the spirit of this week's holiday – and with four
ECAC vs. Hockey East matchups on the slate Tuesday night
– the INCH writers from the two conferences teamed
up on a special combined notebook this week.
brings their unique league perspective to Tuesday’s
games. Further down you’ll find our usual assortment
of tidbits from around the conferences.
at Providence (Mayor’s Cup)
The Beanpot it’s not, but this year’s Mayor’s
Cup is much more than an opportunity for a Buddy Cianci
joke. Providence is for real, and the only reason they fell
out of this week’s INCH Power Rankings is their trouble
in Hockey East – the Friars are 4-0-0 in non-conference
games this year.
could be getting Providence at the right time, however.
The Friars lost two tough games this weekend – they
showed grit and heart in a deceptively lopsided 7-4 loss
to Boston College, and fell, 3-2, to Maine. They also could
be without three of their top six forwards Tuesday night.
Peter Zingoni and Cody Loughlean are struggling with injuries,
and Jonathan Goodwin will sit out this game after receiving
a game disqualification for punching Maine’s Luciano
Aquino after the Black Bears’ game-winning goal Saturday
that the Bears – after playing all of five games –
got last weekend off. Their fresh legs could make a big
difference, especially against an undermanned Providence
ECAC: While Brown certainly hasn’t played
a large number of games thus far, the early games have included
several formidable tests. The opening-night win against
Harvard was a nice way to start the season, and after faltering
at Dartmouth, Brown’s been on a roll.
biggest factor for Brown, opposite of tonight’s counterpart,
is the team’s return to health. Junior Les Haggett,
the leading returning scorer, made his debut in Brown’s
last weekend of play, sparking the offense in a 6-0 win
over Yale and a 5-1 win over Princeton. Yann Danis earned
INCH Player of the Week honors following that four-point
weekend, but the honor could have easily been awarded to
Haggett or freshman Brian Ihnacak (six points in those two
quirk of the Ivy League schedule. It’s Nov. 25 and
Brown is playing its first non-conference game. The game
will be locally televised on Cox3.
at Boston College
you read in last week’s ECAC Notebook, (and if you
didn’t read it, click
here) the Big Green’s defensive play has been
a pleasant surprise and a big reason for Dartmouth’s
undefeated start to the season.
defensive zone work and solid goaltending from Dan Yacey
were necessary in five nailbiters to open the year. At the
same time, coach Bob Gaudet was confident that goals would
eventually start to come. He didn’t have to wait long,
as Dartmouth posted a total of 15 goals against Yale and
Princeton. Of course, those teams aren’t going to
be confused with Boston College, but it is a reflection
that this Dartmouth isn’t one-dimensional.
four games tonight, this is the one I’m most excited
Hockey East: I was raised on Ivy League hockey,
so this isn’t anti-ECAC bias talking – unbeaten
or not, Dartmouth’s the clear-cut underdog here.
teamwork of Ben Eaves and Tony Voce up front is something
unmatched East of Grand Forks, N.D. These two are a threat
at all times – even strength, power play, shorthanded
– and, given their size and quickness, may be at their
best if they get in a four-on-four situation.
Shannon has led a supportive second line, but even better
in the last time out was head coach Jerry York’s all-freshman
trio: Brian Boyle, Adam Pineault and Joe Rooney. Boyle had
two goals in the 7-4 win against Providence, both in the
third period – breaking a 4-4 tie and relieving Eagle
fans, who have suffered through some surprisingly ugly third
periods this year.
Eagles have a little revenge working for them against the
Big Green as well, since they suffered a 5-4 overtime loss
in Hanover last year.
This one’s got the least marquee appeal among Tuesday’s
four intra-conference matchups, and has all the makings
of a letdown game for Massachusetts. The Minutemen ascended
as high as No. 7 in this week’s rankings, their best
ranking ever, and face a winless Vermont team. What’s
more, they’ve got a trip to Nebraska-Omaha and a nationally
televised game against the Mavericks looming after Turkey
coach Don Cahoon has taken pride in keeping his team focused
all year, despite the growing number of people ready to
tell the Minutemen how good they are. This could be his
biggest challenge yet. Perhaps it helps that, thanks to
his time at Princeton, Cahoon is an ECAC guy – he’s
got a six-game winning streak against the conference and
is 9-3-1 in his four years at UMass.
Massachusetts State Police and the Vermont State Police
will play a
"Giving Thanks" charity hockey game at 2:30 p.m.
at the Mullins Center, prior to the game.
ECAC: Reflecting back on the opening weekends of
the season, Vermont has had its fill with teams from Hockey
East. The Catamounts started with games against Boston College,
New Hampshire, and Boston University, and it wasn’t
much of a surprise that UVM would come out of those games
without a win. What is surprising, is that Vermont hasn’t
come through ANY of its games with a win.
might expect, when things aren’t going your way, bad
habits start to form. Coach Kevin Sneddon is walking a tight
rope. He needs to be firm-handed in making sure that players
understand what needs to be done, while also being sure
to maintain a sense of confidence in the dressing room.
leads the all-time series between these schools 23-7-3,
but it’s very likely that UMass will close the gap
in that record tonight.
University at Harvard
just can’t keep from looking forward to springtime
when thinking about this game. Last year’s down-to-the-wire
nature of determining at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament
creeps into my mind in looking at these two schools. Neither
side has started its season as well as it would have hoped.
A win in this game could turn into a solid starting point
for building momentum through the month of December.
also be the difference between getting into the NCAA Tournament.
of the NCAAs, you probably remember that BU knocked Harvard
out of the tournament with a 6-4 win in Worcester. The Terriers
have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success against Harvard
in recent years, most notably at the Bright Center, site
of tonight’s contest. Harvard’s SID, Jamie Weir,
reports that the Crimson carries a five-game home losing
streak into tonight’s game against its cross-town
rival. The Crimson’s last home win against the Terriers
came on Dec. 1, 1982.
Sports New England will have live television coverage of
Hockey East: There’s a lot of concern on
Babcock Street about goal scoring, and for good reason –
in five of the Terriers’ nine games they have been
held to two goals or fewer. “We’re absolutely
looking for goal scorers,” said head coach Jack Parker,
who sounds ready to place an ad in the student paper in
search of somebody who can flip a red light switch.
Parker has confidence that things will turn around, 1) because
they’ve been getting quality chances, and 2) because
their proven goal scorers, like Frantisek Skladany, Mark
Mullen and Brian McConnell, have combined for two goals
thus far. They are bound to break out of it.
anxiety may be the play of senior goaltender Sean Fields,
seen as a major strength coming into the year. Fields ranks
seventh among Hockey East goalies in goals-against average
(2.71) and ninth in save percentage (.893).
a concern,” Parker confirmed. “I don’t
think Sean has given us the type of games he did in the
second half of last year. He hasn’t played poorly
– and for him to play the way he did in the second
half of last year is a lot to ask. But he’s been a
slow starter, and if he had played the way he did late last
year maybe we could have stolen a game or two.”
AND HEARD IN THE ECAC
Great Weekend Getaway
at New Hampshire (Sat.) We’ll look past Tuesday night but stay
within our ECAC-Hockey East theme for the best bet
of the coming weekend. Rensselaer is riding high after
its weekend sweep of St. Cloud State, but the Engineers
would be wise to take note of their travel partner.
Union was unbeaten before it paid a visit to the Whittemore
Center, but came away with a 9-2 loss.
While you're there: Stick around Sunday for a
top-flight women’s hockey matchup at the Whit.
And guess what? It’s another ECAC-Hockey East
game. Harvard visits to take on the Wildcats and will
try to score on freshman goaltender Melissa Bourdon,
who hails from Ile Bizard, Quebec, and has two shutouts
in three games.
a small group in the student section of Colgate’s
Starr Rink on Friday night. When faced with
an invasive Ohio State fan wearing a Dave Steckel
jersey, the kids serenaded him with “The Victors”
on the eve of the big Ohio State-Michigan football
former New Hampshire goaltender Ty Conklin,
who showed the toughness of an Alaska native by not
wearing a toque in Saturday night’s Heritage
Classic. Despite the loss in that game, he’s
played well enough to wrest the Oilers’ starting
job away from the injured Tommy Salo. Conklin credits
Dick Umile as the biggest influence on his career
in a USA Today interview you can find on the INCH
home-ice advantage seems to have disappeared.
In four home games, all against CCHA teams, the Big
Red has tied twice and lost twice. Cornell hasn’t
won at Lynah since last year’s ECAC playoffs.
The Big Red carried a 19-game home winning streak
into the season.
Jonathan Goodwin’s slugging
Luciano Aquino after Maine’s game-winning goal
could really cost the Friars. The five-minute major
left PC shorthanded for the rest of the game and unable
to erase Maine’s 3-2 lead, and he’ll have
to sit our Tuesday’s Mayor’s Cup game.
up with Colgate –So often,
it’s just one little thing that makes the difference
between a win, loss, or tie. For Colgate, one bad line change
turned out to be the difference in Friday’s 2-1 loss
against Ohio State. With the game tied 1-1, and Colgate
on a power play, the Raiders were attempting to change power-play
units. Some miscommunication and a bad dump-in allowed Buckeye
senior forward Paul Caponigri to score the game-winning
goal on a breakaway.
simply we shot ourselves in the foot. We dumped the puck
into a player who wasn’t looking. We were tired, and
even Adam (Mitchell) who was trying to get off of the ice
was in a situation where he tried to sneak off the ice and
get a change. All of sudden the play was going the other
way. Clearly we did not execute that well,” Colgate
interim head coach Stan Moore said.
goal came late in the second period, and revealed something
about Colgate that Moore likes about his team. Colgate competed
well in the third period but couldn’t manage the game-tying
responded well all year long. We’ve been in every
game we’ve played except for the one against St. Lawrence
University. We’ve really tried to play hard every
game we could,” he said. “Overall we have a
real solid work ethic. We have pretty strong team chemistry.
They really work for one another for the most part.”
AND HEARD IN HOCKEY EAST
to Yandle – Hockey East’s highest-scoring
sophomore in conference games isn’t Massachusetts’
Stephen Werner, Maine’s Greg Moore, or even UMass
Lowell’s surging Ben Walter.
It’s New Hampshire defenseman Brian
Almost an afterthought on the Durham blue
line a year ago, when he totaled 1-5—6 in 31 games,
Yandle has 4-5—9 in his first seven Hockey East games
this year (5-7—12 in 11 GP overall). He and his teammates
face UMass Lowell in the only conference game Tuesday night
before taking their turn against the ECAC Saturday vs. Rensselaer.
Wildcat head coach Dick Umile credits Yandle’s experience
and poise for his production this season.
playing with confidence, and he can really move the puck
well,” Umile said. "And he's very solid defensively
for us, so we feel comfortable having him out there."
Look no further than UNH’s power play
to see Yandle’s impact on the team. He’s manning
the point, along with forward Justin Aikins (who, not coincidentally,
leads all Hockey East players with 17 points this year).
Forty percent of the Wildcats’ goals have come on
the power play, and their 28.2 percent success rate leads
all conference teams by a wide margin.
been fortunate on the power play,” Umile said. "Those
guys move the puck pretty well, and we've been able to get
Huskies – Northeastern, despite its winless
record and a tough challenge coming up Saturday at No. 2
Boston College, is maintaining its optimism.
“As strange as it sounds, we're a
good hockey team,'' head coach Bruce Crowder told the Boston
Herald after being swept by UNH. “It's not showing
up in the wins column, but I like this team. I like their
youth. I like their skating ability. We have to score more
goals and keep getting the goaltending we've got the last
New Hampshire coach Dick Umile concurred.
“They're a good team,” said
Umile. “I feel for Bruce. The team is well-coached,
they work hard and they are going to win some hockey games.
As I said to someone today, I hope they win a lot of games
All of that may not translate into a victory
Saturday against the Eagles, but there’s additional
hope on the horizon in the form of some future ECAC-Hockey
East matchups. The Huskies’ last two games before
the holiday break come against Vermont (also winless) and
Princeton, and both are at Matthews Arena.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Two talented Hockey East goal scorers missed on penalty
shot opportunities this weekend: Maine's
Colin Shields (Friday night vs. Gabe Winer) and New
Hampshire's Steve Saviano (Saturday night vs. Keni
• John Connolly, the Boston Herald’s fantastic
college hockey scribe, reports that Boston College
head coach Jerry York mistakenly referred to Stephen
Gionta as “Brian” after a recent game. Stephen,
a sophomore, doesn’t have the skills of his older
brother, but his improvement over the last year has been
impressive. He stands fifth on the Eagles in scoring with
3-4—7 through 12 games.
Many a mid-1980s Hockey East goal scorer could sleep better
knowing that former Providence Friar Chris
Terreri had retired. You’ll excuse them, then, if
they woke up in a cold sweat Saturday night, when Terreri
dressed as Ari Ahonen’s backup for the Albany River
Rats of the AHL. Terreri, the River Rats’ goatending
coach, had to step in when Boston College alum Scott Clemmensen
was recalled to New Jersey.
And speaking of sparkling goaltenders, Rensselaer’s
Nathan Marsters and Union’s Kris
Mayotte could be charged with grand larceny after stealing
games against WCHA foes over the weekend. Marsters made
a total of 64 saves as RPI swept St. Cloud State. Mayotte’s
43-save effort on Friday gave Union a tie against visiting
Clarkson rebounded from a 6-1 pasting by
Colgate with a 3-1 victory over North Country
rival St. Lawrence on Saturday. It also
marked the end of a nine-game home stand for the Golden
Knights. They finished the set with a 4-3-2 record. This
weekend, Clarkson travels to Brown and
That was Andrew Alberts, not gifted offensive defenseman
J.D. Forrest, manning the point on the Boston College
power play that finished 5-for-7 against Providence.
Alberts finished with three assists, and after scoring two
goals on Tuesday vs. Merrimack he was named Hockey East
Player of the Week. Forward Ryan Shannon mans the other
point for the Eagles, and also had three assists against
As you read earlier, Dartmouth’s offense
has come to life. Hugh Jessiman was a big reason for that,
as the Darien, Conn., native returned to his home state
and scored four goals and added an assist against Yale
in Friday’s 9-4 win. The sellout crowd at
Ingalls Rink included many Jessiman supporters, and undoubtedly
more than a few New York Rangers fans that took advantage
of seeing the Blueshirts prospect.
Also credit Bob Gaudet’s experiment with sparking
the Dartmouth offense. He moved Jessiman
from his regular spot alongside Lee Stempniak and Mike Oulette
to join up with Eric Przepiorka and Jarrett Sampson. Nathan
Szymanski moved on to Oulette’s group and that group
was responsible for four of the six goals in Saturday’s
UMass Lowell earned an impressive three
points in a home-and-home with Boston University,
but the River Hawks will lose their top defensive defenseman
for a month or more with a broken bone in his hand. “Losing
Matt Collar is a major loss, he’s been our best defenseman
all year in a variety of areas such as killing penalties,
regular shifts, and on power plays,” said head coach
Blaise MacDonald. “It’s part of the game, and
hopefully it will provide opportunities for other guys to
step up and get into the lineup.”
The River Hawks face a nationally ranked team for the fourth
straight game Tuesday night at New Hampshire.
Prior to the win at BU Friday night, UMass
Lowell had been 0-16-2 in its previous 18 games
against ranked teams.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of