November 29, 2007
Progress Reports As December Approaches

By Joe Gladziszewski

When a chat participant asked on Thursday afternoon for a grade to be awarded to Clarkson based on the Golden Knights' performance this season, I quickly figured that it would be a good time to look at progress reports for all of the teams in the league. We won't be assigning letter grades in this report, but instead identifying an area where progress has been made and an area where progress is needed over the rest of the season. Arranged by travel partners, from east to west.

ECAC Hockey Notebook

Quinnipiac senior Jamie Bates is tied for the team's scoring lead with 12 points, and leads the Bobcats with 10 assists.

National TV Schedule

Progress made: Kyle Richter wasn't bad at all last year while splitting time with senior Justin Tobe, but the sophomore has been the best goalie in the country (statistically) so far this season with a .960 save percentage and 1.23 goals-against average. It's helped Harvard to a 5-2-1 start.
Progress needed: Four of Harvard's eight games have ended in 2-1 scores, and the Crimson have two wins and two losses in those games. Popping a few more goals would take some of the pressure off of Richter to continually turn in first-star level performances.

Progress made: J.T. Wyman has emerged as a strong candidate for all-league honors at the end of the season and has blossomed as a senior with 12 points through eight games. He averaged slightly over a half-point per game in his first three years.
Progress needed: There are no easy games, but Dartmouth can make itself a contender by playing better against better opponents. On a recent five-game homestand, Dartmouth's only wins came against Union and Bentley.

Progress made: Brown's 1-4-3 record isn't as damning as it looks, when you consider that they've played just two home games so far this season and won't play another one until after the start of the New Year. Among their four losses are defeats against top-ten teams New Hampshire and Clarkson. A more favorable schedule in the second half should suit the Bears.
Progress needed: The Bears scored five goals against Colgate and four at St. Lawrence, but haven't scored more than two in any of their other six games.

Progress made: Yale started strong last season but closed the year with just five wins in its last 24 games. The Bulldogs have shed that losing streak and are playing at the .500 level this season with a win at St. Lawrence and good ties against Rensselaer and Dartmouth.
Progress needed: The Bulldogs could use a boost from the power-play units, which have scored just three goals in 36 opportunities so far. Fortunately, Yale's penalty-killing has also been superb, allowing just two PPGs in 36 opponent opportunities.

Progress made: The Bobcats expected some growing pains early in the season and have seemingly turned things for the better with a 3-1-1 record in their last five games. Quinnipiac has an impressive 4-1-1 record on home ice.
Progress needed: Quinnipiac's power play is converting at a 16.7 percent rate this year, compared to almost 20 percent last season, when Reid Cashman quarterbacked the first unit and helped the Bobcats tally 56 power-play goals on the year.

Progress made: Princeton has received goals from 12 different players on the season, and the top line of Cam MacIntyre, Lee Jubinville, and Brett Wilson has combined for 28 points in eight games.
Progress needed: The Tigers have been much better on the road this year than they have at Baker Rink. Princeton is 0-3-0 at home, with losses to Clarkson, St. Lawrence, and Quinnipiac. Upcoming games against Rensselaer and Union and two against Notre Dame would be a good time to find better form on home ice.

Progress made: RPI's goaltending has been much better than it was last season. The netminding tandem of Jordan Alford and Mathias Lange has been outstanding, as each has a goals-against average under 2.00 and a save percentage better than .930.
Progress needed: All signs are that Rensselaer is a much better and more consistent team than they were last year, but they need to turn those performances into points, as they've won just one of four ECAC Hockey games (1-1-2).

Progress made: The Dutchmen are playing more at even-strength than they did last year, with just 11.7 penalty minutes per game, whereas Union had 19.9 PIMs per game last season.
Progress needed: Score goals. Union has just 15 total goals through nine games on the year, and has been shutout three times. Union's offense ranks last nationally in scoring.

Progress made: The Golden Knights have scored fewer goals per game than they did last year, but have also reduced their goals against. Senior goalie David Leggio is having another stellar year.
Progress needed: For Clarkson to take a step into the truly elite programs nationally, they're going to have to find a way to win more games on the road. Three of Clarkson's four losses have come away from Cheel this season – at St. Lawrence, Lake Superior State, and Quinnipiac. The Knights have just two wins on the road.

St. Lawrence
Progress made: The Saints have rarely found themselves in trouble early in games as they've allowed a total of just six goals in the first period, through 14 games.
Progress needed: The close games that went St. Lawrence's way last year and saw them win the ECAC Hockey regular season and qualify for the NCAA Tournament aren't going their way this season. Even though the Saints have scored 35 goals overall and allowed just 35, they find themselves with a 4-7-3 record. Five of the Saints' seven losses are by one goal.

Progress made: Peter Bogdanich has been back in the Colgate lineup for the last six games and has done a nice job on the wing with seniors Tyler Burton and Jesse Winchester. The only time those three have been kept off the board
Progress needed: The Raiders need to build momentum. Their longest winning streak of the season is just two games - RIT/Sacred Heart to start the year and Harvard/Uconn in mid-November.

Progress made: Young impact players have led the way for Cornell, including freshman Riley Nash and sophomore Colin Greening (9 points each) and freshman defenseman Mike Devin (5 points).
Progress needed: The Big Red need more offensive production from their veteran players, as the team's two leading returning scorers, seniors Topher Scott and Ray Sawada, have combined for just six points through eight games this season.


The Giving Spirit: Many of the teams in ECAC Hockey have conducted or will participate in charitable activities around the holiday season. Last weekend, Colgate collected 350 pounds of food items that were collected at their games against Connecticut to a local food pantry. This weekend, Colgate is hosting a toy drive during their games against Robert Morris.

Cornell will host a teddy bear toss and book donation event prior to Friday's game against Massachusetts. Dartmouth hosts Skate With the Big Green on Sunday at Thompson Arena and will hold a toy drive during that event.

Clarkson's Banged-Up Blueline: The Golden Knights have managed to maintain first place in ECAC Hockey and got a respectable split against St. Cloud State last week despite having a defense corps that has dealt with several injuries this season. Most notably, Phil Paquet has played in just three games for Clarkson. Jeremiah Crowe has missed the last three games for Clarkson. The only Clarkson defensemen who have dressed in all 14 games this season are senior Grant Clitsome, and juniors Adam Bellows and Tyrell Mason.

Great Weekend Getaway
120x60 - Brand Red

Dartmouth at Harvard
(Saturday, 7 p.m.)
These Ivy League rivals and travel partners will face off at Bright Hockey Center. The Crimson look to continue their stellar start, as they're 5-1-1 in their last seven games while Dartmouth plays on the road for just the fourth time all year, and first time since the first weekend of November.

While You're There: Harvard's men's basketball team hosts Michigan at 5:30 p.m. a few doors down from the Bright Hockey Center, and it's extra-significant because Harvard coach Tommy Amaker was formerly employed by the Wolverines. Just go for the first half, though, so you make it to the rink on time.

Stick Salute

Despite the result in Boston University's favor, last week's event pitting BU and Cornell at a sold-out Madison Square Garden should be deemed as a success. The opportunity to play in front of a huge crowd in a famous arena is something that the student-athletes will always remember.

Bench Minor

Last week was not a good one for ECAC Hockey in non-league contests, as the league's member clubs combined to record a 3-7-2 record.


• Only four of the 12 teams in ECAC Hockey have overall records that are sub-.500 (Brown, Colgate, St. Lawrence, and Union).

• Brown's lineup has been consistent this season, as 15 players (counting goalie Dan Rosen) have appeared in the lineup in all eight games so far this year.

• Harvard's Michael Biega scored his first three collegiate goals, recording a hat trick during a 3-3 tie against Yale earlier this week.

• RPI rookies Tyler Helfrich and Chase Polacek each have three goals and 11 points so far this year. Both were named to the all-tournament team at the Rensselaer Holiday Tournament.

• Dartmouth's Nick Johnson and Clarkson's David Cayer each have 98 points in their careers and are nearing the 100-point milestone.

• Clarkson's Nick Dodge played a big part in the Golden Knights' victory over St. Cloud State on Saturday with a short-handed goal to tie the score in the second period, an assist on Clarkson's second, and the game-winner with 5:28 remaining.

• Union's Josh Coyle was back in the lineup against UMass, recording his first goal of the season in the loss. He has played only four games this season due to an injury suffered in the opening weekend of the season against Ferris State.

• It's just not a trip to the North Country without a stop at Sergi's for some grub, and it never disappoints, as was the case once again last Friday following Clarkson's game against St. Cloud State.

A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report. Joe Gladziszewski can be reached at