Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Holiday Tournaments

Friday, December 29th, 2006

We’re done eating turkey and ham, unwrapping gifts, and watching meaningless bowl games. It’s back to hockey and the CHN Staff has nailed down a pretty solid preview of this year’s holiday tournaments.

If I had to choose which one to go with, I’d actually have to get into a little Paper / Rock / Scissors action with the Florida College Classic (UNH, Cornell, Maine, and Western Michigan), the Ledyard Bank Tournament (North Dakota, Dartmouth, Boston University and St. Lawrence) and the Great Lakes Invitiational (Michigan State, Harvard, Michigan, and Michigan Tech). All have their own appeal, and a victory in these tournaments will likely send the winner off and running for the rest of the season, something that is sorely needed especially in the case of the Ledyard Tourney participants who are really looking for that spark and consistently to lock down a strong NCAA bid.

There’s also the mandatory nod to the Seawolves and Nanooks going at it again this weekend in Anchorage. Chippy will likely be the word to use other than balmy as it’s a comfy 20 in Anchorage as opposed to the -40′s they were seeing to the north just a week ago.

You’ll be also able to catch quite a few of these games on that amazing “television” that many people received for the holidays this year. This is the time of year where coverage really starts ramping up across the country now that football season is essentially over. Be sure to enjoy it!

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

It took most of the season, but the PUCK Rankings finally had enough of North Dakota’s play and booted them from the charts. In a pretty slow week of hockey Denver makes the biggest leap from #11 to #8, putting them right next to Colorado College. For two teams that looked pretty slow out of the gate, fans in Colorado must be pretty happy, not only to see successful squads, but some more meaningful rivary games in the future. Lots of streaking or very hot teams in the rankings right now. It will be interesting to see how teams come out of the gate after two and even three week layoffs… refreshed? or rusty?

CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings
December 18th, 2006

Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Minnesota 15-1-3 1
2 New Hampshire 13-2-1 2
3 Notre Dame 14-3-1 3
4 Maine 10-3-2 4
5 St. Cloud State 10-3-3 6
6 Miami 14-5-1 5
7 Boston College 9-5-1 7
8 Denver 12-6-2 11
9 Colorado College 11-6-1 8
10 Vermont 10-5-1 10
11 Michigan 12-7-0 9
12 Boston University 6-3-5 12
13 Clarkson 11-5-1 14
14 Cornell 8-3-1 13
15 Michigan State 9-7-1 15
16 University of Massachusetts – Amherst 8-5-2 NR

Bumped:North Dakota

Wild and Crazy Guys

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

 

Those wacky folks out west, dgoddard of Denver and CHN Penalty Box lore, and Donald of UAA and USCHO permanent vacation lore, have switched blogs this week.  So far the commentary has remained civil, but it’s only Wednesday.  Check back on Friday afternoon to see how things are fairing, and to see if it’s possible to be banned from blogger.

Looking around the blogosphere we find this little bit from Kevin Allenspach which speaks volumes to how fed up ECAC fans and coaches are with the leagues officiating this year.  One can already here the complaints coming from April when NCAA tourney games will be reffed by ECAC officials.  Cornell coach Mike Schaffer has made his opinion known on the issue as well.

The Northern Michigan Blog reviews their first half of the season, while Runnin With The Dogs examines goodwill gone wrong at the DECC.  It’s too bad the good will of people throwing things on the ice ends in disaster for the home team.  If you’re going to ruin a good time, at least throw food, like Bagels.

PUCK Rankings for December 11th, 2006

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Ahh the sweet smell of stability. This week it looks like things went pretty smoothly with just a flip of positions happening in most spots with the exception of North Dakota which plummeted six spots to #16 in this week’s PUCK Rankings. UMass gets the boot and Michigan State joins the party this week. In comparison to the unveling of this week’s KRACH, we’re actually feeling a bit more confident in our rankings at this point in timethan CHN’s officially endorsed system (if you don’t know what KRACH is educate yourself NOW!)

I didn’t say that to enrage Wodon.. I just said it because I believe the KRACH to be best at predicting the teams who should go to the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season, while the PUCK Rankings highlight the best teams right NOW. Until more games are played I leerily look at things like KRACH and Pairwise, despite the fact that at this point in the season they’re still more legitimate than the final BCS results this year. I suspect by the end of the year both will look very similar.
CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings
December 11th, 2006

Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Minnesota 15-1-3 1
2 New Hampshire 13-2-1 2
3 Notre Dame 14-3-1 4
4 Maine 10-3-1 3
5 Miami 14-5-1 5
6 St. Cloud State 10-3-3 6
7 Boston College 9-5-1 7
8 Colorado College 11-6-1 9
9 Michigan 12-7-0 8
10 Vermont 9-5-1 11
11 Denver 10-6-2 15
12 Boston University 6-3-5 12
13 Cornell 7-3-1 13
14 Clarkson 10-5-1 16
15 Michigan State 9-7-1 NR
16 North Dakota 7-8-1 10

Bumped: University of Massachusetts-Amherst

And I’m spent.

Friday, December 8th, 2006

It’s cold and dreary here in Beantown, and the dog days of winter are suddenly here. Yes, it’s early December, but it’s the time of year where the sticks get put into their hockey bags, and the books come out of their backpacks. Things are starting to slow down, and in about a week or so, most of us will be hockeyless until Holiday tournament roll around.

That being said there’s still plenty of intriguing matchups on the docket this week.

First, a really interesting non-conference match between Joe Marsh’s St. Lawrence squad and his alma mater, New Hampshire. SLU is coming off of a devastating loss to arch-rival Clarkson, but has been one of the better squads in the ECACHL. The Saints are very young, and we’ll get a chance to see if they can rebound or will remain crushed by a UNH squad that is playing some of the best hockey in the country. They’re unbeaten in their last eleven and their two losses on the season, both by one goal, both by teams that have been ranked this season.

While not a marquee matchup, we’ll get to see Boston University for the first time since their brutal “own goal” loss to Boston College, and the controversy that ensued later that evening which involved several Terrier players. No team rules appeared to be broken, but their concentration may have been. Will they be able to focus?

Notre Dame takes on Michigan after a big sweep of TAFKAF. Michigan and Notre Dame are both on Miami’s heels, and both need these points. A sweep for either squad would be huge in terms of the CCHA standings. A sweep for Notre Dame would be even bigger in terms of bolstering their reputation on a national level. Why 12-3-1 isn’t doing it for some fans blows my mind.

A matchup that normally would make any hockey fan go into a frenzy out west, suddenly is a side show, with 5-9-2 Wisconsin facing 7-6-1 North Dakota. Both teams NEED a sweep in this series to regain a little swagger heading into the holidays, Wisconsin even more so as they stand 8th in the WCHA.

Michigan Tech takes another shot at trying to prove they can not just hang with the big boys, but win some too when they face Minnesota who is now unbeaten in sixteen games.

Good Stuff. Good Stuff.

Friday, December 1st, 2006

As helpfully pointed out on the front page of College Hockey News, this is a big week for rivalries in college hockey.

Denver faces Colorado College (Which means LetsGoDU is teeing off on a regular basis on their arch-rivals.)
Denver and CC are both on pretty hot runs as of late. CC winning five of their last six, and the Pioneers unbeaten in their last seven.

BC/BU is as interesting as always, with both teams falling all over themselves to find any semblance of consistency. Along with the pressure of beating the team a few stops down the Green Line, this should be some entertaining hockey. I suspect we’ll be seeing some wild scores.

I point out the St. Lawrence / Clarkson matchup, not just because I’m a Clarkson Alum and I think it’s one of the most greatest and most overlooked rivalries in all of sports, but because this matchup is huge in terms of the ECACHL standings as well. St. Lawrence is the only team undefeated in ECACHL play with a 4-0-0 record. Both North Country teams will face Yale and Brown in difficult, but winnable games. If St. Lawrence takes all three, suddenly they’re running away. You’ve got a 7-0-0 team in December with everyone else muddled in the middle, and they’ll STILL have games in hand.

Minnesota is riding a 14 game unbeaten streak right now. When your only loss is the season-opener to Maine. You’ve gotta be feeling pretty good right now. Also, I’d like to personally thank Minnesota for giving Phil Kessel an extra year of development. He scored the game-winner in a marathon shoot-out last night for the Bruins.

One of the more intriguing matchups this weekend is the series between Notre Dame and TAFKAF in South Bend. Both teams are still trying to strip away the “overrated” reputation, and while a sweep by either team won’t necessarily do that in the minds of the fans, it’s a huge CCHA series at this point in the season, and should be an excellent set of games. It’s also the first weekend without college football in quite sometime. Will the Fighting Irish fans take note that they’ve got a ranked hockey team with a 10-3-1 record?

A big congrats goes out to Wayne State who got arguably their biggest win over the past few seasons when they defeated Cornell last weekend. It’s tough to say if this is the traditional Cornell power that we’ve seen year after year, but it was an eyebrow raiser when it came through on the ticker none the less.

PUCK Rankings for November 29th, 2006

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

This week’s PUCK Rankings are likely tainted with a little bit of E. Coli and arrive a couple of days late, but updated with Tuesday’s action included. Minnesota solidifies its hold on the top spot, while the other top five teams shuffle about. The Vermont Catamounts roar back into the rankings on the heels of a six game winning streak and Michigan Tech sneaks back on in the #16 spot this week. Cornell plummets after a loss to Wayne State at home, and UMass-Amherst also drops off the rankings. Who picked Yale to be the only ECAC team in the rankings at this stage of the season? Nice work lone fan from New Haven!
CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings
November 29th, 2006

Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Minnesota 12-1-2 1
2 New Hampshire 10-2-1 4
3 Maine 8-3-1 2
4 Notre Dame 10-3-1 3
5 Michigan 11-4-0 6
6 Miami 11-5-0 5
7 Denver 9-4-1 9
8 St. Cloud State 6-3-3 15
9 Boston College 7-4-1 7
10 Boston University 5-2-5 14
11 North Dakota 7-6-1 13
12 Vermont 8-4-1 NR
13 Colorado College 8-5-1 16
14 Michigan State 6-6-1 8
15 Yale 6-2-1 11
16 Michigan Tech 6-4-2 NR

Bumped: Cornell, University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Thanksgiving Hangover

Monday, November 27th, 2006

We’ve been a little slow over the holidays, but rest assured we’ll be picking up the pace in the weeks before finals hit. Our Puck Rankings will be available tomorrow as our resident statisician, calculation, ranking guru recovers from a bad case of food poisoning. What a way to spend Thanksgiving vacation.. or extend it depending how you look at it.

One thing really popped into my head today, and that was how I’m continually disappointed that I haven’t been able to see Minnesota play at all this year, not in person, not on television. Next game on the dish, it’s time to make sure I go out and see thse guys play, because rumor has it. They’re good.

Hockey East has another intriguing weekday matchup, this week pitting BU who scraped by Yale who appears to be for real, against a UMass team that has done a solid job so far this season. Definitely worth a trip to Agganis if you have the chance.

From the “Where did they come from?!” Department: Look out now, but Vermont has rattled off five consecutive wins (six if you include an exhibition), all against Hockey East teams. Those 10 points were written off by most after that horrible four-game losing streak after winning the Icebreaker.

George Roll made the Golden Knights over at Clarkson practice with wooden sticks, took away their lounge and their music, and they responded with a sweep over Bowling Green and Miami. They also received some help from the first ever Instant Replay using Cheel Arena’s new system that is being tried out by the ECAC. When some message boards mentioned this and INCH noted it as well, I e-mailed Coach Roll and asked him if both were true and simply got a “Yes and Yes.” All business in Potsdam!

The RPI holiday tournament had Niagara come away as the winner this weekend, but the highlight for the fans in Troy had to be the ten round shootout to determine the 3rd place winner between RPI and Ohio State. RPI won it 5-4.

The Alaska Formerly Known As Fairbanks (TAFKAF) has only lost twice this season, both times by a single goal. They also have four ties. Very impressive for the Nanooks, but they have a long road ahead starting with their return match-up at the end of December against UAA, then 8 of 10 games against ranked opponents starting in mid-January.

Last but not least, college Hockey Showcase looks like it had some fantastic hockey. Gregg Paul has an interesting article on its future. While I don’t care so much about the Big Five / Big Ten, whatever talk. I just need to know it’s going to be around next year, so I have an excuse for a road trip.

A lot of turkeys out there.

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

So Avash beat me to the punch on the cliche “What to be Thankful For” topic this year. How he remains so positive is beyond me. I’m just thankful that everyone isn’t running away with it all so all of our teams have a shot for the rest of the season.

Dilks talks about not taunting the hockey gods and the curse unleashed upon potential WWE upstart Don Lucia in 2005.

For those of you unfamiliar with Chris Heisenberg he’s the man who somehow knows who’s playing for your team in 2012. He’s been on top of the National Letter of Intent period for college hockey, and has been doing his best to break it down in his blog. For a full unofficial list of recruits, he maintains that here.

For those of you curious in this week’s CHN Team of the Week. Take a second and visit the UAA Fan Blog. Sure he’s got a lot of posts this week about the team’s success over UND last weekend and the weekly awards that come with it, but they’ve ALWAYS got a lot of good information over there. Definitely a worthy read, especially if your team is facing the Seawolves in the near future.

On a personal note, for me Friday is one of the greatest hockey days of the year. Living in Boston, I’m fortunate enough to have the traditional 12:00 B’s game to help me avoid the insanity of the Black Friday festivities, but on top of that, there’s several excellent holiday tournaments and matchups, in particular the College Hockey Showcase featuring Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Fox Sports North will have both Friday games televised. If Thanksgiving is for Football, then Fat Friday is certainly for hockey.. and leftovers.

Sweet Sweet Hockey

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Only one series this weekend showed up on our original “Games to Watch” at the beginning of the season, and that was Clarkson at St. Cloud this weekend. Brett and I both agree that there is a lot of “weird buzz” going around regarding this series which pits two ranked teams from the WCHA and ECAC against each other. The phrase “barn burner” comes to mind as we arrive at this series, with a wide-open pair of games expected on the “big ice” (or insert your favorite phrase) at the National Hockey Center this weekend.

After going through the motions in the first month of the season, a couple of other games have risen up to become marquee matchups this weekend. Most notably two “Are they the Real Deal?” series.

The 8-1-1 Fighting Irish take on Michigan State in a home and home series. On paper it looks like Notre Dame should do well, but the pundits will continue to question Notre Dame until they get somewhere around 15-1-1, and even then when they lose the mumbling will begin.

In Denver, the CHN TOTW will host a Michigan Tech team who suddenly everyone wrote off after a tough series against Colorado College. Has Denver turned the corner? Were they ever on the other side of the corner to begin with? Was everyone a hurry to dismiss Michigan Tech?

If you’re in the Troy / Albany area, there’s no reason not to check out the Sacred Heart / RPI game on Friday. RPI has only one loss on the season and is sneaking up the rankings, while Sacred Heart continues to be a force in the Atlantic.

It looks pretty slow in Hockey East this weekend until you get to a big time Sunday matchup featuring Boston College and Maine in what should be a statement game for both teams. BC looking to prove that they haven’t fallen from the top-tier, and Maine looking to rebound from a horrific 8-2 loss at UNH. Sure, they’ve still got some games to play before, but this is looking like a great matinee. BC Follows it up on Wednesday against UNH as well.

Last but not least Minnesota and Wisconsin on Sunday as well. Everyone is down on the Badgers right now who are 4-6-2 after being swept by Denver last weekend. A win over the Gophers would reinvigorate the team and the fan base. A loss will probably force the pollsters to give up on the Badgers until they can put on a big run and show they can win night in and night out.