Archive for January, 2007

Tense Times in Alaska

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Adam has done a spectacular job in covering the hullabaloo  involving UAA and their Coach Dave Shiyak. It appears to be a tough situation for everyone involved. The big issue is that because Shiyak is a Canadian citizen and must apply for permanent residency,  “the university has to prove there are no American candidates willing, able and qualified for his job.”
So the question in my mind is this: Is making sure Anchorage doesn’t erupt into a riot of epic proportions a qualification? If so it looks like Shiyak is the only one that can do this. Otherwise, it looks like everyone is going to be in a difficult and unhappy position.

PUCK Rankings

Monday, January 29th, 2007

CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings
January 29th, 2007

Rank Team Record Last Week
1 New Hampshire 19-4-1 2
2 Minnesota 21-5-3 1
3 Notre Dame 21-5-2 4
4 St. Cloud State 17-5-4 3
5 Denver 19-9-2 5
6 Michigan State 16-8-1 7
7 Clarkson 16-6-4 10
8 Maine 16-7-2 6
9 Michigan 19-9-0 12
10 Boston University 13-5-7 8
11 North Dakota 15-11-2 15
12 Miami 18-9-3 9
13 Vermont 14-8-4 11
14 Boston College 14-9-1 14
15 Colorado College 14-10-2 13
16 Niagara 17-8-3 16

Bumped: None

The Carl Spackler Special

Monday, January 29th, 2007

What an incredible Cinderella story, this unknown comes outta no where to lead the pack, at Augusta. He’s on his final hole, he’s about 455 yards away – he’s gonna hit about a two-iron I think. Oh he got all of that one! The crowd is standing on its feet here, the normally reserved Augusta crowd – going wild – for this young Cinderella, he’s come outta no where, he’s got about 350 yards left, he’s gonna hit about a five-iron, don’t you think? He’s got a beautiful backswing – that’s – Oh he got all of that one! He’s gotta be pleased with that, the crowd is just on its feet here, uh – He’s the Cinderella boy, uh – tears in his eyes I guess as he lines up this last shot, he’s got about 195 yards left, he’s got about a – its looks like he’s got about an eight-iron. This crowd has gone deathly silent, the Cinderella story, outta no where, a former greenskeeper now – about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac – It’s in the Hole!

I can’t explain it.

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Ask anyone to explain to you what’s going on in the NCAA this weekend, and they’ll probably say “they can’t explain it.” Are these wins upsets? Is this parity? Bad games? A bad season? Who the heck knows.

Tonight we saw Minnesota fall to a North Dakota team that is desperately hanging on to their NCAA tournament hopes. How bizarre is it that I reference a Sioux team and post-season desperation in the same sentence? A quick glance at the PWR by the way, and it looks like North Dakota was suddenly shot.. up to #7 in the rankings. Insane!

On top of that you’ve got Minnesota who was on a ridiculous unbeaten streak, suddenly 3-3-0 in their last six, and each of those victories have been one goal squeakers against Minnesota State, Wisconsin and Denver… by the way Denver is the only one who would make the NCAA field right now.

We also saw Hockey East get flipped around again this evening. The historical, momentous Vermont Catamounts skated to a 1-1 tie with Merrimack. That was the least surprising twist of the evening. A streaking BU team was halted in its tracks by BC giving up five goals to the Eagles at Agganis. But if we really want to talk about upsets, Northeastern came out of the booth and just wailed on Maine dropping a six spot on them to win 6-1 AT Alfond.

In actuality, things in the rest of college hockey went down pretty much as expected, but weekend after weekend we continue to see insane twists. Something in my gut tells me that this year’s NCAA Tournament is going to be one of the greatest of all time…. In the meantime, lets keep an eye on the Denver / St. Cloud foray going on right now. It wouldn’t surprise me if both teams busted out double-digit scoring this evening.. that’s the way things work this year.

I will NOT drink the Kool-Aid.

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

I’m sorry to rain on everyone’s parade, but I refuse to drink the Kool-Aid that the rest of the college hockey media is serving up after Vermont’s sweep of Boston College this weekend.

College Hockey News called it “signature.” which is the description I disagree with the least. USCHO called defined it using the words “upset,” “momentous,” and “historical.” Inside College Hockey wrote something on a cocktail napkin. Regardless, the hooplah in my mind is fairly ridiculous.

Vermont took down a traditional Hockey East power yes. But the 12-9-1 Boston College Eagles, are not the same Eagles from last year. Their play has been erratic. Big wins and big losses.

Upset?! This upset is like an #9 seed beating a #8 seed this year.
Momentous?! You mean like winning 27 games in a season?

This is a team that lost to Michigan Tech, at home, twice, and has been swept by UNH with a ten goal differential in three games.  Vermont is a team trying to establish itself among the Big Four of Hockey East, but the reality is until the Cats win the league title, they will still be playing second fiddle.

PUCK Rankings

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings
January 22nd, 2007

Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Minnesota 21-3-3 1
2 New Hampshire 18-4-1 2
3 St. Cloud State 16-4-4 4
4 Notre Dame 20-5-1 3
5 Denver 18-8-2 6
6 Maine 15-6-2 5
7 Michigan State 16-8-1 9
8 Boston University 12-4-6 10
9 Miami 18-8-2 11
10 Clarkson 14-6-3 7
11 Vermont 14-8-2 14
12 Michigan 17-9-0 13
13 Colorado College 14-9-1 12
14 Boston College 12-8-1 8
15 North Dakota 13-11-2 16
16 Niagara 15-8-3 NR

Bumped: Cornell

My bad.

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Sorry Bemidji and Niagara. My bad. After all the hype and suggesting at-large berth for all, Bemidji was swept by Michigan Tech, and Niagara was swept by Denver. Both teams are on thin ice now with only a few non-conference games left. They’ll both need to consider running the tables to have any hope of getting in outside of the being the CHA champ, as they’ll both play fairly weak schedules after this weekend. Expect both the Quinnipiac/Niagara series and the Bemidji/North Dakota to take on a playoff like feel as all of these teams are currently on the PWR bubble.

Same goes for Minnesota and St. Cloud. who both had unbeaten streaks snapped. Wisconsin continued to claw their way back by defeating the Gophers 2-1, but fell the following night 1-0. St. Cloud fell to Minnesota State 6-4, and then in a bizarre twist, skating to a 0-0 tie.

More RIT please! After Sacred Heart took out Cornell, we all thought they were the team to run away with Atlantic Hockey. Wrong. The sophomore Tigers come out and sweep Sacred Heart 4-0, 6-3 to take sole possession of the conference WITH game in hand. Of their remaining twelve games only two are against teams above .500. The Atlantic is theirs to take, and if it happens, expect the whole “ineligible for the NCAA tournament” threads to appear on hockey forums across the country.

Quinnipiac is sitting pretty on stop of the Ecac but Clarkson and St. Lawrence are both lurking with FIVE games in hand. Clarkson missed a prime opportunity to pick up some ground as Cornell and Colgate both took a point off of them, while St. Lawrence pulled a sweep. The Saints are winning when it counts.

The Battle for Ohio continues with Miami and Ohio State meeting in a big series as Ohio State continues to win and make up ground in the CCHA. Miami looks to get back to the consistent winning play they had before the holiday break and not let Notre Dame put any more space between them.

Congrats to Boston University for being the CHN Team of the Week. They had a huge weekend in a sweep over Maine. John Curry stopped 70 shots on the weekend, coming up big for BU.

We don’t mention Women’s Hockey much around here even though we should. Mercyhurst and Wisconsin have been simply dominant. And if you’re into the some traditional rivalries, the Clarkson and RPI programs will face each other, with RPI making significant strides in their second season. In addition, very competitive programs at Boston college and Boston University will be facing each other in yet another Commonwealth Ave. battle. If you haven’t had a chance to catch the Women’s game, this weekend might be a good time to take a look.

PUCK Rankings

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings
January 16th, 2006

Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Minnesota 20-2-3 1
2 New Hampshire 17-3-1 2
3 Notre Dame 19-4-1 5
4 St. Cloud State 14-4-4 4
5 Maine 14-5-2 3
6 Denver 17-7-2 8
7 Clarkson 13-5-3 7
8 Boston College 12-6-1 11
9 Michigan State 14-8-1 10
10 Boston University 10-4-6 12
11 Miami 17-8-1 6
12 Colorado College 14-9-1 9
13 Michigan 15-9-5 12
14 Vermont 12-8-2 16
15 Cornell 9-6-2 15
16 North Dakota 11-11-2 NR

Bumped: Bemidji State

I’m just saying…

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

How about Northeastern and Harvard? A win over BC and a tie with BU for Northeastern, the CHN Team of the Week. Meanwhile the Crimson quietly put together a 4-1-0 record in their last five heading into finals. Is the Boston University Invitational Tournament suddenly wide open in February?

Bemidji and Niagara continue to win. Bemidji now in 8th, Niagara in 16th. Don’t look now, but Sacred Heart with a gaudy 13-4-4 record is a TUC and slowly climbing as well.

Bad luck for my Golden Knights last weekend. In an exhibition an errant high-stick lead to a DQ for Nick Dodge who was named the CSTV/Hockey Commissioners Association “Player of the Month” for December. Clarkson was playing McGill in an exhibition when Dodge’s stick caught the face of a player. McGill players are not required to wear cages. Dodge is out against Colgate.

I asked Brett is Minnesota could be the OSU of college hockey today. He asked me: “Isn’t OSU the OSU of college hockey?” Touche. Speaking of OSU, they’re 4-0-1 in their last five with two more against Miami coming up. Left for dead after a brutal stretch where they went 1-6-2 against the likes of LSSU and Minnesota, they’ve picked up the pace.

Are the Gophers beatable? 22 in a row unbeaten is what we fans in the East like to call “impressive.”

Speaking of hockey in the East. How can you not be interested in Syracuse joining college hockey. Then we can have more forum threads across the country about a potential Big Ten / Big East rivalry. Louisville Hockey Rules!

Congrats to Robert Morris for beating a strong Notre Dame team. A huge win for a young program. A quick glance as the schedule shows victories over Niagara, Bemidji and Notre Dame, all potential NCAA tournament teams. Dare I say it, with a little more consistency you could be looking at a tournament team sooner rather than later.

How about Denver and Colorado College? After what appear to be a slow start, they’re fighting at the top of the WCHA with Minnesota and St. Cloud. The Gophers better not get too comfortable, SCSU is only six points behind with plenty of season left. If you told me Wisconsin and North Dakota would be tied for 5th with losing records at this point in the season I would’ve certainly waved you away.


Monday, January 8th, 2007

CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings
January 8th, 2006

Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Minnesota 19-1-3 1
2 New Hampshire 16-3-1 2
3 Maine 14-3-2 4
4 St. Cloud State 14-3-3 5
5 Notre Dame 17-4-1 3
6 Miami 16-7-1 6
7 Clarkson 13-5-1 13
8 Denver 15-7-2 8
9 Colorado College 13-8-1 9
10 Michigan State 12-8-1 15
11 Boston College 10-6-1 7
12 Michigan 13-8-0 11
13 Boston University 8-4-6 12
14 Bemidji State University 12-5-3 NR
15 Cornell 9-5-1 15
16 Vermont 11-8-1 10

Bumped: University of Massachusettes – Amherst