| HOCKEY EAST | MAAC
helps DiSalvatore, PC
senior forward Jon DiSalvatore and his teammates made a
promise to each other last spring – and they'd appreciate
it if everyone else would honor it as well.
does everyone want to talk about last year?" he says,
when asked to compare the team's mindset through this year's
4-0-0 start to last season's 1-3-0 beginning.
1-3-0 became 5-8-1, and the team picked to take second in
Hockey East tumbled to a seventh-place finish, with an 0-7-2
record in its last nine.
and the six other current seniors decided to put the nightmare
behind them as they entered 2002-03, ignoring last season
instead of using it for motivation.
though we have a lot of the same guys, we're a new group,"
DiSalvatore says. "We try not to think about last year,
but people keep bringing it up."
because Providence is fulfilling expectations – albeit
a year behind schedule. DiSalvatore (4-6—10) and Peter
Fregoe (5-6—11) have led the offense, while senior
Nolan Schaefer and freshman Bobby Goepfert, who have matching
1.50 goals-against averages, share the netminding duties.
opposition has admittedly been lacking – vs. Union,
Iona, and two against MSU-Mankato, all at home – which
makes Friday's meeting with UMass Lowell all the more appealing.
It's the first true test for the team trying to surprise
the rest of Hockey East, the way the Riverhawks did last
we play against Lowell, our teams really kind of mirror
each other," DiSalvatore said. "We both pride
ourselves in working hard. When our teams play, it's a battle
of wills – whoever is tougher and works harder will
MORE NOTES NO FAN SHOULD BE WITHOUT
What He Said
soon, you're gonna have families of your own. And
if you're lucky, you'll remember the little moments
like this, that were good." – Tony Soprano
generations, kids have been leaving home to go to
college and, once they get there, defying their parents
happening at Conte Forum Friday night borders on the
College's Ben and Patrick Eaves will team up to take
on their father, Mike, as he coaches Wisconsin during
the Badgers' visit. This is no one-on-one game in
the driveway – there are RPI points at stake.
told INCH before the season, "It’s
going to be a fun night for everyone when we play
Wisconsin – the Eaves family in one place, which
hasn’t happened too often with my dad’s
schedule and Patrick and I always playing games. We’ll
have people from all over flying in for that game."
to think this will be as much fun for dad. As a coach,
his focus will be on stopping Ben and Patrick. Both
have been on fire to start the season, combining with
linemate Tony Voce to score nine goals in the Eagles'
first three games. Patrick is the lone non-senior
among Hockey East's top six scorers and has a de facto
official sponsorship of the league's Rookie of the
Week honor, winning it three times.
Wild weekend at the Whit – New Hampshire
ascended to the No. 1 ranking this week, a just reward for
scheduling Minnesota and playing a great weekend of hockey
at the Whittemore Center.
top line of Colin Hemingway, Lanny Gare and Josh Prudden
led the way, and have combined for 40 percent of UNH's offense
through three games. Funny how easy it is to refer to the
trio as the top line in the wake of Darren Haydar's departure
– clearly they are up for the challenge.
was great to play at home
against a strong team like Minnesota,” said goaltender
Michael Ayers. “It gets
you ready for everything early.”
also seems ready for the No. 1 ranking –
as it should be, after finishing last year's regular season
in the top spot.
even talked about it around here today,'' said Ayers, who
made 44 saves in Saturday's win. ''We don't get caught up
in the whole No. 1 thing too much. We just take care of
what we can take care of and work on getting better at it.''
the one bit of bad news for Wildcat fans turned out okay;
by mid-week, sophomore Sean Collins was listed as probable
for Friday's Hockey East opener against Northeastern. Collins
suffered a fractured right index finger in Friday night's
game against the Gophers.
Join the fun – The six Ivy League teams begin
exhibition play this weekend, a prelude to the start of
ECAC league play next weekend.
just an intrasquad game, but there's already bad news for
the rest of the field from Lynah Rink: the two goals scored
in regulation of the Red-White game were tallied by freshmen
(Daniel Pegoraro and Chris Abbott).
Conference king – There's little
doubt that Hockey East – with five teams in the top
ten of the INCH Power Rankings – boasts the most strength
of any conference, not only in the East, but in the nation.
Need more proof? Check out each league's cumulative non-conference
record through last weekend:
includes tournament games between league teams not designated
as conference games
numbers can be incredibly misleading for some conferences
– especially the ECAC, where preseason favorites Cornell,
Clarkson and Harvard haven't played yet. But it demonstrates
the top-to-bottom strength in Hockey East, which has played
a balanced and challenging schedule.
Great Weekend Getaways
UMass Lowell at Providence
teams have passed the tests to this point. With conference
play starting, the grades count now.
While You're There: Relive some memories from the
2000 Frozen Four. For us, that would mean a trip to
Federal Hill's Old Canteen restaurant, where we met
then-Mayor Buddy Cianci and the late Anthony Quinn.
If it's your first trip, PC's Jon DiSalvatore suggests
Mediterraneo for a nice Italian meal, or campus favorite
Roma for something quicker.
Wisconsin at Boston College (Fri.) and Northeastern
(Sun.) – Don't let the family affair (see above)
overshadow what should be an excellent game on Friday.
And in Wisconsin's last trip to Matthews, the No.
1-ranked Badgers left with an OT loss.
Quinnipiac at Mercyhurst (Sat.) – An early-season
meeting for the MAAC's 2002 co-finalists and 2003
co-favorites. The Bobcats bring a 3-1-0 record and
last weekend's Q Cup title into the weekend.
Pipe fitters – Head coach Rick Gotkin felt
confident turning to junior Matt Cifelli to take over for
Peter Aubry this season after Aubry led his team to the
regular-season MAAC title last season.
have great confidence in Cifelli," Gotkin said. "He
was in a tough situation being behind somebody who was as
dominant as Peter, but in the limited chances he's had he
has proven himself as a quality goaltender."
it seems the Lakers have two quality goaltenders. After
Cifelli's 35-save, three-goals against effort on Friday
at Lake Superior State, Gotkin started freshman Andy Franck
on Saturday. The rookie responded with a 23-save, two-goals
against performance of his own.
appears to be one area where the other leading MAAC challengers
– Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart – hold a significant
edge over the Lakers, at least in terms of experience. And
while Sacred Heart's Eddy Ferhi (0-0-1, 0.92, .977) and
Quinnipiac's Jamie Holden (2-1-0, 1.34, .965) sit atop the
league's goaltending statistical charts as expected, Cifelli
and Franck look like they could close the gap.
Regrouping at Rensselaer – A
week after beating Wisconsin in Madison, Rensselaer turned
in two disappointing performances in losses to UMass Lowell,
8-4, and Massachusetts, 4-3.
if he would threaten to sit players, head coach Dan Fridgen
responded, "I don't think you threaten, you do (it).
I'm not a big believer in threatening. I'm proactive."
Engineers have a chance to regroup against a pair of MAAC
teams this weekend, Iona and Army.
WEEK'S NHL TRANSACTIONS
Bruins: Recalled goaltender Tim Thomas (Vermont) from Providence
of the AHL.
Angeles Kings: Signed general manager Dave Taylor (Clarkson)
to a three-year contract extension; assigned left wing Derek
Bekar (New Hampshire) to Manchester of the AHL.
Flyers: Assigned center Patrick Sharp (Vermont) to Philadelphia
of the AHL.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Ray Bourque was in the Whittemore Center crowd for Saturday
night's UNH-Minnesota game. Get used to the legendary defenseman
in Hockey East rinks – his son, Chris, has verbally
committed to play for Boston University.
The schedule makers at UNH, BC and Northeastern
for providing some great early-season hockey. And the
teams get thanks for holding up their end of the bargain.
Ron D'Angelo, Connecticut
scored twice, including the overtime game-winner, in
Connecticut's 5-4 victory at Colgate, the Huskies' first
win over an ECAC team as a Division I program.
the biggest upset of the early season Tuesday night,
stunning BU for its first win of the season.
Maine hosts Western Michigan Saturday and Sunday after honoring
the late Shawn Walsh on Friday. Walsh will be inducted to
the University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame.
UMass Lowell senior Ed McGrane has multiple-point games
in all four outings this season. Classmate Baptiste Amar
returned to the Riverhawks' lineup Friday after an NCAA
eligiblity question was resolved.
If you missed Kevin Paul Dupont's Sunday notebook in the
Boston Globe, shame on you. He's the most entertaining
hockey writer you'll find. Among the gems in this week's
offerings, a note about Calgary Flames linemates Chris
Drury (ex-Boston University) and Chuck Kobasew (ex-Boston
College). Said Drury: ''Sometimes I wonder if I should
pass to him.'' KPD suggests they find "another Comm.
Ave. kid to fill out the trio, (and) they could call it
the Green Line."
Vermont goaltender Shawn Conschafter earned raves for his
42-save effort in the Catamounts' 1-1 tie with Boston University.
"That was as good a goaltending performances as I've
seen since he beat Clarkson up there in the playoffs two
years ago," head coach Mike Gilligan said after his
team bounced back from its 10-0 loss to UNH. Also impressive
for the Catamounts was freshman Joey Gasparini, who scored
his first goal on Sunday at BC.
I'm not naive enough to suggest that there's no place for
sponsorship in college sports. But perhaps the folks at
New Hampshire could find a better spot for the "Waste
Management" ad looming behind head coach Dick Umile
and associate Scott Borek as they patrol the Wildcats' bench.
The UMass Lowell-Providence game marks the Riverhawks' fifth-straight
road game and the Friars' fifth-straight home game.
St. Lawrence alum Bill Wilkinson will coach against his
alma mater as Wayne State hosts the Saints for two this
Boston College has won eight straight non-conference games
entering Friday's meeting with Wisconsin.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this