| HOCKEY EAST | MAAC
coaches are title sponsors
of them are 2-0-0, but Jack Parker and Tim Whitehead both
have reason to carry their heads high after winning tournament
titles last weekend – BU at the IceBreaker Invitational,
Maine in the Black Bear Classic.
love regular-season tournaments – and not just because
they enjoy decorating their offices with mismatched trophies,
plaques and crystal.
offer a little something different from a run-of-the-mill
weekend series: another team goal to post on the weight
room wall, and another test to see how the boys perform
not one-and-done – but it’s the closest approximation
we get before March.
on more prizes
week’s tournament titles by Boston University
and Maine could be just the start of a hardware-filled
season for Hockey East. Teams from the conference figure
to be favorites or co-favorites going in to at least
seven other regular-season tournaments this year:
• Dodge Holiday Classic (BC)
• Great Lakes Invitational (BU)
• Auld Lang Syne Classic (UML)
• Everblades College Classic (Maine)
• Denver Cup (UNH)
• Ottawa Tournament (NU)
• Beanpot (BC, BU, NU)
this week's West
case, the Terriers are 1-0-1 because their shootout win
over Northern Michigan in the IceBreaker semifinals goes
in the books as a tie. And while a shootout may be a terrible
way to decide a hockey game, it just might say something
about the character of the team. It certainly doesn’t
hurt when a freshman, Brad Zancanaro, scores the winning
troops, likewise, had a less-than-perfect semifinal performance,
squeaking by New Brunswick in an exhibition game. But the
team responded on Saturday, hammering Lake Superior, 8-1.
Maine heads to
Alaska Anchorage this weekend for another tournament, although
this one features predetermined games instead of a championship
format. The Black Bears will see better opponents –
vs. Colorado College and the Seawolves – but could
find that competition and frequent flier miles aren’t
as fulfilling as a trophy.
MORE NOTES NO FAN SHOULD BE WITHOUT
What He Said
know, Mr. Burns, you're the richest guy I know. Way
richer than Lenny." – Homer Simpson
yes. But I'd trade it all for a little more."
– Mr. Burns
the season, Hockey East's best pure goal scorer was
Maine's Colin Shields. And its best defensive corps
belonged to Boston University.
what: the rich got richer. And they have a pair of
MVP trophies to prove it.
fact that a BU defenseman captured MVP honors at the
IceBreaker Invitational wasn't too surprising. It's
the fact that it was a freshman – not Ryan Whitney
orFreddy Meyer or Bryan Miller – that makes
their blue line that much more imposing. Hockey East,
say hello to Jekabs Redlihs, a rookie out of Latvia
who is joined by another impressive freshman defenseman,
Orono, the league's best pure goal scorer spent the
summer working on – what else? – his shot.
"I've got a little more weight behind it this
year," he said. "I'm going to keep working
on it every day and see what happens."
had a hat trick in the Black Bear Classic title game
to earn MVP honors with his family (parents, Martin
and Margaret, and brother, David) in town from Glasgow,
Q rating – Four MAAC schools get
the chance to take home a tournament trophy this weekend,
with Quinnipiac entering as the overwhelming favorite in
the seventh annual Quinnipiac Cup.
Bobcats welcome American International, Bentley and Fairfield
– the bottom three teams in the 2001-02 MAAC standings
– to the tourney. Making matters even more lopsided,
Quinnipiac has played two games and an exhibition; Fairfield
has played the U.S. NTDP in two exhibitions, while this
weekend marks the openers for AIC and Bentley.
is 10-1-1 with four championships in the six years of the
Enough time for another post-game beer –
We all love hockey's speed. And thanks to the new “hurry-up”
faceoff rule, the game is faster than ever.
out some of the game times from last weekend:
North Dakota vs. Canisius (an 8-0 game), 2:20
• Rensselaer vs. Wisconsin (a TV game!), 2:10
• Northeastern vs. UConn (a 10-1 game), 2:09
• Michigan vs. Niagara, 2:07
• Quinnipiac vs. Lake Superior, 2:05
new rule provides for 15 seconds between a whistle to stop
play and the next faceoff – five seconds for each
team to change, and another five seconds to line up before
the puck is dropped, ready or not.
will it mean? Besides the fact that the strap connecting
goalies' pads to their skates will probably have to be adjusted
more often – always a convenient way to buy your teammates
some time – the rule obviously picks up the pace of
the game. It’s hard to say whether it benefits certain
teams, although you’d think it would help teams:
In better condition – the rule provides less catch-your-breath
time, both between and during shifts.
With depth – again, with less time for rest, it will
help if your team can roll four lines.
With skilled coaches – five seconds isn’t a
lot of time to plan your next move. Coaches who think three
steps ahead of their opponents will have an advantage.
other good news: if games fit into a two-and-a-half hour
block consistently, it could help increase television exposure
down the road. Station managers, in their infinite wisdom,
hate when a great college hockey game cuts off the first
five minutes of The Best Damn Sports Show Period.
MAAC attacked – MAAC teams struggled out
of conference on opening weekend, going 0-5-0 while being
Lake Superior 2, Quinnipiac 1
North Dakota 8, Canisius 0
Northeastern 10, Connecticut 1
Niagara 4, Canisius 1
Providence 11, Iona 0
some, like Canisius vs. North Dakota, were predictable,
certainly MAAC fans would have liked a better showing from
NU-UConn and PC-Iona. They can take heart, though. Theirs
weren't the only scores to jump off the page of the Sunday
paper, thanks to UNH-Vermont, and a non-conference win could
be in the cards this weekend as Mercyhurst visits Lake Superior.
Great Weekend Getaways
Minnesota at New Hampshire
great early-season test for two teams that lost a lot,
but still look strong. Two games, to boot.
While You're There: It's a perfect time to be a
leaf-peeper. Get some great foliage driving south on
Rt. 108 towards Exeter.
Denver at Boston College (Fri.) – Between this
and the Gopher-'Cat series, you've got four Frozen-caliber
teams within 70 miles.
UMass Lowell at Rensselaer (Fri.) – Our season
previews said these teams were Primed for a Fall.
Last weekend offered hints that we could be wrong.
Early impressions – While last year's NCAA
Tournament teams from the ECAC – Cornell and Harvard
– hit the books for two more weekends, things are
busy in Vermont and upstate New York. Rensselaer probably
made the biggest impression among last weekend's participants,
posting an impressive 5-1 win over Wisconsin in an emotional
game for the Badgers (Mike Eaves's first as coach) and in
a tough place to play (the Kohl Center).
really kept it simple tonight," Engineers coach Dan
Fridgen said after the game. "We did the little things,
capitalized on two-on-ones, rebounds and power plays."
dynamic scorers Marc Cavosie and Matt Murley playing pro
hockey, Rensselaer needs to do the little things, because
it won't generate offense by talent alone. The Engineers
learned that Saturday, in a 5-1 loss to Boston University
in which the Terriers held a 41-15 shot advantage.
it's a strong start for Fridgen's underrated troops, who
return home Friday against UMass Lowell and travel to Massachusetts
Another honor for his Hall plaque – Durham,
N.H., will celebrate its most famous ex-quarterback before
Saturday's game against Minnesota. Rod Langway's story is
as fascinating as it is improbable: he was born in Taiwan,
recruited to UNH to play football and achieved his greatest
fame playing for the Washington Capitals.
4, the two-time Norris Trophy winner enters the Hockey Hall
of Fame (and, as an aside, Wildcat fans – that's a
great excuse to make the trip to Toronto, because the Hall
is a must-see).
Since Oct. 10, 2002
Mighty Ducks: Assigned Jason Krog (UNH) to Cincinnati of
Jose Sharks: Assigned Jim Fahey (Northeastern) to Cleveland
of the AHL.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG