Archive for November, 2013

The Takeaway: Dartmouth Gets 1st Win Defeating Harvard 2-1

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Hanover, NH - Harvard and Dartmouth met for the 198th time in their illustrious histories on Saturday night in front of 3114 at Thompson Arena, and the early play did not disappoint. The teams played an uptempo scoreless first period that saw few chances for either team. The Crimson scored the game’s first goal at ten minutes, 13 seconds of the second period as Jimmy Vesey backhanded a shot high above Charles Grant to give the Crimson a 1-0 lead. The lead was shortlived, however, as the Big Green answered three minutes and 20 seconds later, when Grant Opperman found a loose puck and put it behind Raphael Girard. The game went to the third period tied at one apiece.

Dartmouth came out in the third period firing everything and anything at Harvard goaltender, Raphael Girard. It outshot the Crimson 10-7 in the period and dominated the play. The Big Green would score the only goal of the third period, as Brandon McNally sent a puck cross-crease to Eric Neiley who was wide open and the latter found the back of the net to give Dartmouth the lead with 2:41 remaining. The Big Green stifiled the Crimson for the remainder of the period and it held on to the 2-1 win over Ivy League rival Harvard. The win was Dartmouth’s first of the season and improved its record to 1-8-0, and 1-6-0 in the ECAC. The loss dropped Harvard to 4-6-1, and 2-5-1 in the ECAC. (more…)

The Takeaway: Harvard Impresses in 6-3 Road Win Over UNH

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Durham, NH - After a scoreless first period that saw UNH dominate territorially but not in quality chances, the teams exploded in an entertaining second period. Harvard got on the board first at three minutes, 36 seconds of the period when Luke Esposito sent a weak backhander towards UNH goalie, Jeff Wyer. The shot trickled through the five-hole and Harvard took the lead. Harvard added to that lead nearly six minutes later, as Kyle Criscuolo cut to the net and tipped it past Wyer on the fly. UNH would quickly tie it up with two quick goals of its own. The first one Dan Correale deked Harvard defender, Desmond Bergin, and beat Harvard goalie Rapheal Girard. Grayson Downing scored to tie the game at two a minute and a half later. But Harvard came back with a goal by Alexander Kerfoot with 1:20 remaining in the period to give the Crimson the 3-2 second intermission lead.

Harvard would go on to outscore UNH 3-1 in the final stanza, on goals by Kyle Criscuolo, Tommy O’Regan and Patrick McNally. Kyle Criscuolo finished with two goals and an assist, while Patrick McNally finished with a goal and two assists. Harvard cruised to the 6-3 win against UNH. With the win Harvard improved to 4-5-1 overall and with the loss UNH fell to 7-7-1 on the season. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Hockey East, Nov. 26

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

One of my favorite parts of each new college hockey season is the emergence of players around the country. It happens for every team in every conference. Obviously, some outshine others, and the reasons for these breakouts are very different. The first two months of college hockey season have given us all a few new names to keep an eye on as the year progresses.

Northeastern’s Dalen Hedges is just one of those players who has quickly become a player people around Hockey East want to see. Kevin Roy and Mike Szmatula figured to score a lot of points for the Huskies this season. Third on the roster, though, isn’t Braden Pimm or Cody Ferriero. The 5-foot-7 Hedges has four goals and eight assists through the first 13 games of his young career. He hasn’t been a dominant player, but he’s the most prevalent of several young forwards giving Northeastern a newfound depth up front.

Similarly, the re-emergence of players once forgotten is just as interesting. For Northeastern, that distinction belongs to Clay Witt. Husky coach Jim Madigan will still likely give Bryan Mountain and Derick Roy a look every so often to keep them sharp and Witt fresh, but Witt is clearly the guy for Madigan. In nine starts this year, Witt has a .936 save percentage and 2.22 goals-against average. As conference play heats up, especially once the second half begins, it’ll be interesting to see how sustainable this start is for Witt.

(After the jump: Notre Dame’s lesson learned, Maine’s home performance and Mark Jankowski’s status as a top six forward.)

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ECAC Power Rankings Week 7

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

What an interesting weekend around the conference as every team near the top of last week’s rankings took home a loss. Only Cornell took home two wins on the wacky weekend. RPI and St Lawrence had head-shaking losses to Atlantic teams on the weekend, which should have dropped them in the rankings but Harvard, Brown and Dartmouth have done nothing to prove to me they should move up. Make sure to read this week’s edition of Three Things I Think, which Turns out to be Three Things To be Thankful For this week, in celebration of Thanksgiving.

One of the biggest changes this weekend is that I have begun to take into account strength of schedule within the conference schedule as one of the biggest criteria. This week there were some honest changes that occurred because of it, mainly Yale moving down despite losing to a tough Cornell team; I will explain why when we get there. I am a couple off days early in my posts this week mainly because I will have two midweek games, Harvard at UNH on Tuesday and Providence at QU on Wednesday. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten Week 7

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Finally, conference play is on the horizon. And it couldn’t have come any sooner.

The week of Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect and be thankful. That’s the case with this week’s Three Things, which looks at the odd scheduling quirk with half the conference idle and asks all six Big Ten teams one question.

Okay maybe this week only features two things. Or is it seven? I’m not sure. Either way read more after the jump. (more…)

Three Things To Be Thankful For ECAC Edition

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

I figured that I would change the format a bit this week in celebration of Thanksgiving because there are a lot of things that ECAC fans should be thankful for this holiday season.  Let us not forget though, while we are eating Turkey with family or enjoying some football with loved ones, that some teams (St. Lawrence and Princeton in the ECAC) are a long away from home or campus. Also many of the players that we cover and watch on a daily basis won’t be spending it with their families because they love playing the sport we all love watching.

This weekend there were many surprises in the conference, as Princeton snapped Quinnipiac’s 13 game unbeaten streak while both Rensselaer and St. Lawrence had head shaking losses to Atlantic Hockey teams. Cornell was the only team to sweep the weekend, defeating both Brown and Yale. It will be poised for a move up the ECAC Power Rankings this week. With Yale and Quinnipiac dropping games on the weekend there are no longer any undefeated teams within ECAC conference play, so now comes the fun I suppose. What are you thankful for? Here is a list of what I think ECAC fans should be thankful for. (more…)

ECAC Power Rankings Week 6

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Another weekend and for two teams it was moving weekend, as Union and Colgate both picked up huge sweeps. Union was CHN’s Team of the Week after sweeping Capital Region Rival, RPI, much to the surprise of many including myself. Colgate picked up the rare sweep in the North Country, of two highly ranked teams in last week’s Power Rankings, St. Lawrence and Clarkson.  Union and Colgate are likewise the biggest movers of the weekend. Some teams will play conference games this weekend while others will not, strange scheduling all around because of the holidays and some schools in the middle of exams, like Union. Without further ado here is the run down of where teams belong.

1. Quinnipiac (11-1-1, 5-0-1) – Last Week 1

Pretty sure this isn’t a question; if it is you have probably been living in a cave somewhere since last November. Read this week’s, Three Things I Think, as I elaborate on the Bobcats. Quinnipiac is on a 12 game unbeaten streak, picking up a sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth over the weekend. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten Week 6

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

A lot happened throughout the Big Ten with yet another weekend of non-conference play. Wisconsin traveled to Miami and Michigan went on the big stage to play Nebraska-Omaha in Omaha. Both B1G teams lost on national television Friday while winning the Saturday game, which has been par for the course so far this year. Other than Penn State beating Army to open Pegula Arena, every game initially intended for national broadcast has ended with the Big Ten team falling short.

Even 8-1-1 Minnesota’s tie and loss happened on BTN and NBCSN, respectively.

As conference play gets closer to starting, last weekend’s games – sandwiched around weeks where multiple Big Ten teams are off – does make me wonder what the national perception is so far for the conference. Has television hurt? Or are the non-televised games coming through to show a full picture where half the conference is among the nation’s top dozen teams?

(After the jump, Penn State’s measurement weekend, one area where Minnesota is struggling, and Wisconsin winning a game the Badgers needed.) (more…)

Three Things I Think: Hockey East, Nov. 18

Monday, November 18th, 2013

November is moving month in Hockey East. As teams wind down the portions of their schedules laden with non-conference games and play more league games, the league’s best teams typically reveal themselves now. It’s not uniform, and teams do occasionally  piece together successful years without great performances in November. Massachusetts-Lowell’s run from December through the Frozen Four last year is a good example.

For the most part, though, the next few weeks will offer an idea of the team’s truly contending for first-round byes in the Hockey East Tournament and at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament. Teams like Boston University and New Hampshire, which have struggled at times in the early part of the season, need to win games for the rest of the first half to make up for some of the issues they had in October and November.

North Dakota visits Agganis Arena next weekend. BU needs both of those games, as well as major success in the rest of the first half, if it’s going to make any noise in the league and the national picture. UNH, meanwhile, has won five straight games by a combined score of 24-4. Neither Massachusetts, Brown nor Northeastern, the teams UNH beat in that stretch, are particularly strong teams at this point. So these wins don’t make UNH a legitimate contender in the Hockey East race. They have improved the Wildcats’ mindset, though. Winning games cures all wounds. After their last five games, UNH is ready to make a push as the end of the first half approaches.

(After the jump: Hockey East’s contenders are already clear; UNH is what we thought they were; Ross Mauermann is off to a great start for PC.)

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Three Things I Think: ECAC Week 6

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Another weekend in the books and some big surprises from the ECAC, as Union pulled off the sweep of its capital region rival and the North Country went 1-3 against Cornell and Colgate. Not that any of those were very surprising because right now any team within the first 10 positions could end up at the top come the end of the season. Parity is reigning supreme throughout the conference with no team except for Quinnipiac proving to be dominant. But then again it appears that the Bobcats are at the same level that they were last season at this time. It is really scary to think about that I suppose if you’re another team in the ECAC. Here are the noteworthy thoughts of the week. (more…)