Inside College Hockey
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INCH Archive: Chats
Nate Ewell (1:30 PM)
Greetings, everybody, and welcome to another edition of college hockey chatter on The Show.
Nate Ewell (1:30 PM)
It's Jess Myers and myself from Inside College Hockey here chatting for the next 30 minutes ... let's get right to your questions.
WILL THE SIOUX WIN IT ALL THIS YEAR?
Jess Myers, Inside College Hockey (1:31 PM)
On Dec. 8, I would have to say no. But that's keeping in mind that in February of last season, they looked like an iffy bet to finish in the upper half of the WCHA, and six weeks later they were in the NCAA title game. Dave Hakstol has an impressive collection of talent, but they're very young, and they've had a few inexplicable losses early in the season. If they can get into the NCAAs, I like their Frozen Four chances, with the regional being played in their building, but I can't see them winning the title this year.
Is University of Nerbaska Omaha(UNO) a serious contender this year for a national championship or will they be a team of ups and downs this year.
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:33 PM)
I like the Mavericks' team, a lot. I'd like them more if Chris Holt was still there, but they are still formidable. That said, a national championship this year would be too much to ask -- hope for an NCAA appearance, which I think is a realistic goal, and build off that in the future.
Paul (Colorado Springs)
What do you think CC needs to do to get back on train? They are on an 3-4-1 in their last 8 and are coming off a tough weekend against DU? Also is Sterling one of your top 3 for the Hobey this year?
Jess Myers, Inside College Hockey (1:34 PM)
There's no real secret to the Tigers' success -- they need to get Sterling and Sertich scoring again. All of their other strong points -- things like goaltending and the defensive play of Brian Salcido -- are kind of like the cranberries and the green bean casserole, while S & S are like the turkey. You can have a holiday meal without the side items, but you're going to go hungry without the turkey.
Jess Myers, Inside College Hockey (1:35 PM)
Entering the season, Sterling was in my top 1 for the Hobey, and I think he still has a very good shot at winning the trophy (which would give CC three winners in four years -- an amazing run). With that said, I am among the large number of people who are raising questions about Sterling's Hobey viability if he continues to be held scoreless versus archrival Denver. As a pro scout friend of mine asked over the weekend, does Matt Leinhart win the Heisman if he plays great against everyone else, but lays an egg versus UCLA and in the bowl game?
Can anyone beat Wisconsin, if they get place in the Green Bay Regional and then make it to the Frozen Four in Milwaukee?
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:37 PM)
They wany they're playing right now, nobody's beating Wisconsin regardless of where they play. But that talent, combined with the enthusiasm of Badger fans, gives them a huge edge this postseason.
Were you guys surprised that Weller and Pineault both got passed over for the US WJC team? Was there anyone else you thought might make it that didn't? What about Keith Yandle?
Jess Myers, Inside College Hockey (1:38 PM)
Overall, the west-heavy makeup of Team USA was a bit of a surprise, and looking at Yandle's size and numbers, he seems like he might have been a good candidate. But Walt Kyle clearly has a system in mind, and Yandle wasn' in the picture.
The Next One (Cole Harbour NS)
Many experts believe the U.S. is the prohibitive favorite to win this year's World Junior Championships. Do you think the gold is the U.S.'s to lose, or is Canada downplaying its chances in a bit of gamesmanship?
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:39 PM)
I think it's interesting that you almost never admit to being inferior in hockey -- right Sidney? -- but heading into a tournament on their own soil they are all hyping the Americans.
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:40 PM)
There's no question the American team is loaded with talent, but remember, Jonathan Toews is a guy who many think might be right there with Phil Kessel in terms of talent, and we don't even know if he'll make Team Canada. They'll be fine, especially with the home crowd behind them.
Ian, Grand Forks, North Dakota
The U. of North Dakota vs. the U. of Minnesota is a true college hockey rivalry. The first matchup is this weekend in ND. How do you see the 4 game season series going, and will either team go anywhere when it comes National Playoff time?
What are your predictions for the Sioux/Gophers series this weekend? GO SIOUX!
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:42 PM)
Speaking of Kessel and Toews ...
Jess Myers, Inside College Hockey (1:42 PM)
College hockey isn't like pro football, where you often pick the team that's more desperate. But Minnesota is one desperate club right now, and I can't see them losing twice this weekend. If it seems like a cop-out to pick a split, so be it, but I see each team winning once. I don't know if that will be enough to get Minnesota back on track, but their fans hope it's a start.
Adam (Oxford, OH)
Any chance Miami breaks through with a successful NCAA tournament run this year?
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:44 PM)
At this point, it's fair to have high expectations for the RedHawks. They're getting great goaltending, which was the big question mark heading into the season. Andy Greene is an elite defenseman and I really like their depth up front.
Evan (Ann Arbor, MI)
How big of a recruiting factor is it for the University of Michigan to have the USA hockey development program based out of Ann Arbor? Do you find it to be unfair?
Jess Myers, Inside College Hockey (1:45 PM)
The USA Hockey development program has been controversial for varied reasons right from the start, and I think it's natural to question what advantage Michigan gains. But it had to be located somewhere central (between the talent pools in Minnesota and the East Coast) and for every non-Michigan native that plays for the Wolverines (Jack Johnson being an example this year) there are good kids who come to the NTDP, then play college where they're from.
Jess Myers, Inside College Hockey (1:46 PM)
Also, I don't recall the Wolverines winning a NCAA title since the NDTP started, so maybe the effects on that program are overblown.
What are you feelings about Maines chances this year and on how hockey east will play out this year.
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:48 PM)
Hockey East is anybody's guess right now. It's home to some of the nation's most inconsistent teams this season -- and this has been one inconsistent year in college hockey.
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:49 PM)
As for Maine, I think if they can get through this rough patch they're in -- whether it's related to their suspensions or the offense drying up -- they'll challenge in Hockey East down the road. It's not like anybody in the league is running and hiding.
John, Bemidji Minnesota
After this months schedule, what kind of record would it take for BSU to be considered one of the top teams in Minnesota, besides the fact they are in a less well known conference?
Jess Myers, Inside College Hockey (1:51 PM)
The Beavers already have to be considered one of the best teams in Minnesota just based on their 4-0-0 record versus Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota State, Mankato. Playing in the CHA, they're always going to be considered one step below other D-I programs in the state, fairly or not, but for Beaver fans, that just makes the wins over the WCHA programs more fun.
Given Cornell's less than dominating performance so far, who do you think is the favorite to win the ECAC at this point? St. Lawrence has an awful lot of firepower.
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:52 PM)
It's fun to watch some of the talented senior forwards in the ECACHL: TJ Trevelyan at SLU, Kevin Croxton at Rensselaer, Matt Moulson at Cornell, Mike Ouellette at Dartmouth. The list goes on.
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:53 PM)
One thing I like about SLU, besides their firepower, is something INCH writer Joe Gladziszewski noted -- they all play their roles very well, from the first line to the fourth. It's a well defined team. You can't underestimate that.
John (MCGregor, Minn.)
What's your favorite college hockey rivalry?
Jess Myers, Inside College Hockey (1:55 PM)
My first ever college hockey game was the Sioux vs. the Gophers in Grand Forks (December 1984) so that rivalry has always been my favorite because it was the one I knew first and grew up closest to.
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:55 PM)
I had a chance to watch Michigan-Michigan State up close and personal for four years, so that has to get my nod. The intensity can't be beat -- something like BC-BU probably matches it, but can't possibly beat it.
who do you see playing in the frozen four next year?
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:57 PM)
I like when we get these on the record in December, so we look like fools in April ... but I'll say Wisconsin, Michigan, Vermont and Minnesota.
Jess Myers, Inside College Hockey (1:57 PM)
Badger fans throughout the world are sending out whatever good vibes they can in hopes of preventing another February swoon. If they're successful, I see Wisconsin winning it all, with North Dakota, Miami and Providence rounding out the field in Milwaukee.
Nate Ewell, Inside College Hockey (1:59 PM)
That's all we've got time for today. We'll touch on some of these topics -- and answer a couple questions we didn't have time for -- in our INCH Podcast next week. Listen in at insidecollegehockey.com or subscribe on iTunes.
Jess Myers, Inside College Hockey (1:59 PM)
Thanks for all the great questions, and stay warm when you head to the rink this weekend.