Friday, November 16, 2007

This is the End...

Well, sadly, real-life is a real pain.

To put it simply, I just do not have the time to devote to a college hockey blog anymore. Despite my undying love for this sport, and despite my attempts to make this blog flourish, illness, school, and other things have hindered my impact here greatly.

I really was planning so much for this blog. I wanted to have daily updates, near-daily rundowns of other blogs, analysis -- the whole nine. I looked to other great blogs, like WCH, as my quazi-blueprint, and aspired to reach the elite levels of the college hockey blogosphere, and perhaps a bit higher.

Sadly, I have learned that, well, I’m extremely human. I just don’t have the iron will that is needed to be a content-generating machine. And ultimately, what this blog has become, score and poll updates, was not what I had in mind as primary content.

I will keep the blog "up" essentially for two reasons -- one, in an attempt to not fall to the same fate that the Hockey East Blog did when they shut their doors, and, two, perhaps people might find the link list to the right marginally useful in the future. However, for now at least, it’s extremely unlikely that new content will be created.

Most importantly, however, thanks to my readers and other bloggers who supported this blog -- without those people, this blog would have not reached any level of success.

A. A.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Final Scores (Nov. 15).

Thursday, November 15th

● Miami U. 4, Michigan State 2.
Justin Mercier (MIA) - 2 goals.

Monday, November 12, 2007

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll (Nov. 12)

Courtesy of:

TeamPoints(First Place Votes)Last PollRecord
University of Michigan491(21)29-1-0
Miami (Ohio) University479(12)19-1-0
Michigan State University430(1)38-1-0
University of Denver398
University of North Dakota377
University of New Hampshire367
Colorado College285
Clarkson University218
Boston College215
University of Wisconsin210
University of Notre Dame198
University of Minnesota154
St. Cloud State University105
University of Massachusetts37
University of Minnesota-Duluth31
Others receiving votes: Harvard University 25, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 21, University of Maine 15, Bowling Green State University 7, Michigan Tech University 6, Niagara University 5, U.S. Air Force Academy 2, St. Lawrence University 1.

A Weekend-Ending Schmoz.

Strange things were a happenin’ on Saturday at the Kohl Center. Well, actually, with the semi-bad blood between these two squads, perhaps it was slightly expected...

Regardless, from my understanding, the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota and the Wisconsin Badgers played a hockey game on Saturday, things were getting chippy throughout portions of the game (apparently beginning after a North Dakota goal), and, by the time the smoke settled, North Dakota won 3-1, a multiple-minute melee occurred (along with reportedly many miniature melees), and over 120 penalty minutes were spooned-out by likely-exhausted WCHA officials.

Here’s USCHO’s report on the game. Below, some YouTubery from the encounter.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Final Scores (Nov. 9).

Friday, November 9th
Atlantic Hockey:

● Bentley 4, Connecticut 2.
Dustin Cloutier (BEN) - goal, assist.
● Air Force 2, Rochester Inst. of Tech. 1. (OT)
● Army 4, American International 3.
Bryce Hollweg (ARMY) - goal, assist.
● Holy Cross 3, Canisius 2.
Rob Forshner (HC) - goal, assist.

Michigan 4, Alaska 0.
Aaron Palushaj (MICH) - goal, assist
Western Michigan 4, Northern Michigan 2.
Cam Watson (WMU) - 2 goals, assist.
● Nebraska-Omaha 5, Ohio State 2.
Mick Lawrence (UNO) - 2 goals.
Bowling Green 6, Ferris State 3.
James Perkin (BGSU) - 2 goals, assist.
● Notre Dame 2, Miami U. 1.

Bemidji State 2, Alabama-Huntsville 0.
Travis Winter (BSU) - goal, assist.
Niagara 4, Robert Morris 0.
Matt Caruana (NIA) - 2 goals.

● Harvard 3,
Rensselaer Poly. 0.
Alex Biega (HAR) - goal, assist.
● St. Lawrence 4, Princeton 3.
Charlie Giffin (SLU) - goal, assist.
● Cornell 2, Yale 1.
Riley Nash (CRN) - goal, assist.
Dartmouth 4, Union 0.
Scott Fleming (DTM) - goal, assist.
● Quinnipiac 3, Clarkson 2.
Jamie Bates (QU) - goal, assist. Bryan Leitch (QU) - goal, assist.
● Brown 5, Colgate 2.
Ryan Garbutt (BRN) - goal, assist. Sean Muncy (BRN) - goal, assist.

Hockey East:
Merrimack 3, Boston College 3. (OT)
Matt Jones (MMK) - 2 goals. Anthony Aiello (BC) - goal, assist.
● UMass 5, Boston University 3.
Chase Langeraap (UMASS) - goal, assist. Pete MacArthur (BU) - 2 goals, assist.
Providence 6, Maine 2.
Matt Taormina (PRV) - 2 goals, 3 assists. Nick Mazzolini (PRV) - goal, 2 assists. Andrew Sweetland (MAI) - 2 goals.
● Mass.-Lowell 2, New Hampshire 2. (OT)
● Northeastern 4,
Vermont 2.
Joe Vitale (NE) - goal, assist.

Minnesota 4, Minnesota State 3.
Tony Lucia (MIN) - goal, assist. Blake Wheeler (MIN) - 2 assists.
Colorado College 5, Minnesota-Duluth 3.
Derek Patrosso (CC) - goal, assist. Jordan Fulton (UMD) - goal, assist.
Wisconsin 4, North Dakota 0.
Brendan Smith (WIS) - goal, assist.
St. Cloud State 5, Michigan Tech 2.
Ryan Lasch (SCSU) - 2 goals. Peter Rouleau (MTU) - 2 goals.

Michigan State 6, Mercyhurst 2.
Tim Kennedy (MSU) 2 goals. Justin Abdelkader (MSU) goal, 2 assists. Scott Pitt (MHR) - 2 assists.
Lake Superior State 3, Wayne State 2.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Week 6 Breakdown.

#12 Notre Dame v. #1 Miami U. (CCHA)
Fri./Sat., Steve Cady Arena, Oxford, OH; 7:35p/7:05p EST.

The Miami RedHawks (8-0-0, 6-0-0 in the CCHA), without question, are playing an absolutely crazy brand of hockey. Undefeated in the CCHA, the Redhawks have won all but one of their conference games by at least three goals, tallying as many as nine in a game against Northern Michigan last week. Two players for Miami have notched points in the double-digits – senior Ryan Jones (8g-3a-11pts.) and freshman Carter Camper (3g-7a-10pts). Junior forward Justin Mercier has notched seven goals and a pair of assists thus far this season as well for Miami.

The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame had a rough start to the season in non-conference play, going 2-2-0 with losses against Wisconsin and Denver. However, since those opening two weeks, the Irish have settled down a bit, going 4-1-0 in conference play with a win at Bowling Green, a series-split at Ferris State, and a series-sweep against Lake Superior State. Senior forward Mark Van Gilder has notched six goals and three assists thus far in the early season, and sophomore Ryan Thang has netted five goals for the Domers.

#15 Minnesota-Duluth v. #9 Colorado College (WCHA)

Fri./Sat., World Arena, Colorado Springs, CO; 7:35p/7:05p MST.

Woof. One of the surprising developments in the WCHA thus far in the season – Minnesota-Duluth is heading into Colorado Springs looking quite strong. The Bulldogs are 4-1-1 thus far in the season – a record which includes a conference win against Denver, a sweep of conference foe St. Cloud State, a victory against the CCHA’s Northern Michigan, and a tie against the CCHA’s Lake Superior State.

And the thing is, thus far, it has truly been a team-effort for Minnesota-Duluth. Not one Bulldog has flashy statistics – five skaters have scored a pair of goals (with four of those players notching at least a pair of assists). It also helps that UMD sophomore goaltender Alex Stalock has been nothing short of stellar, tallying a near-microscopic 1.65 GAA in six starts.

Woof? Woof, indeed, my friends.

It’s been no bed of roses for Colorado College thus far (3-3-0). After playing a pair of exhibitions, the Tigers have taken on a “who’s who” list in college hockey – Minnesota, New Hampshire, and North Dakota in consecutive weekend series. But despite the tough schedule for CC thus far, the Tigers have found a way to keep their heads above water in the WCHA, going 3-1-0 for 6 points. Two players for CC have tallied four goals – sophomore Bill Sweatt (4g-3a-7pts.) and junior Eric Walsky (4g-0a-4pts.).

Niagara v. Robert Morris (CHA)
Fri./Sat., RMU Island Sports Center, Moon Township, PA; 7:35p EST.

A really good series that you’ll, sadly, not hear a lot about coming up in CHA, as the 5-2-0 Niagara Purple Eagles make the trip to Moon Township, PA, taking on the 4-2-0 Robert Morris Colonials for a weekend pair.

Robert Morris started the season shocking the college hockey world, winning the 2007 Nye Frontier Classic in Anchorage, beating conference foe Wayne State and Boston University in consecutive nights. After getting trounced twice against Wisconsin in non-conference play, the Colonials bounced back, taking a weekend sweep in CHA action against Wayne State. Robert Morris has a trio of very good upperclassman – senior Ryan Carruthers (3g-4a-7pts.), junior Chris Margott (1g-6a-7pts.), and junior Jason Towsley (4g-2a-6pts.).

The season for the Niagara Purple Eagles, a team projected to, by many, take the CHA this season, has been characterized by book-end losses against season-opener Merrimack and conference-opener Bemidji State, and a five-game winning streak which included wins against Bowling Green State (thus far, a modest surprise in the CCHA at 3-2-0) and Western Michigan (in a weekend sweep). NU senior forward Matt Caruana has tallied five goals and three assists thus far in the season.

#4 North Dakota v. #10 Wisconsin (WCHA)
Fri./Sat., Kohl Center, Madison, WI; 7:05p CST.

North Dakota, at the end of last week, was looking very un-North Dakota-like in a 4-1 loss to Colorado College. That was the bad news for UND. The good news? Well, they’re still North Dakota, and thus, are still chock-full of talent. Linesmates and juniors T.J. Oshie (5p-2a-7pts) and Ryan Duncan (3g-5a-8pts.) are still fantastic players, and senior goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, still, is having a fantastic early-season, only giving up seven goals (GAA of 1.06) on the strength of a .958 SV%.

Meanwhile, things have been awkwardly quiet out of Madison as of late. The Badgers have played six games total (no exhibitions), going 4-2-0 with non-conference wins against Notre Dame and Robert Morris, and one lone in-conference win against Michigan Tech. They do have one heckuva freshman – forward Kyle Turris has notched five goals and eight assists in Wisconsin’s six games thus far.

Massachusetts v. Boston U. (Hockey East)
Fri., Agganis Arena, Boston, MA; 7:30p EST.

Home, sweet home… possibly. It almost seems as if Boston U.’s played just about everywhere this season except Agganis, having semi-disastrous results regardless of which rink they play at. BU’s season began in Anchorage at the Nye Frontier Classic, taking a disappointing third place with a tie against Alaska-Anchorage and a loss against Robert Morris. Following the tournament, the Terriers went back to Boston for a drudging against New Hampshire, then, back on the road to Ann Arbor, losing a pair against non-conference Michigan at Yost. But recently, the Terriers have begun to turn things around, taking a pair of games at Providence and at home against Mass.-Lowell.

What do we know after all of this for Boston U.? Good question. Well, we know BU’s offensive output has been, as of late, balanced, with seven Terriers scoring at least two goals in the early-portion of the season.

What do we know about UMass? The Minutemen have had just as crazy, if not, a crazier season. UMass has tallied a record of 3-2-2, with a conference win against Merrimack, draws against Mass.-Lowell and Providence, and losses at Providence and at non-conference Clarkson. Five players for UMass have tallied at least two goals in the early-portion of the season.

Final Scores (Nov. 6, 8).

Tuesday, November 6th
Atlantic Hockey:
● Bentley 3, Sacred Heart 1.
Dustin Cloutier (BEN) - goal, assist.

Thursday, November 8th
● Nebraska-Omaha 5, Ohio State 2.
Brandon Scero (UNO) - 2 goals, assist.

Monday, November 5, 2007

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll (Nov. 5)

Well, perhaps I can squeeze this in...

Courtesy of:

Points(First Place Votes)Last PollRecord

Miami (Ohio) University510(34)18-0-0

University of Michigan465

Michigan State University400

University of North Dakota398

University of Denver372

Boston College360

University of New Hampshire338

Clarkson University244

Colorado College231

University of Wisconsin189

University of Maine154

University of Notre Dame151

Michigan Tech University96

University of Minnesota82

University of Minnesota-Duluth60
Others receiving votes: Niagara University 8, Ferris State University 6, Princeton University 5, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 4, St. Cloud State University 3, U.S. Air Force Academy 2, College of the Holy Cross 1, St. Lawrence University 1.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Disturbing Trend in the WCHA?

The word has always been that the WCHA is an upperclassmen's league. For years common wisdom has predicted and statistics have confirmed that the teams with large junior and senior classes were the teams to succeed. The league has had it's share of "phenoms" or "one year wonders" and those great players have helped their teams succeed of course. But those players have been the exception. More often than not freshman in the WCHA require some seasoning time before they step up. But this year an early trend looks to me as if it could possibly upset the upperclassmen apple-cart. Granted that for some teams only 6 games have passed but the majority of WCHA teams have played 8 games. For this fan, one statistic specifically jumps out at me.

Of the 222 goals scored this season 112 of them have come from freshmen and sophomores. More than 50 percent? After just 8 games? What happened to the "seasoning time"? Did nobody tell these kids they're supposed to simmer for a while? Here's a team-by-team breakdown:
  • DU - 23 of 25 for 92 percent
  • UAA - 22 of 27 for 81 percent
  • UW - 19 of 28 - for 68 percent
  • SCSU- 18 of 30 for 60 percent
  • MSUM - 9 of 16 for 56 percent
  • UMTC - 6 of 17 for 35 percent
  • CC - 4 of 16 for 25 percent
  • UND - 4 of 16 for 25 percent
  • MTU - 4 of 24 for 17 percent
  • UND - 3 of 23 for 13 percent
The biggest effect of this youth trend are being seen primarily at 4 schools and like any good bell curve there are 4 schools on the other end of the spectrum. But more than 50% league-wide? Is that really out of line? I calculated last season for comparisons sake:
  • UND - 117 of 153 for 76 percent
  • UMD - 73 of 103 for 70 percent
  • UMTC - 105 of 161 for 65 percent
  • DU - 63 of 107 for 58 percent
  • MSUM - 61 of 106 for 57 percent
  • UAA - 44 of 90 for 48 percent
  • UW - 43 of 93 for 46 percent
  • CC - 48 of 111 for 43 percent
  • MTU - 41 of 90 for 42 percent
  • SCSU - 46 of 127 for 36 percent
The season totals were 641 of 1147 for 56 percent. Well that certainly didn't confirm the "wow" factor in my mind for this year. Of course it's still early and I'd imagine that plenty of youngsters will begin contributing more as the season goes on.

All this spurred my curiosity and so I calculated the six years. In 05-06 the league-wide average was 48 percent (599 of 1245). In 04-05 the average was 46 percent (591 of 1283). In 03-04 the average was 49 percent (680 of 1381). In 02-03 the average was 50 percent (702 of 1394). In 01-02 the average was 43 percent (591 of 1372). In 00-01 the average was 41 percent (550 of 1325). So all this indicates two trends. Scoring is declining slightly but underclassmen seem to be providing more and more of it as time goes on.

Considering all this information begins to leave me with the impression that the quality of the WCHA product could actually be declining slightly. I doubt the top three teams this season would fare very well against the top three team from 00-01 or 01-02. This is all due of course to the last NHL collective bargaining agreement. Gee thanks NHL. I'm not saying here that the WCHA is less competitive or exciting than it was 5 or 6 years ago but the trend is a concern. The NHL's new tendency to try to sign players before they've used their eligibility is slowly turning Division 1 hockey into not much more than an NHL farm system. It's disturbing. Thoughts? Should I have looked at older stats? Are my conclusions reasonable? Will the teams that succeed be the ones that can keep most of their players for 4 years?

A Hiatus...

... until Thursday. Very busy on my end.

I will post a week-in-preview post by late-Thursday/early-Friday.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Final Scores (Oct. 30, Nov. 2).

Tuesday, October 30th
● Quinnipiac 3, American International 2.

Thursday, November 2nd
● Notre Dame 7,
Lake Superior State 3.
Hockey East:
Boston U. 5, Providence 2.
Merrimack 3, UMass-Lowell 1.