Archive for December, 2011

Hockey East Power Rankings: 12/15/11

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

These will be the last power rankings before the new year. Only two Hockey East teams play this weekend, as Merrimack hosts Union and Vermont hosts St. Lawrence. Then everyone’s on break until the holiday tournaments. The last week was an exciting one around the conference — and not just on the ice — but there wound up being no movement from last week’s power rankings.

1. Boston College (12-6-0, 9-4-0 HE) — Last week: 1

BC beat Providence 4-1 last Tuesday before closing out the first semester with a 3-2 loss at Lowell on Friday. The Eagles enter the break in a bit of a funk — at least by their standards — having gone 4-5-0 in their last nine games. They still lead the conference in offense and rank second in defense, though. Chris Kreider has at least a point in all but two games this season, and he’s now tied for the league lead with 23 points.

2. Merrimack (10-2-2, 7-2-1 HE) — Last week: 2

The Warriors followed up their first two losses of the season with a 5-2 win over Vermont last Wednesday and a 1-1 tie at Colgate on Saturday. They continue to lead Hockey East in defense, but they rank seventh in the league in offense and have scored just one goal in three of their last four games. After giving up six goals two Saturdays ago against Providence, Joe Cannata rebounded by stopping 66 of 69 shots in the two games last week. (more…)

ECAC Identity

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

The college hockey world seems to be taking a break , as college student’s around the country ( myself included) sit around in libraries around the country cramming for finals. With the holidays coming up I have decided to look back on the first half of the season.

So far this year there has been so many wild results amongst the teams of the ECAC. It is almost as like there is no cohesive identity for the league this year with all of the high’s and low’s that have occurred.

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Atlantic Hockey Wrap

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Air Force – The Falcons didn’t play this weekend. They return to the ice on Dec. 30 when they travel to Colorado College.

AIC – The Yellow Jackets were swept at RIT. Nielsson Arcibal had a goal and two assists while Adam Pleskach and Nathan Sliwinksi had a goal and assist each.

Army – The Black Knights fell to Holy Cross in their only game of the weekend.  Mac Lalor’s third goal of the season accounted for the Black Knights only tally. (more…)

Pre-season expectations vs. Reality

Monday, December 12th, 2011

There are no more CCHA league games until 2012, so as we head into the holiday break, here’s a look at the CCHA standings — compared to the projected standings as predicted in the pre-season by the media.

First, the 2011-12 pre-season media poll:

2011-12 Preseason Media Poll
1. Notre Dame (44) 819
2. Miami (16) 772
3. Michigan (12) 757
4. Western Michigan 604
5. Alaska 449
6. Michigan State 439
7. Ferris State 425
7. Northern Michigan (Tie) 425
9. Ohio State 386
10. Lake Superior 298
11. Bowling Green 170

… Compared to the current CCHA standings: (more…)

Wrapping up a crazy weekend

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Michigan Tech winning in Minneapolis? Alaska-Anchorage winning in Colorado Springs? Yeah, this was a crazy weekend.

Of course Minnesota and CC showed why they’re perennial contenders — finishing games in the third period Saturday night to salvage splits.

There is plenty to love if you’re a Michigan Tech fan though. My Monday feature is on the Huskies and how they’re close — but there’s still some things to learn.

Like handling success with aplomb. Daniel Sova tied the game tonight and shushed the Mariucci crowd. That didn’t sit well with a couple of Gopher players I chatted with after the game. They showed it too, blowing the doors off Tech with four goals in the next 17 minutes. But they’ll learn — and Pearson is a heck of a coach.

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The Takeaway: Northeastern tops Mass.-Lowell in the battle of Hockey East’s hottest

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Boston – The Northeastern Huskies picked up their sixth straight win Saturday night, ending the hot streak of Mass. –Lowell, a team that was on a five game winning streak of their own. The 3-2 loss for the River Hawks brought them to 7-4-0 in Hockey East, 10-5-0 overall, where the Huskies have just hit .500 for the first time this season with a 7-7-2 overall record and 4-7-3 in the conference.

What I saw

Mass. –Lowell is every bit the team their standings and buzz suggest they are. Their forwards are quick to the puck and aggressive, and the talent is clearly there. The number of shots this team takes is outstanding, and it’s certainly one of the reasons they’re the nation’s tenth best offensive power right now. The River Hawks are a young team right now, but early success only means good things for them moving forward as tonight’s goals came from freshman Scott Wilson and sophomore Derek Arnold.

The goaltending in this matchup, on both sides of the ice, was fantastic. Northeastern’s Chris Rawlings is finally proving himself to be a consistent, confident force on this team. He made 38 saves tonight and his stats during the Husky six game win streak are 1.28 GAA and a .951 save percentage. The River Hawks’ Doug Carr showed why he’s the sixth best goaltender in the country, even with this loss. His GAA on the season is 1.82 with a .934 save percentage. Both Carr and Rawlings were impressive tonight when it came to knowing when to hang back and when to come out of the crease.

Northeastern still isn’t taking enough chances and shots. While they are on a hot streak, they still have work to do. The Huskies are still being outshot by their opponents and shots tonight were 40-32 in favor of the River Hawks. Some nights, like tonight, they can get away with it, but if they’re looking for long-term success capitalizing on opportunities is something the team needs to improve upon as a whole.

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The Takeaway: Lowell Beats BC to Grab Fifth Straight Win

Friday, December 9th, 2011

LOWELL, Mass. – Massachusetts-Lowell picked up its fifth straight win and eighth in its last nine games, beating Boston College 3-2 on Friday night. The River Hawks (10-4-0, 7-3-0 HE) opened the scoring 4:57 into the game on a great individual effort by David Vallorani. The senior winger took a pass from Chad Ruhwedel and split two BC defenders before roofing a shot over Brian Billett’s (24 saves) glove. Derek Arnold upped the lead to two with a power-play goal seven minutes later. The Eagles (12-6-0, 9-4-0 HE) cut the lead in half early in the second with a power-play goal from Barry Almeida, but Lowell regained the two-goal lead midway through the third when Joseph Pendenza beat Billett on a breakaway.

What I saw

-Doug Carr continued his outstanding season in the Lowell net. The sophomore netminder stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced and is now 9-1-0 on the season with a league-leading .934 save percentage and 1.80 goals against average. He has yet to allow more than three goals in a game this year, and has given up just seven total in his last five games. Obviously a lot of credit goes to the strong defense in front of him, but he’s been great no matter how much credit you give the rest of the team. He moves well, stays square to shots and doesn’t give up big rebounds. As he put it after the game, Carr is at his best when everything looks easy.

– Lowell’s Terrence Wallin was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct 3:48 into the game for contact to the head after landing a hard hit on Bill Arnold. Not only did the River Hawks kill the penalty, but Derek Arnold drew a hooking call on Paul Carey less than a minute into the power play, and Vallorani wound up scoring during the ensuing 4-on-4. (more…)

WCHA Power Rankings: Abbreviated Week 9 Edition

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Hi folks, I wanted to hop on and give my power rankings for the week… There is some sort of illness traveling around the Myers household this weekend however (Ebola, it seems like), so this won’t be long.

I will blog again at some point this weekend and I am very excited to take in my first live Michigan Tech game this season (something I thought I’d never say).

Here we go:

1 — Minnesota Duluth (Last week: 1)

They kept winning. They stay here.

2 — Minnesota (Last week: 2)

Read above.

3 — Colorado College (Last week: 4)

They won and didn’t lose, so they moved up.

4 — Denver (Last week: 5)

They lost, but they still moved up. You’ll see why below.

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The Takeaway: BU Buries Opportunities, Defeats UNH 2-1

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Durham, N.H.- On a night that New Hampshire started a local product, Casey Desmith, and scored first BU spoiled the night by being opportunistic and beating New Hampshire 2-1. Kieran Millan, who has been inconsistent on the season, stole the show making impressive save after impressive save.

Wade Megan tied the game early in the second for the Terriers and three minutes later Corey Trivino scored the eventual game winner off a funky carom off the board as the two goals proved to be enough to defeat New Hampshire.

What I saw

-Boston University stifled UNH’s offense and kept them to low percentage shots, especially in the second period. In that second period, BU buried its two opportunities as Wade Megan took advantage of a two on one powerplay rush to bury it behind UNH goaltender, Casey Desmith. Nearly three minutes later Sahir Gill took a strange bounce off the back boards and passed to a wide open Corey Trivino who put it into the net giving the Terriers a 2-1 advantage, in which case they would never look back.

-Freshman Casey Desmith played a poised and controlled game, in his first collegiate start. He put his team in a position to win and stopped everything he had a chance too. The defense in front of him did the things that they haven’t in front of Matt Di Girolamo and it showed in the performance by the young local product, Desmith. (more…)

The Week Ahead Hockey East

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

After a weekend filled with sweeps and upsets, Hockey East will embark on a relatively light weekend in terms of games. This weekend sends all but Merrimack and Vermont on the holiday break, where many teams have upwards of 20 days off to reflect on the half that was. This is also a great time to reflect on where your team is and where the league is. With only five games on the docket Thursday-Saturday, positioning and going off on a positive note will be the goal of all Hockey East teams.

I hate to sound like a broken record in the past two weeks, but more kudos has to go out to Northeastern. Not one college hockey fan in the country, including myself, would have ever predicted that the Huskies would go out to South Bend and take two against Notre Dame, but they did. In the past three games Northeastern has defeated Notre Dame twice and Michigan, all on the road. Northeastern will return to Hockey East conference action after a successful two weeks against CCHA foes. (more…)