Monday, August 30, 2010
But, he should be thankful that the person who met him at center ice was not Mike Wakita.
If you cannot see the video click here, or for a higher quality video go to Save UAH Hockey.com.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
|Baker won 20 games with the Rangers|
Baker is also important in Union hockey history because he was the goalie during the Ned Harkness fiasco when he was forced to resign. Baker, along with his teammate, refused to play when Harkness was forced out. Union's JV team had to finish out the varsity team's schedule.
Recently, Mark Malinowski of the The Hockey News interviewed Baker. While he does not mention his time at Union, it's still a pretty interesting story. You can read it here.
This is what this video shows. It features North Dakota's superfan and pep band drum section leader, Dominic Marks (who I think just recently graduated). This guy obviously gets the crowd energized and excited just by playing a cowbell.
So how can we make this a reality?
Step 1: Find student, preferably in the pep band and with a mini fro.
Step 2: Get cowbell.
Step 3: Play the cowbell very loud and act crazy.
Simple right? Do we have any volunteers?! Or we can just hire this guy... maybe the Garnet Blades can help? (haha)
If you can't see the video click here. (By the way this is not the CH Video of the Week).
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Here's what RPI Head Coach Seth Appert had to say to Ken Schott:
"'At the end of the day, you win with your seniors,' Appert said. 'That's what college hockey is all about. It's about you senior class. I'm excited about the seniors that we have. We have eight coming back, and I like them for different reasons. I know from experience that the teams I've played on and coached that have won at their highest levels, won with seniors and not with talented, young players.'"
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Jeffrey is the third Assistant SID that I have dealt with (Hilary Haynes and Zalaznik) and each has been a good experience. I bet working with Jeffrey will be equally as enjoyable.
So, let's get this thing underway and get to know Jeffrey...
DG: Where are you from and where did you go to high school?
JW: I grew up in Briarcliff Manor, New York and attended Briarcliff High School, home the Bears. Our claim to fame, at least while I was there, was an appearance in the 2002 Class C football championship game at the Carrier Dome. Onondaga's Mike Hart ran for over 300 yards against us and we lost....big.
DG: Did you play sports growing up and/or in high school?
JW: I played for my high school soccer team, and ran track as well. I also played a lot of baseball and floor hockey. During my senior year of high school, I played in a local roller hockey league. A lot of checking and bravado, but little goal-scoring.
DG: Where did you go to college for undergrad?
JW: I attended Boston College.
DG: What was the best part about going BC?
JW: Wow, tough to pick one aspect. But I guess I'd have to say the best part was the combination of receiving a great education while having a big-time athletic program as a major social outlet. I was lucky enough to attend BC during a period of great athletic success, culminating in the 2008 National Championship for Jerry York and the BC hockey team.
DG: Did you go to a lot of BC hockey games? Did you have a favorite player?
JW: Yes, I attended a number of games every year as a fan, and covered more as a writer for the student newspaper. My favorite player was Nathan Gerbe. He's 5'6" with a ton of skill, but also played with an edge, kind of like my favorite player growing up, Theo Fleury.
DG: What did you do at BC?
JW: I was a communications major at BC. My main extracurricular was writing for the student newspaper, The Heights. I was a sports editor there during my sophomore, junior, and senior years.
DG: Where did you go for post-grad?
JW: I attended Georgetown University, where I completed a masters degree in Sports Industry Management.
DG: Tell us about the SIM program at Georgetown. Where did you intern as a part of the program?
JW: The SIM program at Georgetown is just two years old. Most students intern for course credit during the day, and take classes at night, completing the degree in one calender year. The program is well connected with sports executives in the DC area, and we had ample opportunity to meet many of them. The highlight was having Mark Cuban speak to our class during halftime of a preseason Wizards game. An interesting guy, who had some insights on the next breakthrough in the sports industry, concerning sports medicine. My internship was with the Washington Capitals, where I was a media relations assistant.
DG: Have you ever been to Schenectady before?
JW: Yes, I have.
DG: What have you heard about Union and Schenectady prior to getting on campus?
JW: My dad graduated from Union in 1976, and has great memories from his college days, including the start of the Ned Harkness Era. He brought me and my older brother up to Union a number of times when we were younger.
DG: What do you like to do in your free time?
JW: I'm a runner - I ran the Boston Marathon in 2008, and have been trying to work my back into the same shape I was in back then. I love playing golf as much as I can during the spring and summer. I'm reading Playing For Keeps, a great book by David Halberstam about Michael Jordan.
DG: What is your favorite sports team and who is your favorite athlete?
JW: My favorite team is the New York Mets, and my favorite athlete is Jose Reyes.
DG: What are you most looking forward to with your job?
JW: I'm looking forward to meeting the many coaches and student-athletes I'll be working with at Union. I've already met Coach Leaman, and I'm really excited for the beginning of hockey season.
DG: So, you’re a Mets and Jets fan (same here). Are you more excited for the baseball season to end or the football season to begin?
JW: Bring on the football season! I worry about the hype, but love Rex Ryan's attitude. He's a quote machine.
Monday, August 23, 2010
I HAVE UPDATED MY RANKINGS DUE TO THE DEPARTURE OF BRANDON PIRRI FROM RPI
Here are my picks:
1. Yale --> 2009-10 Regular Season champs; Bring back Little, O'Neill, and Kearney; one of their junior goaltenders will step up
2. Cornell --> It will be the same old Big Red team: defense and special teams; freshman goaltender Andy Iles has had good reviews
3. Dartmouth --> Will be surprise team of 2010-11; had strong end of last season; look for Fleming and Estoclet to have big seasons
4. Union --> Lose a lot of offense in 'Super' Mario and Wally, but bring back very strong defensive corps and good forwards that went to the ECAC Final Four; return six players who had at least 18 points last season and three players who had at least 10 goals in 2009-2010
5. Colgate --> Even though the lose David McIntyre to graduation offesne should not be a problem since they still return Austin Smith (16-25-41), Brian Day (21-15-36), Francois Brisebois (15-10-25), and Robbie Bourdon (8-15-23); but I'm still not too impressed by the Raiders
6. Brown --> Shocked the ECAC by making the ECAC Final Four last season and should build off that success; play a tough brand of hockey which was seen in the first round of the playoffs against RPI
7. RPI --> Losing D'Amigo really hurt but at least they still have Pirri... oh wait, he's gone to; Polacek is basically all by himself to carry the offense as the #2 returning scorer is Alex Angers-Goulet (5-13-18) and no returning player had more than nine goals last season; but I believe in Coach Appert enough where I think they'll get a first round home playoff series and win it
8. Princeton --> Lose Bartlett and Magnowski on offense; goaltending is a question mark; but bring back some promising forwards and are traditionally a strong team
9. St. Lawrence --> Lose their top two scorers in McKenzie and Vermeulen; who ever ends up in between the pipes will have very little experience
10. Quinnipiac --> Lose top four scorers; defense is always a weakness and I've never liked their brand of hockey
11. Harvard --> Had the lowest goals per game average of any ECAC team and are losing top scorer Louis Leblanc to the Montreal Canadiens; but Ted Donato will keep them out of the basement
12. Clarkson --> Last season was miserable; lose top scorer Matt Beca; I think their goaltender Paul Karpowich is brutal (as seen when he came to Messa Rink last season)
F Broc Little, Yale
F Adam Estoclet, Dartmouth
F Brian Day, Colgate
D Nick D'Agostino, Cornell
D George Hughes, St. Lawrence
G Keith Kinkaid, Union
Other players to keep an eye on: F Denny Kearney (Yale), F Brian O'Neill (Yale), F Chase Polacek (RPI), G Allen York (RPI), D Greg Coburn (Union), F Adam Presizniuk (Union), F Scott Fleming (Dartmouth), D Evan Stephens (Dartmouth), F Austin Smith (Colgate), G Dan Clarke (Quinnipiac), D Mark Borowiecki (Clarkson), F Brandon DiFazio (Clarkson), G Andy Iles (Cornell), D Mike Devin (Cornell), F Joe Devin (Cornell), F Jack Mclellan (Brown), F Michael Biega (Harvard), F Scott Zurvenski (Quinnipiac), D Taylor Fedun (Princeton), F Aaron Bogosian (St. Lawrence), D Pete Child (St. Lawrence)
So, here are the changes I've made:
- Colgate and RPI flipped positions. Colgate moves up to 5th, while RPI slides down to 7th. Colgate has a good offense, but will need to play good two-way hockey to get into the top 4. RPI's offense will rely heavily on Polacek, but he will definitely be marked by the opposition's best defender. The game plan will definitely be to hit him hard, and hit him often. Luckily for Polacek, many of the other forwards are seniors (Brutlag, Helfrich, Halpern), and I believe they will pick up some of the slack.
- I dropped Chase Polacek from the All-Conference team and replaced him with Brian Day. Without Pirri or D'Amigo on his side it will be very hard for Polacek to put up numbers like he did last season. But, he is a great player and I predict he will be on the Second Team All-Conference. I also predict that Day will have a huge year. He will be in his senior year, which will provide some motivation. Also, he's surrounded by other very good forwards like Austin Smith and Francois Brisebois. A line of Smith-Day-Brisebois could be the best in the ECAC. It wouldn't surprise me though if Smith had a huge year and made First Team All-Conference.
In 2006 the college hockey world witnessed the greatest upset in the history of the sport.
This historical event took place at the University of North Dakota's palatial Ralph Engelstad Arena in the 2006 NCAA Western Regional. Minnesota was the top seeded team of the region, and went into the game as the #3 team in the country. Their opponent was Holy Cross of the new Atlantic Hockey Association, a league that was (and still is) an after thought in college hockey.
Most people expected the Golden Gophers to skate all over the Crusaders... except my little brother Adam who was 10 years old at the time. Every year before the NCAA tournament everyone in my family fills out a bracket, just like most people do for the NCAA Basketball tournament. You saw this game between the Gophers and Crusaders and it was incredibly easy to pick the top seeded team. Minnesota was historically a national powerhouse, had many future NHLers on their roster, won back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003, and Holy Cross was from a weak league, never won an NCAA tournament game, and didn't have the recruiting or money power that Minnesota had. When I saw that he picked Holy Cross to defeat Minnesota I told him he was nuts and that there was no way that would happen. Well, I looked pretty dumb when Holy Cross shocked Minnesota 4-3 in overtime.
When HC's Tyler McGregor put the puck past Gopher goalie Kellen Briggs just 53 seconds into overtime the college hockey world went into pandemonium. This is pretty obvious from listening to the reaction of the announcers in this video, which is the best part about this video. The shock and emotion is what made this moment so great.
Maybe this is how Matt Dubrey and Brian Unger will react when Union beats a national powerhouse in the NCAA tournament.
If you can't see the video click here.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
- At the end of games we should play "Ode to Old Union," our Alma Mater. Yeah, the song is ancient and I've never heard of some of those words in the song, but it's our song. Every Union student and alum should put their arms around each other at the end of every game, win or lose, and sing this song. Maybe the players will catch on and do it along with the fans.
- During games and/or towards the end of games that we're winning we should play "Union's Game," and the "Union Marching Song." To be honest, I had no idea that we had these songs and never heard of them. Once again, these are ancient but they are our songs. With these songs, along with the Alma Mater, we would definitely have to get the pep band involved.
- We have to do a sieve chant! Every fan base has one. We can start off with the basic chant, and then get a little more creative like Cornell does (see the Cornell video link).
We also need rivalry shirts for games against RPI. I have taken on this project myself, along with Justin Zolot, who is a very devoted Union Hockey fan. We're still in the midst of coming up with designs, costs, etc., but expect to hear about them in the very near future.
I guess you can call this my manifesto or whatever. Union fans can take it or leave it (but I hope you take it). We need Union fans to come out the shadows and take some initiative. I'm trying my best to keep everyone up to date on Union Hockey news, publicize games, and other stuff, but I can't do this on my own. I don't know who heads up the pep band or Union Hockey's 7th Player, so if you have information on this just leave a comment here or on the Facebook or Twitter page.
If the student body, Union Hockey's 7th Player, the Garnet Blades, the administration, and myself do our parts, we can make Messa Rink and Union College hockey one of the most exciting places and teams in all of college hockey.
Please leave comments about your ideas, suggestions, or whatever here or on the Facebook page.
Monday, August 16, 2010
College Hockey Video of the Week (8/16/10): BC's Nathan Gerbe's sick penalty shot goal vs. Providence
I have seen a lot of college hockey players over the past 15 years including many Hobey Baker winners and NHL stars. But, none of those guys were as good as Nathan Gerbe... or at least when I saw him in the 2008 Frozen Four.
Gerbe was so dominant that he basically single-handedly won Boston College the national championship. In the semifinals , Gerbe scored a hat trick and added an assist in a 6-1 route of North Dakota, and in the championship game against Notre Dame (in their first national championship appearance) he tallied two goals and two assists in the 4-1 win. So, if you do the math Gerbe had his hand in 8 of BC's 10 goals in the biggest games of the year. For his outstanding efforts, Gerbe was named the Frozen Four's Most Outstanding Player. The only bad thing that came out of the weekend for Gerbe was that he was not named the winner of the Hobey Baker Award. Michigan's Kevin Porter received that honor, even though Gerbe had two goals and three assists more than Porter in the same amount of games that season.
The 2007-2008 season was Gerbe's last season with the Eagles (35 goals, 33 assists), but his three year tenure there was a great one. In three seasons he tallied 71 goals, 62 assists, and 133 points in 123 games. But, the great thing about all of this was that Gerbe did this while being one of the smallest (if not the smallest) players in all of college hockey, standing at a mere 5' 5" and weighing 165 pounds.
Gerbe went on to play for the Portland Pirates (affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres who picked him with the 142nd pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft) the following season where he scored 30 goals and had 26 assists in 57 games, and was awarded the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award for the AHL's Rookie of the Year. In 20 games with the Sabres over the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons, Gerbe amassed two goals and four assists, and in two playoff games in the 2009-2010 season he scored a goal and an assist, once again showing he is a big game player.
But, Nate the Great's best season came in that magical 2007-2008 season. He was a national champion, Frozen Four MVP, Hobey Baker finalist, First Team Hockey East, Hockey East playoff MVP, Dodge Holiday Classic MVP, the Hockey Commissioners December National Player of the Month, and scored the most goals in the nation, including this penalty shot goal against Providence in the second round of the Hockey East Championships on March 15, 2008. I've tried this move about 100 times in practice but it never works for me... Gerbe just makes it look so smooth and easy.
If you can't see the video click here.
Friday, August 13, 2010
But, what I did not know about Tapp prior to the interview was that he is a bad a$$. First off, Tapp has his own Wikipedia page which is pretty damn cool if you ask me. Secondly, when reading his page there is a section called "fights." I instantly went to that part of the page where it said Tapp has been in three hockey fights in his pro career. While I'm not a fan of goons in hockey, watching goalies go at it might be one of the most fun and exciting events to be seen in a hockey game. I remember going to my first Rangers-Islanders game in 1998 where Rangers goaltender Dan Cloutier beat the crap out of Islanders goaltender Tommy Salo, and being so excited and pumped up. I will never forget that game. All hockey goalies are a little "nuts" to begin with, but one's that are willing to throw down the gloves more than once can be boarder line crazy... which is awesome. But, that's not all. The best thing on Tapp's Wikipedia page is the line that says "Jason Tapp is known for his calling on goalies from opposing teams with a 'chicken dance' before he fights them. He pulls this often, but rarely gets a response." Now this is down right awesome! I might have to do a follow up interview with Tapp about his fight career and this supposed "chicken dance." So, I checked out YouTube to see if there were any clips of his fights and there were... Let me tell you Tapper LOVES to scrap! You have to love some of the comments about Tapp from the videos. My favorite probably is , "Hockey would be better with more crazy goalies like Tapp."
Even though Tapp's playing career is over hockey is still his life. He recently opened up X-Factor Goaltending and was named the Head Coach of the Christian Brothers Academy hockey team. Union had one of the best goaltending tandems in all of college hockey and you have to believe Tapp played a big role in that success.
DG: Where are you from and where did you go to high school?
JT: I started skating at age four and played on my first team at age five.
DG: What do you like to do in your spare time?
JT: A goalie's helmet is a way for them to express their personality. I wouldn't even want to begin to design a helmet for another goalie.
JT: When I played I was always an ITech goalie. I believe they have recently been bought out by Bauer.
JT: I work with Colin a lot. I think Colin has a very high ceiling, he has a great attitude and work ethic. If he continues to put forth the effort he has shown I believe he will be an outstanding college goaltender and have an opportunity to play after.
For more on Tapp check out Union Athletics.com.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
"Our friends at Union Hockey Blog are somehow spinning a D'Amigo departure as a win for Union, a touch confusing because the Dutchmen only play RPI three times
a season, but the heated rivalry aspect might be playing a role in the more perverse joy in Schenectady. But honestly, worrying about players who may or may not leave early is a good problem for a team to have. Riley Nash and
Louis Leblanc being gone from Cornell and Harvard may make it easier to play those two teams, but I wouldn't necessarily describe those events as "good news"
for RPI fans. Their signings represent recruitment victories for both programs. Their departure, along with D'Amigo's if it happens, does make the ECAC as a conference worse for the wear. But such is the reality in the current professional hockey atmosphere with the current collective bargaining agreement..."
Monday, August 9, 2010
The Binghamton, New York native was drafted in the sixth round by the Leafs in the 2009 NHL Draft. This past season he averaged slightly less than one point a game for the Engineers (35 GP, 10 G, 24 A, 34 Pts), and played a major role in leading Team USA to a gold medal at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships.
Bleacher Report ranks D'Amigo as Toronto's #6 prospect, but also say he will not make it to the big club this upcoming season.
D'Amigo's departure is a HUGE blow to RPI and their hopes to making a ECAC Final Four appearance. They are losing their third leading scorer and a major play-maker with lots of jump. I'm sure a line of D'Amigo, Chase Polacek, and Brandon Pirri would have been arguably the best line in the ECAC and one of the best in the country.
In three games against Union, D'Amigo registered three assists. Maybe if Union fans are lucky, Pirri will follow D'Amigo out of RPI.
For more check out Yahoo! Sports.
Also, be sure to check out what RPI Head Coach Seth Appert has to say about D'Amigo and his decision on Ken Schott's Blog.
For the second week in a row the College Hockey Video of the Week will feature Michigan and Michigan State. This video contains highlights from the "Cold War" game that took place at Spartan Stadium (Michigan State's outdoor football stadium) in October 2001. The game drew a record-breaking 74,544 fans and was televised world wide. Future NHL stars Ryan Miller, Duncan Keith, and Mike Camalleri took part in the game. The Spartans scored a late third period goal ending the game in a 3-3 tie.
I remember when this game took place that it was a very big deal in the college hockey community and how ground-breaking it was. Since this game there have been more attempts at outdoor hockey games in the NHL (the annual "Winter Classic") and in college hockey. When I heard that Union and RPI were playing in a "special" game this year I was hoping that it would be an outdoor game somewhere in New York (just wishful thinking I guess). But, there have been talks between Union and RPI about an outdoor game.
In December of this year "Cold War II" will take place between the Wolverines and Spartans at "The Big House" in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over 100,000 tickets have been sold for the game, which means the game will break the record for largest crowd for a hockey game. The current record is 77,803 set by the opening game of the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany.
If you cannot see the video click here.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Dustin DeGagne (defense): Like many Union players Degagne played his junior hockey for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. After juniors, DeGagne headed to Schenectady to play for Union. But just two games and two penalty minutes into his freshman year DeGagne decided to leave. This occurred around January 12, 2007 according to College Hockey News. After this DeGagne transferred to the College of St. Scholastica in Canada where he played on the hockey team. In 70 games with the Saints he registered four goals and 22 assists, and accumulated 62 penalty minutes and +13 rating. For more on DeGagne check out his player profile on the St. Scholastica website.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
College Hockey Video of the Week (8/2/10): MSU's Tim Kennedy scores end-to-end goal against Michigan
Last Thursday (July 29), former Michigan State star and current Buffalo Sabres forward Tim Kennedy was awarded a $1 million, one-year contract by an arbitrator. Last year as a rookie Kennedy made $635,000 while tallying 26 points in 78 games with the Sabres. So, in honor of Kennedy's raise UHB's College Hockey Video of the Week this week will feature him. This is a great end-to-end goal against rival Michigan where Kennedy skates from behind his own net, through pretty much every Wolverine on the ice, and then deposits the puck into the back of the net. It's a little surprising that a guy who can skate like this is only making $1 million!
UPDATE: Kennedy has been placed on waivers and will most likely be bought out by the Sabres. Either way this is still a ridiculous goal. I'm sure once NHL teams catch a glimpse of this clip that they'll be jumping all over him! You can thank me later Tim! Click here for more detials.
If you cannot see the video click here.