Monday, September 27, 2010

College Hockey Video of the Week (9/27/10): UHB's Greatest Hits

This week's CH Video of the Week is pretty self-explanatory. While these might not be the greatest college hockey hits of all-time, these five are pretty good. They are in no specific order. Enjoy!

St. Cloud's Oliver Lauridsen hits Northern Michigan's Ray Kaunisto

Michigan player goes flying

Big hit by Lake Superior State player against Michigan during 1993-1994 season

North Dakota's T.J. Oshie's big hit against Colorado College

Big hip check by Ohio State's Corey Elkin against Northern Michigan's Darrin Oliver

Friday, September 24, 2010

Coach Leaman receives a five year extension

So why is it that whenever important college hockey news occurs I'm in class? First it was the Penn State press conference and now it's this great news. I mean I only have three hours of class time a week this term, but the college hockey world just has to go nuts while I can't fully monitor it. Luckily, I have my new Droid X so I can follow twitter. While my class today was getting a little "bland" I decided to check Twitter, which was when I read Ken Schott's breaking news that Union Head Coach Nate Leaman will receive a five year contract extension.

Ok, so enough about me and more about Leaman. This is such great news! Leaman has brought this program from cellar dweller and insignificance to a ECAC power that receives national recognition. He deserves every penny he receives (and he probably deserves more). In the three years that I've been here he's led the team to their first first round bye in the ECAC playoffs, their first playoff series win, and their first trip to the ECAC Final Four an championship game. Not only has he brought in and coached Union greats such as Lane Caffaro, Mario Valery-Trabucco, Jason Walters, and Mike Schreiber, he continues to bring in top notch recruits. This is probably the most amazing thing that Leaman has done considering Union can't give out athletic scholarships and has a lot less money at their disposal than most college hockey teams. Even though their is a lack of scholarship, good players continue to come to Schenectady to play for Leaman. If one person were to get all the credit for Union's recent success it 100% has to be Leaman. I won't be surprised if the Dutchmen win their first ECAC championship and make their first NCAA tournament appearance under Leaman very soon.

Here are some great quotes from Ken Schott's report:

"Nate's been nothing short of remarkable," Union athletic director Jim McLaughlin said. "The progress that has been made over the past seven years has been outstanding. It's not only been what we've seen on the ice, from the first playoff series win to advancing to the championship to runners-up in this league, which is a very difficult league, it's been what's going on off the ice, from his students' academic performance and their community service. I couldn't be more pleased with his leadership and what he has done here."

"I love it here," Leaman said. "I love coming to the rink every day. I love our staff. I think we have a terrific staff. I love the fact that our players can get an outstanding education and compete for championships. That's what I love about Union College. The tri-semester system allows the guys to have the best of both worlds."

So, congrats Nate! You deserve it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Check out what Boardwalk Hall looks like

So, the ECAC hosted media day a few days ago in Atlantic City, which is where the ECAC Final Four will take place this season. This video, courtesy of Harvard Athletics, gives you a good idea on what the rink looks like, and from what I can tell it looks pretty cool. I am disappointed that the final four won't be held in Albany, but I plan on going to Atlantic City to see my Dutchmen play for the championship. Hopefully the tournament will draw better than in years past.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Preseason All-ECAC team announed

The ECAC announced the all-league preseason team as picked by the coaches. Here are the picks:

F Austin Smith, Colgate
F Chase Polacek, RPI
F Broc Little, Yale
D Geroge Hughes, St. Lawrence
D Evan Stephens, Dartmouth
G Allen York, RPI

And here are my picks:

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

So as you can see we agree on two picks (Little and Hughes). I really have no argument about the picks the ECAC coaches made. To me, either Smith or Day will be all-league this year, and Hughes, Stephens, and D'Agostino will be the top three defenders in the league. As you all know by now, I'm not high on York and don't think Polacek will be able to replicate his numbers from last year without D'Amigo and Pirri. But, I do think they will be players to look out for, especially if RPI is better than I predicted. At the end of the day, the players on the coaches list and my list will be major players in the ECAC this year.

Can the season just start already?!

Union picked 3rd in ECAC Coaches and Media poll

The ECAC Coaches and Media poll came out on Tuesday. Here are the picks:

Coaches Poll
Team (first-place votes) Points
1. Yale (11) 121
2. Cornell (1) 92
3. Union 86
4. Rensselaer 79
5. Colgate 69
6. Dartmouth 67
7. Harvard 62
8. Quinnipiac 54
9. St. Lawrence 52
10. Princeton 43
11. Brown 34
12. Clarkson 33

Media Poll
Team (first-place votes) Points
1. Yale (25) 354
2. Cornell (2) 288
3. Union (1) 276
4. Colgate (2) 263
5. Rensselaer 211
6. Dartmouth 188
7. St. Lawrence 172
8. Quinnipiac 142
9. Princeton 135
10. Harvard 120
11. Brown 118
12. Clarkson 82

For the most part this is pretty similar to my picks. I had Yale and Cornell in the top two, and Clarkson at the bottom. The big differences are Dartmouth, RPI, and Brown. RPI was picked fourth in the Coaches Poll and fifth in the media poll, while I picked the Engineers to finish seventh. I just can't see the Engineers finishing in the top 5 without D'Amigo and Pirri.

It also looks like the coaches and media didn't agree with me in my sleeper picks. They both picked Dartmouth to finish sixth and Brown to finish 11th, while I have the Big Green finishing third, and the Bears finishing seventh. I just think Dartmouth hit their stride at the end of last season and will carry it into this season with the help of players like Fleming and Estoclet. Brown showed in the playoffs last season that they can beat anyone at anytime... Just ask RPI and Yale. Their hard-hitting play will definitely annoy the opposition.

Besides that, everything is about the same. The ECAC is always such a tight league that it's almost impossible to do these preseason rankings. You never know what's going to happen in this league. Hey, maybe Brown and Dartmouth have great seasons and I look like a genius... or they don't do that great and I look like an idiot. But that's what makes this whole blogging thing so fun!

Be sure to see what Ken Schott has to say about the rankings.

P.S. I wouldn't mind Union finishing 3rd at the end of the regular season.

Monday, September 20, 2010

College Hockey Video of the Week (9/20/10): Bowling Green wins 1984 NCAA Championship

This week's CH Video of the Week features Bowling Green's first and only national championship. This game was a classic as it took four overtimes for Falcon forward Gino Cavallini to score the game-winning goal to give his team a 5-4 victory over University of Minnesota-Duluth. Current Boston College Head Coach Jerry York was the head coach for the Falcons.

Some younger college hockey fans might find it really surprising that Bowling Green won a national championship considering the hard times they've faced recently. They haven't had record over .500 since the 1996-97 season when they went 17-16-5, haven't finished better than 5th in the CCHA regular season standings since the 1994-95 season, and haven't made an NCAA tournament appearance since 1990.

But, recently things have been worse. There have been rumors that the program might be eliminated. But, thanks to a few donations the program is still intact for the next few years (read about that here). Who knows what will happen in a few years, but with a lackluster rink and consecutive losing seasons things aren't definite yet. The Falcons went 5-25-6 last season.

Bowling Green does have a rich hockey tradition though. They've won seven CCHA championships, had two Hobey Baker winners (George McPhee '82 and Brian Holzinger '95), 13 different All-Americans, and famous alumni such as Rob Blake, Ken Morrow, and former Michigan State Head Coach Ron Mason. Also, the 1984 victory is the only national championship in school history.

While things may be down for Falcon fans, you still have this amazing moment. Union fans are still waiting for their moment.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Matt Hatch scores = Teddy Bears on the ice

So, I just met freshman Matt Hatch tonight (thanks Kyle). Hatch is a freshman on the Union hockey team, who is supposedly a speedster with great vision and a knack for the net. You can see his knack for the net here.

This took place last year when Hatch played for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. So, when Hatch scores his first collegiate goal I expect teddy bears to be thrown on the ice.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Meet the Class of 2014

Here is the Class of 2014:

Top (L-R): Troy Grosenick, Josh Jooris, Mike Ingoldsby
Middle (L-R): Daniel Carr, Matt Hatch
Bottom (L-R): Kevin Sullivan, Cole Ikkala, Mat Bodie
Hopefully these guys can carry Union to an ECAC championship and beyond.

Monday, September 13, 2010

College Hockey Video of the Week (9/13/10): Former UND forward Rylan Kaip LOVES to fight

Rylan Kaip
Here's another special treat from UHB! This week's CH Video of the Week features TWO videos, and both of them feature former University of North Dakota forward Rylan Kaip. And let me tell you, this guy is truly a Fighting Sioux.

What makes these videos so special is how Kaip fights. Most college hockey fights are scrums where the players just push each other and wrestle on the ground with their helmets and gloves on. But, in these two videos Kaip brings an NHL fighting style. This means that he "plans" the fights. The way this works is that there is some trash talk and then both players take off their respective helmets, drop the gloves, set up, and go at it.

The "planned" fight is one of the rarest things you can ever seen in a college hockey game. Personally, I've seen HUNDREDS of college hockey games from tournaments, to pre-season, to the frozen four... I can just keep going on. I've seen brawls, blood, dramatic comebacks, penalty shots, broken glass, and so on. But, I can't recall ever seeing a fight like the two below. So, to me this is pretty cool.

Here's a little on Kaip. In four years at North Dakota he registered 16 goals, 23 assists, 39 points, and 232 penalty minutes in 144 games. That's about 1.6 penalty minutes a game for those of you keep track at home. Kaip was picked in the ninth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers. He played for their minor league team, the Chicago Wolves, for the past two seasons. This past week, he signed a contract with the Houston Aeros (AHL), the minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Wild. You can read more on Kaip here.

Also, is it just a coincidence that Kaip played for UND? I mean, it seems that the Fighting Sioux are in the middle of every college hockey brawl.

If you can't see the video click here.

If you can't see this video click here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Union College Hockey Preview Video

All I have to say is... IS IT HOCKEY SEASON YET?!

This video was made by team manager Phil Cohn. If you can't see the video click here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Vasaturo commits to Union

Charlie Vasaturo

According to Chris Heisenberg, Charlie Vasaturo has committed to join the Dutchmen next season. Vasaturo is a 6' 3", 210-pound defenseman from Sewell, New Jersey.

Last season he played with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL) where he tallied seven goals (two on the powerplay), 19 assists, and 70 penalty minutes in 60 games. He is returning to Salmon Arm for the 2010-2011 season.

Junior forward Kelly Zajac also played for the Silverbacks.

I don't know much about this kid, but by looking at his size and this short training video it's obvious that this is one strong dude. Also, his favorite player is Chris Pronger so you know he's going to use his size.

Monday, September 6, 2010

College Hockey Video of the Week (9/6/10): Niagara vs. Bemidji State 11/22/2008

So, it's pretty slow here at UHB with hockey news... sorry. But, it feels great to be back on campus and see the lively student body in Schenectady. Classes start today at 1:50pm, which means we're that much closer to hockey season. I've spoken to Stephane Boileau twice since I arrived on Wednesday and he said the team is amped and ready to go. I hope the student body is ready as well.

Well, since there hasn't been too much news I thought I'd give you all a treat for this week's CH Video of the Week... A FULL COLLEGE HOCKEY GAME!!! This is a game between Niagara and Bemidji State that took place in 2008. So, if you are missing college hockey badly, this should cure your fix. Enjoy!

If you can't see the video click here.