Archive for the 'Postseason' Category

Schafer Gets Results

Saturday, March 14th, 2009
After the game against RPI (photo: Mark Anbider)

After the game against RPI (photo: Mark Anbider)

It’s easy for non-Cornell fans to look at Mike Schafer’s one-game suspension tonight — following his Friday rant about the officiating — and call it a “tirade,” or accuse him of “whining,” etc… But that’s only because they don’t understand.

Schafer, yesterday, criticized the officiating for changing the way it was calling the game in the postseason — not calling it tight enough with the interference, as has been the directive for years. And, he said, this doesn’t help the ECAC in the national scene. Schafer has a history of making these kinds of pointed comments, but if you’ve seen him in action, you know that he is far, far from the type of coach that pisses and moans behind the  bench all game — and he is not the kind of coach that berates officials all game, and so on.

When Schafer makes these kinds of comments, he a) knows exactly what he’s doing; b) is very measured in his comments – he is not flying off the handle; c) is willingly taking the risk of getting suspended; and d) is telling the truth.

And, apparently, it’s effective. Saturday’s game resulted in a couple dozen power plays, and Cornell won 4-0. But that’s not here or there. What’s important is that he was right. Well, let me take that back … I wasn’t there. But I did see the Princeton-Union game Friday, and with ECAC Director of Officals Paul Stewart there, I did make a comment during the game that I felt a lot more was being let go — both ways — than usual. From what I’ve heard, same was true in Ithaca. So, assuming that was the case in Ithaca too, then Schafer is right.

But let me digress for a second. I had to laugh when I read Schafer’s comment about him making similar remarks seven years ago, about hitting from behind penalties. He was right then too. But I laugh because I remember it clearly — I was doing radio for Cornell at the time. I remember Schafer specifically waited for me to get off the radio so that I could be there to record his comments. He wanted to make sure that everything he said went online verbatim. He wasn’t flying off the handle, far from it. If he was, he wouldn’t have been cool enough to wait that long. He knew exactly what he was doing.

So I could picture the same thing taking place last night — and that’s why I know he doesn’t just rant half-baked. It’s purposeful. And in 2003, the league did crack down more on hitting from behind. In fact, I ran an article that year explaining how hitting from behind calls — throughout the league — had gone up dramatically in the months after Schafer’s comments compared to before it.

Now, back to the comments themselves. His point about calling the game differently, and how it affects the league in the national sense, is dead on. The league is never going to say this, but it wants its top teams to go through to Albany — because this means more ECAC teams will make the NCAAs, and get better seeds. To do that, it has to make sure it sticks to the officiating standards that have been set in recent years in relation to interference, and not back off just because it’s the playoffs. It might be old school to say “let them play” in the playoffs, but that is exactly the wrong approach that we need anywhere in college hockey.

The goal is not to have a waltz to the penalty box all night — because, that may increase scoring, but it doesn’t increase the quality of the game. The goal is to call the penalties so that the players won’t take the penalties in the future.  That opens the game up, and allows the more skilled teams to be more effective.

So we’ll see what kind of effect Schafer’s comments have. But so far, it’s nothing but positive for everyone, it seems to me.

Hockey East Championship Live Blogging

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Mike McMahon is blogging live from the TD Banknorth Garden at the 23rd Annual Hockey East Championships. Boston College takes on top-seeded New Hampshire for an apparent No. 1 Seed in the NCAA Tournament (now that St. Cloud State lost). Puck drops at 7:00 p.m.

Refresh for updates (all times EDT)

9:26 p.m. – The celebration is on as the Eagles win it.

2) Boston College – 5
1) New Hampshire – 2
FINAL

9:25 p.m. – BC gets the empty netter and will be Hockey East Champions

UNH 2, BC 5
17.7, 3rd

9:22 p.m. – After Dick Umile and the UNH bench were screaming for a good 25-30 seconds, Kevin Regan finally realized that they wanted him at the bench. Regan is pulled and the Wildcats just took a timeout.

UNH 2, BC 4
1:13, 3rd

9:21 p.m. – The penalty to Boyle is over and the sides are even again.

UNH 2, BC 4
1:55, 3rd

9:20 p.m. – Trevor Smith just fed Jerry Pollastrone in front and the latter had a beautiful tip but the puck sailed just high over the crossbar.

UNH 2, BC 4
2:45, 3rd

9:17 p.m. – Much like Michael Jackon’s “Thriller” video, UNH has completely come back from the dead. You could actually see them rise from the grave. Now arguably BC’s best defender, Brian Boyle, gets the gate for tripping and UNH will enjoy a power play with the chance to come within a goal.

UNH 2, BC 4
4:20, 3rd

9:15 p.m. – It’s been an amazing last minute here at the Garden. UNH has two GREAT chances to come within a goal with Schneider making two terrific saves. Then BC transitions into a two-on-one where Regan kicks out his left pad to make the save, and then as the puck sat in the crease all alone, he scrambles and pounces on it before BC can get to it.

UNH 2, BC 4
4:53, 3rd

9:14 p.m. – The Wildcats just took the shot lead for the first time tonight, 34-32.

UNH 2, BC 4
6:21, 3rd

9:09 p.m. – I spoke too soon … this is starting to get interesting. Trevor Smith tallies the first goal of the weekend for the Wildcats’ top-six forwards and all of a sudden we have a two-goal game with still plenty of time left. UNH has climbed out of the grave after being outplayed and outworked for the first 50 minutes of the game. STAY TUNED!

UNH 2, BC 4
8:10, 3rd

9:07 p.m. – UNH is starting to pour on the pressure, but it’s likely too little too late. Shots are 32-30 in favor of the Eagles, and there are lines starting to form at the exits that mainly consist of jerseys in white and blue.

UNH 1, BC 4
8:55, 3rd

9:06 p.m. – The Wildcats get on the board with sort of a flukey goal that bounced off a few people, including the skate of Brian Boyle, before fluttering its way over the shoulder of Cory Schneider. Bobby Butler gets credit for his second of the weekend, and once again UNH’s top two lines have been held off the scoresheet all weekend.

UNH 1, BC 4
10:17, 3rd
 

9:04 p.m. – I give credit to the UNH band. They are still dancing away despite their team getting their lunch handed to them.

9:01 p.m. – Boston College takes a 4-0 lead after Brian Boyle feeds Nathan Gerbe for the one-timer on a four-on-zero … that’s right, I said four-on-zero. This one is in the bag.

UNH 0, BC 4
13:28, 3rd

8:53 p.m. – Puck has dropped in the third

UNH 0, BC 3
17:29, 3rd

8:34 p.m. – The second period is in the books and the Eagles are in control of this one leading 3-0. Shots are 27-22 in favor of BC. Unless UNH picks it up big time, the Eagles are going to run away with this one.

UNH 0, BC 3
End of 2nd

8:31 p.m. – Can you say, “Boston College Eagles, 2007 Hockey East Champions?” Kevin Regan was playing a puck in the corner and BC’s Nathan Gerbe applied some pressure and tipped the puck in front where Brock Bradford was in shock as the puck landed on his stick and no one was in the net. Needless to say, Bradford put the puck in with ease.

UNH 0, BC 3
55.8, 2nd

8:26 p.m. – UNH will have yet another chance to get back into this game. Tim Filangieri goes off after he absolutely levels a UNH player from behind into the glass (unsure which UNH’er took the brunt of the beating).

UNH 0, BC 2
3:25, 2nd

8:15p – Well there has yet to be a stampede of Eagle fans arriving late after the Eagles’ basketball counterparts got bounced by Georgetown. The student section grew a bit larger, but maybe by 15-20, that’s it. UNH fans still seem to control the building – but BC is controlling the game.

UNH 0, BC 2
9:14, 2nd

8:05p – BC’s going on the PP. Shawn Vinz gets the gate for obstruction tripping.

8:00p – The internet hasn’t been the greatest tonight – at least not on my laptop. Anyway, we are underway in the second period and BC now holds 2-0 lead and a 19-14 shot-advantage.

7:38p – Well we have ourselves some open ice. After Matt Greene and Greg Collins both went off for roughing, Chris Murray just took down BC’s Nathan Gerbe by his face mask. They each got hitting after the whistle, so it’s still four-on-four hockey.

UNH 0, BC 1
2:20, 1st

7:32p – The Wildcats are certainly having their chances. As Danny Rossman was slicing behing the net, he pushed a pass in front to Brad Flaishans for the point-blank one-timer, but the puck his Cory Schneider in the chest.

7:25p – The Eagles strike first! Matt Green goes high glove and over the shoulder of Kevin Regan. Mike Brennan and Brian Boyle get the assists. It’s Greene’s fifth tally of the year.

UNH 0, BC 1
8:25, 1st

7:19p – Just a thought … Maybe the BC fans are all waiting until the basketball team gets done playing Georgetown in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The Eagles are currently down 48-44 to the Hoyas with 7:05 left in the game. We’ll see if there are any late arrivals.

UNH 0, BC 0
11:00, 1st

7:15p – Bobby Butler just had a golden chance (he scored last night’s game-winner) when Thomas Fortney fed him in front. Shots aare 8-4 BC.

UNH 0, BC 0
13:16, 1st

7:12p – Last night’s paid attendance at the Garden was around 15,000 with about 12,000 actually braving the elements and showing up. Tonight it looks like there are another 12,000 or so in the seats (The building holds 17,565 for hockey). The lower bowl is about 85% – 90% full, while the balcony is only about half filled on the ends and corners. There are still people filtering in however.

UNH 0, BC 0
14:59, 1st

7:09p – Brock Bradford just had the Eagle’s first scoring chance of the night, wristing the puck towards Kevin Regan. The UNH goaltender flashed the glove and made the stop.

UNH 0, BC 0
17:01, 1st

7:03p – The puck has dropped and we are underway. The trend that started in warmups has continued – UNH fans are outnumbering BC’s by a large margin – at least the UNH fans are louder.

6:55p – The North End of Boston is home to the Italians, and the South End of Boston is home to the Irish. Well the TD Banknorth Garden is located right outside of the North End, yet the Irish are out in force on this St. Patrick’s Day title game. I’ve counted at least three Ireland flags since I came in the building – not to mention the sea of green outside on the sidewalks. Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, right?

6:43p -  At least going by the sound of the crowd during warmups and the pre-game intro by legendary PA announcer Jim Prior, UNH fans outnumber BC fans a lot to a little. We still have approx. 17 minutes until faceoff.

6:27p – BREAKING NEWS: Despite being stuck on I-95 last night, the UNH trumpets have made their way down from Durham and are in the building! The UNH band is occupying the same section 304 that BU’s did last night. The BC band is on the opposite side of the arena, section 319.

6:10 p – The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the Hockey East tournament will square off in less than an hour here at the TD Banknorth Garden. Here are the lineups, first for the Eagles:

Nathan Gerbe – Ben Smith – Brock Bradford
Joe Rooney – Dan Bertram – Benn Ferriero
Matt Price – Matt Greene – Pat Gannon
Kyle Kucharski – Matt Lombardi – Andrew Orpik

Brian Boyle – Mike Brennan
Tim Filangieri – Brett Motherwell
Tim Kunes – Brian O’Hanley

Cory Schneider
Joe Pearce

Now for the Wildcats of New Hampshire:

Jacob Micflikier – Mike Radja – Josh Ciocco
Jerry Pollastrone – Trevor Smith – Matt Fornataro
Greg Collins – Thomas Fortney – Bobby Butler
Greg Collins – Peter LeBlanc – Shawn Vinz

Craig Switzer – Brad Flaishans
Jamie Fritsch – Chris Murray
Kevin Kapstad – Joe Charlebois

Kevin Regan
Brian Foster

11:45p Well this one is all over and it ends a long night at the TD Banknorth Garden. The Eagles are your winners and will go on to face top-seeded New Hampshire in the championship Saturday night.

BU – 2
BC – 6
FINAL

Goodnight from the Garden … We’ll see you tomorrow.

11:40p Nathan Gerbe wants to make sure that the Eagles win by at least four goals. He puts the puck past a very nonchalant Karson Gillespie.

BC 6, BU 2
3:19, 3rd

11:36p Well the Terriers decided to score again. Bryan Ewing nets his ninth of the year going low-glove on Cory Schneider. Not only are there no longer anyone in the stands, but everyone in the press box has turned their attention to the BC women who are in double-overtime and currently tied with Minnesota-Duluth in the Women’s NCAA Tournament.

BC 5, BU 2
5:23, 3rd

11:34p In a great exchange of chants (this is getting more exciting than the game!) BU students rolled with the “Where’s your Beanpot” seeing as BU owns the tournament. The Eagle faithful were quick to respond with, “Where’s your goalie?” referring to the now pulled John Curry.

Oh, and the score: BC 5, BU 1
6:35, 3rd

11:30p Well the BU and BC student sections are currently engaged in an epic “battle of the chants’. Considering that they combine for about 75 of the 200 or so left at the Garden, you can hear them loud and clear. We have the general “Safety School” and “We can’t hear you”. BU students were also pulling out a “Cowboy Up” referring to the catch-phrase that former Red Sox first basemen Kevin Millar made famous during the club’s World Series run in 2004. BC responded with something inaudible (sounded like half of the section was yelling one thing, and half the other), but it sounded like, “We just ate your peanuts”. Take that for what you will.

BC 5, BU 1
8:09, 3rd

11:23p How about that, Karson Gillespie is in net for BU, and the only reason that I noticed is because he just gave up a goal. Joe Rooney gets the credit, and whatever BU fans were left are not gone. It’s officially a “friends and family only” crowd.

BC 5, BU 1
10:05, 3rd

11:18p The game is seemingly out of hand for the Terriers at this point – but don’t tell that to their bench. BU has sent many Eagles’ bodies flying through the air the last few minutes. Don’t worry though, the Eagles have returned the favor mroe often than not which has made for an exciting 2:00 or so.

BC 4, BU 1
14:34, 3rd

11:13p Brian Boyle almost made it 5-1 pinching in from the blueline and hitting a post.

BC 4, BU 1
15:49, 3rd

11:09p Could we see a monumental comeback? Matt Gilroy just fed a pass in front that nobody was able to get a stick on. However as the puck glided towards the blueline, Brandon Yip blasted it past Schneider. The hill is still likely too steep to climb – especially considering that it’s been snowing since 11:00 this morning in Boston and it’s likely icey.

BC 4, BU 1
18:35, 3rd

11:05p Well we are about to enter the third period, but this one is no longer a contest as BC solidly in control with a 4-0 lead over their rival Terriers. Shots are even 21-21, but BC’s were more of the “quality” variety coming in close on BU ‘tender John Curry. The video screen at the TD Banknorth Garden is showing clips of fans sleeping in the stands. The late start to game two combined with it being somewhat unexciting has seen 3/4 of the fans in the building hit the exits. The few that remain are BC students and people that fell asleep, therefore did not leave.

BC 4, BU 0
Start of the 3rd

10:49p  The Eagles are pouring it on as heard BU fans are already starting to head to the exists on this snowy night in Boston. Brock Bradford nets his second of the game. I’m not lying when I tell you that literally half of the building just got up and left.

BC 4, BU 0
28.4, 2nd

10:35p Make it 3-0 Boston College. Freshman Ben Smith, who is on the top line because of Boyle’s move to defense, just slammed home a loose puck that was at the top of Curry’s crease and the Eagles are starting to pull away.
BU had controlled the early part of the period, but the Eagles have started to generate some offense of their own.

BC 3, BU 0
5:33, 2nd

10:32p BC will enjoy a 2:00 power play as Eric Gryba of BU goes off for tripping.

BC 2, BU 0
7:45, 2nd

10:21p Brandon Yip, Tom Morrow, and Ryan Weston just had a nice three-on-two chance, but Yip’s shot was smothered by Schneider.

BC 2, BU 0
14:54, 2nd

10:19p The Terriers are starting to apply some pressure on Cory Schneider outshooting BC 4-1 through 4:22 of the second period.

BC 2, BU 0
15:38, 2nd

9:58p BU will enjoy a power play as the second period starts because Matt Price went off for tripping at the 19:58 mark. Despite the shots being 8-8, the first period was obviously all Boston College as they hold the 2-0 lead. Of course, we finally have band music here at the Garden as we go from no bands to two.
Now it’s time for the annual Hockey East Mascot Game!

BC 2, BU 0
End of 1st

9:56p Pete MacArthur is back taking a regular shift with the top-line.

BC 2, BU 0
12.0, 1st

9:46p Benn Ferriero gives the Eagles the 2-0 lead after Brian Boyle – who is playing defense tonight – found him on the backdoor right outside the crease.

BC 2, BU 0
4:45, 1st

9:37p  BU’s Pete MacArthur just went down with an apparent injury. He looked alright coming off the ice so it is unclear to what part of the body it is. We’ll see if he misses a shift. He has gone down the runway into the BU locker room – for now anyway.

9:32p BC takes the lead! Brock Bradford is the goal-scorer. Benn Ferriero sent a cross-ice pass that was deflected in front but that didn’t stop Bradford from blasting the one-timer past BU netminder John Curry.

BC 1, BU 0
11:48, 1st

9:08p After what turned out to be a great game one, the Terriers and Eagles will see if they can one-up UNH and UMass. Here are the lines, first for the Eagles:
Nathan Gerbe – Ben Smith – Brock Bradford
Joe Rooney – Dan Bertram – Benn Ferriero
Matt Price – Matt Greene – Pat Gannon
Kyle Kucharski – Matt Lombardi – Andrew Orpik

Brian Boyle – Mike Brennan
Tim Filangieri – Brett Motherwell
Brian O’Hanley – Carl Sneep

Cory Schneider
Joe Pearce

Now for the Terriers:

Kenny Roche – Jason Lawrence – Bryan Ewing
Pete MacArthur – Chris Higgins – Eric Thomassian
Ryan Weston – Luke Popko – Brandon Yip
Brian McGuirk – John McCarthy – Dan McGoff

Sean Sullivan – Matt Gilroy
Tom Morrow – Eric Gryba
Kevin Kielt – Brian Strait

John Curry
Brett Bennett
Karson Gillespie

8:29P UNH WINS IT! The Wildcats are piling onto each other in the right corner and they will go onto the finals, as UMass consoles Jon Quick. A bad turnover in front for UMass as Brett Watson coughed it up in the slot and UNH’s Bobby Butler scooped it up and blasted it Quick!

UNH 3, UMA 2
FINAL, 2OT

8:27p The teams are back on the ice, now let’s see if one of them can put one in the net this time around.

8:12p We have finished up the first of who knows how many overtimes with the score remaining 2-2. The Minutemen outshot the Wildcats yet again in the period – this time 13-10. They now hold the overall lead 45-40.
The BC band has now entered the building as well, and both band sections look bored out of their minds waiting for this one to end, however it has been a very exciting 40 minutes.
Remember, the last time that UMass played at the TD Banknorth Garden, they had the three-overtime thriller with Maine with the Black Bears the eventual winner in the 2003 final.
The good news (for me at least) is that at this rate, the snow outside might be melted by the time I leave the building.

UNH 2, UMA 2
End of 1OT

8:10p Chris Capraro picked up a loose puck at the blueline and pulled a BEAUTIFUL toe-drag into the slot – went stick side on Regan but once again the junior makes the big save.

UNH 2, UMA 2
1:35, OT

8:08p – We have now gone 43:03 without a goal. The last tally was UNH’s Danny Rossman at 13:57 of the second period.

UNH 2, UMA 2
2:26, OT

8:07p Jerry Pollastrone just hammered Massachusetts’ Scott Crowder and flipped him into the UNH bench.

8:03p Matt Anderson just had two quick chances but Regan was there again to make the saves. The latter a nice kick stop with the puck sitting above the crease.

UNH 2, UMA 2
5:57, OT

7:59p Josh Ciocco just came in on a two-on-one with Jacob Micflikier. Instead he passing he opted to shoot and Jon Quick made a stellar save! Seconds later Will Ortiz flies in on a breakaway but it was Kevin Regan who made the stop as the puck bounced off his glove!

UNH 2, UMA 2
8:21, OT

7:56p UNH just had their best chance of the OT when Jerry Pollastrone dropped off a pass for Trevor Smith who flipped a back-hander over the shoulder of Jon Quick and over the cage.

UNH 2, UMA 2
9:53, OT

7:51p UMass continues to control the scoring chances outshooting UNH 5-1 so far in the overtime period.

UNH 2, UMA 2
13:22, OT

7:48p Our first band of the night has entered the building. The Boston University squad has taken ownership of section 304 in the Garden balcony. They have to sit quietly until UNH and UMA finish their skating.

UNH 2, UMA 2
14:33, OT

7:41p The teams are back out on the ice for the first overtime.

7:26p We head to overtime in the first game of the night. UMass outshot the Wildcats 12-10 in the third period, and holds a 32-30 advantage in the game. Both goaltenders have played very well when called upon. The building is starting to fill up and is almost full. Let’s put it this way, there are many more people here than there have been for any Boston Bruins game all season!

UNH 2, UMA 2
End of 3rd

7:24p Umass just had a GOLDEN chance with 44.4 left on the clock in the third. P.J. Fenton sent the puck in front of Kevin Regan and Brett Watson one-timed it from point blank range but Regan saved the game (for now).

UNH 2, UMA 2
44.4, 3rd

7:21p UNH’s Bobby Butler goes off for a hook, but UMass’ David Leaderer also goes off for a dive at the same time. We have four-on-four hockey for the next two minutes.

UNH 2, UMA 2
2:47, 3rd

7:18p Just 33 seconds later, UNH’s Jerry Pollastrone had a pretty good chance of his own snapping a wrister from the left circle, but Jon Quick gloved it. We are getting to crunch time now and every shot could decide the game.

UNH 2, UMA 2
4:12, 3rd

7:17p UMass just had the best scoring chance of the period thus far as Matt Burto flew in on the left wing side and nearly beat Kevin Regan over the left shoulder. Shots are 11-6 in favor of UMass in the period.

UNH 2, UMA 2
5:11, 3rd

7:12p Still waiting for someone to break the tie here at the TD Banknorth Garden. The BC and BU fans are starting to make their way to their seats, and every BC fan shown on the new “Garden HD” is getting promptly booed (and loudly too!).

UNH 2, UMA 2
7:29, 3rd

7:01p We’ve been underway for a bit here in the third period, however nothing exciting is happening. Shots are tied 3-3 in the third period and there has been no power plays or any legitimate scoring chances for either side.

UNH 2, UMA 2
14:04, 3rd

6:41p We find ourselves tied 2-2 at the end of two periods. UMass outshot the Wildcats 11-9 in the period after being outshot by the same amount through one period. The TD Banknorth Garden is really starting to fill now, which is surprising considering the blizzard going on outside. There is an obvious “student section” for UMass, however I am hard pressed to find one for UNH. The Wildcat fans seem to be spread out which might be why the UMass fans seem to outnumber them.

UNH 2, UMA 2
End of 2nd

6:32p The UMass penalty kill stands strong not allowing a single UNH shot on the UNH power play.

UNH 2, UMA 2
2:10, 2nd

6:29p The ‘Cats will now have the chance to take the lead going on the power play as UMass’ Will Ortiz will go off for “contact to the head roughing”.

UNH 2, UMA 2
3:57, 2nd

6:27p Well the Wildcats’ fans certainly just woke up. Shawn Vinz did a great job keeping the puck in at the blue line spinning and slapping it to keep it in the zone. That’s when freshman Danny Rossman scored his FIRST CAREER GOAL to tie-up the game again, 2-2. Rossman is a Massachusetts native (Boxford, MA) who played his junior hockey in the EJHL with the Valley Jr. Warriors. He previously had 0-3-3 totals in 17 games this season.

UNH 2, UMA 2
5:19, 2nd

6:21p In a rare happening, we have ourselves a “band-less” Hockey East game here at the Garden. UNH’s tubas and trumpets didn’t make the trek down I-95 from Durham because of the weather, so it’s all speaker music all the time during stoppages (with the kiss cam mixed in here and there). And how about this for irony, there are more Minutemen fans in the stands than UNH – well at least the UMass faithful are louder! 

6:18p UMass dominates while on the power play collecting fours shots – however Kevin Regan stood tall in the UNH net stopping all of them.

UNH 1, UMA 2
10:19, 2nd

6:15p It took 27:32, but we finally have our first penalty of the game. Craig Switzer (UNH) goes off for boarding after he throws UMass’ Brett Watson into the dashers. The Minutemen are on the power play.

UNH 1, UMA 2
12:28, 2nd

6:00p WOW! Just 16 seconds into the second period Chris Capraro walks out in front uncontested and gives the Minutemen the 2-1 lead. The UMass fans in the building are going bananas!

UNH 1, UMA 2
19:44, 2nd

5:44p We are at the end of the first period where the Minutemen and Wildcats are tied at 1-1. UNH at one point held an 11-4 shot-advantage before the Minutemen tallied the last five shots of the period to finish the total at 11-9. It is a decent crowd considering the snow storm going on outside. The lower bowl is about half-full and the balcony about a third full. I know that our friends in Albany are having the same storm troubles. The crowd may grow a bit larger as people get out of work and we get closer to the “Boston Battle” in game two.

UNH 1, UMA 1
End of 1st

5:41p Umass got the equalizer from sophomore Alex Berry. As the puck sat along the left boards, Berry fired it in towards Kevin Regan and it flew past the junior netminder to tie the game.

UNH 1, UMA 1
1:30, 1st

5:31p Jacob Micflikier, Mike Radja, and Josh Ciocco just broke in on a three-on-two but UMass defender Mike Kostka was there to breakup a pass and end the threat. UNH currently holds a 10-4 shot advantage.

UNH 1, UMA 0
6:19, 1st

5:24p Trevor Smith almost gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead but Jon Quick was there going into a full-split to make the stop.

UNH 1, UMA 0
9:45, 1st

5:21p UMass just had its best scoring chance of the night thus far. Cory Quirk was allowed to walk into the slot and fire a wrister on Regan that hit him in the shoulder. The puck bounced back in front of the net where a scrum ensued and referee Tim Benedetto blew the play dead. A split-second after the whistle Quirk took a shot on Regan (the puck was never tied up obviously) and the scrum in front of the net escalated. No penalties were called.

UNH 1, UMA 0
11:06, 1st

5:14p Wildcat defenseman Joe Charlebois just leveled UMass’ Will Ortiz. Since the Wildcats took the lead minutes ago, UMass seems to be sitting back a bit.

UNH 1, UMA 0
14:15, 1st

5:12p So much for the feeling out period. UNH takes the early 1-0 lead when Bobby Butler fed Thomas Fortney in front. Fortney then dropped a pass back to Greg Collins who went five-hole on UMass ‘tender Jon Quick. The puck trickled through Quick’s legs but Collins followed up by burying the rebound.

UNH 1, UMA 0
16:31, 1st

5:08p The teams have traded some minor chances early, but we are still in the midst of a “feeling out period”.

UNH 0, UMA 0
17:36 1st

4:34p Time to take a look at the starting lineups for tonight’s first contest. First the “visiting” Minutemen:

Chris Capraro – Cory Quirk – Matt Burto
P.J. Fenton – Brett Watson – Alex Berry
Kevin Jarman – Jordan Virtue – Will Ortiz
Scott Crowder – Matt Anderson – Chris Davis

Mark Matheson – Mike Kostka
David Leaderer – Justin Braun
Topher Bevis – John Wessbecker

Jon Quick
Dan Meyers

Now for the top-seeded Wildcats:

Jacob Micflikier – Mike Radja – Josh Ciocco
Jerry Pollastrone – Trevor Smith – Matt Fornataro
Greg Collins – Thomas Fortney – Bobby Butler
Danny Rossman – Peter LeBlanc – Shawn Vinz
Nick Krates

Craig Switzer – Brad Flaishans
Jamie Fritsch – Chris Murray
Kevin Kapstad – Joe Charlebois

Kevin Regan
Brian Foster

ECACHL Championship Live Blogging

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Day two at the ECAC Final Four. Clarkson and Quinnipiac battle it out for the ECAC Title.

Refresh for updates (all times EDT)

Clarkson is the ECAC Champion.

10:20p – WELLER BURIES THE EMPTY NET GOAL.  Clarkson 4 – Quinnipiac 2  56 second left.

10:19p – QU pulls Fisher for the extra attack. Quite the turn of events. 1 minute to play.

10:17p – 2:03 left in the period, timeout Quinnipiac. What does Rand Pecknold have up his sleeve?

10:14p – 5 to play. Game has gotten very exciting.

10:07p – Phil Paquet ties it at 2. We got a game now! 7:30 left in the third. Clarkson scores again! It’s bedlam in Albany. Brodie Rutherglen continues the run of seldom scorers for the Knights this weekend.

10:00p – 10 to play in the third, Clarkson is going have to pull out all the stops.

9:50p – Clarkson has pulled ahead in shots and seems to have found away to figure out the Q defense. Bud Fisher might be a different story.

9:40p – BUD FISHER is a puck stopping machine. Until the ugliest goal finally snaps the shut out streak at 101:43. 2-1 on the D’Alvise goal.

9:22p – Next goal is huge, either side.

9:15p – Ever seen a powerplay where all five of the offensive players are behind their own red line. Welcome to the ECAC.

9:10p – Apparently not.

9:05p – Quinnipiac heading on the powerplay. One more goal might be enough to seal the deal. Scratch that. Our first taste of four on four hockey. Will this be the spark Clarkson is looking for?

9:03p – Clarkson has cut the shot to 10-12, but they can’t solve Bud Fisher and his now 85+ minutes of shutout hockey.

8:55p – The Quinnipiac band has adopted Otis Reading’s “Can’t Turn You Loose” as their team entrance song. Coincidently this is the long standing Clarkson entrance song, when the teams hit the ice it sound like the Blues Brothers are running head on into the Blues Brothers 2000.

8:45p – If you had to guess which team had no worries about qualifying for the NCAA tournament, it would be Quinnipiac. Clarkson can’t get out of their own way, Quinnipiac is smooth and disciplined.

8:35p – Everyone’s favorite penalty call. One from the linesman. QU cashes in on the powerplay. 2-0 QU

8:30p – Big chance for Clarkson a 40 second 5 on 3. Quinnipiac kills the first penalty, and the second. Momentum clearly lies on the visitors bench.

8:28p – Clarkson heads on their third powerplay. 6:30 left in the first. Crowd is good. Nice contingent made the trip from Connecticut for the game today.
8:25p – Clarkson kills off their second penalty and Quinnipiac is called for their second penalty. Feola has been busy. 11:23 left in the first

8:20p – 1-0 QU
After a wild consolation game that almost guarantees a NCAA bid for SLU, the Championshp game has arrived. Quinnipiac jumps out to a 1-0 lead just 32 seconds into the first. Clarkson looks hesitant.
5:25p – Spoke too soon. SLU’s offense has come to life. 2 goals in the last 1:20 have tied the game. 2-2. Time out Dartmouth 12:27 remaining in the second.

5:15p – David Jones with a sweet deflection beat Petizian. 2-0 Dartmouth. With the way the St. Lawrence offense has been playing this weekend, that might be enough.
4:57p – Nick Johnson capitalizes off a SLU turnover to give Dartmouth a 1-0 lead late in the first.

End of 1. Dartmouth 1 – SLU 0
10:02p- ZALEWSKI WINS IT!! A goal to Devine’s glove side with 41 second remaining and the Knights are in the final.

Clarkson 5 – Dartmouth 4! Awesome game!

10:00p- Wyman beats Leggio shortside. 4-4 with 1:12 left to play.
9:50p – Clitsome rings the post on the powerplay. 5 a side now with 5:19 to play in the third.

9:39p – Clarkson 4 – Dartmouth 3

Galiardi on the powerplay. The barn is ablaze in the ECAC!
9:36p – Clarkson 4 – Dartmouth 2

D’Alvise with a highlight reel move restores the two goal lead.

Dartmouth to the powerplay.

9:30p – Clarkson 3 – Dartmouth 2

Dartmouth starts the period with some good pressure. Shots are 23-17 in favor of Clarkson thanks to a late period flurry from the Knights. Dartmouth scores on a screen goal from Lewis.

9:08p – Clarkson 3 – Dartmouth 1

Mike Willemsen scores his first of the year giving Tech a 3-1 lead. Dartmouth headed on the powerplay.

8:55p – Dartmouth ties it at one. A solid one timer from Pritchard. Time to see who can catch the momentum.

Clarkson answers back. Scramble in front of Devine. Give the goal to Dodge.

2-1 Clarkson

8:20p – Dartmouth on their first powerplay. Big save Leggio.

END OF 1 Clarkson 1 – Dartmouth 0

8:09p – Clarkson and Dartmouth underway. Clarkson goal under review. Feola is at the booth
It’s a goal!

Weller (Dodge, Cayer) PPG 9:28 First Period

6:35p – I think Wodon could have tipped in that pass. Quinnipiac is flying and will be a serious test for whomever they face next.

6:30p – Don’t know what happened to Brett. Sorry about this everyone, but you didn’t miss much. With three minutes remaining it is now Quinnipiac 4, St. Lawrence 0. SLU has called a time-out. Suspecting that they’re going to try for the miracle. Ben Nelson scored the 4th goal at the at the 15:55 mark.. Three minutes left and now SLU has pulled the goalie.

Quinnipiac 4, SLU 0

6:05 – Brett – Finally an internet connection. For the first two period the Bobcats have just outworked the Saints. The bounces the Bobcats are getting are the result. Fisher has had little to be worried about as the majority of the second period was spent in the St. Lawrence end.

5:51p – End of the 2nd. Quinnipiac 3, St. Lawrence 0

5:50p – Looks like a slashing call on Quinnipiac at 17:13. The crowd gives a false-cheer as SLU finally goes back on the PP. Nothing doing with 30 seconds left in the PP, and now Quinnipiac kills it and now a GOAL for Quinnipiac. Petizian makes the save, but it’s kicked into his net by his own player. Unassisted for Marshall with 35 seconds left in the 3rd.

Quinnipiac 3, St. Lawrence 0

5:44p – Ben Nelson hits the post as the Bobcats almost make it 3-0. 5:30 left to go in the 2nd. Saints kill off the penalty. Petizian is keeping his team in the game as the offense is looking anemic. Now 3:30 to go.

5:40p – Petizian having his helmet worked on for a little bit after being hit with a shot. Shots are now 17-12 in favor of the Bobcats just over halfway through the game. St. Lawrence takes yet ANOTHER penalty. Referee Scott Hansen is certainly not handing out any make-up penalties which must be frustrating to Saint fans.

5:34p – St. Lawrence going off on another PP. Quinnipiac is going to have a chance to put this one three deep for the next two minutes. Max Taylor expending some time on the PK. Petizian makes a couple big saves on some bad give aways in his own zone.

5:28p – Quinnipiac is now on the PP. Wong wide open in front of the net from Cashman and it’s a GOAL!

Quinnipiac 2, St. Lawrence 0

5:25p – Gobe is at the arena. No updates from him yet, so we’ll continue. 2nd period under way and the Saints are on the power play which is effectively killed. 14:20 left in the 2nd as the period chugs along.

4:56p – Quinnipiac on the PP again as Generous takes a penalty. Rank and Taylor break with a big opportunity short-handed but no dice. Petizian now with a big save. More back and forth for the last few minutes. Bagnall tosses a shot on net.. Rank shoots.. Bobcats ice…. face-off, and it’s the end of the 1st period.

Quinnipiac 1, St. Lawrence 0

4:52p – It’s sounding like this one is not going to be reviewable because the puck was frozen, but now they’re going to the video anyhow.. 7-4 shots on goal in favor of St. Lawrence right now. Hansen waves it off.

Quinnipiac 1, St. Lawrence 0

4:49p – Max Taylor almost scores on the shorthanded break. The St. Lawrence fans wanting a penalty call as he went down. Saints controlling the PK pretty well. Rank with a backhand. The light is on, but the referee has waved it off.. Hansen pointing at the circle, looking to review this one….

4:47p – Quinnipiac blasts a shot from long range and the save is made. Bobcats have pucks finding them all over the place. Petizian makes the save, and the ref’s arm is up. Interference on Keller for St. Lawrence. The Bobcats go on the PP again with 6:48 left in the first.

4:43p – 4 on 4 ends, and now Quinnipiac is on the PP. Rank all over the place on the ice, and Quinnipiac is unable to convert on the PP. 9:50 left in the first as Bagnall rips one over the top of the net. St. Lawrence with lots of pressure again.

4:39p – The Saints go on the power play after the assistant referee makes a slashing call. Will be interesting to see how many “assisted” calls are made. St. Lawrence immediately puts pressure onto Fisher, who smothers the puck under his pad. More pressure from St. Lawrence, Bagnall throwing a big check while on the power-play, and now St. Lawrence takes a penalty, which might be a little phantom.

4:35p – After about five minutes of back and forth, both teams start to try to manufacture some offensive opportunties. Quinnipiac finally gets a shot on net… seconds later and Ben Nelson puts it in off a rebound! Nelson, from Leitch and Duncan!

Quinnipiac 1, St. Lawrence 0

4:26p – The players are on the ice, and the starting lineups have been announced. Petizian in net for the St. Lawrence Saints and Bud Fisher in net for Quinnipiac. Definitely has a making of a goalie duel. Faceoff in less than five minutes. Scott Hansen is your referee.

WCHA FINAL FIVE Live Blogging

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Tom Reale is moblogging live at the WCHA Play-In Game featuring the Michigan Tech Huskies and the Wisconsin Badgers, at the Xcel Center!

Refresh for updates! (all times EDT)

10:40p – That’s it from St. Paul. 4-0 is your final. 26 saves for Elliott in the shutout, and the Badgers’ NCAA hopes are alive and well! Tomorrow features SCSU and UND in the early game, and Minnesota against Wisconsin. Should be exciting! That’s all from the X. Have a good night!

Keep checking back this evening and tomorrow for roundup and analysis before the conference semi-finals kick into gear, including any Pairwise implications from Wisconsin’s big win, and Michigan Tech’s tough loss. Also if you’re at the games this weekend, be sure to check out http://scores.collegehockeynews.com with your mobile browser for all score and PWR updates.

Wisconsin 4, Michigan Tech 0 – F

10:34p – Tech isn’t officially done, but it’s basically over – no NCAA bid barring a miracle. It’ll be interesting to see if they can continue the resurgence next year. Kudos on a great season. two and a half minutes left. UW will spend most of the rest of this game on the power play. The key to the Badgers’ success was three even strength goals tonight.

Wisconsin 4, Michigan Tech 0

10:30p – Five to play. Only question left is whether Elliott completes the shutout.

Wisconsin 4, Michigan Tech 0

10:27p – Tonight’s game has broken the record for attendance at the WCHA play-in game, with well over 16,000 in attendance. At least that’s what they announced. Can’t be more than 10k in seats.

Wisconsin 4, Michigan Tech 0

10:19p – Back to 5 a side and we’re under 10 to play. Now Gorowski scores! That should seal this one tight. 4-0 Badgers.

Wisconsin 4 – Michigan Tech 0

10:15p – Another 4 on 4 now. If Tech can’t take advantage of this open ice, there’s no hope. Elliott makes a routine shot look more dangerous than it needed to be. MTU can’t count on chances like that to carry them.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0

10:13p – The game’s settled into a back and forth affair, it looks like the Badgers are just trying to run down the clock.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0. ~13:00 left in the 3rd.

10:06p – Tech has another power play, and UW seems to be expending little effort in shutting it down.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0

10:02p – The third’s about to start. Can Tech pull off a miracle comeback?

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0. Start of 3rd.

9:57p – It’s a veritable who’s who in the WCHA in the X press box. Craig Dahl, Dave Shyiak, and Troy Jutting are all nearby and jovial.

(I just wanted to point out that Phil Kessel just scored his FOURTH shootout winner this year, thank you Gopher fans. – Ron)

9:46p – With two in the books, it’s 3-nil Badgers. 18 saves for Elliott so far. You have to think this is Wisconsin’s game to lose.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0

9:43p – Last minute of the second. Tech is controlling, but they can’t buy one!

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0

9:42p – VCU upsets Duke effectively killing Denver’s Pairwise hopes.

9:39p – MTU is hitting more pipes than a party at Snoop Dogg’s. That’s been the only result of beating Elliott. Helminen this time. (Editor: ZING!)

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0

9:37p – We’re 4 on 4 after coincidentals to Piskula and Gwillam.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0. 6:30 left in 2nd.

9:30p – Best chance of the game for Tech, and Elliott stones ‘em! Tech does need to be more brave about shooting, though.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0

9:25p – Well, that’s the end of that. Nothing special for Tech on the attack.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0

9:22p – UW gets a shorty shot, and minor fisticuffs result. Looks like coincidentals.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0

9:20p – Now’s the time to start. Dowell is off for elbowing. But that Tech power play has been lousy all year… 9.5%.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0

9:18p – What a tall order for Tech now. Only Clarkson and BC have been able to hang four goals on Elliott this year.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0

9:14p 3-0 Badgers, just like that. Not looking good for Tech. Joudrey with this one.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan Tech 0

9:13p Davies makes it 2-0 Badgers, and it’s another bizarre goal. Davies scores this one from his stomach! Don’t know how Teslak missed.

Wisconsin 2, Michigan Tech 0

9:10p – MTU’s Lord goes off on a high stick. Let’s see if this power play is more interesting than the last.

Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0

9:09p – Back in action at the X. Wisco pushed early but nothing doing. The bands are certainly alive, though!

Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0

8:50p – That’s it for the 1st. UW controlled, but MTU played well. They’re very much in this one.

Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0

8:49p – A nice move by Foote around his mark almost puts Tech on the board. Then Shelast hits the post!

Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0

8:43p – Anderson is back and it’s game on! (Editors Note: It’s hockey of course he’s back.)

Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0

8:40p – Referee Todd Anderson just took a stick to the chops. He’s being attended to and has gone back to the dressing room.

Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0

8:36p – Bendickson off the post for the Badgers! The way things are going, that could have almost ended it.

Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0

8:28p – Well, both sides are back to five-a-side, but I must have missed the power part of the power plays. Nothing going for either team.

Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0

8:23p – Now things even up as UW’s Dowell goes off for hooking.

Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0

8:21p – Our first power play of the night goes to the Badgers as Alex Gagne gets the gate for cross checking.

Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0

8:17pThe play-in game starts off with a bang! Blake Geoffrion gets credited with the game’s first goal, which would have been considered an own goal in soccer! Teslak couldn’t draw a bead on a deflection in front of the crease.

Wisconsin 1, Michigan Tech 0

CCHA Championship Live Blogging

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

8:32p – Jack Johnson is in the box AGAIN. His third of the night…he is certainly the most talented player on the ice, but he can’t do much in the sin bin.
8:30p – NOTRE DAME Goal!! The Irish worked the puck around the back of Sauer’s net and tried a wraparound. The puck hit Sauer’s pad and bounced to a wide open Condra in the slot, and he put it home. Notre Dame 1, Michigan 1. Less than 4 to go in the 2nd.
8:28p – Icing call…ND 0, Michigan 1. 5:22 left in the second.
8:27p – TV timeout….The CCHA plays David Brown’s CCHA player of the year award video and the Michigan fans start with the Hey Brown…you’re not a goalie…,etc. cheer.
8:22p – Almost a minute into the power play Notre Dame strings together a few passes and finds Garrett Regan all alone on the back door. Regan held onto the puck a second two long, allowing Sauer to make the save….Penalty expires with another huge save by Sauer on the doorstop on a shot by Deeth. The Michigan fans…often skeptical of their netminder are screaming their support tonight.
8:19p – Michigan’s Johnson is back in the box again…The Wolverines can ill afford to give up this many power play chances to the Irish…surely the puck will bounce Notre Dame’s way eventually with a man up.
8:17p – Notre Dame has its best chance after the too many men penalty expires and they went on the power play. The Irish has a forward wide open in hte slot but his redirection was right into Sauer’s chest. The penalty expired without further incident. ND 0, Michigan 1 9:07 left in the 2nd.
8:14p – Any chance of a power play goal fades for Michigan as Notre Dame worked the puck into Michigan’s zone. As Johnson regained possession for Michigan, Hensick was putting pressure on Notre Dame’s forwards when called for obstruction tripping. Less than 12 to go in the second. ND 0, Mich 1.
8:10p – The tide of the game has changed a bit. The Fighting Irish maintained control of the Michigan zone much more effectively than they had in the previous period. TV timeout gives both coaches a chance to change the pace…Too many men on the ice for ND was the cause for the whistle, Michigan must use this Power play, just their second of the game to change the momentum back their way.
8:07p – Still nothing significant here in the second period…15:20 to go. Both teams have a had a few shots but no real threats. Notre Dame 0, Michigan 1 15:20 2nd.
8:00p – Start of the second period. It only took 9 seconds for Notre Dame to get their first shot.
7:42p – MICHIGAN GOAL! The Wolverines have taken a 1-0 lead with :05.2 to go in the opening frame. After Jack Johnson was stopped on a redirection, Kevin Porter notched his third goal of the weekend with the rebound, slamming it home from the slot. Brown, who was adjusting from his position relative to Johnson never saw the puck until it was just about past him. Michigan 1, Notre Dame 0 END OF 1st Period.
7:37p – Coincidental penalties to Kampfer of Michigan and Jindra of Notre Dame for a scuffle which ensued due to a pair of big hits by each team.
7:34p – Notre Dame 0, Michigan 0. 4:56 to go in Period 1. Neither team has really generated any sustained momentum. Michigan has had a few chances but the puck seems to bounce up their sticks on redirections because they’re not getting a lot on shots. Notre Dame hasn’t had any alarming lapses but also can’t seem to generate any real offensive threat. Good defensive hockey on both teams’ parts.
7:27p – Notre Dame has been playing a lot of dump and chase hockey, as the Wolverines have been able to generate more offense in the neutral zone and continue to threaten Brown’s net.
7:23p – Johnson’s penalty expires, and his teammates generated more offense than the Irish during the 2 minutes. Thus far, Michigan’s three best chances have come shorthanded. Now 10:14 remaining in the first period. Notre Dame 0, Michigan 0.
7:19p – Michigan is shorthanded as Jack Johnson is headed to the box for tripping.
7:16p – Quite reminiscent of yesterday’s shorthanded near miss against Michigan State, Wolverines’ forward David Rohlfs hits the post after beating Irish goaltender David Brown on the near side from just inside the left circle.
7:12p – Michigan’s Porter takes a penalty with 16:36 to go, leading to 1:15 of 4-on-4 play. Johnson and Hunwick finally left the ice, for Steve Kampfer and Jason Dest. Hockey substitutions shouldn’t be this notable?
7:10p – Notre Dame penalty to Evan Rankin…2 minutes for obstruction hooking, penalty at 2:38 of the first…Johnson and Hunwick have played the first two and a half minutes for Michigan…a mighty long shift to start the game.
7:07p – Nothing too exciting so far, but the first minute of play has been contained in Michigan’s end. Notre Dame has won the first two faceoffs from Hensick, normally the Wolverines’ top winner on the draw.
7:05p – Getting ready for faceoff. The arena is surprisingly full, mostly Michigan fans but a fair number of Irish faithful have come to see their team’s bid for the Mason Cup.
7:00p – Notre Dame received a “warm” welcome by the Michigan-dominated crowd as they took the ice…
Saturday March 17 — CCHA Championship Game

No. 1 Notre Dame v. No. 2 seed Michigan

10:29p – It’s over. Michigan 5, MSU 2. It’ll be the Wolverines and the Irish in Detroit on St. Patrick’s day tommorrow. Thanks for reading everyone.
10:28p – MICHIGAN EMPTY NETTER! With :07.5 to go Hensick pots an empty net goal from center ice on a turnaround shot after taking the puck from an MSU player running out the clock.
10:28p – Michigan clears the zone with :30 to go
10:26p – There goes Lerg…it’s an empty net for Michigan State…icing call brings the faceoff back to Michigan’s zone…1:02 to go
10:26p – MSU is controlling the puck in Michigan’s zone with 1:30 to go, but Michigan clears and gets a change…UM 4 MSU 2 now 1:10 to go
10:25p – Unnecessary offsides call on Michigan State…just a little too anxious to get into the zone..
10:22p – TV timeout. Both teams needed this. Michigan needs to settle down and find a way to rekindle the defensive fire they maintained for so long while Comley’s bunch must stoke the blaze they have finally found after more than 50 minutes of play. Metallica plays and both teams fans go wild….This is what MSU-Michigan is all about. Dueling cheers of Let’s go Blue and Let’s go State
10:20p – MSU SCORES AGAIN! It’s been a wild three minutes in Detroit as Tim Kennedy scored with 3:56 remaining to bring the Spartans back within two. The puck was loose in the slot and just as Crowder tried shooting he pulled back, giving Kennedy a free shot at Sauer, who had no chance on the rocket. 3:56 to go Michigan 4, MSU 2.
10:18p – Michigan Retaliates! Michigans Chad Kolarik took a drop pass from Cogliano in the slot and beat Lerg on his glove side 50 seconds after McKenzie’s goal. Michigan 4, MSU 1 5:33 remaining.
10:17p – MSU GOAL!! We might have a game on our hands after Jim McKenzie, who had previously been fairly silent slipped a shot past Sauer and inside the far post. Michigan 3, MSU 1 6:23 remaining in regulation.
10:12p – As Miller’s penalty was concluding, Michigan broke out on a two-on-two with Hensick and Porter. Hensick slipped the puck between the defenders to Porter, who broke his stick trying to redirect the puck. There was a delayed penalty to MSU’s Nick Sucharski on the play.
10:08p – After MSU completes a successful penalty kill, Michigan’s Tim Miller is nailed with an obstruction-holding call at 8:48 of the third period. If MSU can score one here they are certainly back in the game.
10:05p – Michigan State’s Tyler Howell’s is penalized for tripping UM’s Travis Turnbull into Lerg’s net…see if Michigan can do anything with this power play. If they are unable to convert, MSU NEEDS to take advantage and jump back in the game with a quick goal.
9:59p – MSU returns to full strength. Michigan handled the puck well in the Spartan zone but couldn’t get a clear shot. The Wolverines have to be careful not to fall into a trap of excessive patience, which cost them the game at Lake State a few weeks back.
9:57p – MSU penalty to Snavely for interference at 2:07 of the second.
9:55p – The third period has begun. Jack Johnson’s father regaled the fans with his well-known dancing antics between periods.
9:39p – End of the Second…we’ll see what MSU can come up with in the 3rd. If there is one thing a Rick Comley team never does…it never gives up.
9:35p – Michigan State almost catches the Wolverines in a line change, but the pass is too long. 1 minute to go in the second, Michigan 3, MSU 0.
9:30p – GOAL!! Michigan scores again. Kevin Porter took a David Rohlfs pass and brought the puck into the zone. After fumbling the puck, Porter spins around the MSU defense and knocked it past an outstretched Lerg. Michigan 3, MSU 0. Lerg is perhaps one of the most positionally sound goaltenders in the nation, but his lack of size showed on that play, where he did not have the reach that a Sauer or David Brown might have. Now less than 3 to go in the second.
9:25p – Michigan State’s Matt Schepke has a nice chance to cut down the lead, but loses his handle on the puck near Sauer’s crease.
9:22 p – Hunwick’s penalty was killed with ease and few great shorthanded chances including a David Rohlfs breakaway off the crossbar. Michigan has certainly dominated the last few minutes and Comley needs to get his team coming out of this TV timeout strong.
9:19 p – Michigan’s Hunwick takes a second penalty of the game with 10:37 left in the second.
9:18 p – Coincidental Minors given again, this time to MSU’s Chris Mueller and Michigan’s Mark Mitera. MSU needs to take advantage of open ice, as they have Abdelkader and Kennedy in at forward (two perennial Wolverine killers).
9:15p – Have the MSU fans given up already…? There was a small contingent beginning an NIT..NIT…NIT chant. It’s certainly unlike the Spartans’ normally loud and passionate fans. Michigan can be Comley and his team won’t give up so easy. Back in the first half of the season, Michigan took a commanding lead in the first period of a game in East Lansing before MSU came out firing and crushed the Wolverines in the late second and entire third period…..Another fight just broke out after Sauer gloved a puck…11:19 to go in the second…Michigan 2, MSU 0
9:10p – MSU is down a man once more as Chris Snavely is whistled for cross-checking Chris Summers. A bad penalty, certainly due to frustration. 4:49 of the second.
9:08p – GOAL #2!! Michigan jumps out in front again with a quick goal on a 3-on -1 started by Johnson, given to Hensick who slipped his trademark pass to Kevin Porter for the goal. It was Porter’s 21st goal of the season, many of which have come with the help of Hensick. The roof has come off on the Michigan half of the JLA and Comley calls a timeout. Time of the goal was 4:11. Michigan 2, MSU 0.
9:05p – GOAL! Michigan takes a 1-0 lead as Chris Summers slips a breakaway goal off of Lerg and into the net. Jack Johnson began the play with a pass through the neutral zone which bounced to Summers who walked Ethan Graham to the net and scored. Goal at 3:07 of the second period. Michigan 1, MSU 0.
9:03p – Period 2 has begun. Two penalties came out of the scrum at the end of period 1, so the period started 4 on 4 without much fanfare for either team.
8:45p – End of the first period. Michigan 0, MSU 0. A small fight broke out at the end of the period…we’ll see if penalties ensue.
8:43p – Michigan’s Billy Sauer has played extremely well so far, turning away several chances he might not have in earlier games. Whether or not he holds on to this form in the next two periods will be a key for the Wolverines. :48.7 left in period 1. Michigan 0, MSU 0.
8:31p – Penalty Shot!!! Michigan State’s Justin Abdelkader breaks out of the zone all alone shorthanded and is taken down by Hunwick. Abdelkader skates in and tries a deke but gets stoned cold by Sauer and the Michigan fans erupt…what a potential turning point for Michigan. The last time they stopped a penalty shot in Alaska in October 2005 when then-goalie Noah Ruden stoned Lucas Burnett and sent Michigan to a 4-0 victory.
8:30p – MSU is a man down once more as Mike Ratchuk took a hooking penalty with 8:34 left in the period.
8:26p – Michigan State returns to full strength with 9:28 to go in the opening frame. Looking at Michigan’s power play which dominated the two minutes while Dunne was in the box, the Spartans must stay out of the box to keep Michigan off the board. Michigan 0, Michigan State 0.
8:23p – The Spartans take their first penalty as Jeff Dunne mauled Michigan’s Chris Summers near Michigan State’s goal crease… Cogliano, Johnson, Porter, Rohlfs and Hensick on the PP for Michigan.The held the zone for the first minute, but Michigan State finally cleared it back out.
8:18p – Michigan State’s Tim Kennedy has two quick chances and is robbed by Sauer. His first was a shot from the right side, which he then wrapped around the netand almost put in on the back side.
8:16p – The Wolverines are back in the box after Travis Turnbull was whistled for obstruction tripping at 4:43 of the 1st. Not a good way to start for Michigan’s discipline.
8:12p – No GOAL! Just moments after Hunwick’s release from the sin bin, Spartan forward Jay Sprague found open space inside the right circle and released a shot which beat Sauer on his stick side and slammed into the far post. It was initially ruled a goal, but review clearly showed that it hit the post and not the net.

Michigan 0, Michigan State 0

8:12p – Michigan captain Matt Hunwick received an early interference penalty just one minute into the game, but the Wolverines were able to kill it off successfully despite Michigan State controlling the offensive zone for a large part of the two minutes.
8:06p – Michigan and Michigan State are ready to faceoff. For the opening period, Michigan will be skating right to left in their third yellow jerseys and Michigan State left to right in green.
7:05p – It’s Over… Notre Dame 3, Lake State 0 and the Irish will face the winner of tonight’s Michigan/Michigan State Matchup in the CCHA title game tommorrow (ironically, St. Patrick’s Day).
7:03p – With :53.2 to go in the game, Lake State fans give their team a standing ovation after an offside call, thanking them for a magical run to Joe Louis…3-0 against the best team in the land…something to build a dream on for next year.
7:01p – GOAL! Notre Dame ices their victory with an empty net goal by Christian Hanson

Notre Dame 3, Lake State 0 less than 2 minutes to go.
7:00p – Lake State pulls Jakaitis.

Timeout with 3:10 remaining. Jackson has decided to use his team’s timeout to regroup the defense with an impending faceoff to Brown’s left. Not sure entirely what he has to say, but judging by the job the CCHA coach of the year has done this season, I’m sure he gave them an earful, and he changed the line he had on the ice.
6:56p – With 4:12 remaining in regulation, Notre Dame has taken control of the game again, playing a conservative trap defense while wasting time in the corners and dumping the puck deep. And to think I thought a game with Lake State couldn’t possibly get more boring…
6:48p – Lake State’s Dan Eves creates a breakaway after skating through the Notre Dame defense, but Brown stops him cold.
6:45p - The game had been almost completely devoid of action for several minutes when Lake Superior State initiated a rush of shots on goal that somehow stayed out of the net when Brown couldn’t find the puck but neither could the Lake State forwards. 10 minutes to go…still Notre Dame 2, Lake State 0.
6:36p – Notre Dame once again killed off the penalty with little effort, and had their best chance of the period when Thang jumped into the attack and the Irish odd-man rush generated a flurry of shots that couldn’t find their way past Jakaitis.

6:33p – Notre Dame ‘s Ryan Thang is headed to the penalty box for tripping after taking Derek R. Smith’s feet out from under him while he tried to cross Brown’s goal crease after walking the Irish defense to the outside.

Smith’s chance was the first semblance of Laker offense this period…The Irish had previously kept it in the Lake State zone for all but an icing call.

6:30p - Third period is underway. Notre Dame 2, Lake Suprerior State 0.
6:11p – End of the second Period, Notre Dame 2, Lake Superior State 0.

The Irish almost put a third goal in with Kevin Deeth on the doorstep after a shot by Kyle Lawson was deflected by Jakaitis. But once again, the goaltender had none of it, standing tall and denying Deeth any open space to shoot.

Going into the third, it will be important for Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson to keep his team’s head in the game, as Lake Superior has snuck up on teams in the third period before, handing Michigan a decisive loss in the CCHA Regular season title race in Sault Ste. Marie on Feb. 16.
6:09p - Heading into the last minute of play in the second, Notre Dame’s Ryan Thang took a pass in the neutral zone speeding free of the Lakers’ defensemen and unleashing a shot which beat Jakaitis but hit the near post. This is the first semblance of any Irish offensive momentum in almost 10 minutes.
6:07p – After the Irish take a too many many penalty at 17:25 of the 2nd, the Lakers nullify their power play opportunity when Dominic Osman took a hooking penalty at 17:56.
6:04p - Lakers’ forward Derek R. Smith has a near miss on Brown’s near post.. perhaps the best individual chance his team has mustered thus far after Troy Schwab worked the puck around the Irish defense and shot it across the zone.
6:00p - Lake Superior State’s Jason Blain delights the crowd by leveling Notre Dame’s Michael Bartlett as the Irish clear the puck out of their zone…finally something to cheer about for Lakers’ fans. Blain’s teammates still continue to maintain more pressure in the Irish zone, maybe a sign of changing tides.

Notre Dame 2, Lake Superior State 0 4:20 remaining in the second period.

5:56p – With just under 7 minutes remaining in the second Lake State finally begins putting some pressure on the Notre Dame zone, but still can’t seem to get a shot through to Brown. Whatever Jim Roque said during the TV timeout certainly made a difference in the ensuing minutes.
5:53p – TV timeout….Notre Dame has really taken control of the game in the past few minutes, rarely allowing the puck out of the Lakers’ zone. Jakaitis has stood strong for his team all season long, but they have to give him more help than this if they expect to live another day. Time after time the star goaltender has come up with the big save…now he’s just relying on his teammates to get it out of the zone.

5:48p – GOAL! Notre Dame lights the lamp for a second time with a long one-timer by Brock Sheahan. Sheahan took the puck between the top of the left circle and the blue line and redirected it past a screened Jakaitis.

Thus far, both Notre Dame goals have come through a crowd of Lakers, who tend to collapse in front of the net.

Notre Dame 2, Lake Superior State 0
5:43p – The Lakers have their first legitimate chance in a long time while still shorthanded, with a two-on-one, but Notre Dame’s David Brown thwarts an attempt to pass across the net and the Lakers come back to full strength just seconds later.

5:40p – Lake Superior State’s captain Barnabas Birkeland is whistled for hooking at 5:31 of the second period.
5:39p – The Irish have killed off White’s penalty with little to worry about

5:37p – Notre Dame’s Justin White takes a penalty for hooking at 2:33 of the second period.

Notre Dame 1, Lake Superior State 0
5:33p – The second period has just gotten underway with Notre Dame leading Lake Superior State. The Irish outshot the Lakers 14-4 in the opening frame, but stellar goaltending by Jeff Jakaitis has kept the underdogs in the game.

The game’s lone goal came at 9:46 of the first period when Notre Dame’s Wes O’Neill slipped a power play tally through a screen and past Jakaitis from the top of the circle…

Charging into the NCAAs

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

A big and belated congratulations go out to the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers for pulling off three of the unlikeliest victories in recent college hockey history. The Chargers came back from four goals down in the first period to beat fellow Cinderella Robert Morris 5-4 in the 1st OT of the CHA Championship. They will obviously have the unenviable task of facing the #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

More of the bizzarities of the Pairwise will rare their head over this week as Adam points out in his Bracket ABC’s including interesting scenarios involving my beloved Clarkson Golden Knights. It is a realistic possibility that they could jump into a #1 seed depending on how SCSU and UNH do this weekend, yet even as a #1 seed, they would not be guaranteed the Rochester regional (which is about a three hour drive and full of alumni.) This is another odd case where some fans are rooting for their seeding to drop just a little bit (but still win out in the ECACHL’s of course) so they don’t get shipped out to Manchester. This should NOT be the case, but we will see how it plays out.

Something in my gut as me worried about the selection show on Sunday. After the controversy with Denver and Colorado College flipping on a non-Pairwise decision, I have some hope that someone will just say Clarkson should be in Rochester regardless if they’re the #5. But I’m more worried about some sort of subjective decision on the bubble, and I’m even more concerned about how the bonus may play into that. As always we assume that the bonus is .003. Here’s the scenarios as of right now:

Bonus added: .002-.004
Last 3 In: St. Lawrence, Maine, Miami
Last 3 Out: Michigan Tech, Dartmouth, Denver

Bonus added: .005
Last 3 In: Michigan State, Michigan Tech, Miami (Maine moved up to 11)
Last 3 Out: St. Lawrence, Dartmouth, Denver

While I don’t see a .005 happening, my bigger concern is what happens if if just a thousandth of a point becomes the difference after this weekend’s games. The bonus determines the team, someone complains on the committee (especially if the bonus changes from last year), then the things may deteriorate into subjective reasoning. SLU had an easier schedule, Michigan Tech had a losing record most of the season, etc etc etc. Very scary. I truly hope the PWR breaks cut and dry, or the longest forum thread of our era may occur.

The sky is NOT falling.

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Just a friendly reminder not to get to excited about where your team stands in the Pairwise until the end of the night. As much fun as it is to watch your team jump four spots or if you scream in terror watching your team drop six spots, until that game out West is over with, you’re just freaking yourself out.

Big games today. Alaska-Anchorage tries to keep its NCAA hopes alive against Minnesota after pulling a Game 2 upset last night. SCSU attempts to advance to the Final Five against a stingy Minnesota-Duluth team.

Four teams are fighting for their NCAA tournament lives as Colorado College and Michigan Tech try to inch their way to the happy side of the bubble. The loser is done for the year, the winner still has hope.

In College Hockey America a team with a losing record will advance to the NCAA tournament as the string of upsets continue. Robert Morris (14-18-2) will take on Alabama-Huntsville (12-19-3) for the CHA’s Championship and the auto-bid that comes with it at 3:00 ET. The teams have split the season series 3-3. The game will be televised on CSTV. Keep in mind, no PWR ramifications here in terms of either team becoming a TUC.

Well that settles that..

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

It was the biggest game of the year, and with Niagara getting bounced by Alabama-Hunstville (and what a story that would be with the CHA’s future hanging in the balance) so much for Niagara and the TUC cliff.

Michigan State and St. Lawrence are happy recipients, but still need to keep winning. Niagara’s loss also shifted the PWR at the top too, sorting out the tie at the top, bumping North Dakota up and doing a few other wild things.

Game on!

Suddenly it doesn’t seem so objective…

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

Lots of outstanding hockey last night, including a bunch of upsets. If you haven’t taken a look at CHN’s Tourney Watch be sure to take a look and catch up what happened around the league.

As many of us are doing, we head straight over to the Pairwise to see what’s going on. Who is in, who is out.

Most of the hockey world has been basing their PWR on the assumption that there will be a PWR bonus of .003 added for quality road wins. Here’s where things is frighteningly scary.. a PWR bonus of .002 will leave drastically switch things up thanks to Niagara perilously leaving on the edge of the TUC Cliff, which could effect a lot of seedings and some NCAA berths. Lets how for controversy’s sake they choose a nice round number like 0.0025… that way everyone can scream when they find out Niagara would become a TUC at 0.0026…

If there was no bonus, and no upset champions:
Last two in: UMass, St. Lawrence
Last two out: Maine, Michigan Tech

If there was a .003 bonus, and no upset champions:
Last two in: UMass, Michigan State
Last two out: Michigan Tech, St. Lawrence
*Niagara now a TUC

If there was a .002 bonus, and no upset champions:
Last two in: Denver, UMass
Last two out: St. Lawrence, Michigan Tech
*Niagara no longer a TUC

Watching quietly.

Friday, March 9th, 2007

So, despite the fact that the playoffs are gearing up, it’s been a quiet week for us here as we’re rabidly anticipating the games ahead, and I believe every outlet has already shown you ever possible projection possible. Because the PWR is an objective system, I find quiet joy in scoreboard watching, listening to webcasts, and reading forum score updates especially in the first two rounds. While most teams can get it done on the ice themselves, some are at the hands of games that in any other sport would be declared meaningless. Can you imagine how many people would actually watch a Cubs / Pirates game in September or a Flyers / Kings game in late April if it meant their team would make the playoffs? This is one of the oddities and the best things about College Hockey. As much as some people hate it, that Wayne State game is going to mean something, there’s a reason to watch and care.

After last night’s action in Hockey East, UNH righted the ship and blanked Providence, giving a sigh of relief to the fans at the Whitt. BC blanked Northeastern, and the big one, Vermont takes Game #1 from Boston University 3-2. Big time ramifications, as tonight’s game goes into must win for BU. A Terrier loss tonight, puts BU on the bubble, with a bunch of teams around them that have the potential to make noise in the playoffs and are just fractions off in the RPI. A couple of comparison flips, maybe an upset champion in one of the leagues, and some people are staying home.

Don’t forget the D-III tournament is underway with Middlebury and Bethel advancing to 2nd round games that will be played on Saturday. Middlebury, Manhattanville, St. Norbert and Oswego are all hosting quarterfinal matchups this weekend, and the NCAA Women’s Tournament gets under way as well!