Colgate Makes Its Point
By Joe Gladziszewski
Hockey League Notebook
earning just one league point in four February games,
Mike Campaner and Colgate remain in the thick of the
Earning just one point over the course of
four league games in the month of February isn't in a team's
best interests when chasing a regular-season championship.
But those are the results that Colgate has posted through
two weekends in a pivotal three-weekend stretch.
The Raiders fell out of first place after
being swept in a home-and-home series against Cornell. A
trip to the North Country followed, where Colgate could
only manage a 1-1 tie against Clarkson after losing 3-2
to St. Lawrence.
Stumbling recently hasn't proven to be a catastrophe
for Colgate because they're still right in the mix for an
ECACHL regular season title. Banking points early in the
season has paid off down the stretch. The Raiders are tied
for second place with Dartmouth (Saturday's opponent) one
point behind Cornell. Fourth-place Harvard is Friday's guest
at Starr Rink.
A win this weekend virtually assures the Raiders
of a bye in the playoffs, but Colgate coach Don Vaughan
prefers not to look at the standings or seeding, he just
wants to get his team back on track after going four straight
games without a win.
"Most coaches evaluate how their team
is playing. We are pleased to be in the mix but we need
to play better for the next four games," Vaughan said.
Colgate's losses have resulted from not scoring
enough goals and specifically not converting on the power
play. A stray PPG here and there has kept their percentage
respectable at around 20 percent, but in the beginning of
the season the power play was a difference-maker in Raider
"Our power play has let us down. We've
converted on some opportunities and it was so effective
early that our power play percentage looks OK, but it's
certainly not as crisp or effective as it was and we have
not capitalized on our chances," Vaughan said. "It
hurts even more because the teams we're playing against
don't give up a whole lot of scoring chances."
If Colgate manages to get things turned around
and pick up some points in the standings against its two
closest challengers it will come with tangible rewards once
the playoffs begin. The Raiders can look back with even
greater appreciation at their hot start and a five-game
ECACHL winning streak in January.
"I like to say that two points in November
count the same as two points in February," Vaughan
said. "We're fortunate to be in a position to accomplish
some of the things we set out to do at the beginning of
SEEN AND HEARD
IN THE ECACHL
The long road: Two
wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do. So pardon
the Dartmouth Big Green if they've taken an unconventional
route so far, but after making more left turns than a NASCAR
driver, they now find themselves on the right road at the
right time of the year.
With things headed in the right direction,
Dartmouth can step on the accelerator and go full speed
ahead into games against Cornell and Colgate this weekend.
Dartmouth is tied with Colgate for second place in the league
standings, just one point behind Cornell.
The Big Green entered the year positioned
as the strongest challengers to Cornell's reign atop the
ECAC Hockey League standings but stumbled out of the gates
with four straight losses, all in league play. A modest
three-game winning streak got Dartmouth on track for a short
while but the Big Green lacked consistency. They found some
of that when sophomore goaltender Mike Devine got the nod
in net. Devine is a Buffalo-area native (the same place
that produced two-time All-American Lee Stempniak) and has
started 14 straight games for Dartmouth. The Big Green are
9-3-2 in those games and 7-0-2 in ECACHL games during the
Great Weekend Getaway
Dartmouth at Cornell (Fri.)
Harvard at Cornell (Sat.) Most Cornell fans will tell you that the
games against Harvard every season are the most important.
In terms of what it means in the ECACHL standings,
Friday's game against Dartmouth is much more meaningful
as a Big Green victory would vault them past Cornell
into first place. If any of the Faithful are saving
their strongest shouts for Saturday, they only need
to be reminded of Dartmouth's 6-1 over the Big Red
As expected, RPI fans
responded to the Big Red Freakout! and several fund-raising
activites planned around the weekend. The crowd of
5,317 was the largest Freakout! crowd in the last
and reality television thrust previously unknown names
into the spotlight, so be prepared. If you do a double-take
when you overhear someone say "Ayla Brown"
at the office water cooler, they're referring
to an American Idol finalist, not the New Haven and
Providence ECACHL travel partners. And besides ...
goes to a Hockey East school.
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• Union has lost a number of key players
to injury or eligibility issues this season but they haven't
lost their magic on home ice. Wins over Brown and Yale at
home moved Union into sixth place in the standings and six
points clear of ninth. The Dutchmen are in good position
to earn a home-ice series in the first round of the ECACHL
playoffs and Union is 10-1-4 at home this season and 6-1-2
against conference foes in Schenectady.
• St. Lawrence and Clarkson are two
other teams that have been exceptional on home ice this
season and each team proved it this past weekend by getting
a win and a tie against Cornell and Colgate. The Saints
have taken 15 of a possible 18 ECACHL points at Appleton
Arena this year. Clarkson is 6-1-2 at Cheel in league games
and 10-2-2 overall. The North Country teams play their last
two regular-season games at Appleton and Cheel this weekend
when they host Yale and Brown.
• Rensselaer extended its unbeaten streak
in the Big Red Freakout! to 16 seasons during which time
they are 12-0-4. The 4-2 win over Brown last Saturday made
the Bears the most victimized opponent, as RPI has won all
eight Freakout! meetings between the teams. Three of those
wins have come in the last four years.
• Kevin Croxton's goal in Saturday's
win was his first since scoring a hat trick against RIT
on Dec. 10. The goal moved him into 31st place on the RPI
career scoring charts with 136 points.
• Seven of Yale's 19 players in the
lineup last weekend were freshmen.
• Dave McKee played only the first period
in Cornell's loss to Clarkson last Friday. McKee was replaced
by Louis Chabot after 20 minutes due to an upset stomach.
Chabot made 14 saves on 15 shots, after McKee allowed two
goals on five shots in the first period.
• The Dartmouth-Colgate game highlights
the Friday schedule but seeing Harvard and Colgate paired
gives us a reason to remember last year's double-OT playoff
classic between the two teams in Albany, which Harvard's
Kevin Du ended with a breakaway goal after more than four
hours of intense competition.
• Freshman goalie Mark Sibbald started
both games for Brown last weekend as the last-place Bears
look to change things up during a nine-game winless streak.
It appears that Sibbald has unseated last year's rookie
star Adam D'Alba as the number-one goalie.
• Princeton and Brown should exchange
ideas about what it takes to win in overtime. The Tigers
have 10 losses and 10 ties in their last 20 OT affairs.
The Bears are 0-4-6 in OT games this year. At least they
made their last overtime victory count. It came in last
season's playoffs and allowed the Bears to advance when
Chris Poli scored 5:33 into overtime to defeat Rensselaer.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report.