Worrying about the big picture just isn't
part of the Colgate hockey culture, and even though results
haven't gone their way in league play, the short-term focus
has served the Raiders well in recent weeks. Colgate ended
the first semester with a 5-1-1 record in its last seven
games, including a weekend sweep of Robert Morris last weekend
with 4-3 and 5-0 wins at Starr Rink.
"You can't get ahead of yourself. You
can't start looking at the standings and where we are. It's
about the process, the day-to-day stuff, and I'm convinced
with this team if we do that we'll be fine," Colgate
head coach Don Vaughan said.
The fact is that Colgate struggled prior to
getting hot in the month of November. A stretch of nine
games saw the Raiders get just one win (a neutral site victory
over St. Lawrence) and two ties (against Quinnipiac and
Dartmouth). Even though they didn't see rewards in the win
column, the Colgate coaching staff wasn't disappointed with
how the Raiders were playing and were especially pleased
with the team's work ethic.
"Overall, and I've said this all along,
I've been pleased with the way we're working. There's just
such a fine line nationally between all of us and it comes
down to a bounce of the puck some nights or a mistake. It
seemed like the mistakes we made this year have ended up
in the back of our net," Vaughan said. "We turned
to our leadership, guys that have been through this before,
and we try to keep guys focused on the task. It goes back
to the process, and if they buy into what we're trying to
do and believe in what we're doing, then it's a matter of
working through it without having to make any great changes."
One of those leaders, senior assistant captain
Tyler Burton, stepped up and vocalized the coaching staff's
mantra that hard work and consistency will be rewarded in
the long run. Then, results on the ice began to turn. A
tie and win at Dartmouth and Harvard got the Raiders rolling,
and then a split at home against Connecticut was followed
by the sweep of Robert Morris.
"Coming back this weekend and winning
two at home feels great going into the break," Burton
said. "We know what we've got to do and we'll keep
at it here for the next few weeks and just try to stay positive
and take it into the New Year and hopefully continue to
It won't be easy for Colgate, as they begin
their next stage of the schedule on Dec. 28 against nationally-ranked
Wisconsin at the Badger Showdown in Madison and will face
either Bowling Green or Northeastern in the second game.
Road games at Union and Rensselaer follow that in early
January and then a home weekend against Clarkson and St.
We have no idea how Colgate will fare in those
games, but regardless of the outcome, we know there won't
be any panic by the Raiders.
SEEN AND HEARD IN ECAC HOCKEY
Taking ECAC Hockey International:
Two stories this week have surfaced, and will likely give
ECAC Hockey member clubs some exposure outside of the United
States in the coming weeks and again next season.
First, Yale head coach Keith Allain and Harvard
assistant coach Patrick Foley will serve as assistant coaches
for the United States team at the International Ice Hockey
Federation World Junior Championship to be held in the Czech
Republic in late-December and early-January. Allain and
Foley are a part of a coaching staff that will be headed
by John Hynes, head coach of the U.S. National Team Development
Program's Under-18 team. It is Allain's 11th different coaching
assignment within USA Hockey, and a reversal of roles from
the 2001 World Juniors when Hynes was an assistant to Allain.
This is Foley's third international assignment, as he was
an assistant for the NTDP Under-18s when they won gold in
2006 at the Under-18 Worlds and a silver medal in the same
competition in 2007.
Secondly, as originally reported by the Schenectady
Daily Gazette (and seen on the INCH Newsstand), Rensselaer
and Vermont are in discussions to play their first regular-season
game next season at Le Colisee in Quebec City, former home
of the Quebec Nordiques. The plan was set in motion by RPI
hockey alums Joe Juneau and J.F. Gosselin.
Great Weekend Getaway
(Saturday, 7 p.m.) It wasn't that long ago that Vermont was
a member of ECAC Hockey, so we'll visit an old familiar
venue when the Crimson and Catamounts meet at Gutterson
Field House on Saturday night. The coaches know each
other quite well, as Ted Donato and Kevin Sneddon
were teammates at Harvard for three years from the
1988-89 through 1990-91 seasons. The game will be
televised by CN8 throughout New England.
While You're There: The UVM
Athletics site has an extensive list of dining
options that suit any hockey fan's taste.
the homeowners, businesses, and municipalities who
have hung holiday lights and decorations, making for
scenic snowy drives to recent games.
begins, you often hear that attendance at certain
games is lower than expected "because of the
weather." Say what? What else is there to do
when the weather is bad than go to the hockey game?
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE BAG
• In a pretty big game contested earlier
this week, Rensselaer held serve on home ice with a 4-2
win over Harvard at Houston Field House. Four different
Engineers scored and Mathias Lange made 34 saves for RPI.
Earlier this year, Harvard beat Rensselaer 3-0.
• St. Lawrence beat Clarkson 4-2 at
Appleton and ended up getting two wins (both on home ice)
in three regular-season games against the Golden Knights
• Scary numbers from Brown's Mayor's
Cup game at Providence on Wednesday. The Friars won 8-0.
When it comes to the scoreboard, the snowman is better than
the snowball. Providence also had a 55-18 shots-on-goal
advantage and scored five goals in the second period. The
Bears are 0-5-1 in their last six, but return to ECAC Hockey
action this weekend with a Saturday game at Yale.
• Cornell's Riley Nash scored
an impressive goal at Brown earlier this season,
and the magic of B2 Networks, resourceful viewers, and YouTube
means that you can watch it!
• Princeton impressed early with a 3-0-0
start but then lost four straight games. Things may be headed
back in the right direction for the Tigers with two wins
in their last three games. They have a huge opportunity
to get some nationwide exposure with a home series against
Notre Dame this weekend.
• Dartmouth has this weekend off, but
returns to the ice for a mid-week game at Boston University
on Dec. 13. That game will be televised on CN8.
• Colgate's Joe DeBello scored his first
collegiate goal in last Saturday's 4-3 win over Robert Morris,
on a night when the Raider fourth line combined to tally
five points on the night.
• Union freshman forward Adam Presizniuk
had four points last weekend, all assists, including three
against Quinnipiac as the Dutchmen won their first ECAC
Hockey game of the season 4-3 at the Bobcats' TD Banknorth
• After going 4-0-1 in its first five
home games, Quinnipiac lost back-to-back home games against
Princeton and Union, before getting a 3-2 victory over RPI
in its last home game. The Bobcats will head to Pittsburgh
this weekend to face Robert Morris at the RMU Island Sports
• Harvard is in a stretch of non-league
games with a road test at Vermont on Saturday followed by
a home game against Boston College on Wednesday, with an
exhibition game against the NTDP Under-18s in between. The
Crimson already defeated one Hockey East foe this year,
in an overtime win over Boston University.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report. Joe Gladziszewski can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.