Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pictures and Videos from Lake Placid

Yesterday I made the trip to Lake Placid with four of my closest friends in a pickup truck.   It was extremely tight, but lots of fun. We were five of probably 10 Union students at the game, which is pretty disappointing, but we had a great time just being there. This was my first time watching the Dutchmen as a fan this season and had a memorable time.

It was pretty cool being at in Lake Placid, and the whole time I was there I couldn't stop thinking about how cool it would be to have the ECAC Final Four there. It must have been awesome when the tournament was there. The town just feels like hockey.

The crowd for the Union-RPI game wasn't that big, especially compared to the St. Lawrence-Clarkson game. But, there was still a good atmosphere and the Union fans were loud. I still think we need to get a legitimate pep band.

I also had the amazing opportunity to go up into the press box where Al Michaels called "The Miracle on Ice." It was probably the coolest moment in my time in sports media. That press box is the most famous press box in the history of sports... at least to me.

Here are some pics and vids from a great day:

Kevin Sullivan, Wayne Simpson, and Mike Ingoldsby
The center ice logo from the press box

The Dutchmen waiting to get introduced

Where Al Michaels was during the Miracle on Ice

Our seats

The final score. I didn't realize that UNC was playing haha

Outside the rink at night
The Five Guys: Scott Zurawel, Kyle Anderson, John Russell, Me, and Brendan Lichtenthal
Souvenirs from the game: Ticket, Press Pass, Program











Union ties RPI at Lake Placid


Greg Coburn had a goal and assist against RPI
Another Union-RPI game, another wild game.

Once the game ended I was unsure on whether to be happy or disappointed in the tie. On one
hand the Dutchmen tied the game with 30 seconds left in regulation thanks to Mat Bodie, but on the other hand they let up a two goal lead and allowed RPI to take the lead in the third period. I guess a tie is better than a loss.

Union's inability to play a full 60 minutes has become a problem. In three of their games this season the Dutchmen have relinquished a three goal lead, and yesterday they let up an early two goal lead. If this becomes a continuous theme this season Union will not have a successful season and will not go far in the playoffs. The great teams play their best in the latter parts of the game. As my old hockey coach used to say, "Win the third period, win the game."

Overall, I didn't think Union played a great game. Even when they were up 2-0 I felt they weren't on top of their game. Luckily, their power-play is still going strong. Ironically, I thought Mat Bodie had an awful two games, but he made up for it with his goal. Also, Keith Kinkaid had a good game in goal despite allowing three goals.

These two ties in two ties are not exactly the way the Dutchmen wanted to head into ECAC play, but it's not that bad. There is no shame in tying an RPI team that is very good and is the 20th ranked team in the nation.

For more on the game go to:
Times Union.com

Friday, October 29, 2010

Union takes on RPI in Halloween Face-Off

A tie with UConn is not the way the Dutchmen wanted to head into the Halloween Face-Off with arch rival RPI. After romping all over Atlantic Hockey teams at Messa Rink, Union just stopped playing hockey for the final 20 or so minutes of the game. Now they have to respond with a win over RPI before ECAC play opens up next weekend at Harvard and Dartmouth.

The Engineers have got off to a pretty good start this season with a 3-1-2 record. Their ties have come against Colorado College and Northeastern (both tough opponents) on the road. The three wins came at home against Bentley (3-0), RIT (4-1) and Niagara (4-3 OT). The CC Tigers handed them their only loss.

All four of the Union-RPI games last season were absolute classics! Three of the games were decided by one goal, two were decided in overtime, and the other was a 3-1 Union victory where Luke Cain scored a diving, empty-net goal. The Dutchmen held the advantage in the season series last year going 3-1-0.

The December 5th game is one of the greatest games I have ever seen in person. It was during winter break, but my dad, my younger brothers took the two and a half hour trek up to Troy. AND IT WAS SO WORTH IT! Union's comeback led by Mario-Valery Trabucco and Jason Walters was awesome, along with Mike Schreiber's game-winner. Hopefully, the Dutchmen can beat the Engineers without these guys.

Here are some links from those games:
October 30 at Messa Rink - RPI 4, Union 3 (OT)
November 28 at Houston Field House - Union 5, RPI 4 (OT)
December 5 at Houston Field House - Union 5, RPI 4
January 16 at Messa Rink - Union 3, RPI 1

Players To Watch For RPI:

Chase Polacek: was named ECAC Player of the Year and All-American last season. Polacek is tied for team lead with three goals, four assists, seven points, and two power-play goals this season. Led the team with 26 goals and 52 points (tops in the ECAC and tied for sixth in the nation). He is extremely fast and will be dangerous on the Olympic ice sheet in Lake Placid.

Tyler Helfrich: has got off to a very hot start matching Polacek in goals, assists, and points. He has digressed the past few seasons, but his senior year could be his best season yet.

Brock Higgs: the freshman has started his collegiate career on the right foot scoring three goals, two of which were game-winners.

Allen York: heading into the game York is fifth in the nation with a 1.61 GAA and fourth in the country with a .943 save percentage. Also, he has played the most minutes in all of college hockey so far this season (370:38). York was also named preseaon First Team All-ECAC over Keith Kinkaid.

Players To Watch For Union:

Matt Hatch: look out for his speed on the big ice surface if he dresses... I think he will.

Mat Bodie: had an awful game against UConn. Let's see how he responds against a better opponent.

John and Wayne Simpson: both are extremely fast and should take advantage of the wide ice sheet. I think their line should counter Polacek's line because they can keep up with him.

Adam Presizniuk: last season stars like Mario Valery-Trabucco and Jason Walters came up big for the Dutchmen in the games against RPI. Let's see if Prez can do the same.

Prediction: I'm going to go with a 4-3 Union victory... yeah, yeah call me a homer but that's what I think. The Dutchmen need to make a statement before league play begins and the offense should step up their game. The two teams also have two common opponents, RIT and Niagara, both of which they have beaten. But, while the Engineers have outscored these opponents 8-4, the Dutchmen have outscored them 13-3.

Here are some highlights from the games last season:




Union disappoints in a tie with UConn

Troy Grosenick made his first career start
Well, that was awful. That's all I can really say. What a terrible way to go into Lake Placid and ECAC play. I really believed the team wouldn't take UConn lightly and over look them, but it seems like they did. In the post-game press conference Coach Leaman said the team was complacent in the past few practices, which is very disappointing. I thought the leadership on this team was better than that. This was the third time in seven games that the Dutchmen relinquished a three goal lead. The other two times they were able to pull out a win, but couldn't find the game-winning goal tonight.

More importantly, this game is REALLY going to hurt Union in the PairWise Rankings (PWR), which decides who makes the NCAA tournament. Last season, Union's bid to the tournament was basically decided with the overtime loss at home against Sacred Heart and the heart-breaking tie with Yale. Hopefully, this game doesn't come back to bite Union in the butt. Also, is it just me or do the Dutchmen have an awful time with teams from Connecticut?

Freshman Troy Grosenick made his first career start tonight and did pretty well. Even though he played fine, I doubt he'll receive playing time anytime soon. Coach Leaman will probably go with Keith Kinkaid for every game from now on since this tie with the Huskies makes the upcoming games even more important. Here's what Leaman had to say about Grosenick: "I though we left him out to dry. He put in a solid effort."

For more on the game go to:
USCHO
Ken Schott's Blog
Union Athletics.com

Here are some videos from the game featuring Troy Grosenick and Jeremy Welsh:





Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pics and Vids from warmups vs. UConn

Troy Grosenick prepares for his first start
The captains talk to the refs

Greg Coburn

Josh Jooris


Mat Bodie
UConn goalies warm up
Wayne Simpson



Tonight's Lineups vs. UConn (10/28/10)

Junior Brian Yanovitch
Here are some game notes courtesy of Union Athletics.com.

Union:

Presizniuk- Zajac- Boileau
K. Bodie- Buote- Cain
Yanovitch- J. Simpson- W. Simpson
Carr- Welsh- Jooris

M. Bodie-Matheson (C)
Forgaard- Julseth-White
Coburn- Stuart

Grosenick
Kinkaid
Milan

Observations: Freshman goaltender Troy Grosenick makes his first collegiate start... Junior Brian Yanovitch makes his first appearance of the season... Freshman Matt Hatch is not in the lineup after scoring two goals and an assist last game, but I expect to see him in uniform on Friday at Lake Placid.
Captain Andrew Olson

UConn:

Schneider- Ambrosie- Winter
Olson (C)- Hernandez- Krispel (C)
Gallagher- Sims- Encarnaco
Carriere- Sapiehr (C)- Harris

Gerke- Scott
Waterstradt- Miller
Reagan- Cooper

Bartus
Grogan
Behling

Observations: The second line is an all-senior line... The first and third lines have no upperclassmen... There are two sophomores, two juniors, and two seniors on defense... The Huskies have very easy last names to pronounce (for the most part, haha).

Captain's Corner with Brock Matheson (10/28/10)

In this week's segment, Brock talks about the upcoming games with UConn and RPI, the hot start his team is off to, Lake Placid, along with other topics.

Here's Captain Brock:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Union faces UConn for Thursday night game

The Dutchmen are riding high after beginning the season with a 5-1-0 record. In four of the six games they have beaten up on Atlantic Hockey teams at home, outscoring their AHA opponents 29-6. On Thursday Union welcomes in another Atlantic Hockey team: the University of Connecticut.

The Huskies are traditionally one of the weakest teams in all of college hockey. They were picked to finish 11th out of 12 teams in the AHA pre-season poll. And as I've said over the past month, the AHA is by far the weakest conference in college hockey.

UConn has got off to a decent 1-1-1 start. They opened up the season with a shocking 3-3 tie at now #7 Maine, but then fell to Merrimack 7-1 the following weekend. But, the rebounded with a 3-2 win at Army.

Last season, UConn went 7-27-3 along with a 2-18-2 road record, and finished 11th in their conference. No UConn player last season scored in double digits. Andrew Olson and Justin Hernandez each scored nine goals to lead the team. Olson also led the team with 20 points. Jason Krispel had a team high 12 assists. Freshmen Garret Bartus and Jeff Larson split the majority of the time in between the pipes. Bartus had the best numbers of the two as he went 5-14-1 with a 3.26 GAA and .900 save percentage. Larson left the team in the middle of last season for personal reasons.

The Dutchmen faced off against the Huskies in the Toyota UConn Classic where they demolished the host team 7-0. Union received goals from Mike Wakita, Adam Presizniuk (2), Stephane Boileau, Jason Walters, John Simpson, and Mike Schreiber, while Corey Milan made 14 saves for the shutout. Union holds a 7-0-1 advantage in the series all-time.

You can find more game notes on UConn Huskies.com.

Players To Watch For UConn

Sean Ambrosie: leads the team with three assists and four points.

Cole Schneider: the freshman scored two goals against Army, which leads the team. It was the first time a UConn scored twice in one game since Ambrosie did so in a 4-3 loss at Bentley on October 23, 2009, exactly a year before Schneider did.

Brian Reagan: the senior defenseman accumulated three points with a goal and two assists in the win at Army. He is the first UConn player to tally three points in a game since Jason Krispel recorded three against Bentley in a 4-3 OT loss on February 16, 2008.

Rui Encarnaco: this is more of a personal thing since I grew up playing against this guy in youth hockey and in high school hockey. Rui played for White Plains HS and in the Brewster organization, two rivals of mine. He was a good player then and I'm interested how he adapts to D-I hockey.

Players To Watch For Union

Matt Hatch: scored his first two career goals and assist in the 7-2 win over RIT. Let's see if he cracks the lineup again.

Adam Presizniuk: is second in the nation in scoring.

Brian Yanovitch: surprisingly, he has not appeared in a game this season. Maybe he'll get his chance against a "weak" UConn team.

Prediction: I really believe that the leadership on this team is so strong that there is no way that the Dutchmen over look the Huskies. They should be pedal to the metal for all three periods, which is why I predict a 7-0 Union victory.

Other news from this week:

Union moves to #16 in the USCHO poll
Dutchmen get a lot of love in the INCH Power Rankings
Union jumps to 13th in USA Today/USA Hockey poll
Presizniuk and Kinkaid honored by ECAC

A Challenge to the Union Students

I received this Letter to the Editor while working on the sports section for the Concordiensis on Tuesday. This letter is definitely print worthy, but I did not have enough room in the section this week (maybe next week). So, I thought it would be a great idea to publish it on UHB. It basically challenges the Union students to support their team to the highest extent, and I totally agree. The letter is similar to UHB's manifesto.

I hope everybody reads this (along with the manifesto) and steps up.

Open letter to all those in the "Q-Zone" at Messa Rink:

Now in our 20th season as a Division 1 program and having the good fortune to watch a truly superior team, I earnestly plead with you to support the guys on the ice, who are giving us their all, with a "7th man" section worthy of Division 1. I've been a season ticket holder for 23 years, and attended games at Messa Rink since '76. During that time I've endured more nights of weak-kneed, poor-spirited cheering than I care to remember. There are only a few things needed to bring our fans up to Division 1 standards: 1. Expand the list of cheers! While there's nothing wrong with "Let's Go, Un...ion!" It becomes an embarrassment when it's the ONLY cheer, especially if it's not done crisply and with force. What's wrong with "Let's go U!" it can be easily shouted because of the "U!" In addition the "U" can be used to overshout our opponents when they are cheering "Let's go Red!" for example. There are many other humorous, witty, and appropriate to the situation cheers available. Take a listen at Cornell, Clarkson, and (shudder) RPI games. 2. There's no need for the "You Suck!"or "Bull****!" cheers. Hockey is a sport loved by youngsters and they won't be brought by their parents if foul language is the norm. 3. Applause, Hoorays, and various screaming at the moment of a goal is fine, but wouldn't it be more fun for the players (and fans) if it became traditional to perform some form of synchronized, "rock the rink" cheer whenever we score? While I'm as in favor of the "We want More!" cheer heard at other ECAC rinks as the next guy, what about just a rhythmic "U!" while holding the middle fingers of both hands down and showing only the index and little fingers in the style of Texas' famous "Hook 'em, Horns" gesture? I think we could blow the roof off with nearly 2,000 fans belting out "U! U! U!" 4. Booing the opposition during the introductions is low class and should be eliminated. Why not some form of "Big Ignore" such as the Cornell "read the newspaper" (without tossing the crumpled up newspaper at opposing fans) display? Perhaps we could "read the program"? My basic complaint is that the denizens of sections P and Q display too little spirit and too much vulgarity; too much nastiness and too little wittiness. It's past time to display as much class as the team you support. Try it! You'll be amazed at the results, I'm certain. The women won't mind the change either, I'll bet.

- Union Alum Class of '68, Section X

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Learn How To Speak French With Professor Boileau (10/26/10)

This week Professor Boileau teaches us about certain penalties in hockey. He specifically teaches us how to say slashing, cross-checking and hitting from behind in French. He also tells us how to say the numbers two (minor penalty), five (major penalty) and ten (game misconduct) in his native language.

NOTE: Kyle Bodie was not harmed during the filming of this segment.

Monday, October 25, 2010

College Hockey Video of the Week (10/25/10): Minnesota's Tyler Hirsch's famous incident

I vaguely remember this guy. Tyler Hirsch was a very talented player with the University of Minnesota, who had some problems and was always in the dog house of Head Coach Don Lucia. He led the Gophers with 44 points in the 2004-2005 season, and was a very promising prospect. But, Hirsch was just unable to keep everything together. He was suspended a few times and was ultimately dismissed from the team 15 games into the 2006-2007 season. It looked like he was going to sign with the NHL's Minnesota Wild, but that ultimately fell through for some reason.

For more info on Hirsch's career at Minnesota go to College Hockey News.

Sadly, this once great player's career is over and is famous for this odd incident after a loss in the 2005 WCHA Final Five Semifinals:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Union romps over RIT 7-2

Adam Presizniuk scored two goals last night
Last night the Dutchmen completely dominated the Tigers. They were opportunistic on the power-play and Keith Kinkaid came up big when his team needed him to. When I talked to RIT Head Coach Wayne Wilson after the game he completely agreed. He wasn't happy with the refs, but gave Union a lot of credit and was really impressed with the depth of the forwards and Kinkaid. Anyone in Union's lineup is capable of scoring a goal, and they have plenty of "go to guys" like Prez, Zajac, Welsh, Wayne Simpson, Jooris, Carr, etc. This is why Union has the #1 scoring offense  in the country averaging 5.67 goals/game. On a negative note, Welsh's five game goal streak ended last night, along with Jooris' five game point streak.

Also thanks to Keith Kinkaid, Union has #3 defense in the nation averaging 1.83 goals allowed/game.

The Union power-play was so impressive last night as they looked unstoppable in the first period. They controlled the puck very well and dictated the play, causing the RIT penalty kill to run around. The great thing about the Union power-play is that they have 10 guys that can got out there and execute a perfect series. Each player they put out there is unselfish, but can bury the puck when they need to. Union's power-play is clicking at a 41.9% rate (13-of-31), which is tops in the nation.

It's also great that the Dutchmen have been dominant at home. In four games at home this season the Dutchmen have outscored their opponents 29-6. They are proving that it will be very difficult to come into Schenectady and come out with a 'W.'

For more on the win go to:
USCHO
Union Athletics.com
Ken Schott's Blog
Times Union.com

While all of these stats are very impressive, we still have to remember that four of Union's six games (and all of their games at home) were against Atlantic Hockey teams. I'm not here to bash on the AHA, but let's be honest... the AHA is by far the weakest conference in college hockey. Sacred Heart and Niagara are not very good, and RIT is obviously not as good as last year considering they lost their goaltender Jared DeMichiel and top defenseman Dan Ringwald. While RIT is the best team in the AHA, they are just a good team. I expect the Dutchmen to skate all over UConn on Thursday, but we will truly see what this team is made of when ECAC play begins in a few weeks. So, be excited about this team (I am!), but we have to see how they do against the likes of Cornell and Yale before we start talking about being a Top 15 team.

One thing Union fans should be excited about is freshman Matt Hatch. Yes he's only played in two games, but I'm telling you this kid is legit. We saw this last night when he picked up his first two career goals and assist. The reason why I'm so confident in Hatch is because of his speed. I'm a huge believer in "speed kills." A fast player can wreak havoc on the ice causing opposing players to rush their decisions and commit turnovers. Expect Hatch to be in Union's lineup more and more as the season goes on. After the game last night I was able to catch up with Matt and talk about his great night:



Also, here are some highlights from the epic Union-RIT game in the 1984 NCAA semifinals (start video at 7:10 mark):

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pictures and Videos of warmups vs. RIT












Tonight's Lineups vs. RIT (10/23/10)

Tonight's game will start at 7:30pm. Also, it is Garnet Blades Appreciation Night. All members will receive a free gift at the game.

Union

Zajac - Presizniuk - Boileau
Sullivan - J. Simpson - W. Simpson
Carr - Welsh - Jooris
Buote - Pallos - Hatch

Julseth-White - Stuart
Forgaard - Ingoldsby
M. Bodie - Matheson (C)

Kinkaid
Milan
Grosenick

Observations: Presizniuk will center the top line with Zajac playing left wing (it's usually the other way around)... Stephane "The Professor" Boileau will be playing on the top line tonight. Let's see if he's the right fit... Matt Hatch will make his first collegiate appearance in the Eastern time zone (his only game played was in Alaska)... Greg Coburn, who might be Union's top defenseman, is not in the lineup tonight

RIT
Lynch-Favot (C)- Brenner
Smith-Burt-Murphy (C)
Knowles-Hartley-Mitchell
McReynolds-Cornacchia-Colavecchia

Descoteaux-Haltigin(C)
Spivak-Eckenswiller
Noyes-Saracino

Madolora
Watson
Ropponen

Observations: Every line has at least one upperclassman on it... Madolora is making his fifth career start and second of the season... The top line has 10 points between them... There are 12 letters in Eckenswiller

Union tops Niagara 6-1

Wayne Simpson '13
So, I was pretty close on my prediction as the Dutchmen beat the Purple Eagles 6-1 (I predicted a 5-1 win). The usual suspects (Prez, Welsh, and Carr) scored for Union, along with the Simpson brothers and Justin Pallos.Keith Kinkaid made 20 saves for his fourth win of the season.

Also, congratulations to freshman goaltender Troy Grosenick on making his first collegiate appearance. He made three saves in 5:29 of play.

Jeremy Welsh has scored a goal in each of Union's five games this season. I've said all pre-season and I've continued to say it... Jeremy Welsh is going to have a big year! So far, my prediction is looking good.

For more on the game go to:

Tonight the Dutchmen will face the RIT Tigers. Last night, the Tigers lost RPI in Troy 4-1.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Preview of Niagara and RIT

This weekend the Dutchmen return home from their trip to Alaska to take on two Atlantic Hockey opponents: the Niagara Purple Eagles and the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers. Friday's game against Niagara will start at 7pm, while Saturday's game will begin at 7:30pm.

So, let's take a look at the opposition:

Niagara
Union has the advantage in the all-time series, 4-0-1.

Last season the Purple Eagles went 12-20-4 in the recently disbanded College Hockey America conference. They made it to the league championship game, but lost to Alabama-Huntsville in overtime with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on the line. They played 11 games against ECAC opponents and went 4-5-2. The Purple Eagles actually outscored their ECAC foes by two goals
.

So far this season Niagara is 0-0-2 as they tied Merrimack and UMass-Lowell, both of Hockey East. Both of their goaltenders, junior Chris Noonan and freshman Carsen Chubak, have started a game this season so I'm not sure who will start on Friday.

The major issue for the team is scoring considering all three of their top three scorers graduated last season: Chris Moran (42 points), Ryan Olidis (33 points), and defenseman Tyler Gotto (25 points). They have lost a lot of veteran leadership and are a young team. 17 of the 28 players on the roster are underclassmen.

Players To Watch:

Bryan Haczyk: is the top returning scorer. He scored nine goals and tallied 13 assists in 2009-10.

Paul Zanette: accumulated 11 goals and 10 assists last season. He is the only player on the team with more than one goal this season.

Marc Zanette: had 20 points last season as a freshman (seven goals, 13 assists).

Prediciton: Union, 5-1

RIT
All-time, RIT holds the advantage 12-3-4, but they have not beaten Union since 1991. The Tigers and the Dutchmen were rivals back in the 80's when they were both Division III programs. Arguably the most epic game in the history of Union College Hockey took place between these two teams in the 1984 NCAA Semifinals. The game took four overtimes for the Dutchmen to take home the win. Sadly, Union lost to Babson 8-0 in the championship game.

The Tigers were the surprise team of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. After winning the Atlantic Hockey tournament they faced #2 Denver in the East Regional semifinals and beat them. They then went up against New Hampshire and upset them 6-2. Their run ended in the Frozen Four where they lost to Wisconsin 8-1. It was a magical season for the Tigers and their fans. By the way, their fans (known as the Corner Crew) are awesome! I was so impressed by them at the Frozen Four. They were the talk of tournament, and I hope they travel to Schenectady.

So far in 2010-11, the Tigers are 0-2-1. They dropped games to St. Cloud and Nebraska-Omaha at the Maverick Stampede, and then tied UMass-Lowell. It's not a good start, but they have played some tough teams. Also, the Tigers will no longer be overlooked by the out-of-conference opposition.

The Tigers lost two major components to their Frozen Four run from last season in goaltender Jared DeMichiel and defenseman Dan Ringwald. Both were First Team all-Atlantic Hockey selections last season. DeMichiel went 27-10-1 with a 2.08 GAA and .921 save percentage last season. He was also named the NCAA East Regionals Most Outstanding Player. Ringwald was a staple in the Tigers defense on both sides of the puck. He scored 11 goals and tacked on 26 assists in his senior year, and was named Atlantic Hockey's Best Defenseman. Replacing both will be tough, but especially DeMichiel. So far each of RIT's three goaltenders have had a start, once again making the starter for the game against Union a surprise.

The Tigers strength will be their offense as they return six players who scored at least 10 goals last season, and nine players who had at least 17 points.

Players To Watch:
Tyler Brenner: leads the team with three goals this season. Was second on the team last season with 15 goals.

Andrew Favot: leads the team with three assists. Is second among returning scorers as he posted 13 goals and 33 asissts last season.
Cameron Burt: led the team in scoring last season as a sophomore. He netted 16 goals and picked up 31 helpers in 40 games. He also led the team with nine power-play goals, so look out for him there.

Prediction: Union, 4-3

Players To Watch For Union:
Jeremy Welsh: leads the team with four goals, and has scored a goal in each of the past four games.
 
Daniel Carr and Josh Jooris: can they keep it rolling? The line of Carr-Welsh-Jooris has been unstoppable to start the season

Corey Milan: I'm not sure if he'll get a chance to play this weekend since Keith Kinkaid has been so good in between the pipes so far this season, but if he does let's see how he responds after his poor outing to start the season.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Captain's Corner with Brock Matheson (10/21/10)

After a small hiatus "Captain's Corner" is back. Brock talks to us about the trip in Alaska, how the team will react this weekend after all the travel in the previous week, and the upcoming games against Niagara and RIT.

Here's Captain Brock:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Learn how to speak French with Professor Boileau (Segment 2 - 10/19/10)

This week's "Learn how to speak French with Professor Boileau" features sophomore defenseman Jean-Sebastian Bergeron. J-S is a huge fan of Professor Boileau and has learned so much French after just one show. So, Stephane and I decided we should invite J-S on the show to show off what he has learned already.

"The Professor" also teaches us three new numbers this week.

So, here's "The Professor" and his student J-S:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mark Bennett commits to Union

Mark Bennett
It was announced by Chris Heisenberg that Mark Bennett has committed to Union. Bennett is a six-foot, 190 pound forward from Oakville, Ontario. This is also confirmed by the Oakville Blades website.

He is currently playing with Oakville of the OJHL. Last season, Bennett put up some very good numbers last season with the Blades as he scored 21 goals and tallied 36 assists for 57 points in just 45 games. In 13 games this season he has totaled 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists).

Bennett is the fifth forward to commit to Union for 2012.

Former Dutchmen to play for Oakville include sophomore forward Jeremy Welsh and freshman defenseman Mike Ingoldsby. Both captained the Blades during their tenure.

College Hockey Video of the Week (10/18/10): RIT is coming to town!

This upcoming Saturday the Dutchmen will welcome the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers into Messa Rink. Last season, the Tigers had a Cinderella run to the Frozen Four upsetting #2 Denver and New Hampshire in the regionals. I was able to see RIT and their fans first hand at the 2010 Frozen Four in Detroit. Even though they got destroyed 8-1 by Wisconsin, their fans were really energized and entertaining. They were the talk of the tournament. The following videos shows how much passion RIT and their fans have. Union will definitely have their hands full this weekend.

RIT's Corner Crew


RIT brawl vs. Canisius (View One)



RIT brawl vs. Canisius (View Two)


RIT advances to the 2010 Frozen Four

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thoughts on the weekend in Alaska

Even though Union fans would've liked to see their team win both games this weekend, taking one of two games in Alaska is pretty good because the trip to Alaska is a physical and mental test for the players. The trip is by far the farthest road trip any Union team has ever made. Let's just hope the loss to #14 Alaska-Fairbanks doesn't come back to bite the Dutchmen in the PairWise Rankings (PWR) later in the season.

Friday's (well, technically Saturday) game was an evenly matched game, but the Nanooks were able to pull out the victory with a late goal. It must have been very different for Union playing a nationally ranked team just a week after destroying a weak Atlantic Hockey team. It sounds like UAF goalie and tourney MVP Scott Greenham was a brick wall in net, but Keith Kinkaid was strong in net as well. Greenham is a very well respected and highly regarded goaltender. Don't be surprised to see him on one of the All-American teams at the end of the year.

For more details on the game go to Union Athletics.com. You can also go to the Alaska Nanooks Hockey Blog for a different perspective of the game.

The second game of the weekend was a very interesting game as the Dutchmen jumped out to a three goal lead, gave it back, and then was able to shut out the Alaska-Anchorage offense in the third period while being out shot 18-2. It sounds like Kinkaid had a great third period and weekend overall. The usual suspects (Prez, Welsh, Carr, Zajac) scored Union's four goals. While it wasn't the prettiest game for the Dutchmen, a win is a win.

Go to Union Athletics.com and the UAA Hockey Fan Blog for more on the game.

Also, Welsh and Kinkaid were named to the all-tournament team.

While it was interesting to see how the Dutchmen would respond to the long trip to Alaska, it might be even more interesting to see how they react this upcoming weekend against Niagara and RIT. When the team returns to campus they come back to the "real world" where they have to deal with school stuff. It might be hard to adjust again, but hey the Alaska kids have to do it basically every weekend. They better adjust because Saturday's game against RIT is very important for the PWR. Remember, RIT was in the Frozen Four last year.

Also, isn't it amazing that we're talking about the PWR on a Union Hockey blog? It was just a few years ago that Union was the joke of the ECAC.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Video from last night's game... eh, not really

It's been a hectic few days for me in Schenectady which is why I haven't had the time to personally preview or analyze this weekend's games, but the Jeff Weinstein and Ken Schott have kept us all up to date on their respective blogs (thanks guys!). On a side note, I worked the Albany Devils game last night and they won in a shootout for their first win in franchise history.

Even though I didn't see last night's game I do have some live footage from it... eh, not really. It's actually the end of Mystery Alaska, a hockey movie based in Alaska featuring Russell Crowe. For more on the movie click here. I thought I should at least post something during the weekend our team is in Alaska.

Mystery Alaska is one of my favorite hockey movies of all-time behind Mighty Ducks, Mighty Ducks 2, Mighty Ducks 3... eh, maybe not Mighty Ducks 3..., MVP, and MVP 2... eh, definitely not MVP 2, it's actually pretty brutal.

If you haven't seen the movie I highly recommend you go see it... that is if you are "mature" enough.

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT AHEAD

Friday, October 15, 2010

Instead of Captain's Corner this week...

So, I'm sorry to all my loyal followers (if there are any of you out there) about not having "Captain's Corner with Brock Matheson this week, but we couldn't find time to meet up before the team headed out to Alaska. To make it up to you guys here is a video interview with freshman forward Cole Ikkala when he played for the Vernon Vipers last season. It's a "get to know you" video. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Learn how to speak French with Professor Boileau (10/12/10)

Official flag of Quebec
Here is another weekly segment that UHB will be hosting called "Learn how to speak French with Professor Boileau," starring senior forward Stephane Boileau. Every week Stephane will teach all of us English speakers how to say numbers and words in French, while relating them to Union College hockey.

Last season, Boileau was named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large Second Team. As of last June, he held a 3.88 GPA (the highest on the team) while being a neuroscience major... now that's pretty good! He was awarded the the Thomas Vanarden Dukehard award for the highest GPA on the men's ice hockey team, and was named Union's junior student-athlete of the year. There was also a rumor last year that Boileau would leave Union early to head to medical school. Obviously Stephane is very smart and is worthy of "professor" status.

Stephane is a native of Blainville, Quebec and is one of two players on the 2010-11 team from the province of Quebec (the other is sophomore Jean Sebastian Bergeron). For those of you who do not know the official language of Quebec is French. So, growing up Stephane spoke French... and only French. Stephane said that before coming to Union he knew very little English, and was taught how to speak it when he arrived. Besides his strong accent, you could never tell Stephane didn't know English before his freshman year.

So here we go with Professor Boileau's first lesson:

Jooris named ECAC Rookie of the Week


The ECAC announced today that Union freshman Josh Jooris was named the ECAC MLX Skates Rookie of the Week.

St. Lawrence's Sean Flanagan and Matt Weninger were named the ECAC MLX Skates Player of the Week and ECAC MLX Skates Goalie of the Week, respectively. 

Honestly, I feel Kelly Zajac should have won the Player of the Week award. He scored a program record four goals in one game, and was the difference in the score as Union won 7-3. I also feel that Keith Kinkaid should have won Goalie of the Week after he did not allow a single goal during the weekend. He shut out Sacred Heart on Friday, and then came in relief for Corey Milan after the Pioneers tied the game and were buzzing. But hey, you can't win everything.

For the official release go to ECAC Hockey.com.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Goals lift Union in the USCHO poll

Here are the polls for this week:

Union moves up to #16 in the USCHO poll.

Also, the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll has Union at #16 just one point behind #15 Wisconsin.

College Hockey Video of the Week (10/11/10): Lombardi's hat trick in the HE 2010 Championship and Feature on Jeff Lerg

So, if you don't know I've been interning with the Albany Devils in their PR/Media department with former Union Assistant SID Kevin Zalaznik. In the weeks leading up to the home opener (which occurred this past Saturday) Kevin had me doing a lot of writing, researching, and updating of player bios of players in the Devils organization. Over this time I came across two familiar names: Matt Lombardi and Jeff Lerg. Both players will be playing for the Trenton Devils (ECHL) to begin the season. Maybe we will see them in Albany or New Jersey in the near future.

Lombardi finished up his senior season at Boston College last season with a bang as the Eagles won the 2010 National Championship. But, Lombardi's shining moment came in the Hockey East Championship game against Maine. Coming into the game Lombardi scored only seven goals in his four career career. Luckily for the Eagles, Lombardi picked the perfect moment to record his first career hat trick, which included the game-winning goal in overtime to give his team a 7-6 victory. This game was one of the wildest games in college hockey of the 2009-10 season. Here are the highlights:




Jeff Lerg also won an NCAA championship when his Michigan State Spartans won it all in 2007 over Boston College in dramatic fashion. It was a great year for Lerg who was named USCHO's Player of the Year. What makes Lerg so special is that he's such a great goaltender while standing at just 5' 6". He has also overcome some other obstacles, which you can see in this video:

All Smiles In Schenectady

Sorry for the delay, it's been a hectic 24 hours especially after working the Albany Devils home opener. If you're interested in what happened in the Devils' inaugural game you can check out the game recap (which I wrote by the way).

Saturday night's game against Sacred Heart saw more Union Division I records broken as junior Kelly Zajac scored four goals in the game, while senior Adam Presizniuk had five helpers. These records followed freshman Josh Jooris' performance the night before.

Coach Leaman was right in saying that Saturday's game would be tougher than Friday's, but luckily Zajac was there to make the difference. Union is going to look to Zaj to score all season.

As I said after Friday night's game, this is a really great start to the season but it's only one weekend and they played Sacred Heart. The Pioneers definitely have some work to do. The Carr-Welsh-Jooris line and the Prez-Zaj connection looks great off the bat, but let's see how they do against better opponents.

All in all, it was a great weekend for the Dutchmen and hopefully they can carry this momentum all the way to Alaska next weekend.

For more on Saturday's game check out Ken Schott's Blog and Union Athletics.com.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Videos from Opening Night 2010

What a way to start the 2010-11 campaign! It was a blowout from the beginning, but it was still fun especially since Sacred Heart beat Union last season. It just seemed that every scoring chance Union had they put in, and every chance Sacred Heart had Keith Kinkaid stepped up.

Oh, and who is Mario Valery-Trabucco and Jason Walters again? I only know of Josh Jooris and Daniel Carr... haha I'm just kidding. But seriously, way to make your mark in your first collegiate game! At first I doubted the Jooris-Welsh-Carr line since I felt Welsh would be better suited to play with Zajac and/or Presizniuk, but right now I'm definitely wrong. Let's all hope that these guys can keep it up. We all have to remember how John Simpson and Brian Yanovitch got off to very hot starts last season, but after that they both produced very little.

And on a personal funny side note, let's hope Jooris doesn't suffer from "Dan Greene Syndrome." What is DGS you ask? Well, in my first travel hockey game as a Mite I scored a hat trick in a 9-2 romp over the Montclair Blues... and after that game I never scored hat trick ever again. EVER AGAIN! After Mites I moved to defense and the rest is history (plus I never was and aren't much of a scorer haha).

Now, back to real hockey. Everybody from top to bottom looked good last night and all the lines looked like they had good chemistry. I know it's only the first game, but hey it's better than not playing well.

On another note, the student section looked to be pretty packed! Even Will Friedman (aka UnionHockeyManiac) made the trek from NYC to watch the game. But, the local fans did not show as their side of the rink was pretty empty. Maybe it was because of high school football? Whatever the case though they missed out on a fun game.

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

By the way, I will not be attending tonight's game because I'll be working the Albany Devils home opener with our old friend Kevin Zalaznik. So make sure you follow Ken Schott's blog or the Extra Frame Blog for twitter updates.

Here are some videos from Opening Night 2010: