Gets Down to Business
burden on the Brown Bears for the 2003-04 season is to prove
that last season's success wasn't a one-year occurrence,
but rather an indication that their progress over the last
few years will continue.
Bears posted six wins in 1999-2000 season, and slipped to
an alarming total of just four wins the following year.
Fortunes started to turn in the 2001-02 campaign with a
10-10-2 league record and a spot in the ECAC Playoffs. Last
year, the Bears finished fifth in the regular season, with
a winning record, and advanced to the league championship
weekend in Albany. A 2-0 semifinal loss to Cornell and a
4-2 loss to Dartmouth in the consolation game left the Bears
with a sour taste in their mouths after a very good regular
year was a lot of fun, it was great, but there were disappointments
as well. We want to get back up there and finish some unfinished
business, so to speak," coach Roger Grillo said.
takes its first business trip this weekend, with a Saturday
night opener at Harvard. It's the first game of the season
for both schools, though both have been active in preseason
tune-ups. The Bears started things with an intrasquad game,
then scrimmaged against Bentley, and finished with a 4-0
win over Trois-Rivieres on Sunday.
best part of the preseason stretch in Grillo's mind was
that his team raised its intensity and levels of play each
time out. He knows that up-and-down performances are a recipe
for disaster once the ECAC schedule begins.
imperative that we come out ready to play every night. There's
a fine line between first and seventh in this league so
we'll have to stay on top of our game," Grillo said.
freshmen have already started to make an impact for Brown,
in what many consider to be the program's best recruiting
class in years. Four forwards with different characteristics
and abilities will see plenty of ice time this year and
join defenseman Dylan Row (more on him later). Of the four
forwards, Brian Ihnacak from Toronto is probably the most
heralded. Fellow rookies Antonin Roux and Steve Sigaty picked
up goals in the win over Trois-Rivieres, and Sean Dersch
finished with a plus-1 rating.
AND HEARD IN THE ECAC
Chance – On Thursday, the NCAA Division III
Presidents Council convened in Indianapolis. This get together
was the final opportunity to prevent a vote on the proposal
that would prohibit Division I athletic teams at primarily
Division III institutions from offering athletic scholarships.
news about this proposal going to a vote in January wasn't
much of a surprise. The writing was on the wall. Actually,
it was on the official NCAA Division III Presidents Council
agendas and supplements found at the NCAA's internet home.
to the Presidents
Council's meeting agenda and supplement
No. 14, the Management Council's recommendation underneath
an item titled "Division III Membership - Multidivision
Classification - Awarding of Athletics Aid" states:
the intent and deny the request for withdrawal of the proposal
as requested by affected institutions. The Council reviewed
background, including significant feedback, and rationale,
noting its commitment and a desire for a membership vote."
a quick translation. The Management Council is saying, "Yes,
we've heard the complaints from fans, coaches, and athletic
directors. But we still like our proposal and we think it
should at least go to the voters."
Presidents Council agreed.
Division I men's ice hockey teams at St. Lawrence, Clarkson,
and Rensselaer, along with Colorado College of the WCHA,
are facing the threat of having their privilege of offering
athletic scholarships taken away beginning in 2008. The
hockey programs at these schools are unique in the fact
that they are Division I programs in an athletic department
that competes at Division III in the majority of its other
a more in-depth look at Thursday's events, check out my
Ho – This is the last full weekend of non-conference
play for the ECAC, and four conference teams are loading
up the wagons and heading west. Clarkson (at Bemidji State)
and Union (at Bowling Green) already made successful trips.
Each earned a win and a tie on the road.
This weekend, St. Lawrence and Vermont will
visit Michigan's Upper Peninsula, while Princeton and Yale
will go head-to-head with two of the WCHA's best teams.
Saints travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., for a Friday-Saturday
set against the Lake Superior State Lakers. Perhaps this
CCHA opponent will get St. Lawrence back on track. The Saints'
only win of the year came against LSSU's league compatriot
Miami. More good news from for St. Lawrence if you like
to play the 'We beat the team that beat that team' game.
Miami just swept a pair of games from the Lakers last weekend.
is sick and tired of playing against the best teams in Hockey
East. To remedy that problem, the Catamounts are heading
out to Houghton, Mich., for a pair of games against Michigan
Tech. Both teams have new coaches at the helm and are in
the process of trying to return to the top of their respective
leagues. New Michigan Tech head man Jamie Russell is familiar
with the Catamounts, as he spent the last four seasons as
an assistant at Cornell. At Vermont, Kevin Sneddon wasn't
happy with his team's work ethic in Sunday's exhibition
loss to St. Francis Xavier, and vowed to test his team this
week. "I don't like laziness, and there was laziness
on our bench tonight, and that doesn't sit too well with
me. I'm disappointed in a few guys we needed to perform
well for us. Tuesday is going to be a pretty hard practice,
and we'll know after Tuesday who wants to make the trip."
starts its season at St. Cloud State, a team that's been
in the NCAA Tournament four straight years. Four in row?
Big deal, you say? Only Maine and Michigan can match that
streak. This year could be trip number five for the Huskies.
St. Cloud is off to a 3-0-1 start and is 17th in the latest
INCH Power Rankings.
Princeton won its exhibition game against the University
of Guelph 6-4. Hyphen-power helped-get the-Tigers the-win.
Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer scored three goals and Grant Goeckner-Zoeller
added two goals. Princeton trailed 3-0 just six minutes
into the contest.
the Yale era sans Chris Higgins begins at college hockey's
palace in Grand Forks, N.D. The Bulldogs visit North Dakota,
this week's No. 1 team in the INCH
Power Rankings. Yale also lost Evan Wax and Nick Deschenes
to graduation. Veteran coach Tim Taylor has stated from
the outset that no single person can replace a player like
Higgins. So, the onus is on a whole group of players to
raise their level of play just a little bit. That philosophy
seemed to work in Yale's exhibition game against the University
of Guelph on Sunday afternoon. Six different Yale players
lit the lamp in an 8-3 win. Senior Ryan Steeves, the team's
leading returning scorer, and sophomore Jeff Hristovski
had two goals each.
Great Weekend Getaway
at Harvard (Sat.)
lid-lifter on the conference schedule is a treat.
The trick will be getting a good seat at the Bright
Center for Brown's visit to Harvard. Saturday night's
contest is the official season-opener for both Ivy
League schools, and it's the fifth straight season
that these travel partners have squared off against
one another to start the campaign. Brown won last
year's game 4-0 to kick-start a three-game winning
While you're there: Saturday's weather forecast
in Cambridge calls for sunny skies and a high of 72
degrees. Take advantage by checking out the Crimson's
football team, ranked 16th in Division I-AA, against
Dartmouth. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. This
is the 100th Anniversary of the venerable Harvard
Stadium, and a halftime ceremony will recognize the
stadium as a National Historic Landmark.
course, it was against Army, but a win is
a win, especially when you're in search of your first
victory of the season. Rensselaer freshman Tommy Green
had two goals in the Engineers' 6-0 win
on Saturday. The 5-foot-11 rookie from Martensville,
Saskatchewan couldn't have picked a better time to
get his first two collegiate goals.
how not to make a case for the starting goaltending
spot. Princeton junior goalie Trevor Clay got the
nod from coach Len Quesnelle to start the team's exhibition
game against Guelph. After 6:31 had been played, the
Gryphons had five shots on goal. Two were stopped.
Three were not. Clay was yanked in favor of sophomore
Eric Leroux, who made 14 saves as Princeton rallied
to win. Exhibition stats don't count. If they did,
Clay would be sporting a save percentage of 40, with
a 27.62 goals-against average.
the big deal X-Men? St. Francis Xavier
must not have read the memo from NCAA schools that
these early-season exhibition games are feel-good
affairs for the fans and a momentum-builder for the
regular season. The X-Men have come to the States
and beaten UMass, Dartmouth, and Vermont.
v. Dylan – Saturday's big game between Harvard
and Brown features two of the ECAC's best freshmen defensemen,
and both are named Dylan.
Row joins the Brown Bears after prepping at Shattuck-St.
Mary's. The 5-foot-11 blueliner made an impact for Roger
Grillo's squad with assists on the first two goals in the
exhibition win over Trois-Rivieres. "Dylan's a solid
defenseman who has some offensive skill and skates well,"
Grillo said. "I've been very impressed so far with
how quickly he's making the adjustment to the college game."
On the other side, Harvard defenseman Ryan
Lannon will be forced to sit this one out. He's serving
a one-game suspension resulting from his disqualification
penalty in last season's NCAA Tournament loss to Boston
University. Lannon's departure means that heralded blueline
recruit Dylan Reese will get a regular shift, potentially
on a dynamic pairing with junior All-American Noah Welch.
Those two were partnered at times during the game against
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Those who say that Union's 4-0-1 start
reflects more on its schedule than its ability will get
a chance to see exactly what the Dutchmen are capable of,
as Union visits New Hampshire for a Friday night game at
the Whittemore Center. Union and UNH share one common opponent
to date this season – Niagara – one of those
'weak' opponents that Union has fattened its record against.
Those are the same Purple Eagles that beat UNH last weekend.
The Cornell Big Red showed off some big
offense in their exhibition against the US Under-18 National
Team. Cornell entertained the Lynah Faithful with a seven-goal
barrage in a 7-2 win. Last year, the Big Red scored seven
or more just three times. They hung a pair of snowmen on
Vermont, and won the exhibition game against York 9-1. Burly
winger Matt Moulson (or is that barley winger?) scored two
goals and added an assist.
Harvard's statistical domination against
Guelph was impressive. The Crimson outshot their Canadian
opponents 58-7, and eight different Harvard players had
the goals in an 8-0 win. Especially impressive was that
this was done without regular forwards Rob Fried and Tim
Pettit, who missed the game with minor injuries. Pettit
will return to the lineup for Saturday's game against Brown,
while Fried has returned to practice but is still working
his way back to full health. He will not play against Brown.
St. Lawrence and Lake Superior State played
in the 1988 NCAA Championship game. My, my, how things change
in 15 years.
• Chris Blight, a junior right wing at Clarkson,
earned ECAC Player of the Week honors after posting two
goals and two assists as the Golden Knights held strong
against Colorado College, losing 3-2 on Friday before earning
a 4-4 tie on Saturday. Things should get easier this weekend
when Clarkson entertains Findlay and Sacred Heart.
Colgate recharged its batteries during
an off-week, and will get back into the competitive mode
on Saturday night by welcoming Findlay to Starr Rink.
• Dartmouth didn't have much fun
last weekend, starting with a 6-3 exhibition game loss to
St. Frances Xavier. On Sunday, the Big Green welcomed league
rival Harvard to Thompson Arena for a scrimmage, which the
Crimson won 4-1. Dartmouth starts its season Saturday night
against Holy Cross.