departure from the ECAC and move to Hockey East, combined
with Monday's vote by NCAA Division III institutions that
could have stripped the ability of three ECAC schools to
offer scholarships in their men's Division I hockey programs,
left the ECAC with some doubt and uncertainty at this time
news came from Monday's vote, which allowed Clarkson, Rensselaer,
and St. Lawrence to maintain their "play-up" status
as scholarship-offering Division I programs at Divsion III
elated that the NCAA membership has acknowledged the rich
history and tradition at these eight schools, especially
the three in our league," ECAC Commissioner Phil Buttafuoco
said Monday afternoon.
called the sentiment on the floor of the NCAA Convention
in Nashville "a spirit of compassion" for the
would-be affected ECAC schools, and five others including
the Colorado College men's hockey team and the Johns Hopkins
men's lacrosse team.
gut feeling from working the hallways and meeting with presidents
and athletic directors over the last few days was one of
cautious optimism. They had really good feelings toward
the programs," Buttafuoco said.
RPI, and St. Lawrence were granted the privelege of offering
these scholarships through a waiver during the 1982-83 season,
and this year's proposed legislation was the biggest challenge
to that waiver. Monday's vote elimites the immediate concern
about this issue coming up in the future.
from two of the affected head coaches was, not surprisingly,
Fridgen, head coach at Rensselaer, said the recruiting battles
were intense during the time of uncertainty surrounding
you're fighting these recruiting wars they can become battles.
Any time one institution has any information, they'll use
it against another institution. We found that a lot of the
information out there was misinformation. For example, some
people were saying that we would be a Division III (hockey)
team starting in 2008, which was just not true. It definitely
affected us with specific recruits, now we can move forward,"
also took time to address an argument made by some proponents
of Proposal 65 – that having a Division I program
gives a school's Division III programs a competitive advantage.
find it very difficult to believe that our football team
made it to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Football
Championships because there's a Division I hockey team at
the school that offers scholarships."
coach George Roll said the vote will alleviate some recruiting
it is a big thing for us to go out recruiting and to be
able to offer scholarships. We have not been able to do
that for the '05-'06 class. We have been waiting on the
decision to see where it goes, and it certainly will make
our lives a whole lot easier," he said.
AND HEARD IN THE ECAC
Filling In – One of the big questions surrounding
Yale was the team's ability to replace a large senior class
and the scoring void left when Chris Higgins left school
early to sign with the Montreal Canadiens. Yale sophomore
forward Joe Zappala has stepped up his scoring, especially
when it matters most.
leads the nation in game-winning goals with six. He had
the game winners in Yale's wins over Clarkson and St. Lawrence
last weekend. The goal against SLU came with 24 seconds
remaining in overtime in a 4-3 win. The Bulldogs are on
a three-game winning streak since two consecutive losses
at the Wells Fargo Denver Cup during the holidays. Things
got back on track with a road upset of New Hampshire.
hit rock bottom at that point. We were playing pretty well
we just couldn't put anything in the net," Zappala
said of the Denver trip. "Since then, we've regrouped
in every area and have played really solid."
linemates include senior Ryan Steeves at center, the team's
returning leading scorer, and fellow sophomore Jeff Hristovski.
With Zappala, Hristovski, and Christian Jensen setting the
pace, the sophomore class leads Yale in scoring with 64
points, nearly double the output of the senior class (36
the graduating class and Higgins' 41-point season wasn't
discussed in the Bulldog dressing room. "We didn't
talk about it," Zappala said. "It was an unmentioned
fact around our team, but for us to win, we knew everyone
was going to have to do a little more as an individual."
Reaction – A devastating knee injury in the
1999-2000 season and three subsequent pro seasons in Finland,
followed by this year's tenure with the American Hockey
League's Hershey Bears hasn't kept celebrated Vermont alum
Eric Perrin from keeping tabs on his alma mater.
this past offseason working out in Burlington with Martin
St. Louis, and training with Vermont strength and conditioning
coach Paul Goodman.
weighed in on UVM's move to Hockey East, and was complimentary
toward the ECAC.
can only be good," Perrin said of the move. "Everybody
talks about BU, BC, Maine, and UNH, and it seems like all
of those teams always wind up in the top-10. I have to say,
though, that the ECAC has some great teams also. When we
were there I remember there were some great teams with a
lot of great players that have gone on to the NHL. You can't
bring down the ECAC too much. It's a great league. In any
case, it will be a great move for Vermont and bring it to
maybe a little bit higher level against those teams that
are in the top 10."
ranks in the top-10 in the American Hockey League scoring
charts and was named as a starter for the Canadian All-Stars
in the upcoming AHL All-Star Classic in Grand Rapids, Mich.
on Feb. 8-9.
Great Weekend Getaway
Brown at New Hampshire (Sat.)
The ECAC league leaders travel to the Whittemore
Center for a league game ... err ... it just seems
like UNH is an ECAC team. Saturday's game will be
the eighth of the year for UNH against ECAC
teams. They're 5-2-0 so far in those contests. Vermont,
Cornell, Dartmouth, and Colgate have played just eight
league games heading into this weekend.
goaltender David McKee, a recipient
of criticism from some corners early in the season
after replacing All-American David LeNeveu, was the
recipient of the CSTV/Hockey Commissioners' Association
Rookie of the Month award for December. He stopped
82 of 88 shots for a .932 save percentage.
It's hard to figure out Dartmouth's loss to
Vermont. Of course, UVM is an improving team,
but Dartmouth is contending for a league title and
dropped a game against the last-place team. The timing
of the loss didn't help either, with fellow championship
chasers Cornell and Brown both losing over the weekend.
Some Cornell fans were frustrated
by Brown's clutching and grabbing style in the Big
Red's 2-1 loss against the Bears on Saturday. Go ahead
and read that sentence again, ECAC fans. Cornell fans
frustrated by clutching and grabbing.
Getters – Rensselaer was mired in a three-game
losing streak, including back-to-back losses in its own
tournament, before beating Harvard on Jan. 3 and sweeping
Union this past weekend.
difference was quite simple, and that was scoring goals.
Coach Dan Fridgen said the Engineers needed to get hungry
around the net.
we came back after the break we lost a little bit of our
scoring touch. It was obvious that we needed to do a little
more scoring, and we weren't getting those scrappy kinds
of goals that you need to get, garbage goals if you will,"
factor was a string of fine goaltending efforts against
the Engineers. RPI suffered consecutive one-goal losses
to Mercyhurst, Colgate, and Brown despite having a shots-on-goal
advantage in the game.
Marsters has given Rensselaer steady goaltending all season
and made 45 saves on 47 shots, allowing one goal in each
game against Union last week.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
It's not been a good week in Hanover. First, a loss to last-place
Vermont followed by an injury to senior
defenseman Brian Van Abel among upperclassmen, took a hit
when Van Abel suffered an ankle injury during a practice
over the weekend. He missed Tuesday's 5-0 loss to New Hampshire
at Manchester's Verizon Wireless Arena. Van Abel watched
Tuesday's game on crutches, and it's likely that he'll miss
this weekend's games against Clarkson and
Eight ECAC players are listed in the mid-term
rankings by the NHL's Central Scouting Service. Dartmouth
defenseman Grant Lewis is the highest-rated player from
the league at 29th. Brown forward Brian
Ihnacak (57), Colgate forward Kyle Wilson
(60), Cornell forward Mitch Carefoot (115),
Dartmouth defenseman Rob Jarvis (129),
Yale defensman Shawn Mole (164), Union
forward Olivier Bouchard (188), and Colgate
forward Ryan Smyth (234) are also listed among the top draft-eligible
North American skaters.
St. Lawrence's win over Miami at the Lefty
McFadden Invitational opened some eyes. Since then, however,
the Saints haven't won away from Appleton Arena. SLU is
0-9-2 in road and neutral site games, and has been outscored
42-18 away from their home building.
One might think that Syracuse University basketball coach
Jim Boeheim is a consultant for the Rensselaer Holiday
Hockey Classic. After featuring an uninspiring trio of guests
this year, (Colgate, Northeastern, Mercyhurst), next year's
slate includes Sacred Heart and Air Force, and a yet to
be named replacement for Findlay. Ken Schott of the Schenectady
Daily Gazette reports that the tournament will be moved
from Christmas to Thanksgiving next season.
Matt Moulson's hat trick for Cornell in
a 5-3 win over Harvard was the first by
a Harvard opponent in two seasons.
Colgate is 3-2 against ranked teams this
year, with two victories over Brown and
another against Ferris State. Losses to Ferris State and
Ohio State are the blemishes.
A reminder that Saturday's Yale contest
against Connecticut is a 5:30 p.m. start at Ingalls Rink.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this