn’t totally unexpected as the Golden Knights are
just 3-9-0 in 12 games at opponents’ home rinks. Clarkson
does have a win and a tie in neutral site games.
• Brown tied a school record by playing
its eighth overtime game at Cornell last week. The next
step is winning one. The Bears have three losses and five
ties in games needing extra time.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report.