says there are areas the team could stand to improve, but
it’s not what you might think. The 12-year National
Hockey League veteran says his charges need to get better
at playing with poise in different situations.
been in a one-goal game, we’ve been in a game where
we’ve had a big lead,” said Poulin. “Just
learning to handle situations as this team...this is a different
team than we had last year. To change any number of components
makes it a different team, and they’ve got to grow
together as a team and be able to handle each situation
while the campus is football mad for the time being, Poulin
doesn’t mind. In fact, he says the success of the
Fighting Irish gridders has provided a spark for the close-knit
Notre Dame community.
is a small campus,“ explains Poulin, “and because
it’s a residence campus, in that 84 percent of the
kids live on campus, you’re right there. (Senior forward)
Jake Wiegand lived with (starting strong safety) Gerome
Sapp for three years, and is real good buddies with (starting
noseguard) Cedric Hilliard. A bunch of the guys are buddies
with these guys. That energy is contagious.”
PREISS IS RIGHT
– and no looking – who’s
the leading goal scorer in the WCHA? Troy Riddle? Nah. Ryan
Malone? Nope. Peter Sejna? You’re getting warmer...
actually Colorado College defenseman Tom Preissing. The
senior captain from Rosemount, Minn., has six goals in four
games, one better than North Dakota’s Zach Parise
and teammate Sejna. Three of those tallies came in the Tigers’
shutout wins against Maine and Iona at the Nye Frontier
Classic in Anchorage last weekend.
bad for a guy who entered the year with a total of 16 goals.
In fact, he’s already equaled his career high for
goals in a season - Preissing scored a half-dozen markers
as a sophomore and again as a junior.
still real early in the season, but I would’ve been
the last person I thought would’ve been leading the
league in goals,” said Preissing, who was named WCHA
Defensive Player of the Week Monday. “I’ve been
the benefactor of some very good passing. There’s
no real secret formula. I’ve been shooting the puck
and it’s been going in for me.”
leads a veteran defensive corps that is the Tigers’
strength this season. Coach Scott Owens welcomed back five
regulars from last season. The lone rookie is highly-touted
freshman Mark Stuart. CC trotted out six newcomers at forward
in both games of the Anchorage tournament.
Against Mass.-Lowell, we struggled defensively,” said
Preissing of CC’s split with the RiverHawks in Colorado
Springs to open the season. “That was disappointing.
Last week in practice, before we went to Anchorage, we stressed
a lot of defense. As a team we take a lot of pride in defense
– not just the defensemen, but the forwards
a team effort in the 3-0 win against Maine Friday, as the
Tigers allowed the Black Bears to fire just 21 shots at
goaltender Curtis McElhinney. Iona mustered a mere 13 shots
in a 5-0 loss to CC the following night as senior netminder
Gian Baldrica earned his first career win.
College, picked to finish fourth in this year’s WCHA
coaches preseason poll, has a good shot to be atop the conference
at the holiday break. The team’s next three league
series are at Minnesota-Duluth, then back-to-back home sets
against Michigan Tech and Alaska Anchorage. Non-conference
games against Air Force and Mercyhurst precede a home-and-home
series against Denver. The Tigers close out the first half
of the season with a pair of games at MSU-Mankato and a
home series against Western Michigan.
were picked to win the WCHA (last season) and promptly lost
our first five league games of the year,” Preissing
said. “It’s a nice change of pace to be saying
‘Hey, we can beat these guys’ instead of everyone
gunning for us.”
two hours after Michigan State suffered its worst loss in
years – a 10-4 defeat at Northern Michigan
– the Spartan coaching staff decided not
to let the team dwell on the loss overnight. Instead, they
summoned the players to a meeting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday,
the earliest the team could convene to review game tape
per NCAA rules.
have a joke about having a family belt for ping pong
and a family belt for golf. I remember when the boys
were 15 and 16 and they started beating their old
man in ping pong and golf. I would chase them around
(the ping pong table) after they beat me...I would
try to catch them and wrestle with them. But now I
can’t catch them either. – Wisconsin
coach Mike Eaves, on his sons, who play for Boston
College. The Badgers meet the Eagles at Conte Forum
did Bob Vila build this place?” –
Michigan Tech captain Brett Englehardt, walking into
St. Lawrence’s Appleton Arena, which is constructed
entirely of wood, for the first time.
shorthanded and you end up two-on-one on a PK? That's
not going to happen every day." –
Nebraska-Omaha forward David Brisson, who assisted
on Scotty Turner’s game-winning shorthanded goal
with 31 seconds left in regulation in Friday’s
3-2 win vs. Miami.
on the results of the session, coach Rick Comley may want
to consider meeting in the wee hours following every game.
MSU rebounded its Friday night drubbing, salvaging a series
split with a 3-1 victory Saturday.
first we didn’t really know what to expect,”
said sophomore forward Jim Slater of the meeting. “Coach
was really easygoing and wanted to know what we thought
of the game and if we had any say about what to do (Saturday).
He took everyone’s comments and figured something
Spartans defensive effort was much better Saturday, allowing
just 18 shots on goal after giving up 39 the previous night.
time you have a game like that, the best thing you can do
is go over it and talk about exactly what you can do,”
senior defenseman John-Michael Liles explained. “You
can’t just let it sit there and question what went
wrong. You’ve got to look for things on tape you can
do differently. It definitely helped. It definitely made
some people aware of the things that needed to be corrected.”
the Spartans still have some issues to address –
they’ve been outscored 15-4 in two Friday games and
only two of their nine goals have been scored by forwards.
But their next seven games are against Lake Superior State,
Niagara, Ohio State and Bowling Green. Plus, Liles says
the team is close to turning the corner.
making the jump to getting the systems down,” he said.
“Doing it without thinking about it. The only thing
that’s going to make it better is by playing more
games. Once we get that down, we’re going to be pretty
TAKE IT OUTSIDE...AGAIN?
week, Michigan announced it would replace the natural turf
in Michigan Stadium with an artificial surface in time for
the 2003 football season. The news was good for Wolverine
gridders - the grass has been a continual problem since
it was installed in 1991. It might also open the door for
Cold War II between Michigan and Michigan State at the Big
Athletic Director Bill Martin said in an interview with
the Detroit Free Press that an artificial field would allow
U-M to hold concerts, hockey games and other events in Michigan
Stadium," said Wolverine hockey sports information
director Paul Thomas. "That signifies a possibility
year's Cold War game attracted a world-record hockey crowd
of 74,554 to Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. Michigan Stadium
was just so much fun, an unbelievable atmosphere, when we
had it here," said MSU sophomore defenseman Duncan
Keith. "If we could play in a game with 110,000 fans,
it would be just that much more fun."
NHL is currently evaluating a proposal that would allow
the Edmonton Oilers host the Calgary Flames at 60,000-seat
Commonwealth Stadium. During last year's Cold War, the Detroit
Red Wings were rumored to be interested in playing a game
in a venue such as Comerica Park, the home of baseball's
Tigers, or the Lions' new facility, Ford Field.
MOM! I'M ON TV!
Central Collegiate Hockey Association became the first league
to sign a programming deal with the National College Sports
Network, giving the outlet the rights to cover CCHA regular-season
games and playoff contests. The agreement was announced
hockey is one of the best-kept secrets in sports and it’s
exciting to see NCSN step up to provide added visibility
and profile for more CCHA teams,” said Tom Anastos,
the league‘s commissioner. “This agreement...will
broaden the reach of college hockey.”
CCHA currently has a broadcast agreement with Fox Sports
was co-founded by the team that created Classic Sports Network,
which was purchased by ESPN and is now known as ESPN Classic.
NCSN is tentatively scheduled to launch early next year.
The network has obtained broadcast rights to 21 other conferences
in addition to the CCHA.
coach Mike Eaves was named the 2002 Developmental Coach
of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee last
who spent two seasons at the coach of the U.S. National
Under-18 team, led the group to the IIHF World Championship
last spring, marking the first time an American team captured
a gold medal in an international competition other than
the Olympics since 1933.
is a tough business and there are very few times when a
coach is rewarded,” said Eaves. “This confirms
that you‘re doing the right things as a coach.”
FROM THE HEADLINES
Potulny may miss season –
Minnesota forward Grant Potulny, who was originally supposed
to miss up to six weeks after breaking his left leg against
Ohio State Oct. 12, now could be out up to four months after
ligament damage was discovered. A fifth-round pick of the
Ottawa Senators in the 2000 NHL Draft, there was speculation
Potulny would redshirt this season, but coach Don Lucia
says he‘ll play if he can come back by January. The
issue may be revisited depending on the progress of Potulny’s
rehabilitation or if a suitable replacement emerges.
The Gophers are talented enough to replace his scoring.
Whether they can replace Potulny’s grit, effort and
determination is another story.
Great Weekend Getaways
Ferris State at Notre Dame
We've mentioned Notre Dame's quick start
above, and you can read about Ferris State's Chris
Kunitz on the right. Should one team manage a sweep
this weekend, they'd be well on their way to a solid
first half. While you're there: In order to get
the full Notre Dame experience, you must visit four
places. Three – the Grotto, the Golden Dome
and Touchdown Jesus – are on campus. The fourth
is Corby's, a bar in downtown South Bend. Scenes from
the movie "Rudy" were filmed there.
2. Clarkson at Ohio State –
The Golden Knights are playing their first games of
the season. The Buckeyes are playing their first home
games of the season. Because of Saturday's OSU-Penn
State football game, it's a Friday-Sunday series.
Think Clarkson will spend the off day at the Horseshoe.
3. Alaska Fairbanks at Michigan –
The Nanooks were the surprise team of the CCHA last
season, but are off to a slow start this season. Doesn't
matter. They've earned splits in each of their last
two trips to Yost.
break for Boeser – Wisconsin defenseman
Dan Boeser is out indefinitely after breaking a bone in
his hand Friday vs. Alabama-Huntsville. The junior from
Savage, Minn., was diagnosed with non-Hodgins lymphoma during
the summer. Boeser underwent a series of 20 radiation treatments
in August and September to get rid of the cancer, and was
in the lineup for the Badgers’ season opener vs. Rensselaer
Look at us, Sports Illustrated
– Ferris State forward Chris Kunitz is the
latest recipient of the INCH Measures Up karma. The Bulldog
senior was named CCHA Offensive Player of the Week after
scoring two goals and four assists in a 10-1 win against
Bowling Green Friday, then adding a pair of goals Saturday
as FSU earned a sweep of the Falcons. The first player we
featured in our Q&A section, Ben Eaves of Boston College,
has a goal and six assists in the Eagles’ first three
Wayne’s world – Defending
College Hockey America champion Wayne State opens its 2002-03
campaign this weekend as they host St. Lawrence for a two-game
series. The Warriors currently own the nation’s longest
unbeaten streak at 12 games.
CHA-cha-cha – CHA schools
have a combined 5-9-2 record so far this season. Included
in those five wins, however, are three victories against
Canisius (two by Air Force, one by Niagara) and a Niagara
triumph over Air Force in the Lefty McFadden Classic in
“C” you real soon –
Ohio State’s next three opponents, all from the ECAC
and all visiting Columbus - Clarkson (a Friday-Sunday series
this weekend), Cornell (Nov. 1) and Colgate (Nov. 3). Hey,
John Markell, why didn’t you schedule Canisius, Connecticut
and Colorado College?
Bus(t) a move – Last week,
this notebook featured Denver and the Pioneers’ bus
trip from the Mile High City to Omaha for the Maverick Stampede.
Michigan Tech traveled 17 hours one way from Houghton to
Canton, N.Y., for a two-game series against St. Lawrence.
The Huskies left around 6 p.m. Wednesday evening and rolled
into the Appleton Arena parking lot around 11:20 a.m. Thursday
– just in time for the team’s practice,
scheduled to begin 10 minutes later.
You be the judge – Forward
Kevin Porter, a member of the USNTDP Under-17 team, verbally
committed to Michigan Oct. 11. Two days later, Mike Porter,
a senior defenseman at Michigan State and Kevin’s
older brother, is cut from the team by Comley. Coincidence?
Trophy netminder – A Division
III note from INCH correspondent Joe Gladziszewski. Wisconsin-River
Falls – the school where George Gwozdecky
of Denver and ex-Alaska Anchorage bench boss Dean Talafous
got their head coachings starts – boasts
a goaltender named Jacque Vezina. No pressure there, eh?
At least his parents didn’t name him Georges.
gems from Friday’s 10-4 Michigan State loss to Northern