Sophomore pivots Jason Walters and Mario Valery-Trabucco
have been outstanding for the Dutchmen so far this season
after turning in solid rookie campaigns one year ago. Union
heads into this weekend's Citizens Bank Governor's Cup in
Albany with a 2-0-0 record. The Dutchmen swept two home
games from Ferris State two weeks ago and also won an exhibition
game against Trois-Rivieres.
Union is finding success by being strong through
the middle, despite the loss of T.J. Fox, last year's first-line
center and leading scorer who signed a professional contract
with the San Jose Sharks organization following his sophomore
All of this took place despite an injury in
the first period of the first game to one of Union's most
important forwards, senior Josh Coyle. Coyle started that
Oct. 12 game versus Ferris State on the right wing with
Walters and Matt Cook. After he was injured, Union coach
Nate Leaman tried a few players on the right wing of that
first line, including freshman John Simpson and senior Torren
Delforte. Cook leads Union with four points on the season
and Walters has three.
"I was very pleased with the way we responded,
especially when we lose probably our most dangerous goal-scorer
in the first period of what we had been working for,"
Leaman said. "In Matt Cook, you're not going to meet
a harder worker. He's always doing things to get better.
Jason (Walters) has the ability to be a very good player
in this league."
Don't think that Union is just one line deep.
The second line features Valery-Trabucco and freshman winger
Adam Presizniuk and has been just as dangerous as the first
unit thus far. Those two players each have two points on
the year and helped set up Dutchmen goals in the exhibition
tie last weekend.
"The guys that not many people are talking
about are Trabucco and Presizniuk and they've been outstanding
thus far," Leaman said.
One other factor for Union's success is the
play of senior goaltender Justin Mrazek, who hasn't consistently
played to his potential thus far in his collegiate career.
Over the summer, Mrazek participated in a rookie camp with
the Washington Capitals, the team that drafter Mrazek in
2005 and retains his rights. Mrazek came back to Schenectady
with confidence and in the best physical and mental shape
he's been in since arriving on campus three years ago.
Mrazek stopped 43 of the 44 shots he faced
in the two wins over Ferris State, earning two victories
and one shutout.
"It's the best summer he's had, and he's
coming back strong and is where he needs to be," Leaman
said. "If you're going to be good in this league, it
starts from the net out."
Union has started seasons well in recent years,
only to struggle through the rigorous part of the schedule
when the days get shorter and the games get tougher. The
key for them to avoiding such a slump this year, according
to Leaman, is to count on freshmen to maintain consistency
and play at a high level without "hitting the wall"
later on in the season.
With strength at the center position, Union
might have enough depth to sustain a high level even if
a slump does occur. And just imagine what Union can expect
when Valery-Trabucco and Walters are seniors.
SEEN AND HEARD IN ECAC HOCKEY
More puck for your buck:
Two events this weekend will allow fans to check out multiple
games involving ECAC Hockey members without leaving the
The Citizens Bank Governor's Cup event at
Times Union Center in Albany features Colgate, St. Lawrence,
and Capital District travel partners Rensselaer and Union.
Games are Friday and Saturday at 4 and 7 p.m. and will be
played under a tournament format where Friday's winners
will play on Saturday for the championship, and Friday's
losing teams will play in a third-place game on Saturday
At Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Conn. the Yale
Bulldogs will host the Shootout at Ingalls and will be joined
by Brown, Princeton, and the University of Ontario Institute
of Technology. This is the first of a three-year agreement
between the four institutions, where the games between ECAC
Hockey clubs will count as non-conference regular season
games and games involving UOIT will count as exhibition
contests for the Ivies. Next year's Shootout will be hosted
by Brown, and Princeton will host the Shootout in 2009.
Each year, the host school will play regular-season games
against the other two ECAC opponents while the traveling
teams will get one regular-season game and one exhibition
game against UOIT.
Great Weekend Getaway
Bank Governor's Cup
Times Union Center – Albany (Fri.-Sat.)
St. Lawrence and Colgate play in the
first semifinal and RPI and Union play immediately
following on Friday evening in Albany. The Saints
are the only team participating this weekend that
played in the Times Union Center last spring at the
ECAC Hockey championship weekend. All four hope that
this weekend's games foreshadow a return trip in mid-March.
While You're There: Longtime readers
of this notebook know that Bayou Café on Pearl
Street in Albany is an INCH favorite. TREMOR
isn't your typical cover band, and probably makes
for good background music following Friday's games.
in the season and we've had a very seasonable fall
throughout the Northeast (and no ECAC Hockey games
were canceled due to fog). Here's a salute to all
of the fans who've taken advantage of the nice weather
and managed to get to their local rinks ahead of time
for some tailgating before the puck drops. You're
capturing the spirit of the thing.
It's a power
crisis for three ECAC Hockey teams as Rensselaer (1-for-25),
Quinnipiac (1-for-17), and St. Lawrence (1-for-15)
are all converting at less than 10 percent on the
power play so far this season.
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE BAG
• Clarkson claimed first place in ECAC
Hockey by winning the only league game that has been played
thus far. The Golden Knights fell behind 3-0 in the first
period and rallied for a 5-4 win in overtime. Chris D'Alvise
scored the game-winner on the power play 1:26 into overtime.
The Golden Knights play at Lake Superior State on Friday
and Saturday this weekend.
• Union's Leaman said Josh Coyle is
back on the ice and skating, and could possibly play as
soon as this weekend at the Governor's Cup in Albany, and
will almost certainly be ready for Union's first pair of
ECAC Hockey contests against Brown and Yale on Nov. 2-3.
• When Cornell fans talk about that
huge non-league neutral site game at a professional arena,
they probably aren't referring to this weekend's contest
against RIT at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. Of course,
the Big Red face Boston University at Madison Square Garden
approximately a month from now. Saturday's Big Red game
against the favorites in Atlantic Hockey starts at 7 p.m.
• RPI announced that five games will
be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable sports network in
the Albany area, including the Big Red Freakout! on Feb.
2 against Princeton.
• After opening the season at home with
wins over Sacred Heart and RIT, Colgate traveled to Michigan
State and lost twice to the defending national champions.
As expected, senior forwards Tyler Burton and Jesse Winchester
have led the Raider offense. Each has seven points through
the first four games. Freshman Brian Day has four goals
in four games.
• Harvard played an exhibition game
against Prince Edward Island on Oct. 14, a 6-3 victory for
the Crimson in which Doug Rogers scored two goals. They
won't return to the ice in an actual game until they visit
Clarkson and St. Lawrence on Nov. 2-3.
• Quinnipiac is 1-2-0 on the year after
losing twice at Air Force last weekend. The Bobcats started
their season with a 3-0 win over Bentley. In the two losses
last weekend, Quinnipiac was outscored 7-2 despite outshooting
the Falcons in both games.
• Dartmouth prepared for its regular-season
opener this weekend at non-league rival Vermont by winning
an exhibition game 2-1 over York University and by scrimmaging
Yale. The Big Green and Catamounts play Sunday at 4 p.m.
at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
• B2 Networks will have live online
broadcasts of all four games of the Citizens Bank Governor's
Cup in Albany as well as Sunday's Dartmouth-Vermont game.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report. Joe Gladziszewski can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.