Archive for the 'Regular Season' Category

CHN Blog’s “PUCK” Rankings (10/30/2006)

Monday, October 30th, 2006

People love polls. People love to argue about polls. We at the CHN Blog *heart* controversy, and quite frankly there certainly hasn’t been enough in college hockey this year. So we felt the best way to accomplish this was to create our own weekly rankings.

We know some people believe that KRACH is the be all, end all system for finding the best team. The NCAA says “unofficially” rolls with the Pairwise. Many fans flock to polls that require some sort of human intervention, where sometimes you get ridiculous votes for teams that haven’t even played yet, or are performing horrifically. We’ve seen some Ivy League schools that can remain ranked for weeks despite getting schooled multiple weekends in a row.

So we tasked ourselves to come up with something that we hope will make the college hockey picture a bit clearer, and even if it doesn’t, you can go right ahead and shoot us down in the comments as much as you’d like. We won’t feel bad.

So without further ado I present to you our first ever edition of the CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings.

CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings
October 30, 2006

Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Maine 6-0-0 -
2 Boston College 4-1-0 -
3 Minnesota 6-1-0 -
4 North Dakota 5-3-0 -
5 Miami 6-2-0 -
6 Wisconsin 3-3-2 -
7 Notre Dame 5-1-0 -
8 Dartmouth 2-0-0 -
9 Michigan State 3-1-0 -
10 Boston University 2-1-1 -
11 Michigan Tech 5-1-0 -
12 Michigan 4-2-0 -
13 Cornell 2-0-0 -
14 Yale 2-0-0 -
15 Clarkson 4-1-1 -
16 UMass-Amherst 2-1-1 -

These rankings have not been deemed “official” CHN Rankings by the editorial staff. Maybe someday when we prove our ultimate wisdom, but not today. Still enjoy.

Upset City…

Monday, October 30th, 2006

The upsets just kept rolling in over the weekend.

  • Northeastern after almost swiping one on Friday night from Michigan came through on Saturday with a big win.
  • Yale, with new coach Keith Allain took a big W off of UNH who got swept over the weekend.
  • Not so much an upset, as much as a statement, Boston College came in and cleaned house, sweeping Wisconsin, a small consolation for the Eagles who aren’t able to put on Championship rings after the game.
  • Colgate is NOT living up to it’s #1 pre-season ranking in the ECAC where RPI beat them 2-1 to take the Governor’s Cup a short trip up 787.
  • Notre Dame wins the Lightning College Hockey Classic defeating Air Force 2-0. They’re still on fire.
  • The Nanooks are 4-1-1 now, but haven’t played a game outside of Alaska yet.
  • Dartmouth opened up their defense of the ECACHL regular season title with a big win over Harvard.The US-18 team is now on Brett’s “Dead to me..” list after taking out Clarkson on Saturday. I wouldn’t be so accomodating though as D-III Plattsburgh almost took them out the next day.

Fight at the Top

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

While we wait for Adam’s analysis of last night’s games (check out that pic by the way, it just screams “I scored 41 points on the quiz.”) A few things are popping into my mind.

The cream of the Hockey East continues to take victories from the top of the WCHA after Boston College’s hard earned victory over Wisconsin Friday night. It took a short-handed goal on a 5 on 3 with an assist from the goalie just to get someone on the board, and the final was in question with as little as two minutes left remaining. Expect more of the same this evening.

While the tops in the Hockey East seem to do fine against the WCHA, a couple of the teams in Hockey East seem to get upset each week in their own conference. Last night it was Lowell taking down BU, and Merrimack took a win over Providence. Early in the week UNH fell to a UMass squad that is starting to raise eyebrows. Yes, I know it’s early, but those are points that fans of those teams expected to be in the bag.

It’ll be Air Force and Notre Dame in the final of the Lightning College Hockey Classic. RIT continues its fast start in Atlantic Hockey with a victory last night to improve their record to 3-0-0, but keep in mind they’ve been pounding on AIC and Canisus. Still I think they’re going to be very competitive against the Mercyhursts, Sacred Hearts and Holy Crosses. I’ll definitely be making it out to some Atlantic games soon, and I’m looking forward to seeing the increased level of competition.

In conference play over in the CCHA and WCHA everything seemed to go as I would’ve expected with the exception of the Seawolves getting blown out so badly by Michigan Tech. After such a great performance against the Nanooks last weekend is this just a bit of let down?

Also, welcome back Niagara. After last week’s drubbing at the hands of Nebraska-Omaha, they rattled off three goals in the first five minutes against Bemidji State to leave no doubt on route to a 6-2 victory over the Beavers.

Tonight, we’ll see if Brett’s taunting of the USNDTP-18 team comes back to haunt him.

Weekend Preview

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Sure, many teams have four, five, six games under their belts so far this season, but this is truly the first full fledged week of the season as the Ivies come out of their safe little coccoons and join the rest of the world for a little old-fashioned ice hockey.

Cornell gave me a little scare last night as I diligently refreshed my cell phone using the new super-sweet CHN Wireless Scoreboard. Seeing it 2-1 in the 3rd was a bit scary. It either shows Cornell has a lot of rust, or Robert Morris has already come a long way in Division I. Cornell’s next test is an RIT team that has been known to keep up with the rest of D-I as well.

The big news this weekend is really the Wisconsin / BC Championship Rematch. They’re going to go at it on back-to-back nights, and it’s going to be some of the best hockey of the year, in one of the best college hockey towns, and even if you can’t be there, Badger fans have the fortune of seeing the game televised throughout Wisconsin, and also nationally on Fox Sports and CSTV (at least on Friday) Also, if you’re in Madison, have a beer for me, I wish I could be there.

The Lightning College Hockey Classic is happening this weekend, with Army, Air Force, Alabama-Huntsville and Notre Dame participating. I bet when that one was scheduled, no one expected to see THIS Irish squad coming into the tournament.

The first ever, ECAC Governor’s Cup is taking place in Albany at the Pepsi Arena featuring Colgate, Quinnipiac, Union and RPI in non-conference matchups. No one has figured out what happens if Quinnipiac wins. Will the NY fans riot? Will the Bobcats from CT refuse the trophy in disdain? While I’m a big fan of tournament hockey, it’s too bad it’s all ECAC teams. Some of these teams have a hard enough time schedule OOC opponents as is. Not sure if this is a case of the chicken (we made this tournament, we’re going to play), or the egg (no one will play us, so we’ll play each other), but it would’ve been nice to see other NY schools involved (and if we’re including Q, New England as well)

We’ll see a the CCHA and WCHA really begin to go at it this week, as both conference have a bunch of league games scheduled and ready to go.

Enjoy the weekend slate.

Whoa. Whoa. Whoaaaa.

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

I’m a regular joe, just like everyone else. So when I get a chance to go out for the evening, I take it. That being said, getting a chance to go out, doesn’t necessarily mean watching college hockey the entire evening.

So imagine my surprise when I return home to see the insanity that hit college hockey this evening.

So sure, my own Golden Knights look like they got a beatdown 5-1 at the hands of LSSU, but lets be honest, last week’s series at OSU left us all apprehensive of the Lakers, who came out firing Friday with a big win. Who thinks they’ll finish in 10th place now?

“But what else Ron?!” you say?!

Well for starters Nebraska-Omaha issuing a 10-1 final over Niagara shocks me. At least until I saw RPI squeaking out a 2-1 victory over Denver in a game most saw going to the Pioneers. But that’s all fine and dandy until I see Michgian Tech take out Vermont, and Maine take a four goal victory over North Dakota. At this point is it bizzaro world I say? Not so sure until on my way to the cotton candy stand I see that Notre Dame took out Boston College 7-1. What a world college hockey has become. Finally, every game, every night, anyone can be a winner, by a slim margin, or by a blowout.

What’s On Tap?

Friday, October 20th, 2006

RIT and Air Force open up their Atlantic Hockey season along with the rest of the now 10 team league.  Highlighted by the early season matchup between perennial league front runners Mercyhurst and Holy Cross.

In the ECAC the Ivy league schools open up with their annual exhibitions against Canadian schools, while the other six schools face off in some quality non-conference games.  Getting the most press is RPI head coach Seth Appert’s return to Denver for a pair of games.  Clarkson returns to Cheel to face LSSU in Jim Roque’s first return to Potsdam since 2000.

In the CCHA, Michigan looks to sweep Miami at Yost after defeating the Hawks last night 6-3.  This series was moved from Friday-Saturday to Thursday-Friday due to the Michigan football game.

In Hockey East Boston Universtiy splits a pair between Northeastern and Merrimack, and in the WCHA St. Cloud travels to Minnesota State, and Duluth travels to Madison. 

In non-conference play the best matchup is New Hampshire at Colorado College, but according to some the best rivalry takes place this weekend as Alaska and Alaska Anchorage square off for the Governers Cup.  The Maverick Stampede is also the weekend and features UNO, Niagara, Lowell and Northern Michigan.  Finally Ohio State travels to Minnesota in what will feature the return of Kellen Briggs from suspension.

USNTDP-U18 Team: You’re On Notice

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

We’re on to you USNTDP-U18 Team. You thought you could fool us, you thought could outsmart us, the American Public. Well we’ve caught on to your rouse, and frankly, we’re a little surprised. Until you get your act together, you’re on notice.

After sweeping through September defeating teams like the Texas Tornado and the North Iowa Blizzard, racking up a 6-0-0 record and a +26 goal differential, you had the swagger. Travelling to Fairbanks and defeating Alaska 5-3 showed you had the confidence. However the 9-2 beating you took at Anchorage just left us shocked.

After leaving us in a deep depression for a week you come back and take Michigan to overtime. Five days later, it’s the top ranked Boston College Eagles, and it was another overtime thriller. The USA was back. While we weren’t happy with the losses, we knew that you had regained your cocky American stride. We could salute you for your effort and look forward to the season ahead.

Then you lost 7-1 to New Hampshire.

Which team is it USA? Do you only show up for big games? Is UNH not considered a big game anymore? We, the American Public, are concerned. Is it drugs? You’re not on drugs, are you? Is it girls? Look we were all Under 18 once in our lives, we know it’s an awkward time, but to lose to UNH 7-1 like that just gets us worried. The Russians, and Canadians aren’t going to care that you got dumped this week, or that you’re not the right fit for the Thrashers. This is international competition. This is the show, or at least one version of it. We need you. We need that gold medal. We need to live vicariously through you. Please USNTDP, we’ve got nothing left.

The World Juniors are a mere 6 months away. You have plenty of time to get into International shape. You have games against 13 D-1 schools left. Please treat them as big games. Sure you can beat up on Traverse City, but doesn’t that feel hollow? Wouldn’t you rather take on North Dakota in Grand Forks and show them what’s for? Can beating the stuffing out Canisus make up for a overtime loss to Michigan State? I think we all know the answer to this.

What’s On Tap?

Friday, October 13th, 2006

The WCHA opens it’s regular season with two big series as North Dakota travels to Wisconsin and Denver heads to Saint Cloud.  St. Cloud has to most to gain from the weekend as a strong showing will move the Huskies up in the polls and give all the other teams in the west something to stew over.  North Dakota and Wisconsin lost their entire rosters to the NHL so it should be fun watching the freshmen skate all over each other.

The Nye Frontier Classic opens with what will be the best game of the tournament as Colorado College and UNO face off in the first game.  UNO get’s to show off Hobey Baker finalist Scott Parse while Colorado College looks to find replacements for their big guns who left in the offseason.  The second game of the Classic features host Alasksa-Anchorage and Merrimack.  One team has to win, common sense says Alaska-Anchorage.  But that’s why they play the games.

The CCHA opens up with Western traveling to State and LSSU travelling to Columbus.  The LSSU, Ohio State match-up will be the better of the weekend as both teams are trying to establish an identity in the league and neither team has a high calibur scoring threat.  Call it a hunch but I think LSSU will take both on the road here.

In out of conference action this weekend has a first week of NCAA football feel to it as Alabama-Huntsville travels to Ann Arbor, Canisus heads to Oxford to take on Miami, and Wayne State heads to Minneapolis to take on the Gophers.  While these games aren’t too exciting to preview, an upset early can have major reprocussions later on.

Previews a Plenty, Ramblings

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

The CHN Staff has been plenty busy putting together season previews for each conference. Checking out the CHA Preview this evening, I’m reminded that not only does the CHA have by far the coolest logo since the old-school “ECAC Olympic Torch,” but also that even though the conference only has five teams, they’re all not pushovers. In particular Niagara, Bemidji State and Alabama-Huntsville all just feel established enough to be dangerous. Wayne State has been around for awhile and has an tournament berth to its credit, and Robert Morris is just the new kid on the block.

The Hockey East preview doesn’t surprise me much. Over the past few years it’s become choosing between New Hampshire, Maine, BC, and BU. Once in awhile a team looks like it’s going to break into the establishment. Last year Vermont and Providence. In previous years UMass-Amherst and UMass-Lowell. Is this the year it happens?

In the WCHA Preview, I was surprised that Minnesota was picked first despite essentially creating an AHL team this summer. I would’ve swapped them with the Badgers but I’m an east coast guy, so what do I know!

Taking a quick swing around the blogsphere:
Western College Hockey picked Michigan State to win the CCHA and Minnesota to win the WCHA. The man is so far ahead on his previews, you’ll have to check his archives.

Clarkson Hockey Fans picked Clarkson to take the ECAC. It felt like a homer pick.. but it’s legit. Really.

Hockey East Blog has Boston College pegged at #1. Surprise! After this evening’s 5-2 victory over Northeastern to open conference play.. they’re in first place!

The RIT Corner Crew tabbed Mercyhurst to take the Atlantic.

Also, it’s good to see dgoddard’s “All Bad-Boyz Team” is back this season, with the induction of three Yale players to the team. His summary is here. (By the way, they picked DU to go all the way this year in the WCHA using the ultra-scientific “Super Poll.”)

Weekend Thoughts

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

I just returned from Potsdam and Clarkson’s 2000th game which was a 4-2 victory over RIT of Atlantic Hockey. It was great to see some live hockey again.

Some thoughts on the weekend:

RIT had a very competitive weekend against the North Country, and although they didn’t come away with a victory this weekend I was impressed with the way the team made the most of their opportunities. RIT wasn’t ranked very high in the pre-season polls in Atlantic Hockey, but based on what I saw, they should be a tough team to draw in that conference.

What happened to Colgate this weekend? They came into this weekend’s Icebreaker as the top pick in the ECAC, and were fairly well ranked nationally. Then they got flattened by Vermont, and loss the consolation to Denver 3-2 to cap a tough weekend.

And speaking of Vermont they are off to the same start as last season, taking down top opponents and winning a tournament. Is Joe Fallon for real, and if he keeps this up will we see him his Senior year?

Maine scored a big upset in the Hall of Fame game to open up the season… or was it with the number of players Minnesota lost over the off-season?

In Denver, neither goalie was spectacular, but Glenn Fisher played well enough to get the win in the Icebreaker consolation.

A couple of upsets in exhibition play this weekend, the biggest was St. Francis Xavier taking down a nationally ranked New Hampshire squad.

And so much for North Dakota and Quinnipiac being as interesting as I thought it would be.. North Dakota handily defeated the Q on Friday, then swept the series 4-2 in the second game with the Towes-Oshie connection. Regardless, having the opportunity to play a top-tier team like NoDak should be an experience that will benefit the Bobcats throughout the remainder of the season.