Mentality Sustains Saints
As is the case with most college upperclassmen,
a group of good friends at St. Lawrence share a house near
campus. This group of four happens to be seniors on the
men's hockey team, and this house happens to be one of the
most important reasons for the Saints being atop the ECAC
Hockey League standings.
Hockey League Notebook
Drew Bagnall and St. Lawrence are atop the ECACHL
It's not the actual structure that's been
significant, but rather the doorways, and those are almost
always left open to teammates. Team captains Drew Bagnall
and Kyle Rank, and fellow seniors Andrzej Sandrzyk and Max
Taylor live there.
The upperclassmen instituted a welcoming attitude
from the start of the year, and it didn't matter if the
activity was a softball game or a movie, working out, or
just hanging out, everyone was invited to participate. It
helped develop strong team chemistry even before practices
officially started. Incoming freshmen knew they stood on
equal ground with veteran players. It was all part of the
"We knew we were going to be a young
team, and our senior class has the same mental approach
as to how the team should run," Bagnall said. "We
realized that their role on the team would be crucial to
our success, and we wanted to adopt the team mentality as
soon as possible."
That has helped St. Lawrence hold on to the
top spot in the ECACHL standings for as long as they have.
The Saints are currently in first place, and whenever they've
shown signs of a collapse, they're responded with strong
efforts. Such was the case last weekend, when Colgate scored
five goals in the third period and rallied for a 6-2 win.
The Saints came right back on Saturday and won at Cornell,
Coach Joe Marsh said that the team has been
focused on individual games, and hasn't been caught up in
the standings and their lofty perch in the ECACHL. They
don't feel like the team to beat, even though they have
been for several weeks.
"I don't think we necessarily feel that,
I think we're just trying to play with the responsibility
that comes with it," Marsh said. "The wins that
we've had, I think we've earned them. We're not here because
we were rated here; we've played hard and won a lot of one-goal
Marsh also said that his team's leadership
has been top notch, and Bagnall said that the team-first
mentality has helped the Saints bounce back from losses
and keep things going in a positive direction.
"It has a lot to do with leadership,
and I'm not talking about myself, more the coaching staff
and the other guys on the team," Bagnall said. "The
younger guys have responded to that and realized that we
all have team goals and there aren't any individuals. Everyone
is on the same page."
SEEN AND HEARD IN THE ECACHL
Colgate's second-half push:
The Colgate Raiders are 5-3-2 in their last 10 ECAC Hockey
League games after starting the season with a 1-4-1 league
record. Even the recent losses at Cornell and versus Clarkson
were strong efforts for the Raiders, who have been playing
some of their best and most consistent hockey of the season.
Two things have helped Colgate. The first
is that the team's most important players are hitting their
stride. Junior forward Tyler Burton has eight points in
his last five games and senior forward Jesse Winchester
has 11 points in his last six.
"I think we put the pressure on each
other to rise up," Winchester said. "You've got
to play with an edge and you've got to expect big things
out of yourself. Both of us do that and sometimes it works
The other thing is that Colgate has re-emphasized
fundamentals and not making big mistakes. Two crucial mistakes
against Clarkson led to a pair of Golden Knights goals and
a 2-1 loss for Colgate.
"We've been talking about it, and we've
been working on it. It's the message we've been sending
since after the break," Coach Don Vaughan said. "It's
about the process, and we've got to continue to work on
it and not find a way to make those mistakes."
Colgate is looking forward to the end of the
regular season and hopes that it is pointed in the right
direction for the playoffs.
"Mike Gilligan (ex-Vermont coach) used
to say that in this league if you win the right two games
in March, you've had a great season. It's going to come
down to that," Vaughan said. "You want to set
yourself up by getting the home ice advantage and the bye,
and we're hoping that's still an option for us. We've got
to keep working and keep doing what we're doing because
we're definitely playing better."
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE BAG
Great Weekend Getaway
at Quinnipiac (Fri.)
Is there anything better than two talented teams playing
in a sold-out building with the postseason in the
near future? We like this match up for several reasons,
as the winner will get some crucial points in the
race for a top-four spot in the standings.
While You're There: Plan on
taking in a game on Saturday in the Capital District.
It's about a two-and-a-half hour drive from Quinnipiac
to RPI or Union, and the Engineers host Cornell and
the Dutchmen host Colgate on Saturday.
Ethan Cox helped organize last weekend's festivities
at Colgate's home games, which raised money for the
Make-A-Wish Foundation and also honored a
young Brookfield, N.Y. resident that is a brain cancer
patient. Eight-year-old Miranda Hadlock dropped the
ceremonial opening puck for Saturday's game against
Clarkson, and the hockey program raised more than
$750 for Make-A-Wish, with additional funds to be
donated from the team's alternate-jersey sale.
Harvard won't say much about it publicly,
so I'll mention it here. Their schedule coming
off of an exam break was brutal. It started
with road games at three of the best teams in the
league, then two home games against Union and RPI,
and then a Monday night semifinal against Boston College.
• Like their travel partners in Canton,
the Clarkson Golden Knights have shown the ability to bounce
back from losses "We blistered our guys pretty good
in the video session, similar to after the St. Cloud Series,"
Clarkson coach George Roll said about last week's loss at
Cornell and follow-up victory at Colgate. "The guys
responded with a pretty good effort."
One thing that Clarkson achieved in that win
was holding on to a one-goal lead over the last 20 minutes.
"We've done a great job with that,"
Roll said. "The last four or five games we've been
playing from behind so we haven't had to do that. When we've
had a lead we've done a nice job of keeping it simple, playing
the chips and getting the pucks out, and doing a good job
around our net. The more you're in those battles, you gain
• Yale's Sean Backman was named the
ECACHL Player and Rookie of the Week after scoring five
goals and adding an assist in games against Quinnipiac and
• Union's opponents would be wise to
stay out of the penalty box. The Dutchmen set a single-season
school record by scoring their 39th power-play goal of the
year, and 45 percent of Union's scoring has come on the
• Good karma: Colgate's Ethan Cox helped
out with some charitable work (see Stick Salute) and also
scored his first two collegiate goals last weekend.
• Jared Seminoff, who has been one of
Cornell's best players this year, missed the first two games
of his career with mononucleosis last weekend. The sophomore
defenseman had played in 56 straight games to start his
• Quinnipiac senior defenseman Reid
Cashman is six assists shy of setting the program's career
record for assists. He currently has 108 assists in his
• Rensselaer will honor former coach
Ned Harkness prior to Friday night's game against Colgate.
Harkness will be added to the Ring of Honor at Houston Field
• Brown has been impressive on special
teams recently, scoring three power-play goals in a 6-3
win over Quinnipiac on Saturday. The Bears also killed off
17-of-19 short-handed situations over the weekend and tallied
a short-handed goal.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report. Joe Gladziszewski can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.