Friday, May 28, 2010

Amazing story from the Concordy

You should definitely read the story about former Union hockey player Tim Schwarz and his journey as a student-athlete over the past four years. It is truly inspiring and one of the best stories I've ever heard and been a part of. Check it out on Concordy.com. Oh, and the photo you see on the website was taken by myself... it's my first official photograph. Mark that one up for the resume!

Also, check out the Top Ten moments in Union Athletics in 2009-2010 chosen by yours truly. Even though Men's Hockey did not claim the top spot they did claim the #2, #3, and #10 spots. Check it out here.

Dutchmen announce Class of 2014

Union Head Coach Nate Leaman announced that he will be adding eight student-athletes to his roster next season. There will be five forwards, two defensemen, and a goaltender joining the Dutchmen for their 2010-11 campaign. Five of the players are from the States, while the other three a hail from Canada. These guys have some big shoes to fill after the likes of Mario Valery-Trabucco, Jason Walters, and Mike Schreiber have all graduated.

The five forwards are Daniel Carr, Matt Hatch, Cole Ikkala, Josh Jooris, and Kevin Sullivan. The two defensemen are Mat Bodie and Mike Ingoldsby. Troy Grosenick is the lone goaltender.

I am very excited to see all of these guys take the ice in Union uniforms, but I am most interested to see Mat Bodie, the younger brother of Kyle Bodie. From what I have read the younger Bodie is a tremendous offensive defenseman and will make an immediate impact. There is a very high chance that he will be starting lineup once the opening of the season comes around. Ingoldsby sounds like a great blueliner as well and should compete for playing time in his first season. Grosenick sounds like a solid goalie, but will probably have to wait for his senior year to see any real playing time as it seems Keith Kinkaid's position in between the pipes is pretty solidified.

Offensively, it sounds like Leaman has recruited a diverse bunch of players. I think all could make an impact in their first season in Schenectady, but it should be interesting how true freshman like Carr and Sullivan adapt to the college game. And I'm going to call it right now... I think Cole Ikkala will be a fan favorite in his four years. With a last name like that and a gritty style of play he should draw some praise from the Union faithful.

For more on the Class of 2014 check out Union Athletics.com and Ken Schott's Blog.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gostisbehere commits to Union

I picked this information up on the USCHO.com message boards. According to the message boards and Florida Jr Panters.com defenseman and Flordia native Shayne Gostisbehere will be joining the Dutchmen in either the fall of 2011 or 2012. He is a offensive-minded defenseman who has is currently playing at the South Kent School and was recently drafted by Waterloo in the second phase of the USHL draft.

My guess is that he will play his senior season at South Kent and then a year of juniors to bulk up and perfect his game. At this point he's too young and too small to compete at the NCAA Division I level. Maybe if he puts on around 20 pounds he can be like a Mike Schreiber type: a smaller defenseman with great offensive abilities.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Schreiber, Wakita, and Sillery also sign pro contracts

According to Union Athletics.com, senior captain Mike Wakita, senior goaltender Rich Sillery, and senior assistant captain Mike Schreiber have signed pro contracts. Wakita has will be staying in the states while playing for Missouri in the Central Hockey League, while Schreiber will be heading out to Hannover, Germany in the 2nd Bundesliga League. Both players were intregal parts to the Dutchmen defensive corps over their four seasons. While Schreiber was the quarterback of Union's offense, Wakita was a bone-crushing defensive defenseman. Sillery has signed a contract with 1,000 Islands of the Federal Hockey League after playing a limited role in his four years in Schenectady. The trio joins Jason Walters as Dutchmen to sign pro contracts this week.

Hutchins re-signs with Edinburgh

Former Union standout Jeff Hutchins has resigned with the Edinburgh Capitals of the Elite Ice Hockey League. Last season Hutchins was third on the team with 63 points and led the team with 188 penalty minutes. For more on Hutchins and the Capitals check out ECAC Hockey.com.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Walters to play in Sweden

According to Ken Schott, senior forward Jason Walters has signed a contract with Vasteras of HockeyAllsvendken in Sweden. Wally is one of the all-time great players in the history of Union Division I hockey, and is the all-time leading DI scorer in Union's history with 115 points. I'm sure he will tear up the Allsvendekn league and work his way up to higher level European hockey.

For more on the signing check out Ken Schott's Blog.

Boileau Update

It looks like Union Athletics.com has tricked me by reporting that junior Stephane Boileau won the William B. Jaffe '26 Award. When looking back on the site this afternoon it said that he won the Junior Scholar-Athlete Award, not the Jaffe Award. This does bring down some speculation if Boileau is returning next year, but I'll still look into the rumor a little more.

Also, Boileau received ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District Honors. He was named a First Team All-District selection for the at-large program. Stephane is also eligible for Academic All-American honors. For more on Boileau go to Union Athletics.com.

Boileau is an extremely valuable player on the ice and is the type of player that is needed on any team. He's great at faceoffs and brings a ton of energy to the ice. He always gives 110%, which sometimes gets the better of him. I really hope these rumors are false, and Stephane comes back to put up big numbers next season.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Valery-Trabucco and Boileau honored at senior dinner

At the 2010 Union Athletics Senior Appreciation Dinner tonight senior forward Mario Valery-Trabucco and junior forward Stephane Boileau each won the William B. Jaffe '26 Award. I don't know what the award is for. But, one thing that alarms me is why Boileau was honored if he has one more year of eligibility. Again I'm not sure if this was a "senior only" award, but there were rumors circling around a few months ago about Boileau leaving Union before his senior season. I haven't been able to get any info on the matter, but I'll keep looking.

Also, senior laxer Tim Schwarz was honored at the dinner as he was given the Award for Community Service and Community outreach. In his first to years in Schenectady Tim was a member of the Union College Hockey team in a minimal role. For the past two seasons Schwarz has been a member of Union's Lacrosse team where he has been a faceoff specialist. I had the privilege of living down the hall from Tim last year, and he is truly a great guy. He's an extremely nice and out-going individual who is always up for a good conversation about anything. I've never had a class with Tim, but I've heard that he is a tremendous student.

For more on the dinner check out Union Athletics.com.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dutchmen officially release 2010-2011 schedule

Toady Coach Leaman and the Union College Dutchmen officially announced thier schedule for this upcoming season. If you have been following the blog lately there should be no surprises. As I reported earlier, Union will be playing in the Brice Alaska Goal Rush, the Dodge Holiday Classic hosted by Minnesota, and at Lake Placid to take on RPI. Also, they will be playing out of conference games against Niagara, RIT, and Western Michigan.

What I did miss were other OOC games. Union will open the season at home with a weekend series against Sacred Heart, who came into Schenectady last season and shocked the Dutchmen with a 6-5 win in overtime in one of the most exciting games of the season. They will also welcome in Atlantic Hockey foes UConn, AIC, and Army.

I have mixed feelings on the schedule. When it comes to the tournaments, Leaman and the Dutchmen did a great job scheduling competitive tournaments. Last season Union played in the RPI tournament and UConn tournament where they played Lake Superior State, RPI, UMass, and UConn, which makes up a pretty weak group of opponents. This year things are different. In the BAGR and DHC the Dutchmen are scheduled to play Alaska-Fairbanks, Alaska-Anchorage, Minnesota, and Bemidji. Alaska-Fairbanks finished in the Top 20 last season, Minnesota is consistently a national contender, and Bemidji made the Frozen Four two years ago and are on the rise. These tournaments will be great tests for the Dutchmen.

But, when it comes to the non-tournament out of conference schedule Union's schedule looks weak. These opponents are SHU, RIT, UConn, AIC, and Army of Atlantic Hockey, and Niagara of College Hockey America. Besides RIT, who made the Frozen Four this past season, these are all pretty weak opponents. Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America are consistently the worst conferences in college hockey, and AIC and UConn are usually two of the worst teams in all of college hockey. Where are the Hockey East opponents? I guess they spent all the travel money on the tournaments to Alaska and Minnesota. RPI has games against Northeastern and Boston University. While the Terriers are playing RPI in Troy, the Dutchmen will be playing Army just down the road. Even though this part of the schedule is weak, it's always good to have some "easy" games on the schedule so some of the players that don't play much can play.

For more on the schedule check out Union Athletics.com.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Union to play RPI at Lake Placid

According to the Without a Peer Blog, the RPI 2010-11 schedule has not been officially released but has been sent out in the season ticket mailings. By reading the schedule we can basically figure out what Union's schedule will be like. We also now know what the "big surprise" was, which is a Union-RPI game at Lake Placid on October 30. I'm pretty sure this game will be played at the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena. According to MapQuest, the trek from Schenectady to Lake Placid is a little less than two and a half hours. I remember playing at the rink at Lake Placid during a Can-Am tournament when I was about 13 years and being really excited to play in such a famous and historical rink. I'm sure the Dutchmen and the Engineers that haven't played there before will feel the same way.

Also from looking at the RPI schedule we know that RIT will be coming on Saturday, October 23, and Niagara could be coming the night before since they play the Engineers the following day.

The two games Union-RPI games that count towards the ECAC standings will take place on November 12 and 13, with the first game being in Troy and the next in Schenectady.

Also, it doesn't seem that the Dutchmen will be playing any league games while on Winter Break. This was a big issue on campus last season as Cornell came to town while the students were on break. It looks like the only league games during December will take place at Brown and Yale. We also learn that six of the eight games in January will be at home, and the Dutchmen finish up their season with Princeton on February 26. And once again the ECAC Championships fall during Union's spring break.

So, even though Union's schedule has not been released by anyone we basically know what it will look like. I doubt there will be any big surprises when it is released.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

More on the 10-11 Schedule

Last night I spoke with a person in the Union College Athletic Department. While he would not give me the schedule for next season he told me a few things:

1. Union will be playing in the Minnesota Holiday Tournament
2. They will also be playing in the Alaska Goal Rush Tourney (as reported earlier)
3. The RIT Tigers will be traveling to Schenectady
4. The Dutchmen will travel out to Western Michigan to take on the Broncos for a weekend series
5. Union and RPI will play each other three times this season. The non-conference matchup is going to be at a neutral site and is supposed to be some kind of "big surprise."
6. The official also said that the schedule should be released on Tuesday.
That should be all for the non-conference schedule. We will see what the rest of the schedule looks like soon.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dutchmen to play in Brice Alaska Goal Rush

The University of Alaska - Anchorage released their 2010-11 schedule today. According to the schedule they will be playing in the Brice Alaska Goal Rush along with Colorado College, Union College, and host University of Alaska - Fairbanks. According to the schedule the Seawolves will be playing the Tigers on Friday, and the Dutchmen on Saturday, October 16. So, it looks like the Dutchmen will be playing the Nanooks on that Friday. You can check out the schedule release on Go Seawolves.com.

This should be a good opportunity for the Dutchmen to play out of conference teams. Last season Alaska - Fairbanks finished one spot behind the Dutchmen in the USCHO.com poll and Colordado College was only a few spots behind them. This tournament, along with the Minnesota tournament is a MAJOR UPGRADE from the tournaments Union played in last season (RPI tournament and UConn tournament). This is a product of last seasons' success and the respect they gained. Sadly, this is just one year too late for Eagle River, Alaska (near Anchorage) native Jason Shaffer who is graduating in June.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Notes about Union's 2010-2011 schedule

After surfing the web and the message boards I have come across some games that should pop-up on Union's schedule once it is released (which should be pretty soon).
According to Gopher Puck Live.com the Dutchmen will be playing in the Dodge Holiday Classic hosted by the University of Minnesota. The teams taking part in the tournament along with Union will be the Gophers, Bemidji State, and Ferris State. This will be a great opportunity for the Dutchmen to prove themselves against national powerhouses that have contended for the national championship in the past decade (Minnesota and Bemidji). I'm not sure who Union is playing, but if I had to guess I'd say the Gophers since they are the host and Union is the only team not from Minnesota. The tournament will take place during New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Also, word on the RIT message boards (Post #106) is that the Tigers will be visiting Union along with RPI early in the season. This makes sense since RIT is on the rise as they made the Frozen Four this past season. There is also the possibility that RIT could move to the ECAC since they are by far the best team in Atlantic Hockey. Another sign of their moving to the ECAC is that they are moving to the Liberty League. The Liberty League is a Division III conference that has many ECAC Hockey teams in it (Union, RPI, St. Lawrence, Clarkson). RIT is similar to Union in that they cannot offer athletic scholarships.

This is basically all I got for now. I will post any other things I find. Hopefully the schedule comes out soon.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

BU players make awful rap

For those of you that don't know three Boston University hockey players (Victor Saponari, Vinny Saponari, and Corey Trivino) have got into some trouble lately for some violation of team rules. See what they did and what happened to them here.

After doing some research I found an interesting rap video titled "Party Like a Puckstar" that Vinny Saponari and Corey Trivino supposedly made. I'm not sure if they got in trouble for making it, but it's so poorly made that they should be kicked off the team. It might be the worst rap I've ever heard. I guess they were responding to Boston College's "Beanpot Trot" from 1986.

Let's just hope our Dutchmen don't try to put together any musical numbers or videos (even though Jason Shaffer is a pretty decent DJ).

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Union Head Baseball Coach Resigns

A few weeks ago Union's Head Baseball coach Dave Dagostino resigned in the middle of his second season with the program. The Union Athletics department would not say why he resigned. But, yours truly did some research and talked to some people and got a good part of the story. Check out my investigative works on Concordy.com.

Garnet Blades Golf Outing

Come support the Union College hockey team and the Garnet Blades at the Eighth Annual Union Hockey Golf Tournament on Friday, May 28. The event will take place at the Mohawk Golf Club in Schenectady. For more information go to Union Athletics Tickets.com. It is very important to the Union Hockey program to support the Garnet Blades!