Sunday, February 28, 2010

First Round of ECAC Playoffs

(12) Clarkson @ (5)SLU
(11)Brown @ (6)RPI
(10)Harvard @ (7)Quinnipiac
(9)Dartmouth @ (8)Princeton

Byes: Yale (1), Cornell (2), Union (3), Colgate (4)
For an in-depth analysis of who the Dutchmen can play in the quarterfinals of the playoffs check out Union Hockey Maniac's (aka Will Friedman) post on the USCHO.com forum.

The Starr Curse Lives On


After last night's 5-2 loss at Colgate the
Dutchmen are now 1-17-1 at Colgate. Surprisingly this year's seniors have not won a game at Starr Rink, which is the least intimidating rink in the ECAC. The crowd is always dead and no one even goes to the games. Maybe the problem is going from Lynah to Starr and how different the environments are. Either way losing two games in a row is not how you want to head into the playoffs, but the Dutchmen have a bye which will give them some time to think everything over and get their heads on straight.

Once again, congratulations to Mario Valery-Trabucco on his program record 21st goal of the season. Mario is the MVP of the team this year and is one of the top forwards in the ECAC (along with Chase Polacek, Brock Little and Sean Backman just to name a few). He is a legitimate Hobey Baker and All-American candidate. Also, Mario's linemate Jason Walters is one point away from tying the program's career point record (114, Jordan Webb).

This weekend does bring up some concern for the playoffs. First and most importantly is goaltending. Keith Kinkaid has not stepped up when he has really needed to. He, nor Corey Milan, have stolen a game for the Dutchmen even though they have had some very good games. Goaltending is the most important factor for any playoff teams as hot goaltending will prevail above everything in the playoffs. This also brings up another concern which is the amount of breakaways allowed by the Union defense. It seems like almost every game the opposition gets at least one breakaway opportunity. Also, even though there is no official statistic, it seems like Kinkaid has trouble with breakaways. Finally, it is a bit worrisome that 'Super' Mario scored two of Union's three goals this weekend (the other goal coming from Kyle Bodie). Union played two Top 4 ECAC teams this past weekend and were only able to score three goals. Offense is the strength of this team and will have to continue to be if they want to be successful in the playoffs.

We now have two weeks for Union Hockey to return, and I'm sure it will feel longer than that. Hopefully this extra time will give the Dutchmen some time to relax and tie up some loose ends. If all the top seeds win their first round playoff games Union will face RPI in the quarterfinals, which will be a very energized and exciting series. I'm not excited about this potential matchup because it is very difficult to beat a team five times in one season, especially a rival. Also, all of the regualr season games this season have been extremely tight and could have gone either way.

For more on last night's game check out Ken Schott's Blog, Union Athletics.com, Daily Gazette.com, and USCHO.com.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Union loses important game at Cornell

Well, all hopes of making it into the National Tournament are smashed with the loss to Cornell. Union is now on the outside looking in the PWR in a tie for 18th. I don't know if it's possible for the Dutchmen to jump back into the Top 16, but it is possible something drastic will probably have to happen.

From what people have been saying and from looking at the box score it seems like Union played a good game, but Cornell was opportunistic and had a great defense. The Big Red scored on their only man-advantage last night and only threw 15 shots at Keith Kinkaid. This sounds exactly like what Cornell Hockey has been for years, and this is why I feel they are the best team in the ECAC. Yes, Yale has the top offense in the nation (4.29 goals per game), but Cornell has the second best defense in the nation (2.11 goals allowed per game) and most of the time a great defense will beat a great offense. And this why I predict that Cornell will win the ECAC tournament and each game they will play from the quarterfinals on will be by the scores of 2-1 or 3-2.

Union will finish in third place in the ECAC this season, no matter what happens tonight. But, it is very important that the Dutchmen pick up a win so they can head into the playoffs on a high note, and so they can break the Starr Curse.

Also, congratulations to 'Super' Mario Valery-Trabucco who broke Jordan Webb's program record for most goals in a career. Mario's lone goal last night was the 56th of his career. He is also just one goal away from breaking Union's single season record for goals in a season. He currently has 20.

For more on last night's game check out Ken Schott's Blog, Union Athletics.com, Daily Gazette.com, Times Union.com, and post-game interviews courtesy of Ken Schott.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dutchmen finish regular season at Cornell and Colgate

As everyone expected, the seeding for the top spot in the ECAC playoffs has come down to this weekend. Tonight's game at Cornell is a huge one as both the Big Red and Dutchmen are tied for second place. Colgate is also looking to get a first round bye so expect them to come out flying on Saturday night. Here are some players to keep a tab on this weekend:

Mario Valery-Trabucco (Union): he's only one goal for breaking Union's all-time goals record. Mario is also currently leading the online voting for the Hobey Baker Award.

Jeremy Welsh (Union): the big freshman has scored four goals in his past six games. Cornell has very big defensemen so maybe Welsh will be able to neutralize them.

Riley Nash (Cornell): the junior has registered a point in his past five games, four of which have been multi-point games. In these five games he has tallied three goals and eight assists for 11 points.

Blake Gallagher (Cornell): the senior forward leads the team with 17 goals and 32 points. He has also registered a goal in his past five weekends, including one on a Tuesday night game against Colgate.

Colin Greening (Cornell): this other senior forward has been carrying a hot stick of late as he has scored a goal in five of his past six games. Over this six game span he has totalled six goals and three assists.

Ben Scrivens (Cornell): the senior goaltender is the top goaltender in the ECAC and is one of the top five, statistically in the nation. He sports a 2.07 GAA and a .928 save percentage.

David McIntyre (Colgate): the senior captain is second on the team with 34 points and is tied for first with 24 assists (second in ECAC). McIntyre has registered a point in eight out of his last 10 games, including a point in each of his last five games. Last season he was one of the top players in the ECAC with 21 goals and 22 assists.

Brian Day (Colgate): leads the team with 20 goals (third in ECAC) and is currently riding a four game goal scoring streak. He has also picked up three assists in that span.

It should be a fun and exciting weekend. For more on the games check out: Concordy.com, Union Athletics.com, Daily Gazette.com, and INCH.com.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Former Captain Matt Cook featured

Matt Cook, a co-captain for the Dutchmen last season, has been featured in a Quad Cities Publication. Cook is currently playing for the Quad City Mallards of the IHL. The article focuses on his family and how he is a perfect combination of athletic talent and brains. You an access the article here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kinkaid honored by ECAC

Freshman goaltender Keith Kinkaid has been named the ECAC Goaltender of the Week for the second time this season. He made 35 saves against Princeton on Friday night and 22 saves against Quinnipiac the following night.

For more on the honor check out ECAC Hockey.com and Union Athletics.com.

Union in the polls (2/22/10)

After wins over Princeton and Quinnipiac this weekend this is what has happened to the Dutchmen in the polls:
  • Union moved up one spot to #15 in the USCHO.com National Rankings. The Dutchmen received only three less votes than #14 Ferris State.

  • They also jump into the USA Today/ USA Hockey Magazine poll at #15. Once again, they are only a mere five points behind #14 Ferris State.

  • The Dutchmen are tied for #15 with Maine in the PairWise Rankings. They are basically on the border for making the National Tournament. Cornell is the team ahead of Union. The Dutchmen travel to Ithaca to take on the Big Red this Friday.

  • Finally, they jump up three spots to #10 in the INCH Power Rankings.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Seniors key on Senior Night in 7-3 win over QU

No one could have scripted last night's game any better. It had the perfect storyline and the perfect ending. You knew this was going to be a memorable night from the moment when five seniors were announced in the starting lineup to having the senior class honored at the end of the game. There were so many moments in the game that would get the sports fan choked up:
  • Senior Jeff Christiansen, who hadn't played a game in about 13 months got to dress and play on the checking line. But, not only did he play he scored a big goal and assisted on another. Christo deserves a lot of credit for sticking with the team for four years, and for working hard throughout his time with the Dutchmen. As soon as he scored Union's third goal I instantly thought of Rudy. What a way for the senior to go out.

  • Christo's linemate Jason Shaffer also had a big night as he netted the game-winning goal and also had an assist. Shaffer has been used sparingly this season, so it was nice to see his name get announced in the starting lineup and score his first goal of the season with his mother in attendance, who I assume traveled all the way from Alaska.

  • Six out of the seven senior skaters registered at least one point. Captain Mike Wakita was the only one not to tally a point, but he did plenty of things on the ice that you don't see on the scoresheet, including his bone crushing hits. Also, five of them recorded two points.

  • While QU's Eric Lampe was making a fool out of himself by trying to fight Jason Walters, 'Super' Mario shoved it in Lampe's face by sniping a goal.

  • Senior netminder Rich Sillery got to play the final two minutes of the game in front of his family. Sillery is in the same boat as Christiansen as he has not played much throughout his career. It was awesome how the fans reacted when he was put into the game. It must have been a special moment for him to have his name chanted and everything. But, next time Pudge remember to have a chin strap on your helmet haha.

  • Senior Jon Lareau picked up two assists on the night. He along with the combination of Christo and Shaffer was probably the best Union line of the night.

  • The post-game ceremonies were very nice. The funniest part was when Mike Schreiber sprinted towards his mother who was jumping up and down on the carpet laid down on the ice. It was also great that Schreiber and Wakita thanked basically everyone that has to do with Union Hockey. The ceremony was all wrapped up when Union Hockey's #1 fan Will Friedman (aka Union Hockey Maniac for those of you on the USCHO.com forums), who is also a senior, started a "Let's Go Seniors" chant. I personally feel Will should have been honored in some way as he has been the most dedicated Dutchmen fan by far throughout his four years. He has traveled to almost every rink in the ECAC and has helped promote the home games and sell the 7th Player t-shirts. When I ran into Will at the end of the game I asked him why he wasn't at his fraternity's formal. He responded by saying something like, "some things are just more important" (or something like that).

  • By far the cutest moment of the night was while the seniors were taking a group photo together, Mario left the picture and went into the penalty box/ scorers box. I have no idea how he knew this, but a little girl was waiting for him there with a hand drawn picture of him. Mario gladly signed the picture along with other autographs and took pictures with some young fans. This will be a moment this little girl will never forget. I know this because I still have autographs and pictures in my room from my days watching Army Hockey as a young kid. I also still wear the number (#15 ironically) of my first favorite Army Hockey player, Ian Winer.

Well, I'm done with the cute stuff and on to some meaner stuff because I thoroughly dislike the Quinnipiac Bobcats. I have always held a grudge against them since my freshman year because my girlfriend goes there. But, after watching the Bobcats for the past three seasons I have come to hate their brand of hockey. I hate them even more after Eric Lampe's actions last night. Seriously, what a moron. Once Lampe challenged the Union bench I just wanted to see Wakita jump off the bench and knock him out cold. I feel that the Bobcats are a gutless, self-centered team. It seems that all they want to do out there is dangle and make the big hit. Basically, it seems that they're just having a tryout for the minors. I don't understand how a team with seniors as talented as Brandon Wong, Greg Holt, Mike Atkinson, Lampe, and Jean-Marc Beaudoin can just settle for mediocrity. The Bobcats should have a Top 5 offense with this group. It wouldn't surprise me to see this team drop out of the Top 8 in the ECAC next weekend and get swept in the first round of the playoffs.

Now back to some hockey stuff. With last night's win the Dutchmen can't finish any worse than third in the ECAC. They are now tied with Cornell for second place after their surprising loss to Dartmouth last night, which makes Friday's game that more important. The Dutchmen still only trail Yale by two points for top spot in the ECAC as well. As everyone predicted, next weekends games will be the most important of the season. Also, look out for some more records to be broken next weekend.

Also, the Union Club Hockey team had their own Senior Night on Saturday afternoon at Messa Rink at 2pm. The Club Dutchmen beat rival RPI 3-2 to close out their season. Seniors Anthony Savaglio (captain) and Greg Karamian (club president) assisted on senior Alex Kenyon's game-winning goal with about eight minutes remaining in regulation.


Well, that's all from me. I can't wait to be back at Messa Rink in three weekends for the playoffs!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dutchmen clinch first round bye

Last night in the press box I was told that in order for the Dutchmen to clinch a first round bye in the playoffs they would have to win tonight against Quinnipiac. Well, I just found out this morning that that was wrong and Union has already clinched a first round bye in the ECAC playoffs. So, my article on USCHO.com is incorrect. Just don't pay attention to the fourth to last paragraph haha. For more detailed information about how the Dutchmen clinched the bye check out the Extra Frame Blog.

It was nice to see Kinkaid bounce back with a solid performance after last weekend's debacle. Kyle Bodie scored once again for his third time in three weekends. He could be a secret weapon heading into the playoffs. Also, congratulations to 'Super' Mario Valery-Trabucco for breaking the program's Division I single season point record.

I can't seem to figure out Princeton goaltender Zane Kalemba. Last season he was the best goalie in the ECAC and an all-American, and this year his stats are pretty awful. He seems a little slow in the net and unfocused. I'm not sure why he's had such a let down this year; only he knows.

For more on last night's game check out Union Athletics.com, Daily Gazette.com, Times Union.com, and Ken Schott's Blog.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tonight's Lineups (2/19/10 vs. Princeton)

FINAL UPDATE: 4-1, Union... Bodie scores and Zajac socres empty netter.

2nd PERIOD UPDATE: 2-0, Union... Union looks a little better. Mario scored Union's first goal a little over four minuets into the period. With the goal he breaks the Division I single-season points record with 39 points. Jeremy Welsh scored Union's second goal with 7:10 remaining in the period. Princeton has the favor in shots 25-20.

1st PERIOD UPDATE: 0-0... The Dutchmen are looking sloppy in the first. The timing on their passes are way off. They have gone offsides way to many times. Keith Kinkaid is looking a little shaky in goal as he has had some trouble controlling dump-ins on net and playing the puck. Princeton looks pretty decent. They're moving fast and blocking a lot of shots in the slot.

Union:

Prez - Wally - Mario
Welsh - J. Simpson - Boileau
Cain - Zajac - W. Simpson
Buote - Lareau - Bodie

Matheson - Forgaard
Wakita - Julseth-White
Schreiber - Stuart

Kinkaid
Milan

Princeton:

Zuk - Bartlett - Meland
Arhontas - Magnowski - Kleebaum
Lohry - MacDonald - Hagel
Sabky - - Crane

Pallis - Fedun
Godlewski - Schroeder
Sdao - Pederson

Kalemba
Reynolds

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Simpson Brothers featured in New England Hockey Journal

Once again, John and Wayne have been featured in an article. This time it is the New England Hockey Journal. The two have played on the same line for most of the season, but have been separated a few times. Heading into this weekend John has accumulated four goals and 14 assists in 29 games, while Wayne has tallied five goals and 12 assists in 30 games.

Players to watch this weekend

Union:
  • Mario Valery-Trabucco: he currently has 38 points on the season, which is tied for most in a single season in program history. Linemate Adam Presizniuk set the record last season. He leads the team with 17 goals and is tied with Prez in assists with 21. He also leads the team with 1.31 points per game. Mario has registered at least one point in five of his last six games, has scored a goal in three out the last four games, and has tallied 10 points in the last four games.
  • Jason Walters: Wally has 35 points on the season and potentially break Prez's record this weekend as well. He has registered a point in his past four games, and seven points in total.

  • For more on the Dutchmen go to Union Athletics.com.

Princeton:

  • Dan Bartlett: leads team in goals (16) and points (25). Bartlett has registered a point in 10 out of his last 12 games where he has tallied 10 goals and 5 assists.

  • Mike Kramer: is second on the team with 11 goals and 21 points. He got his four game goal streak snapped last Saturday against St. Lawrence.

  • Mark Magnowski: leads the team with 13 assists. Magnowski has tallied an assist in seven of his last eight games.

  • Princeton is second to last in the ECAC with 2.69 goals per game.

  • For more on the Tigers check out Go Princeton Tigers.com

Quinnipiac:

  • Brandon 'All Night' Wong: leads the Bobcats with 15 goals and 30 points. When on top of his game he is one of the most lethal players in the ECAC. Wong is the go-to guy on the power-play as he has scored 11 goals on the power-play. But, lately he hasn't been so stellar. In his last 13 games he has tallied only six points where he has only scored three goals, only one of which came against an ECAC opponent.

  • Eric Lampe: the same can be said about Lampe as he is second on the team with 28 points and leads the team with 17 assists, but has not been great lately. In his last eight games he as only put up one goal and one assist.
  • The Bobcats recently snapped their 12 game winless streak as they won back-to-back games by shutting out their opponent. In goal has been sophomore Dan Clarke, who is third in the ECAC with a 2.47 goals against average, and is tied for third with a .913 save percentage.
  • For more on QU check out Quinnipiac Bobcats.com.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Max Novak commits to Union

According to Chris Heisenberg, forward Max Novak has committed to join the Dutchmen. Novak currently plays for The Hill School. I don't know much about this guy, but ADK11 from the USCHO.com forum gives a good assessment on him:

"Max is from New Jersey and is in his second season at The Hill. He is the team's 2nd leading scorer with 50 points in 24 games and was Hill's leading scorer last season with 47 points in 29 games. It look like he played youth/HS hockey in NJ prior to going prep. Don't see where he was invited to any USA national festivals, etc. The Hill is what I would call a second teir Prep team and mostly doesn't play the top NE Prep teams. According to USHR, Max is very fast, 'has a second gear' and is a good playmaker & finisher (currently has 25 goals in 24 games). Is projected to do a year of juniors next season and matriculate in '11, though USHR says there is 'a slight chance' may come next season."

Sounds like Novak could be a depth guy for the offense, maybe a Jason Shaffer type.

Also, there has been a rumor on the USCHO.com forum that Stephane Boileau might not return next season and head to med school. I haven't heard about this, so I don't know what to think about it. The thing I'm wondering about is that since Stephane is a junior wouldn't he have to finish his senior year before heading to med school? Please comment if you have any more information on this.

Coburn to miss time with injury

According to Ken Schott, freshman defenseman Greg Coburn got hurt in today's practice and will miss a significant amount of time (possibly the rest of the regular season and playoffs). He suffered a lower-body injury after being tangled up with senior forward Jason Shaffer in today's practice. This is a huge blow for the Dutchmen as Coburn has been a very solid defenseman this season and has also helped on the offensive side of the puck. Coburn has tallied two goals and 14 assists this season. His 14 assists and 16 points is second most for Union defenseman this season (Mike Schreiber has eight goals, 18 assists, and 26 points). Defensemen like sophomore Nolan Julseth-White and freshman Ryan Forgaard will now have to step up and produce every game.

UPDATE: Ken Schott reports that Coburn has not torn anything in his hip and has just dislocated it. He will be out for the remainder of the regular season, and could return for the playoffs.

Also, RPI goaltender Allen York is doubtful for this weekend.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vote for 7th Player Award

Click here to go vote for this season's 7th Player Award. Matt Cook won the award in 2008 and Mike Harr won it last season. Both of these players were from the United States, so maybe the trend of Americans winning this award will keep up. There are 10 players from the United States on this year's team, including all three goaltenders.

Dutchmen in the National Rankings (2/15/10)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Union goes down 4-0 once again, but unable to comeback

After last night's come-from-behind 5-4 victory you would think that the Dutchmen would not allow that to happen the following night. Well, we all thought wrong as Union was down 4-0 midway through the third period. They once again tried to comeback but just ran out of time as they fell 4-3. This game marked the fourth time in a row that the Dutchmen have let up the first goal of the game. Even though Union found a way to comeback and win three of these games, this is not the way you want to play hockey. Playing from behind leads to frustration and sloppy play. It is great to see that the Dutchmen have the ability to mount huge comebacks, but as we saw last night it will not always work. Scoring first is an essential aspect of winning games, and the Dutchmen need to figure out how to do this before the playoffs start.

With the loss and Yale topping Cornell, the Dutchmen are now tied with the Big Red for second place in the ECAC. These last four games will essentially be playoff games as it is a tight race for the top spots in the standings. As shown in this week's poll, the most important weekend of the season will be the last one when Union travels to Colgate and Cornell. There is a very good chance that the Cornell game will decide the final ECAC standings. Also with the loss, the Dutchmen fall into a tie for 20th place in the PWR, which is definitely not good enough for a NCAA Tournament berth.

My Dad sent me a good analysis on the ECAC playoff picture:
"If you look at the standings, Union needs four more points to wrap up a Top 4 finish. If Colgate loses to Cornell, four points gets them no worse than 3rd. If Colgate and Cornell tie on Tuesday night, it will depend on the tiebreaker with Colgate for 3rd, assuming Union gets four points and Colgate gets all eight of the points available to them over the last two weekends. Union won their first meeting. If Colgate wins the second meeting, it will come down to this tiebreaker formula. Besides Colgate, the only teams below them that can catch them if they get four more points are RPI and St. Lawrence. They swept both RPI and St. Lawrence, so they hold the tiebreaker against each of them. They need to get the four points next weekend so that they are only playing for positioning in the Top 4 during the final Cornell/ Colgate weekend." (Thanks Dad!)

To be successful in the last two weekends of the season and in the playoffs one of the goaltenders needs to get hot. This biggest thing to have in the playoffs is hot goaltending because the goaltender is the only player on the ice who can steal a game for your team, and as of right now neither Keith Kinkaid or Corey Milan has proved they can do this. Keith has had some nice stretches, but then falters after a while, and Corey has received his chances but has been prone to allowing the weak goal. The Dutchmen and their fans better pray for hot goaltending if they want to go somewhere in the post-season. Just see Jean-Sebastien Gigure's performance in the 2003 NHL playoffs to see what a hot goalie can do for a team.

This upcoming weekend will be the last regular season home games for the seniors, so expect Mario, Wally, and Schreiber to have big weekends.

You can read more about last night's game on Union Athletics.com, USCHO.com, Daily Gazette.com, Times Union.com, and Ken Schott's Blog.

Also, be sure to vote Mario and Wally for the 2010 NCAA Skill Competition. THE VOTING WILL END AT NOON TOMORROW (2/15), SO VOTE AS MANY TIMES IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. You can vote here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Union stages epic comeback against Dartmouth

Going down four goals on the road 7:20 into a game is not the way you want to start out, but scoring five unanswered goals... that's character, and last night's game proves that this team has a ton of character. This is the type of game that the Dutchmen will look back on in the playoffs, and say that they can do anything. Granted they were playing an 11th placed team, but a four goal deficit at any level of hockey, no matter who you are playing, is a difficult one to make up.

The really great thing about last night's victory is how the freshmen skaters stepped up when their team needed them. Each Jeremy Welsh, Shawn Stuart, and Kyle Bodie scored a goal, and Wayne Simpson had two assists. It's also important that Union's big players showed up when they need them. The Mario-Wally-Prez line connected for a huge power-play goal in the second period, and Prez and Mike Schreiber picked up assists in the third period. You also can't forget Andrew Buote, who picked up two assists on the night. He is one of the hardest working players on the ice for the Dutchmen every game. And last, but definitely not least, Luke Cain scored the game-tying goal late in the third as he tipped a shot past the Dartmouth goaltender. He has scored a goal in five of Union's last six weekends. Cain is another hard-working player, and it was nice to see him make a huge impact in his return to Thomspon Arena after his horrific injury two years ago. The offense has been clicking lately as they have scored 20 goals in the past three games.

Keith Kinkaid had a very rough night last night, but luckily Corey Milan was able to come in and hold down the fort. Maybe Keith is suffering from some fatigue, so don't be surprised to see Milan in the net tonight against Harvard.

The Dutchmen need to take advantage of the Cornell- Yale matchup tonight as one of these teams has to lose, or they can tie so neither team could pick up two points. There is a very good chance that after tonight there will no longer be a three way tie for first place.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Union to travel to Dartmouth and Harvard

It's the last three regular season weekends of the season, so every game is crucial. This weekend the Dutchmen need to prove that they just ran into some hot goaltending in their last meetings with the Big Green and Crimson. There is also opportunity for Union to separate themselves from Cornell and/or Yale as they play each other this weekend. Let's see if the scoring touch holds up. Also, look out for 'Super' Mario and Wally inching closer to record for most points in a season. Check out Concordy.com and Union Athletics.com for notes on the games. Also be sure to read clips on USCHO.com, Times Union.com, Daily Gazette.com, and another article by Ken Schott.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mario named INCH Player of the Week

Inside College Hockey has picked Union forward Mario Valery-Trabucco as the top player in the nation last week. You can read about it on INCH.com.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Notes in Union Hockey (2/8/10)

Union in the National Polls:

Dutchmen honored by ECAC:

  • Senior forward Mario Valery-Trabucco was named ECAC Player of the Week. Mario picked up four goals and three assists on the weekend on his way to breaking the 100 point mark.

  • Freshman Kyle Bodie was named the ECAC Rookie of the Week. Bodie tallied a goal and three assists in Friday's blowout of Clarkson. Coming into the game Bodie only had four points on the season.

  • You can read the press release from the ECAC here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Three third period goals lifts Union over SLU

On Thursday night I said: "Things haven't been going well for our Dutchmen... The main cause of this problem has been the lack of scoring... meaning that their top scorers need to start scoring... Mario along with is linemates, Jason Walters and Adam Presizniuk, need to put the offense on their backs and carry it. They are one of the most dynamic and lethal lines in the ECAC and need to play like it every game."

Well, I doubt Mario, Wally, and Prez read this but maybe they heard what I said through the grapevine haha. These guys were the reason why the Dutchmen were able to put up 15 goals this weekend. Mario registered four goals and three assists, Wally put up a goal and four assists, and Prez had two goals and five assists on the weekend. So, if you do the math this line scored seven of Union's 15 goals this weekend and had a combined 12 assists. Also, the line had their hand in nine of the 15 goals this weekend. In the six previous games the Dutchmen put up only 12 goals. It was also nice to see leaders such as Mike Schreiber and Brock Matheson and freshman such as Kyle Bodie and Wayne Simpson help with the offense this weekend.

The defense also had a good weekend as they only let up four goals. Last night's game marked the third game in a row that they let up just two goals.

It was great to see the team come back in the third period, especially after the short-handed goal just a few seconds before the second period ended. The ability to come back in the third period is a sign of a great and gritty team, which will be huge in the playoffs.
This weekend was a great way to halt the winless skid and now the Dutchmen have to keep it rolling into next weekend when they hit the road to take on Dartmouth and Harvard, both of whom came into Messa Rink and beat the Dutchmen a few weeks ago. Also, the Dutchmen are now in a three way tie for first place in the ECAC with Cornell and Yale and are ahead of fourth place St. Lawrence by three points.

Also note that Mario is now tied for 11th in the nation in points (35), Union is fifth in the nation in goals per game (3.64), tied for 14th in goals against per game (2.50), and 10th in the nation in power-play percentage (20.6%). It will be interesting to see where they end up in the National Rankings on Monday. I personally feel that they will move up a few spots. My guess is to #18.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dutchmen put up a record 11 goals against Clarkson

Wow, that was ridiculous. All of us in the press box were completely flustered within the first 10 minutes of the game with all the goals being scored. After a while we all expected that every shot on the Clarkson net went in. Clarkson is a miserable team considering the injuries, illnesses, and the sexual misconduct charges earlier this year. They were missing some defenseman, but hey 11 goals is 11 goals. If you're a Division I hockey team you should not be letting up 11 goals to any league opponent. That being said, Paul Karpowich is not a good goaltender. I remember thinking last season after the three times I saw him that he was not a good goaltender. He seems to be out of place way too much, which leaves big openings where players like Mario can snipe the net easily. I guarantee that will not be the case tonight as St. Lawrence goaltender Kain Tisi is 100 times better than Karpowich. Statistically, Tisi is one of the top netmidners in the ECAC. The matchup with the Saints will be a good and important game.

Congratulations to Super Mario on his 100th career point and second career hat trick, freshman Kyle Bodie on his four point night, and Rich Sillery on his first action this season. I've been hoping that Sillery would see some action this season, and it really made my night that he did. Oh, and a special shout out to #1 fan Will Friedman. It was fun celebrating the win with you last night... haha. Also, if you were wondering who the extra guy behind the bench was last night it was Jason Oshins (second from left), who is a "Coaches Level" donor to the Garnet Blades. For being a "Coaches Level" donor you get the chance to be on the bench for a home game. Oshins is a Board of Trustees member, and is the founder of the Upsilon Sigma chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at Union College.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tonight's Lineups (2/5/10)

The Clarkson band is sitting right below the Union band... this could be interesting. Be sure to watch the game on NHL Network. For more thoughts on the game check out Ken Schott's blog.

Union:
Presizniuk - Walters - Valery-Trabucco
Welsh - J. Simpson - Boileau
Cain - Zajac - W. Simpson
Buote - Lareau - Bodie

Matheson - Julseth-White
Wakita - Coburn
Schreiber - Stuart

Kinkaid

Clarkson:
Trembaly - Tamblyn - Beca
Pawlick - Oakley - Freeman
Morley - Massar - Piispanen
Wilson

Borowiecki - Marks
Crowe - Pokulok
Pizzo - Daddario

Karpowich

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Union looks to turn things around against Clarkson and St. Lawrence

Things haven't been going to well for our Dutchmen lately as they haven't won since January 16. The main cause of this problem has been the lack of scoring. In Union's past four games they have only scored seven goals, meaning that their top scorers need to start scoring. One example is Mario Valery-Trabucco, who hasn't scored since January 9th at Quinnipiac and has only picked up two assists in his past five games. Mario along with his linemates, Jason Walters and Adam Presizniuk, need to put the offense on their backs and carry it. They are one of the most dynamic and lethal lines in the ECAC and need to play like it every game. Each Mario, Wally, and Prez have only scored two goals since returning for winter term on January 8th. In the past seven games the Dutchmen have scored 19 goals, and Mario, Wally, and Prez have only scored six of them.

These problems though cannot be just blamed on the offense, as the defense has not been on top of their game either. In Union's current four game winless streak the Dutchmen have let up 13 goals. Personally, it doesn't seem like the defenseman are winning the battles for the puck in crucial areas, especially in front of the net. They also seem to be having problems moving the puck up the ice, which could be an explanation for the reduction in scoring.

All in all, everyone from the offense to the defense to the goalies and coaches need to be at their best if they want to turn things around. When everyone on this team is on top of their game they are one of the most dangerous teams in the country. But, if they're not anyone can beat them. This is a huge weekend for the Dutchmen in which they need to beat Clarkson and then at least tie St. Lawrence for it be a successful weekend. Clarkson has been a mess this year, while St. Lawrence has been surging. The Dutchmen picked up their first ECAC wins of the season at St. Lawrence and Clarkson in mid-November.

For more on the games against the Golden Knights and Saints check out Union Athletics.com.

Players to Watch:

Clarkson
  • Matt Beca, forward (13g, 12a, 25p)... first on the team in goals, third in assists
  • Scott Freeman, forward (4g, 15a, 19p)... first on the team in assists

  • Bryan Rufenach, defense (5g, 11a, 16p)... leads all Clarkson defenseman with 16 points and second with five goals

  • Paul Karpowich, goalie (4-13-3, 3.74 GAA, .889 save percentage)... statistically one of the worst goaltenders in the ECAC and all of college hockey, third to last in ECAC in GAA, second to last in ECAC in save percentage

St. Lawrence

  • Travis Vermeulen, forward (11g, 15a, 26p)... leads team in all three categories

  • Derek Keller, defense (7g, 5a, 12p)... second on the team in goals, leads all ECAC defenseman in goals

  • Mike McKenzie, forward (6g, 14a, 20p)... second on the team in points

  • Kain Tisi, goalie (8-4-2, 1.99 GAA, .932 save percentage)... one of the hottest goaltenders in the ECAC and the nation, 4th in the nation in GAA, tied for 2nd in save percentage

Harr traded

Former Union defenseman Mike Harr '09 has been traded from Rio Valley to Missouri (CHL). He has totaled nine points on the season. Read more about this on ECAC Hockey.com.