October 19, 2006
Colgate Knows It Needs To Get Better

By Joe Gladziszewski

Don't think that back-to-back wins by the Colgate Raiders has them doing cartwheels in the hallways of Starr Rink. A 2-1 neutral site win over Niagara and a 5-1 win over Bentley evened Colgate's record at 2-2-0 on the year.

ECAC Hockey League Notebook

Marc Fulton had five points in a 5-1 win over Bentley. That win might help Colgate find its stride early in the season.

National TV Schedule

But it hasn't been the start to the season that the Raiders imagined all summer long. Colgate lost both of its games at the Ice Breaker Invitational in its opening weekend, and then escaped Rochester's Blue Cross Arena with a 2-1 win over Niagara. Colgate scored twice in the first period and was outplayed and out-chanced over the final 40 minutes. Niagara missed a couple of wide-open scoring opportunities from the edge of the goal crease by shooting the puck wide.

The school that was picked by both media and coaches to win the ECAC Hockey League hasn't looked like that a team in the early stages of this season. But getting through the first two weeks of the season with a .500 record despite not playing very well is a sign of a team that has a lot of upside.

"We just have to keep working. I think maybe some of our guys got caught up a little bit in some of the preseason hype and you forget about what it takes," Vaughan said. "Every game is a big game and we've got to find a way to compete every shift. We're not as deep up front as people might think. We're playing some freshmen in some pretty critical situations but they're learning pretty quickly."

Freshmen forwards David McIntyre, Jason Williams, and Ethan Cox have taken on most of that ice time and are still adjusting to college hockey. McIntyre had four points last week and was named ECACHL Rookie of the Week. They've got a lot to do to replace excellent forwards like Jon Smyth, Kyle Wilson, and Ryan Smyth that Colgate graduated last spring.

Their departure left new players to take on a leadership role, including senior captain Liam Huculak.

"It's not the start we wanted but we know we're a good team," Huculak said. "We are displeased with the start of our season. We all know we need to focus on working harder. Everyone's got that in their head and I think that's what we need to do."

Another factor that has affected Colgate's early-season fortunes is the temporary loss of center Jesse Winchester. He finished fourth on the team in scoring last year and was a key part of a great line for Colgate with Marc Fulton and Dustin Gillanders. They play a strong supporting role when opponents focus on stopping Tyler Burton.

Winchester should return to the lineup in a couple of weeks, but his linemate for most of last season and the early part of this season didn't seem to miss him. Fulton had a hat trick and scored five points as Colgate defeated Bentley 5-1 on Sunday. Fulton's big day came alongside Tom Riley, who was slotted into Winchester's vacant spot and picked up a pair of assists.

Even though Colgate hasn't played its best hockey, the Raiders haven't dug themselves a huge hole. They'll host Canisius on Tuesday night in their next game.

"We'll take it," Vaughan said after Colgate defeated Niagara. "It's hard to win and at the end of the year that 2-1 win will look pretty good."


Return to Denver: It's not the Elvis Presley classic, but it's what's going on in Rensselaer this weekend. And the address is not unknown to head coach Seth Appert as he brings the Engineers to the University of Denver and a matchup with the 2004 and 2005 national champion Pioneers. Appert knows the opposing players and coaching staff very well, as he was a part of the DU staff just months ago.

He is now taking the opportunity to re-energize a proud program at RPI and is off to a good start in doing just that. The excitement level is high in Troy, N.Y., based on the attendance (the game was sold out) and feedback following RPI's 4-4 tie against Boston University last weekend. Houston Fieldhouse was full and RPI jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first period. Appert was pleased with how his team played, but knows that it's just the beginning of a long process.

Clarkson is Clicking: The Clarkson Golden Knights went on the road and convincingly defeated Providence 6-1. The only blemish on their 3-0-1 record is a tie at UMass in the Mullins Center. But taking a win and a tie on the road was a big step for Clarkson, which struggled greatly in road games last season. The victory over Providence snapped a 13-game road losing streak that lasted through the final three months of the 2005-06 season.

The most impressive statistic for Clarkson thus far is that they don't have many impressive statistics. The Golden Knights are averaging 5.0 goals per game this year and the team's scoring leader has just six points. Twelve different Clarkson players have scored at least once this year, and talented offensive players like Shawn Weller and Shea Guthrie have yet to hit their stride. With consistent goaltending, Clarkson could make an impact not only in the league, but also at the national level.

We'll get to find out how good the Golden Knights are when they open conference play Nov. 3-4 at Harvard and Dartmouth.

Great Weekend Getaway
120x60 - Brand Red

Lake Superior State at Clarkson (Fri.-Sat.)
Former Clarkson assistant Jim Roque is now the head coach of the Lakers and knows his way around Cheel Arena. He was an assistant for six seasons there and was a candidate for the head coaching job when George Roll was hired. Both head coaches are turning their teams in a positive direction and this matchup is a good early-season test for both.

While You’re There: Clarkson's Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering will present a seminar titled, "Thermal Spraying for Coating or Diffusion Bonding of Ti Alloys," which might be useful to golfers looking to refresh the titanium faces on their drivers. It's Friday afternoon on campus, and we can't think of a more exciting way to get ready for a hockey weekend.

Stick Salute

One of the best mascots in college hockey is RPI's beloved Puckman. But we wonder, how does he see? We can only think that he might have a tracking device embedded within himself, and that would make him the offspring of FOX television's Glow Puck from the mid-1990s.

Bench Minor

Dear Ivy League Teams:

It happens every year at this time. We wait for you to come out and play with the rest of us. And there's nothing you can do about it, we understand. But we miss you when you're not with us. Looking forward to seeing you soon.



• Colgate will likely be the next ECAC Hockey League team to get a new rink. It's in the early stages right now, but the university has contracted Cannon Design to begin developing a plan for a new hockey facility. Cannon Design is the same firm that designed Boston University's Agganis Arena and also built a new facility at Division III SUNY-Oswego, which opens this weekend.

• Ivy League teams take the ice for exhibition contests this weekend. Princeton starts things off on Friday by hosting McGill. Saturday's games include Trois-Rivieres at Brown, York at Cornell, and McGill takes on Yale one night after their match against Princeton. (Does McGill have a travel partner?) Finally, Dartmouth hosts Quebec and Harvard hosts Price Edward Island on Sunday. The Big Green and Crimson opponents are Canadian universities, not the entire provinces.

• Quinnipiac picked up two wins over Robert Morris after dropping their opening games at North Dakota. In the weekend sweep of RMU, the Bobcats allowed just two goals. Sophomore Bud Fisher had 69 saves in the two contests and was named ECACHL Goalie of the Week.

• Only one other team in the league joins Clarkson as being undefeated through two or more games ... and that team is Union. The Dutchmen had 49 shots on goal but only got a 2-2 tie against RIT in the home opener for the Dutchmen last weekend. T.J. Fox and Augie DiMarzo had the goals for Union.

• St. Lawrence has this weekend off to get things back on track after suffering consecutive losses to Niagara and Providence. The Saints will travel to nationally-ranked Michigan State on Oct. 27 and then play at Wayne State on Oct. 28.

• Byron Bitz was named the Cornell captain for the 2006-07 season.

• Jeff Prough and Sean Dersch each scored twice in Brown's intrasquad scrimmage. Dersch is the team's captain this year.

• Princeton's roster is loaded with veterans, as there are nine seniors and 10 juniors comprising the 27-man roster.

A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report