Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NCAA [Print without images]

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
First Shift: RIT leads the way


Player Of The Week

Dan Ringwald
Rochester Institute of Technology
Sr. | D | Oakville, Ontario

His Statistics: 2 GP, 3 goals, 3 assists (6 points), 5 power-play points

RIT

His Impact: The RIT Tigers made the jump to Division I hockey just five years ago and have experienced a lot of success in that time. Entering last weekend's games with an 0-5-0 record was unfamiliar territory for the Tigers, but they broke through with a big offensive weekend in a two-game sweep of Connecticut in an Atlantic Hockey series.

RIT scored 13 goals over the two games with a 6-2 win on Friday and 7-0 win on Saturday. The Tigers were 4-for-7 on the power play in the Friday win and 2-for-9 in Saturday's win, and power-play quarterback Dan Ringwald keyed the offensive surge.

Ringwald had three assists in Friday's win, all of which came on the power play, and scored a natural hat trick in Saturday's win; his three straight goals in the first period stretched RIT's lead to 4-0.

He's been a consistent point producer over his entire RIT career, entering his senior season as RIT's all-time leader in assists and points by a defenseman at the Division I level, and he is a two-time All-Atlantic Hockey first-team selection. His big weekend helped start turning RIT's season in a positive direction.

His Runners-Up: Alex Beaudry, Providence; Scott Greenham, Alaska; Alex Killorn, Harvard; Nathan Longpre, Robert Morris; Tony Lucia, Minnesota

Stick Salute

Could you tell last weekend was Halloween for college hockey, too? A bunch of defensemen across the nation got into the spirit by masquerading as Paul Coffey.

Ringwald had back-to-back three-point nights, but five other blueliners put forth three-point games. Ringwald's RIT compadre, Al Mazur, had three goals and an assist against Connecticut on Friday, the same night St. Lawrence's Peter Child recorded a hat trick against Sacred Heart.

On Saturday, a trio of defensemen racked up three assists -- Cullen Lundholm of Robert Morris had three assists in a win over Quinnipiac; Wisconsin's Brendan Smith did it against New Hampshire; and Minnesota State's Ben Youds accomplished the feat against Denver.

Bench Minor

We briefly mentioned that there was some market correction in this week's INCH Power Rankings in regard to some Hockey East teams. Specifically, these are teams that are at or below .500 through the first month of the season. Defending national champion Boston University is 2-3-0, as is Northeastern -- an NCAA tournament team from a year ago. Vermont, despite some impressive early wins, is also 2-3-0. Boston College is at .500 with a 2-2-0 mark and New Hampshire is 2-4-1 after being blown out in two games at Wisconsin over the weekend. Full credit goes to Massachusetts (4-1-0), UMass Lowell (4-2-0) and upstarts Merrimack (5-3-0) and Providence (5-2-0), but the trend of slow starts for many of the teams is troubling.

Say What?

 

"I think that's a terrible precedent for a league, and I think the integrity of the league's at stake when you make that sort of decision. … You're actually encouraging member institutions to cheat, as long as they don't get caught before the game is declared over."
--Nebraska-Omaha athletic director Trev Alberts to Chad Purcell of the Omaha World-Herald following the Mavericks' controversial shootout loss to Bowling Green on Friday in which the Falcons used an ineligible player.

Nebraska-Omaha

Alberts, the former All-American linebacker at Nebraska and football commentator, went on to say that he was disappointed by the CCHA's "lack of leadership." He never minced words on the air, and it appears that hasn't changed. That's great because in our opinion, the happy-happy-joy-joy CCHA could use a little piss and vinegar.

Rankings Outrage

We're nitpicking here -- isn't that the point of this feature? -- but New Hampshire somehow appeared on the ballots of enough voters to garner seven points in the latest USCHO.com/CBS College Sports poll just days after getting throttled twice at Wisconsin over the weekend. With a 2-4-1 record, can anyone honestly say UNH is one of the 20 best teams in the country or has even played to that level?

It begs the question, are voters actually casting ballots based on the previous weekend's results?

In this instance, it seems more like a vote for the program or a vote of familiarity (i.e., UNH has been good in the past, so they're probably good this year, too) more than anything.

For more on college hockey, check out Inside College Hockey.