Archive for November, 2013

The Takeaway: UNH Completes Weekend Sweep of NU

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Durham, NH - The Huskies and the Wildcats played their second in as many nights, as UNH took home a 3-0 victory down at Matthews Arena on Friday night. On this night, the teams played a very even first half of the game, leaving the first period scoreless and staying that way for the first 30 minutes of the game. The second half of the second period, however, was a much different animal. UNH scored two quick ones in 40 seconds to take a 2-0 lead  in the second period, as Nick Sorkin scored on the power-play and Casey Thrush would answer moments later.

UNH  added a pair of power-play goals in the third period, while its counterpart added a lone goal. New Hampshire was 3-4 on the power-play and Northeastern was 1-7. UNH completed the weekend sweep of the huskies with the 4-1 win. The win was UNH’s fifth consecutive and it improved its record to 6-5-1 overall, 4-2-0 in Hockey East. The loss dropped the Huskies record to 6-5-0, 1-4-0 in the conference. (more…)

The Takeaway: North Dakota Downs Minnesota Duluth 4-2

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

GRAND FORKS, ND – North Dakota finally looked to have found the traction they’ve been looking for since their 4-game skid.  Rocco Grimaldi lit the lamp first off of a power play goal, decreasing UMD’s former #1 ranked penalty kill, followed by a weird goal (see below) from Michael Parks.  UMD’s Alex Iafallo and Adam Krause responded 20 seconds apart, Krause scoring on the power play, to tie the game at twos.

Jordan Schmaltz buried the game winner off a beautiful wrister from the point, which ended up counting as the game winner, but Stephane Pattyn would record an empty-net goal before time expired, giving North Dakota the 4-2 victory.  North Dakota is now 4-4-1 overall and 3-4-0 in the NCHC, while Minnesota Duluth stands at 4-4-1 overall and 1-2-0 in NCHC action.

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The Takeaway: Maine Romps BU 7-0

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Orono, ME-  The crowd has returned to the Alfond and on this night the electric, sold-out crowd was treated to quite a show by its hometown team. Maine opend the scoring at 10 minutes, one second of the first period as Devin Shore slid a puck past Sean Maguire on a two on one to give the Black Bears the early lead. With six seconds remaining in the first, Maine made it 2-0 on a 5 on 3 power-play, as Connor Leen found the back of the net. Maine took the 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

Maine would take over play mid-way into the second period, as Ben Hutton would score a 5 on 3 shorthanded goal that signified the beginning of the end for BU. Maine would add two more in the second period to give them the commanding 5-0 second intermission lead. Maine added two more in the third period and the Black Bears would pick up the 7-0 win over the Terriers. The margin of defeat was the worst for BU since 1995. Maine improves to 5-4-1, 2-2-1 in Hockey East while BU falls to 4-6-0, 2-3-0.

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ECAC Power Rankings: Week 5

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The second week of conference action is in the books and Quinnipiac continues to lead the conference, I mean at this point it seems expected after last year’s domination in the conference. But It has become clear, though, that no one team will run away with the conference like the Bobcats did last season. Top to bottom the conference is stacked with solid, balanced teams that do good things on both ends of the ice.

It has been a struggle for both Dartmouth and Princeton, as both of those teams are 0-4-0 in the ECAC. For Dartmouth, it has begun to score goals but the defensive side has been its biggest issue and for Princeton it has been ok on the defensive side but it has struggled to score goals. Both of those teams will get better. Read this week’s Three Things I think, as I had an interview with Bob Gaudet after Saturday night’s 8-5 loss to St. Lawrence. The ECAC was home to CHN’s Team of the Week, Clarkson, this week as well. There are minimal changes in this week’s Power Rankings, as things stayed relatively kosher. Without further ado here are my thoughts on who the top teams in the ECAC are. (more…)

The Takeaway: Brown Struggles in 4-2 Road Loss to UNH

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Durham, NH - It was a rare Tuesday night game for both UNH and Brown, in the 37th meeting between the schools. Brown struck first eight minutes, 10 seconds into the first as Mark Naclerio sent a puck to a wide open Massimo Lamacchia in the slot and the latter was true to give Brown the early 1-0 lead. UNH, though, would answer three minutes later when Nick Sorkin found a rebound in front of Brown goaltender, Marco De Filippo. UNH would find the back of the net, again, two minutes later, as Dalton Speelman crossed a pass right in front of the net to Grayson Downing, giving UNH the 2-1 first intermission lead.

New Hampshire would score the only goal of the second period, late in the period. Jeff Silengo would find a puck in the slot and bury it to give the Wildcats a 3-1 second intermission lead. UNH and Brown would trade goals in the third period, with New Hampshire holding on to a 4-2 win. The win improves UNH to 4-5-1 on the season and Brown falls to 3-3-1 overall.

What I Saw

  • UNH’s first three goals were all a direct result of Brown’s failure to clear the front of the net. On the first UNH goal, Marco De Filippo left a puck in front of him where Nick Sorkin found it and buried it. On the second goal, no Brown defenders were anywhere to be found to knock a puck away. The second goal was a pretty passing play by UNH right in front of the net in which two UNH players  in a sense were left all alone in front of De Filippo. The third goal, although not of a similar variety, was  a puck stuck in skates in front of the net and Silengo found it and buried it. UNH will take advantage on those opportunities and it did on this night.
  • Brown struggled to keep up with UNH’s stick-handling in its zone, as UNH seemingly found the puck at will. On many occasions, stick-handling became a huge issue for Brown and led to odd-man rushes. It led to UNH generating tons of shots but credit Brown for keeping UNH to the outside most of the game, as UNH had few grade-A’s despite having tons of shots. On this night, UNH was the better stickhandling team and it was clearly evident by the number of times that the Wildcats pick-pocketed  Bears skaters, seemingly at ease.

What I Thought

  • UNH looks like a much more confident team than the last time I saw them, two weeks ago against UMass-Lowell. Dick Umile’s line juggling of the top two lines is paying dividends, as Grayson Downing, Dalton Speelman and Tyler Kelleher look like a dangerous top line on nearly every shift. The same can be said across the forward lines. Despite a rough start, UNH still has time to recover. It just looks like it may.
  • For Brown, it just seemed like a bad night. Its passes were a touch off, its great players were relatively quiet (Lorito most noticeably) and its sticks weren’t as active as they needed to be. It was clear that the Bears were just a bit off and that they got away from Brown hockey. Brown hockey is workmanlike and tonight did not seem close to that. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

What They Said

Brown Coach Brendan Whittet said,

“We got away from Brown hockey tonight, that’s exactly what I told the guys. Our trademark is much different than the way we played the first two periods. We were circling away from things and we were just not tenacious in what we are doing. We were turning pucks over and I think we made it easy on UNH. It will be corrected.”

“We are short some guys right now, two guys on the blue line and two up front. One of them is Nick Lappin and he is a hell of a good player. I told the guys it was an opportunity for some of the others to do well. We need to figure what makes us tick.”

“UNH is well coached. They do a lot of the little things and are a good hockey program. What I was hoping was and we are a good hockey team too, just don’t think we showed it for two periods.”

Brown forward Matt Lorito said,

“We played well for spurts of the game but we made some mistakes in our own zone where we broke down. Against a team like that you can’t do that”

The injuries are tough but it just opens the door for some guys to step in. I thought the guys that in tonight did a great job. Obviously it’s tough when you are missing regulars in the lineup but at the same time it’s not an excuse because the guys playing have a job to do. Tonight we just came up a little short.”

“It’s tough being an ivy league team and getting the start. We had great start against the other Ivy League teams because we were kind of on a level playing field to start the season. We went home and played St. Lawrence and Clarkson, both of which had played six or seven games, so it’s kind of tough but at the same time we can’t use that as an excuse. I felt we have played tough those games but just couldn’t find a way to get the points we needed.”

UNH forward Kevin Goumas said,

“We have been playing well the last few games. It is not to say we weren’t playing well before then, but the last three games have been complete team efforts, from the goalie on out.”

What Else You Should Know

UNH will play a home and home series against Northeastern beginning on Friday. UNH has now won three consecutive games and have done so in impressive fashion, outscoring its opponents 17-3 in those games.

Brown will have the weekend off at the right time, as it is nursing four injuries. It didn’t have one healthy scratch and all roster players available played in the game. The biggest injury is to Nick Lappin, who is a consistent scorer. Brown has been mighty inconsistent in the early going and have not been able to string together wins. But it has not lost consecutive games yet this season, which is also not a bad thing. Brown next plays on November 22 on the road against Cornell.

Three Things I Think: ECAC Week 5

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Almost unbelievable to realize that we are over a month into the season, as it seemed like just yesterday that Clarkson and Colgate began the season. Clarkson of course has been the biggest surprise over the first month of the season but many players have also made a splash on the scene.  Quinnipiac, Yale, Clarkson and St. Lawrence appear to be the early class of the field but we know that will change with time, as the season is long and all 12 teams make the ECAC tournament at the end of the year.

Princeton and Dartmouth have struggled in the early going, as both have entered conference play 0-4-0. The latter will be my first point tonight, as I had a conversation with Bob Gaudet on Saturday night after an 8-5 loss to St. Lawrence. The format is one I have not used before feel free to Tweet your thoughts to me on what you thought about it. Without further ado here are my thoughts of the week: (more…)

The Takeaway: St. Lawrence Runs Away From Dartmouth, 8-5

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Hanover, NH - Dartmouth came into the game with a record of 0-5-0 on the season but took it to Saint Lawrence early on a five minute major power-play. Dartmouth would gain its first lead of the season, 368 minutes, and 58 seconds into its season, as Andy Simpson sent a wrister to the net that went through the wickets of SLU goalie, Matt Weninger. St.Lawrence would answer a mere 1:46 later, as a brutal turnover by Josh Hartley led to a Patrick Doherty breakaway, shorthanded goal.Dartmouth would again take the lead, also on the major power-play when Josh Hartley attuned for his mistake and blasted a shot into the net to give the Big Green the 2-2 lead.

St. Lawrence would tie the score in the first at 17:04 of the period on a Chris Martin goal. St Lawrence would take another major penalty as Eric Sweetman got the gate on a contact to the head penalty joining Woody Hudson who had received a game misconduct earlier. But Dartmouth was unable to take advantage and it was tied at deuces after one.

St. Lawrence would add three goals in the second, on goals from Matt Carey, Patrick Doherty and Gunnar Hughes. Dartmouth would add a goal from Brett Patterson on breakaway and the teams would enter the third with St. Lawrence leading the Big Green 5-3. The Saints and Big Green would trade goals in the third, as St. Lawrence would outscore the Green 3-2 in the third period. Matt Carey had two goals, while his brother Greg would add a goal and an assist.  St. Lawrence held, despite some late interesting moments, to defeat Dartmouth 8-5. St. Lawrence improves its record to 6-2-2, 2-0-2 ECAC while Dartmouth falls to an abysmal 0-6-0, 0-4-0 on the season. (more…)

The Takeaway: Clarkson Continues to Roll, Defeats Dartmouth

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Hanover, NH - It was the 100th all-time meeting of the Big Green and Golden Knights, as Clarkson came into the night with a 67-25-7 advantage. The first period saw a very conservative period from both teams but Clarkson looked like the more sound team. The Golden Knights opened the scoring at nine minutes, 53 seconds of the first as Will Frederick buried his third in as many games on a rebound. It would add to its lead later in the first as Simon Bessette would send a puck to a wide open Matt Zarbo, and Zarbo would score his first of the season. Clarkson left the first period up 2-0.

The second period was entertaining but choppy, as the teams traded power-play opportunities. Dartmouth would score two quick, power-play goals a minute and 11 seconds apart midway through the period, as Opperman would score his first career goal and Neiley would tie the game at two. But as Dartmouth’s season has gone, Clarkson would tie it merely two minutes later as Ben Sexton would score a power-play goal of his own. The Knights led 3-2 going into the third period.

The third period was a stalemate, as Clarkson stifled a desperate Dartmouth offense. The Golden knights held on for the win 3-2. With the win Clarkson improved to 8-2-1 on the season, 2-1-0 in the ECAC, while Dartmouth falls to 0-5-0 and 0-3-0 within the conference. (more…)

ECAC Power Rankings: Week 4

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

The first weekend of conference action is in the books and some teams made some serious statements, Union and Quinnipiac, while others faltered even further, Princeton and Dartmouth. It was a fun weekend to watch and I am getting closer to seeing all of the teams in live action. This weekend Thompson Arena in beautiful Hanover will be my home away from home, as the North Country of New York will visit the North Country of New Hampshire. Both St. Lawrence and Clarkson have been impressive in the early going, but Dartmouth has been a tad disappointing.

Make sure to read this week’s Three Things I Think where I talk about Sam Anas’ early season success, the Yale-St.Lawrence thriller from Friday night and Dartmouth’s early season struggles. It will give you even more insight on the trends throughout the league and they are beginning to become numerous. Without further ado here are this week’s ECAC Power Rankings. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten Week 4

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Last week was a good one for the Big Ten when it came to the win-loss column. The five teams playing (Minnesota was idle) went a combined 8-1-1. That includes a two-game sweep by Michigan over Michigan Tech and Penn State overcoming a 4 goal effort by Robert Morris’ Cory Wydo to snap a 4 game winless streak. Wisconsin, meanwhile, came back from a week off tying and defeating a previously unbeaten Lake Superior State team.

And of course there were plenty of things to think about and discuss. Here are three.

(After the jump, Nic Kerdiles continues to consistently score, freshmen goaltenders shining and extended non-conference play is not helping break in the Big Ten mindset) (more…)