Chat about College Hockey
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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:32 PM)
Welcome to another college hockey chat with the experts from Inside College Hockey this afternoon on The Show. We'll be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes.
Jon (Boston, MA)
Is Quinnipiac the best team in the ECAC? How far can they go this year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:34 PM)
They are in first place right now, and I expect the team will remain in the top half of the ECACHL standings for the second half of the season. Right now, they're probably not the best team in the conference (I'd give that to Clarkson) but most of their key players are very young. I think they'll have a good year, but are one year away from a championship-type season.
David (Sydney, NSW)
I think I'm happy with a split in Florida for the Big Red. It would have been nice if they could have won both and given Maine & UNH the same thing to gripe about on their shared charter flight back to the New England. Nice move to share that cost by those two programs, by the way.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:38 PM)
It was an impressive win for Cornell over the Wildcats, and the Big Red will be a tough team to beat (as always) down the stretch. They can't look past this weekend's non-league opponent, a talented Sacred Heart team, but a lot of eyes in the ECACHL will be tuned to next weekend's trip by Cornell and Colgate to St. Lawrence and Clarkson.
Doug (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Do you think Tyler Hirsch's dismissal from Minnesota will have much of an impact on the team's future play?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:40 PM)
Hirsch was a great playmaker for the Gophers, and they certainly have lots of depth at forward. He had developed a pretty good rapport with Kyle Okposo, so we'll see how that affects the talented rookie when he returns from the World Junior Championship. The Gophers have plenty of guys who can put up big points. Losing his points won't hurt, and losing the distraction of him being in and out of the lineup could help the team.
Can you tell me how you think Boston College will do in the next few months?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:42 PM)
The Eagles have tons of talent, and also have lots of big-game experience. I think they'll be ready to handle the tough games coming up in the Beanpot and Hockey East series against Vermont, BU, Maine, and New Hampshire.
Jake, St Paul
Have the Dodge Classic scheduled opponents taken a turn for the worse or what! Ferris State...and some school below the Mason-Dixon Line? Is this pathetic non-conference play going to hurt the Gophers bracket ranking if they end up losing a couple games down the stretch? Ferris State....heck, why not St Olaf College!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:45 PM)
The Gophers' holiday tournament field might not have been very strong this season, but keep in mind that they play difficult non-league games every year against Michigan State and Michigan, and opened this season against Maine. Getting games against teams from other conferences helps those leagues, and balances the Gophers' schedule. The Minnesota staff did a nice job constructing that schedule.
If Nathan Davis wins the Hobey, is that comparable to a non-BCS player winning the Heisman in terms of small-school status?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:47 PM)
That's a pretty good question, and an interesting thought process. But I would categorize Miami in the "haves" of the college hockey world, especially with their brand-new arena. They've had a strong run of success over the past several years and always contend for an NCAA Tournament berth and CCHA title. So, I would disagree with the Heisman/non-BCS comparison. Davis is having an excellent year, and his candidacy for individual honors will largely depend on Miami's success in the CCHA.
Andrew Windsor, Canada
How will Michigan finish this season?
Mike Eidelbes (2:49 PM)
Like all but one other team in the nation -- with a loss. I still don't trust the Wolverines' goaltending. Billy Sauer is mediocre at best, and you can't outscore your opponents to win every game. There will come a time when U-M will need their goaltender to bail them out, and I don't see that happening.
Hey Joe, way to call the outcome of the Vermont tourney. RPI played its worst game this season against Union. Do you agree that the problem right now is scoring? This team needs a shot in the arm pronto if they are going to win any of these upcoming league tests.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:52 PM)
Thanks for the compliment on the tourney pick. RPI fans need to be patient. The team got off to a great start, but the overall talent level is still a little below most of the teams in the ECACHL, which is why they were picked to finish near the bottom of the league standings in the preseason. The offense has dried up a bit, and it is cause for concern. But in this 10-game streak in which RPI has only one win, they've scored 3 or more goals five times. Their success earlier in the year was because of complete efforts ... they need more consistency from all areas.
What do the Badgers need to turn things around and make a run this year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:54 PM)
Assuming that a) Brian Elliott plays like he has for the last year and a half and b) everyone is healthy, Wisconsin just needs to score goals. With Elliott in goal, it's not like they need a ton of goals. Most nights, three will get the win and some nights, two is enough. I think you'll see a much better Badger squad in the second half, especially once Skille returns from the WJC. But Bucky may be in too deep a hole to make the NCAA Tournament, unless they win the WCHA Final Five.
Drew, NY, NY
The WCHA seems to be the most dominating conference again in College Hockey. Unfortunately not all of the tp teams in the conference will make it to the tourney. As a DU graduate, do you think the Pioneers will need to win the league to qualify for the post season?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:56 PM)
The WCHA has the most dominating team, but the depth in that league isn't as strong as it's been in recent seasons. For Denver, they'll be a very likely NCAA Tournament team, as they've already got 14 wins on the season. If they avoid a lengthy slump in the second half, and then advance to the Final Five, they'll be in the tournament.
Does Michigan State stand any chance of making the Frozen Four this year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:57 PM)
It's possible, but I don't think it's probable. Though they've been better lately, having won four in a row and five of six, I think they're a little like Michigan in that I don't trust their goaltending. I like Jeff Lerg a lot more than I like Billy Sauer, but I also feel teams have figured out a way to beat Lerg. And I expected MSU to be a little more potent offensively.
Best name in college hockey: Bear Trapp, Sacred Heart. And a pretty good player too! Him and O'Brien are lighting up Atlantic Hockey. Do you see SHU making any type of a run this year?
Joe Gladziszewski (3:00 PM)
The Atlantic Hockey race is wide open this year, and Sacred Heart has a great shot at winning the league tournament and going to the NCAAs. I especially like their non-league schedule. If they do make it to the NCAA Tournament, they will have played against Michigan State, Cornell, Dartmouth, and UMass.
Jon (cincinnati, OH)
with notre dame taking over the top spot in the ccha and miami being just two points behind. Do you think that the series between the two teams up in south bend could decide the eventual regular season champ? also do you think that any other team has a chance to win the ccha or is it a two team race. thanks
Joe Gladziszewski (3:03 PM)
That series will definitely have a big impact on the standings, and it looks like that is the one major challenge in Notre Dame's second half of the season. It'll be more important to the RedHawks than the Irish, because it's a chance to make up some ground.
Al from Phoenix, AZ
Grand Forks, ND hosted the Jr. Worlds and the University of North Dakota lands several highly regard recruits that mention facilities as a reason for signing. As a person from Arizona that has never seen the Engelstad Arena, could someone explain why all the fuss about the venue?
Jess Myers (3:03 PM)
Englestad was built at a cost of more than $100 million and is widely regarded as the most opulent hockey facility in the world. Coaches at North Dakota mulling offers from the NHL would actually take a step down, facility-wise if they were to go to the pros.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:04 PM)
That's all of the time we have for questions today. Thanks for all of the submissions, and we'll be back next Thursday for more college hockey discussion. Enjoy this weekend's games, and follow the sport at www.insidecollegehockey.com.