4 , 2002
LeNeveu's been Big for Red
LeNeveu is the only college player to receive an invitation
to Team Canada's upcoming World Junior Championship selection
the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League would like
that to change – they want Cornell's
star goaltender to join the major junior ranks. Tuesday
the Hitmen acquired LeNeveu's WHL rights in a trade with
the Vancouver Giants.
trade came just a day after LeNeveu learned of his camp
invite. Should he make the Canadian roster, there will be
18 collegiate players at the worlds. USA Hockey annouced
the members of the U.S. National
Junior Team earlier this week, with 17 college student-athletes
slated to participate at the World Junior Championship in
Nova Scotia, Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
and LeNeveu, for their part, shrugged off the Hitmen's transaction.
Head coach Mike Schafer downplayed the move's impact, but
expected the Hitmen to make a pitch to his star goaltender.
LeNeveu told the Canadian Press that his immediate future
was in Ithaca.
the time being, I'm at college," he said. "I know
what I'm doing right now is the best decision for my career."
the trade, the Hitmen clearly have hopes of convincing LeNeveu
to take the major junior route. Three seasons ago Denver
forward Matt Pettinger joined the Hitmen for the second
half of the season following his appearance for Canada at
the World Junior Championship.
LeNeveu, by all accounts, is a conscientious student who
values his education. And he understands how college hockey
can help a player's development, especially for goaltenders
(like Cornell's own Ken Dryden).
we don't have a heavy a schedule as some of the CHL players
do, but we do have a heavier practice schedule which allows
us time to develop," said LeNeveu. "There's both
positives and negatives that come out of that.
play with a lot older guys up to the age of 26, whereas
in the CHL it's mainly guys 16 to 20. I do have experience
playing against older guys and hopefully that will benefit
now, the second-round draft pick of the Phoenix Coyotes
focuses on making Team Canada. If he does so, he'd be only
the second college goaltender to make a Canadian Junior
Team, following Michigan State's Norm Foster (who beat out
Patrick Roy in 1985).
LeNeveu really has to do is play in camp the way he has
thus far this season. He's posted an 8-1-0 record, a 1.11
goals-against average and a .946 save percentage while playing
every minute for the Big Red thus far.
LeNeveu play at the World Junior Championship, Schafer would
choose between junior Todd Marr and freshman Louis Chabot
for the four games the starter would miss. (Non-league games
at Western Michigan this weekend would seem to be a perfect
chance to get one or both a little work.)
Schafer, the Big Red and their fans will hope that their
man remains a hit in Ithaca, not Calgary.
MORE NOTES NO FAN SHOULD BE WITHOUT
Caught in a trap – Connecticut head coach
Bruce Marshall had good reason to be glowing after his team's
3-1 loss to New Hampshire in Durham last Saturday. Not only
did the Huskies turn in an impressive effort against one
of the nation's top three teams –
his team may have also found an identity as it eyes the
rest of the MAAC schedule.
had surrendered 4.7 goals per game before their marvelous
defensive performance against the Wildcats. They hung back
in a 1-2-2 trap, played the body wisely and blocked shots
as often as summertime visitors shoo Granite State mosquitoes.
For the game, UConn blocked 27 shots; New Hampshire, by
contrast, blocked three.
a completely different approach from the previous week's
8-0 loss to Union, as well as much of UConn's 3-8-1 campaign
(2-5-1 MAAC). Marshall liked what he saw.
season has been kind of up-and-down, and we're trying to
define which team we're going to be," he said. "We
grew up a lot tonight. The league is really where it's going
to matter in the long run, and we need to make sure that
we take that to the next step.
we're going to have to be a little more creative, but we
saw some positives out there. Here we are playing a team
that was in the Frozen Four last year and we stayed in the
game for 60 minutes. Maybe there are some plusses to our
game plan tonight, and we might look at that a little bit."
What He Said
is your conviction that this country is superior to
all other countries because you were born in it."
– George Bernard Shaw
often debate the merits of players leaving early to
pursue pro careers, a subject Jess Myers explored
in depth earlier this season.
when it comes to leaving for four games to participate
in the World Junior Championship, there's no debate
at all – the player's got to
seems obvious to hard-core hockey fans. But fans who
pledge allegiance to their schools first and hockey
second probably miss the tiny type the tournament
receives in U.S. newspaper coverage. They wonder why
their best young players miss big games, including
popular post-Christmas tournaments.
fact is, the World Juniors are the best international
tournament this side of the Olympics (making it a
hockey player's equivalent to studying abroad). It
is the single-biggest showcase for future NHLers (isn't
college all about preparing for a career?). And players
usually get one, maybe two, shots to represent their
country in the tournament (unless they're, say, Scott
Young or Mike York, who played three times each).
it would be great to see Jim Howard and Dave LeNeveu
face off for Maine and Cornell, respectively, in the
Everblades College Classic in late December.
it will be even better if they play for the gold in
Nova Scotia. Just be sure to check back here in case
your local paper misses it.
game plan worked so well that the Huskies had a 1-0 lead
37 seconds into the second period, a score that left the
home crowd more befuddled than silent. Goaltender Jason
Carey was in the midst of an outstanding performance in
which he stopped 37 shots.
UNH netted three in a 9:01 span of the second period to
secure the win, it was the Huskies who left the Whit with
their heads held high.
This week's Games of the Century – New Hampshire
continues its stretch of six straight non-league games this
week. Good thing Maine and Boston College are poised to
face off at Conte Forum in what seem like the seventh and
eighth "must-see" matchups of the Hockey East
season. And December has just begun.
should be a great series," Maine head coach Tim Whitehead
told Faceoff.com. "BC will have the fan advantage which
always is a big factor. We'll go into the series confident,
but careful. BC may be younger up front, but there is a
lot of talent there. Those Eaves brothers (Ben and Patrick)
and (Ryan) Shannon and (Tony) Voce are big-play forwards."
(5-11—16), who joins Patrick Eaves on the U.S. National
Junior Team, also shares the team lead in scoring with the
younger Eaves. The seventh-leading scorer on last year's
Eagles' team, Shannon has recorded his points somewhat quietly
as the Eaves-Eaves-Voce line garners attention.
like that – not only between forward
lines, but between offense, defense and goaltending –
has fueled Maine's success. Offensively, 10 players have
at least eight points through 12 games, led by Martin Kariya
(121 career points) needs just three points to tie his brother
Paul's total from 51 career games as a Black Bear.
were to sweep this weekend, Jerry York would tie Inside
College Hockey's own Jeff Sauer for fifth all-time with
655 career victories.
For real – Massachusetts would have a 4-0-0
league record right now if the Minutemen played in the ECAC,
with wins over Rensselaer, Vermont, Dartmouth and Princeton
– the last three coming consecutively
Don Cahoon's Hockey East team will take the 8-5-0 overall
mark it has surged to with those latest wins. The eight
victories match UMass's season total from each of the last
new forward line of freshman Stephen Werner, freshman Matt
Anderson and sophomore Greg Maudlin combined for nine goals
and 12 assists in the last three games. Maudlin recorded
a hat trick in the team's impressive 7-2 win over Dartmouth,
the first hat trick by a UMass player since 1996.
line helped UMass average 6.0 goals per game in its three
games last week after posting only 2.7 goals per game over
its first 10 games.
Upstate fun? – Rochester, N.Y., is
in the running to host the 2005 World Junior Championship.
10-team tournament would bring some fantastic hockey to
Upstate New York between Dec. 26, 2004, and Jan. 5, 2005.
The Rochester area would seem to have a strong shot at securing
the bid, which is assured to go to a U.S. city, although
others including Omaha, Neb.; Madison, Wis.; Columbus, Ohio;
and Seattle reportedly submitted bids.
Great Weekend Getaways
Maine at Boston College (Fri.-Sat.)
this series isn't circled on your calendar, you might
have opened the 2003 edition too early. Yeah, you couldn't
wait to see each month's puppy photo, but put it back
under the tree and focus on what's important now: the
Eagles (6-1-0 in Hockey East) and Black Bears (4-0-0).
While You're There: Check out Cityside in Cleveland
Circle. It can fit your mood, whether you're looking
for a bar (downstairs) or a bite (upstairs).
at Yale (Sat.) – The Crimson and Elis sit atop
the ECAC standings with 14 and 12 points, respectively,
entering the weekend. Yale's high-flying offense –
which features five players among the top eight in
conference scoring – goes up against Harvard
goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris.
Mercyhurst at Canisius (Sat.) – Both teams have
eight losses overall, but hover within striking distance
of the top of the MAAC standings. The Lakers look
to halt a four-game losing skid.
Fresh face – Freshman Jeff Pietrasiak got
the start in goal for New Hampshire against Connecticut,
stopping 22 shots to earn his first career win. He battled
a few rebounds, including the Huskies' only goal, but produced
saves when needed in a game where another timely UConn goal
could have led to a huge upset.
coach Dick Umile was pleased with Pietrasiak's performance
and hopes to give him more opportunities as the season progresses.
But make no mistake, with Mike Ayers posting a 1.88 goals-against
average and a .938 save percentage thus far, it's his team.
– who had played every minute for
the Wildcats before Saturday – showed
why he's a team leader without even playing against UConn.
At game's end, he raced to grab the puck for his backup
to commemorate Pietrasiak's first career win.
WEEK'S NHL TRANSACTIONS
Hurricanes – Recalled goaltender Jean-Marc Pelletier
(Cornell) from Lowell of the AHL.
Avalanche – Assigned center Steve Moore (Harvard)
to Hershey of the AHL.
Angeles Kings – Recalled right wing Steve Heinze (Boston
College) from Manchester of the AHL.
York Islanders –
Assigned goaltender Rick DiPietro (Boston University) to
Bridgeport of the AHL.
Jose Sharks – Hired head coach Ron Wilson (Providence).
PRO TRANSACTION OF THE WEEK
Everblades (ECHL) – Acquired right wing Kevin Brown
from the Augusta Lynx for left wing John Campbell (UMass
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Providence's Peter Fregoe, UMass Lowell's Ed McGrane, Northeastern's
Mike Ryan and Vermont's Jeff Miles may not be leading their
teams to the top of the standings, but all three are putting
up impressive goal totals. Fregoe leads Hockey East with
12, with McGrane and Ryan close behind with 11 apiece. Miles
leads the ECAC with 11 goals. Ryan and McGrane have accounted
for one-quarter of their team's goals, and Miles is close
Garrett Stafford has practiced with New Hampshire's forwards
while academically ineligible this fall, thereby allowing
the defensemen to get more work. But Dick Umile plans to
use the offensively gifted Stafford on the blue line when
he returns, hopefully for the Wells Fargo Cup in Denver
after Christmas. “I hope it will be a big lift,"
Umile said of his return. "I think he can do some things
with the power play. You spend a couple of years having
someone run the power play and you had a learning curve
and then you lose him and you’ve got to start over.
It’s not automatic he’s going to make us score,
but he can bring a lot to generate some offense.”
In Stafford's absence, senior Kevin Truelson has been a
great stablizing force on the Wildcat blueline. He picked
up the game-winning goal against Connecticut last Saturday.
St. Lawrence-Clarkson weekends
it's Providence and Northeastern visiting (last weekend),
or trips to New Hampshire and UMass Lowell (this weekend),
it's a treat when the North Country travel partners
play outside the league.
ECAC home ice
Cornell and Dartmouth all perfect at home this season.
(1.33) and Maine (1.42) are easily the top two defensive
teams in the nation.
Dartmouth is 6-0-0 at home, 0-4-0 on the road.
Harvard won seven games in November (7-3-0) for just the
second time in school history. The first? The 1988-89
NCAA Championship team.
Eight players scored goals for Cornell last weekend as
the Big Red outscored Boston University, 9-2. Cornell
is now on the road for eight straight games, starting
this weekend at Western Michigan. The team makes the trip
on two planes to accomodate Ithaca's small airport.
Maine has outscored opponents 17-3 in the first period
Providence ended its five-game winless streak at St. Lawrence
thanks to the first two goals of the season from junior
defenseman Stephen Wood.
Brown's power play is 0-for-29 in the Bears' last four games
after opening the season 8-for-16.
All 11 MAAC teams are in action this week after only five
played last weekend. They combined for an 0-7-0 record.
Six Dartmouth players are averaging at least a point per
Quinnipiac snapped its three-game losing streak Tuesday
night with a 2-1 win over Bentley. The Bobcats had lost
their previous two games by 2-1 scores, to Northeastern
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this