you lose a Hobey Baker finalist in between the pipes, as
Cornell did when David LeNeveu opted to sign a pro contract
with the Phoenix Coyotes, there are obvious off-season questions
surrounding the goaltending situation.
with all of the commotion and concern around 'Lenny's' departure,
the loss of seven highly regarded seniors to graduation
was understandably overlooked. Newspapers covering last
year's Big Red regularly featured the senior class –
its leadership qualities and work ethic.
where Ryan Vesce comes into play. The senior center at Cornell,
also the team's leading returning scorer, inherited the
captain's 'C' from Doug Murray and Stephen Bâby. With
that distinction comes the responsibility of leading a team
through transition. Five freshmen have played in all four
Cornell games this year.
the team get on track started over the summer.
of celebrations surrounded Cornell's Ryan Vesce last
weekend, as he had nine points against Yale and Princeton.
(Photo by Roman Uschak)
us it's been more than the preseason. We had 17 guys stay
over the summer and that helped us establish some chemistry
and work ethic. Once the preseason started we got into more
systems and worked with that. Coach had me lead some of
the guys in chalk talks early on," Vesce said.
first regular-season test came against Western Michigan
at Lynah, and it wasn't anything that the Faithful were
accustomed to viewing. The Big Red tied 5-5 and lost 3-2
against the CCHA’s Broncos.
who watched the games could see that was not the Cornell
team people were used to seeing," Vesce said. "We
were young and our systems weren't where they needed to
be yet. The next week we worked on that in practice."
made a difference. The Big Red rolled through Princeton
and Yale in the opening weekend of conference play, led
by Vesce and linemates Matt Moulson and Byron Bitz. That
trio combined to score 8 of Cornell's 13 goals. Vesce was
in on the scoring for each of Cornell's seven goals against
Princeton. He had 9 points on the weekend.
a line we're starting to come together and knowing where
each other is going to be. Things are coming, but we'll
keep improving. There's room for improvement," Vesce
weekend, it's another conference road trip as Cornell heads
to the North Country. While Cornell loves playing at Lynah,
where it enjoys an incredible home-ice advantage, there
is also a positive to playing back-to-back weekends away
away is good. We get a lot of attention from our Lynah Faithful
and our home crowd up here," Vesce said. "When
you get on the road all you've got is your team. That really
helps build team togetherness and team commitment."
AND HEARD IN THE ECAC
Snap Skid – OThe groundwork was put in place
during Friday's third period. On home ice, St. Lawrence
trailed Union by three goals with 10 minutes remaining.
T.J. Trevelyan and Rich Peverley scored in a span of 63
seconds to bring the Saints to within one. Down the stretch,
Union's Kris Mayotte held the fort and helped kill off a
pair of SLU power plays. Even though the Saints lost the
game, which marked their ninth consecutive outing without
a win (0-6-3), the momentum carried over to Saturday's game
Senior goaltender Mike McKenna stepped in
for the Saints and earned the shutout with 20 saves. Trevelyan
scored yet again. He's got 8 goals on the season. Senior
defenseman Tony Maci scored the first two goals of his collegiate
career while playing in his 50th career game.
Annual" – Under the
category of not having enough of a good thing, we present
Rensselaer and the inaugural Black Friday game, which will
be celebrated this weekend when Vermont visits Houston Field
House. With an eye on RPI's hugely successful Big Red Freakout
that virtually guarantees a sold-out building and vibrant
vocal support for the men's hockey team, athletic director
Ken Ralph set his sights on replicating that in the first
half of the season.
Black Friday jerseys
was thinking that we needed to do something to get RPI fans
excited about hockey in the first semester because we have
the Big Red Freakout, which is a great event, but it’s
at the end of the year," Ralph told Ken Schott of the
Schenectady Daily Gazette. "So I decided we needed
to put something at the beginning of the year to introduce
people to the sport early in the season."
Ralph's long-range goal is to continue with
the Black Friday celebration every season for RPI's first
ECAC home contests.
Several peripheral activities surround Black
Friday, including a game-worn jersey raffle. During the
first and second periods of the game, fans can bid on the
special black jerseys (pictured at right) that the players
will be wearing. Winning bids will be announced during the
third period and fans will have their jerseys presented
by the players immediately following the game.
Great Weekend Getaway
at Rensselaer (Fri.), Vermont at Union (Sat.)
road trip recommendation this week sends ECAC fans
to the Capital District. Rensselaer hosts Black Friday
when Vermont visits. On Saturday, the Catamounts cross
the Hudson River and visit Union, marking the return
of UVM's Kevin Sneddon to Messa Rink, where he coached
the Dutchmen for the previous five years.
While you're there: Pizza, wings, and beer. Yummy.
For the best of all three, stop into the Notty Pine
Restaurant on 15th street in Troy, located just two
blocks from RPI's Houston Field House.
going to stray a bit from the men's college hockey
side of things, and recognize Nicole Corriero
of the Harvard women's team. In Friday night's 13-0
win at Union, she had six goals and four assists.
Yes, 10 points. Her totals slipped a bit on Saturday,
with only three goals and three assists.
For a comparison between her weekend and the entire
2002-03 season for the Harvard men's team –
Corriero's nine goals would have ranked sixth and
her 16 points would have ranked tied for eighth on
the stat sheet.
checking in from Princeton's Baker Rink
share some disappointing news of a protective net
in front of the facility's famous balcony, one of
the best vantage points in the venerable building.
Then again, these days, an obstructed view of the
playing surface might not be such a bad thing.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Cornell's Ryan Vesce comparing freshman
winger Byron Bitz to Stephen Bâby, who skated in that
spot last year: "The biggest similarity is in their
size and strength, but they are two different players. Byron
is very, very good around the net. He's one of the best
finishers I've ever played with. Stephen was more of a playmaker
than a goal scorer."
One of Union's top guns, junior center
Joel Beal, suffered a shoulder injury versus St. Lawrence
on Friday and missed Saturday's game at Clarkson. He will
be back in the lineup this weekend as the Dutchmen host
Dartmouth and Vermont.
Further injury news comes from Burlington, where the Catamounts
lost sophomore Spencer Morton to an ankle injury suffered
during a recent practice, forcing Morton out for the season.
UVM will pursue a medical redshirt. Senior
captain Oriel McHugh, who is ailed by an assortment of injuries,
will miss this weekend's games.
Harvard lost winger Kenny Turano to a broken
ankle, but 6-foot-5 winger Dennis Packard moved into Turano's
spot on the top line with Tim Pettit and Tom Cavanagh. Packard
scored twice in a 6-4 win against Vermont, and that line
contributed both Crimson goals in a 2-2 tie at Dartmouth
• When Princeton and Yale
visit Brown this weekend, it should bring
happy memories of last season's playoff run to Roger Grillo's
team. The Bears defeated both schools to advance to the
league championship weekend in Albany.
Princeton's 0-4-0 start probably isn't
much of a surprise, but with some good fortune the Tigers
could be sitting at .500 and opening some eyes. Princeton
has suffered overtime losses on each of the last two Fridays
(at St. Cloud and vs. Colgate).
Dan Fleschner, a 2001 graduate of Yale,
is a published author. His first book, titled Bulldogs
on Ice is a pictorial history of the Bulldog hockey
program. The book is on sale during home games at Ingalls
Rink, through the athletic department, and at major bookstores.
Staying in New Haven, when a team's top two goaltenders
are sporting goals-against averages of 6.99 (Josh Gartner)
and 10.43 (Peter Cohen), you might as well give 'the other
kid' a shot. Freshman Mike Modelski took full advantage,
making 41 saves in his collegiate debut as Yale
defeated Colgate 3-2 in overtime.
For folks in upstate New York, a reminder to set the TiVos,
DVRs, and VCRs if you won't be able to see the live telecasts
of this weekend's games at Clarkson's Cheel
Arena. Cornell visits Friday and Colgate
stops by on Saturday. Both games start at 7 p.m. and will
be shown live on Time Warner Sports channel 26, which is
distributed from the Finger Lakes to the North Country and
all points in between.