Archive for December, 2013

The Takeaway: NU and Dartmouth Tie in Shootout at the OK Corral

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Hanover, NH. - Northeastern and Dartmouth decided to play a shootout on Monday night, as the teams combined for a remarkable 16 goals on the evening. Dartmouth came out flying early in the first period against the Huskies, as it took an early lead when Jesse Beamish found a loose puck in front of Northeastern goaltender, Derick Roy and bat it five-hole scoring his first of the season. NU would respond just two minutes later when Mike Szmatula scored on the power-play to tie the game. Northeastern would follow that up with another when Colton Saucerman went in on a rush, sent the puck towards the net and it went in off a Dartmouth defender to give the Huskies its first lead. Dartmouth responded moments later, as Geoff Ferguson sent a backhander towards the net that went in off a Husky defender. Northeastern scored a late short-handed goal off the stick of John Stevens on a 2 on 0 rush. NU went into the first intermission leading 3-2.

The second period was much of the same as the first period, as it seemed defense was again optional. The Huskies scored the first in the period, as Josh Manson received a gift from a Dartmouth defender to beat Charles Grant, giving the Huskies the 4-2 lead.  But the wheels fell off, as Dartmouth scored the final four goals of the period in a span of six minutes. Charley Mosey and Eric Neiley scored even-strength goals, while Neiley and Hartley found the back of the net on the power-play. Dartmouth entered the third period leading 6-4.

Dartmouth scored the first two goals of the third period to take an 8-4 lead. Everyone thought the game was long over, but Northeastern came roaring back in the waning minutes of the third period. The Huskies scored two with an extra attacker, including the  game tying goal off the stick of Mike Szmatula which he scored off a rebound to tie the game at eight. The game went to overtime and neither team scored, as Northeastern and Dartmouth settled for an eight all tie. Northeastern’s record now sits at 10-6-3 and Dartmouth sits at a paltry 2-11-1 on their respective seasons. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten First Half Round-up

Monday, December 30th, 2013

We’re back. Well kind of.

With four Big Ten players (Michigan’s Andrew Copp, Minnesota’s Brady Skjei and Hudson Fasching, and Wisconsin’s Nic Kerdiles) and one head coach (Minnesota’s Don Lucia) in Sweden representing the red, white and blue, every team besides the Gophers began the second half this past weekend.

A few teams might be wishing for a do-over. Despite being the most experienced teams for the elements, Michigan and Michigan State combined for a single win outdoors at the GLI. That win was due to the Spartans shutting out Michigan in a game that is considered non-conference.

“We didn’t show anything this weekend,” Wolverines head coach Red Berenson, whose team also lost to Western Michigan in OT, said to the Michigan Daily after Saturday’s loss to MSU.

In other Big Ten play, Penn State defeated Robert Morris 3-2 before falling to Boston College by an 8-2 final. Wisconsin continued a monster 12 game homestand at the Kohl Center with a pair of wins against Alabama-Huntsville while Ohio State dominated Mercyhurst in a two-game sweep.

January is set up to a great month for Big Ten hockey. Before it happens, however, this seems like a good time to shake off the cobwebs and look back. This week’s 3 Things include being worried about Penn State, newcomer Christian Frey along with my first-half All-Big Ten team picks. (more…)

ECAC Midseason Review and Awards

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

It was a great first half if you were an ECAC hockey fan. Quinnipiac looked so strong for so long to begin the season, Union came on late, Clarkson came out of nowhere to be a contender, Yale is still the defending National Champions, Dartmouth has fallen off everybody’s radar (Don’t forget them come playoffs), and St. Lawrence has had some impressive performances but also some serious head-scratchers. Those were some of the many storylines that come to mind for me, but as per usual the amount of storylines within the ECAC are exponential to the amount I could ever write in one article.

One of the big overlying storylines of the season is the emergence of so many young players on the scene. Matt Carey and Sam Anas both sit in the top ten of national scoring, while Michael Garteig has looked like a rock for Quinnipiac in net. Garteig isn’t exactly a newcomer but as a sophomore that saw limited action last season, his performance has been something that is kind of surprising.  On defense, names such as Connor Clifton for Quinnipiac and Gavin Bayreuther have come about in a big way. The former has been a defensive stalwart, while the latter has put up a ton of points with the Carey brothers on the Saint defense. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten Week 10

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Despite half the Big Ten having already finished the season’s first half and no conference play, the three teams that did play this week were involved in entertaining games. Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State went a combined 2-1-1 against Ferris State and Colorado College.

No one is playing next week. Teams are off for finals and the holidays before the second half begins in earnest with tournaments and the majority of Big Ten conference games beginning January 10th. Instead, this space will probably be used to name an all-first half team.

But that’s next week.

For now, let’s look at 3 things this week: the effect of a play that doesn’t officially count, Michael Mersch’s role in the Badgers winning four in a row, and Michigan State getting shut out once again. (more…)

ECAC Power Rankings: Winter Break Edition

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

What a fall we had, as the number of surprises within the ECAC seemingly outnumbered the number of things that seem normal. The most interesting surprise of course has been Clarkson but in a sense the top three in these rankings weren’t expected to be at the top during any point of the season but here they are at the end of the first half. Quinnipiac has spent the better half of the first two months in the top spot, but that reign ends this week with a loss to Union. Although Union defeated the Bobcats, its weekend work to me was not as great as the team that will sit at the top to end the semester. Read this week’s Three Things I Think for more in-depth coverage of the conference this week. In a weird twist this week I am going to post last week”s ranking along with my preseason ranking of the team, as it always interesting to look back and see just how terrible I was at predicting the teams. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC Week 9

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Last weekend was interesting to say the least, as two teams made huge statements, two teams took a step back and another ECAC goaltender was credited with a goal. Both Clarkson and Union swept over the weekend, as the Golden Knights picked up an impressive sweep over its longtime rival St. Lawrence while Union picked up a home win against the once seemingly unbeatable Quinnipiac Bobcats. Yale was the team that took the biggest step back over the weekend as it picked up a mesely point against both Harvard and Dartmouth, two teams that had combined for just two conference wins coming into the weekend. Quinnipiac has just one win in its last four contests with its lone victory against UMass, while Union holds the conference’s longest current winning streak at seven games.

The top of the standings are really close within the conference, as five points separate the top seven teams. Quinnipiac and Union are tied at the top,, after Union’s 6-4 win over the Bobcats on Saturday night. Clarkson sits within two points of the top and Colgate is three points back, after tying Cornell in Hamilton. With that said, here are my thoughts for the week. (more…)

ECAC Power Rankings: Week 8

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Another weekend, and another weekend that was full of surprises. Last Week, Harvard defeated UNH in non-conference action but turned around and lost to Dartmouth just nights later. Quinnipiac will continue its reign as the top team in this poll, as it has been for over a month now, but the back of the poll has now become quite close.  Princeton is decimated, Harvard has been relatively inconsistent, Dartmouth just picked up its first win and Brown has just one win in its past eight games after beginning the season 2-0.

Union and Colgate are tied for second in the ECAC standings, while Cornell, Clarkson and Yale are all within are all within two points of that position. It’s still early to be looking at the standings, but trends and surprises are beginning to brew especially with Colgate and Clarkson sitting near the top. This weekend features big matchups in Schenectady and in the North Country, as Quinnipiac travels to Union (top two teams in the ECAC standings) and the battle of the North Country will feature two of the biggest surprises in the conference. I speak of the Battle of the North Country, Dartmouth’s first win and Princeton’s injuries in this week’s edition of Three Things I Think. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC Week 8

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Dartmouth finally got its first win of the season on Saturday night, as it downed Harvard in the only league game of the weekend. ECAC teams went 5-5-0 in non-league games, which was mediocre but the non-conference slate has to date been successful with a 36-21-5 record.  With the good non-league record comes good positioning in the Krach and Pairwise rankings where five league teams sit pretty heading into the break. The latter is most important in figuring out the NCAA tournament rankings, and the ECAC has five within the top 16.

This weekend features the last full conference game slate until next month as teams will head on holiday and exam breaks. There are a plethora of great games this weekend, as the Battle of the North Country will take center stage when Clarkson and St. Lawrence play a home and home series between two of the biggest surprises within the conference this so far. Also there is just a little matchup that features Quinnipiac and Union at Messa on Saturday. Those teams are currently first and in a tie for second within the conference so it should be quite the matchup in Schenectady. Without further ado there a bunch of story-lines and thoughts to be brought up. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten Week 8

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

After weeks of waiting for it, Big Ten Conference play finally happened last weekend. Minnesota and Wisconsin played a pair of games at Mariucci Arena. Ohio State and Michigan battled Friday in Ann Arbor complete with “beat Ohio” chants (the two teams also play tonight in Columbus).

With all apologies to Michigan State’s power play exploding in a sweep of Princeton and Penn State taking the Badgers’ crown Sunday night for the worst last second loss of the weekend, this week’s 3 Things solely focuses on conference games.

Don’t worry Spartans and Nittany Lions. There’s always next week. That’s when the two teams begin its 20 game conference schedule.

(After the jump, Minnesota’s third line impresses in a sweep, Andrew Copp plays for more than 60 and Mike Eaves explains Wisconsin’s inconsistency) (more…)