November 6, 2003
Rebuilding from a Blowout

By Joe Gladziszewski

 ECAC Notebook

This week's schedule
National TV Schedule

Atlantic Hockey/CHA Notebook
CCHA Notebook
Hockey East Notebook
WCHA Notebook

In the midst of severe hurricane damage, there's a possibility that someone can look past the ravaged homes, roads, and utility lines and say, "Gee, we really needed the rain."

That was the perspective voiced by Yale coach Tim Taylor in the aftermath of incredible 8-4 and 10-0 losses at North Dakota last weekend.

The excuses were at the ready, but Taylor didn't point at any of the circumstances surrounding an 18-4 aggregate defeat at the hands of the No. 1 team in the INCH Power Rankings. Consider North Dakota's schedule for starters. On Oct. 15, the Sioux had already played a pair of games and was getting ready for a huge weekend showdown with Boston College. In New Haven, Yale began formal practices that day. Think of kids wearing tape bearing their names across the top of their helmets at hockey school.

There were travel problems – delayed connections on flights both to and from Grand Forks. There was inexperience, with four freshmen dressed for Yale each night, and having only competed in a cupcake tune-up against the University of Guelph is not the preferred method of prepping for a team of North Dakota's caliber. There was some awe, in stepping into Engelstad Arena, which Taylor described as "a marvel."

"The bottom line is that we weren't ready for what North Dakota threw at us. There were numerous factors at stake," Taylor said. "Certainly, it was a rude awakening for the guys that had not played in Division I games before. For our veterans, it showed them that we haven't made the transition from doing things that we did well last year, to doing them so that we can play well this year.

"You can't belittle the fact that we were playing one of the top-ranked teams in the country."

To see a team score 18 goals over five periods – Yale actually led Friday's game 1-0 after the first period – one must wonder about goaltending. That was not a source of anxiety for Taylor, who gave Josh Gartner and Peter Cohen close to equal playing time. Each was credited with nine goals against on the weekend.

"I didn't leave the weekend with the feeling that we were all set in that area, but I also didn't coming away with concerns, because I saw what they could do last year," Taylor said.

Back to the hurricane analogy, the Bulldogs have suffered through the storm and are now starting to rebuild their hockey lives. It starts with the feeling that a team has after being humbled in such a manner, and a commitment to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"Shame on us if we go through the same type of experience we went through at North Dakota at any point over the course of the rest of the season. The weekend will make us better; it gives us a true picture of the challenges that face us. We will be a different hockey team this weekend," Taylor said. "I like the leadership that has been shown. We've had a great week of practice. It's not the type of thing that will knock us backward, rather it will propel us forward."

Yale welcomes Cornell and Colgate to Ingalls Rink this weekend.


Speaking Out – On Oct. 30, the NCAA Division III Presidents Council voted against withdrawing a proposal that would eliminate the opportunity for seven Division III institutions to offer scholarships to athletic programs that compete at the Division I level. The men's hockey programs at St. Lawrence, Clarkson, and Rensselaer would be affected by this change, if passed by the entire Division III membership at the national conference in January. Prominent figures from those three institutions released statements in the aftermath of the decision.

Highlights from each of the statements indicate that the affected schools won't stop working toward preventing this measure from passing. The links will lead you to the full text of each statement.

St. Lawrence University President Daniel F. Sullivan:

"We very much want to remain members of Division III. But we believe it is important for the Division III membership to continue its long-standing recognition of the very special circumstances affecting one or two traditionally national-class sports programs at our schools, including the men's and women's hockey programs at St. Lawrence. I remain united with my colleagues at Johns Hopkins University, Colorado College, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Hartwick College, Rutgers University and SUNY Oneonta in the firm belief that enactment of Proposal 2-69 would do considerable harm to our schools. Worse, it would do so without measurably advancing the cause of Division III."

Clarkson University President Tony Collins:

"In good faith we have made long-term investments in facilities and pledged our commitment to our student athletes, coaching staff, and fans. The case made more than 20 years ago, and accepted by the NCAA, remains intact today for Clarkson University. We will now move forward on all fronts with the other seven schools opposing this proposal. We will explore all options available to us and leave no stone unturned to find a solution that is in the best interest of our student-athletes and the University."

Rensselaer Director of Athletics Ken Ralph:

"While we are disappointed by the Presidents Council's decision, we remain optimistic that we will prevail in January. We strongly oppose the NCAA proposal because it ignores the outstanding academic tradition of our athletics program here at Rensselaer. Over the next several weeks leading up to the January NCAA Convention we fully intend to work vigorously, in conjunction with the other seven universities, to tell our story of Rensselaer's great hockey tradition. We remain committed to offer hockey at the highest level."

More on Moore Yes, loyal ECAC followers, I understand that you may be sick and tired of reading about Dominic Moore. Perhaps you rejoiced at the conclusion of his Harvard career, knowing that journalists would now be able to put their gaudy praise of Moore aside.

Well, for the sake of finality, let's just throw one more Dominic Moore item into the old ECAC notebook. The New York Rangers rookie recorded three assists in his NHL debut on Nov. 1 at the Molson Centre against the Montreal Canadiens. Two of those assists came on the power play.

The next three games for Moore didn't match his debut standard, as his ice time decreased in each game, from 13:56 against Colorado, to 8:13 against Dallas, and finally just 5:31 in a 6-3 loss to Carolina on Thursday night. In the game against the Avalanche, Moore suited up against his older brother Steve, who was also a recent call-up to the NHL.

Great Weekend Getaway
120x60 - Brand Red

Brown at Dartmouth (Fri.), Harvard at Dartmouth (Sat.)
Three teams that represent the ECAC in the latest INCH Power Rankings will do battle at Dartmouth's Thompson Arena, where the Big Green could make an early statement in the league standings with a strong showing on home ice. The Big Green will need to be much better than they were in a 2-1 win over Holy Cross on the same sheet of ice last weekend.

While you're there: For dinner plans, check out local favorite EBAs (Everything But Anchovies) featuring a fun and diverse menu, including an item called Mini Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls.

Stick Salute

Princeton sophomore goalie Eric Leroux kept the Tigers in a pair of games at St. Cloud State over the weekend. The London, Ontario, native made 43 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss on Friday, and stopped 46 shots in Saturday's 3-1 loss. But that apparently wasn't good enough to earn any of the weekly ECAC accolades. Goalie of the Week honors went to Yann Davis, and Clarkson's Mac Faulkner was Player of the Week.

Bench Minors

Union's fine 4-0-1 start against teams like American International and Niagara opened the eyes of college hockey followers across the country. When the chips were down, with a true chance to make a statement against New Hampshire, the Dutchmen were blown out 9-2. By recording an assist, UNH goalie Mike Ayers had more points in the game than Scott Seney and Jordan Webb.


• New Union coach Nate Leaman isn't afraid of hurting anyone's feelings, and has voiced displeasure at times early this season following less than 100 percent efforts by players. Following Friday's 9-2 loss at New Hampshire, Leaman decided to send a message to some of the Dutchmen by giving them an afternoon in the bleachers. Leaman dressed 17 skaters, one fewer than the 18 allowed by the NCAA.

The effort was better right from the start, as Union out shot Bentley 16-0 in the first period.

"I didn't think some guys had a real good game against UNH," Leaman told Ken Schott of the Schenectady Daily Gazette. "I wanted to play the guys who put the effort in."

• One of Leaman's first acts after being appointed head coach at Union was to appoint Bill Riga and Tony Gasparini as his assistant coaches. That meant Andrew Will, former Union standout defenseman and assistant coach under Kevin Sneddon, was without work for this
season. Will's situation changed earlier this week, when he took on an interim assistant coaching job at Rensselaer under Dan Fridgen.

• Continuing with the Engineers, RPI's 0-2-1 record through three games has now returned to the even-water mark with consecutive wins over Army and Merrimack. In Saturday's win over Merrimack, the Engineers spotted their hosts a 3-0 lead five minutes into the second period. Rensselaer came back with two of its leading scorers paving the way. Defenseman Brad Farynuk had a goal and an assist, and sophomore center Kevin Croxton had a pair of helpers.

Union and RPI will travel to Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend. The Saints look to snap an eight-game winless streak (0-5-3) on home ice. SLU went to Lake Superior State last weekend. On Friday, an early two-goal lead evaporated when the Lakers scored a pair of goals in a 21-second span to knot the score. Saturday's contest was a 4-2 loss for St. Lawrence, with sophomore T.J. Trevelyan scoring both Saint goals. He leads the team with six goals this season.

Clarkson continues to take care of business during a nine-game home stretch, with a 2-1-1 record thus far following identical 4-1 weekend victories over Findlay and Sacred Heart. A pair of short-handed goals during the same minor penalty keyed the Saturday win over Sacred Heart.

• The worst part of Cornell's winless weekend at Lynah, in coach Mike Schafer's eyes, was that his Big Red team didn't play with the defensive focus that the program is known for. He told the Ithaca Journal after Friday's game:

"I was really disappointed on how we approached the game. (Our players) approached everything from the offensive side of the puck and nothing frustrates me more than guys cheating on the offensive side of it.

"It is not the kind of hockey that we have to play in order to be successful. I am really disappointed with our mentality going into the game. I don't know if that is new guys in new roles or the young guys trying to press being excited to play their first game, or what it was, but it definitely will be changed very quickly."

Vermont's visit to Michigan Tech was the first time the Catamounts have flown on a road trip in five years. Jet lag, perhaps, in Friday's 7-3 loss? UVM did rally back for a 2-2 tie in the Saturday contest, with Travis Russell making 49 saves.

• The Catamounts announced on Thursday that both of this weekend's games at Gutterson Field House (capacity 4,035) are sold out. Vermont welcomes Harvard on Friday and Brown on Saturday.

A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.

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