Chat about College Hockey
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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:33 PM)
Welcome to another college hockey chat with writers from Inside College Hockey. We'll be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes.
Kevin Naples, ME
What is the deal with the Maine Black Bears they are so up and down this year. What is causing it
Jeff Howe (2:34 PM)
They've had much more - and longer - ups than downs. They're not unlike most of Hockey East, though. If they don't bring it every night, they won't win. It's a pretty simple concept.
Dustin: (Elmira NY)
Cornell, Clarkson, Slu, and other ECACHL teams have proven this year that they can beat any team in the nation on any given night, my question to you is do you see any chance of one of these teams winning the National Championship either this year or in the near future, and if so which teams?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:36 PM)
The last ECACHL team to make it to the Frozen Four was Cornell in 2003, and that's a streak that could end this year. Clarkson looks to be the real deal and has some very strong wins outside of the league (Miami, Wisconsin, Lake Superior State). I wouldn't be surprised if they won a couple of games at one of the regionals. As far as a national championship, any team that wins it truly had a special season and got some breaks along the way. It really could be any one of 10-12 teams in the 16-team NCAA field.
Jake Stewart, Hastings, MN
How good do you think the Mankato State Mavericks will be in 2 years, seeing that they have over 10 freshman playing right now?
Jess Myers (2:37 PM)
I like to think that there are good things building at MSU, and I like what the freshmen have done so far. But a large number of rookies does not automatically translate into future success. For an example, look at Minnesota Duluth, which has struggled despite a wholesale youth movement at the start of the 2005-06 season.
frank (boston, MA)
I know its a long was off but,if Northeastern can hang onto the #7 spot in Hockey East and hopefully draw BC if they keep the 2nd spot, do you think the Huskies can knock off the Eagles? NU has played them pretty tough this year so far.
Jeff Howe (2:39 PM)
I definitely think so. If you ask any coach in the league of the one team they wouldn't want to see in the playoffs, I guarantee most, if not all, would say Northeastern. The Huskies play with so much fire and grit, and they give opponents real headaches.
Marc - Minneapolis, MN
How is it no Gopher is even mentioned in the Hobey Baker discussion? I know they're a well balanced team, but as someone who watches a lot of college hockey I don't see many better than Kyle Okposo or Mike Vannelli
Jess Myers (2:40 PM)
We recently mentioned Kellen Briggs in our Hobey Tracker, and there are several (Okposo, E. Johnson and Briggs to name three that are solidly in the running for WCHA post-season honors. With that said, I don't know if any of them are top three Hobey guys right now. I guess Gopher Nation will have to be satisfied with the chase for team, and not individual, honors this year.
Will (Dover, NH)
What is the reasoning behind a team new to D1 not being eligible for the tournament right away? If RIT whens Atlantic Hockey, they ought to be in the tournament. They're having an impressive season!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:41 PM)
There is a probationary period for all intercollegiate athletics teams in all sports when they change their affiliation within Division I, Division II, or Division III. This rule spans all sports and is not specific to hockey. RIT is ineligible not only for the NCAA Tournament, but they're also ineligible for the Atlantic Hockey tournament this year. And yes, they are having a very impressive season. The sweep of Sacred Heart proved that they belong.
Tim (NY, NY)
Why has Dartmouth been so inconsistent early in the year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:43 PM)
It's hard to say, but I think it reflects as much on the rest of college hockey as it does on Dartmouth. Every game is a challenge, whether you're playing a team from Atlantic Hockey, an ECACHL team, or the quality opponents that went to Dartmouth's tournament. I expect them to finish the year strong, as they did last year, and challenge for a top-four spot in the ECACHL. They're certainly a team that not many others in the league would want to face in the playoffs.
Everyone had pretty much written BU off before last weekends sweep at Maine. Now we are getting consistent scoring from our offence, are completly healthy, have the best defense in the country and one of, if not the best goalie in the country. Now that the Terriers have hit their stride, what are your predictions for them for the rest of the year? Could they put a run together like last year and make it to the frozen four?
Jeff Howe (2:45 PM)
The defense and goaltending has been there all season, but it's a great sign that BU is finally scoring -- 4.25 goals per game in last four wins -- and if that keeps up, the Terriers can make a run. They're probably a bit too far behind UNH at this point to think they can defend their regular-season title, though. Before we predict whether BU will make a tournament run, let's see if the scoring holds up a bit longer.
Since the LSSU Lakers losed both games at home to N.D, how does that round out their schedule and or hopes for a top four placing in the CCHA?
Mike Eidelbes (2:47 PM)
Looking ahead, I'd say the odds of Lake Superior State -- now fifth in the CCHA -- finishing in the top four in the league standings are slim. Of the Lakers' six remaining series, four are against teams either above or tied with them in the conference -- at MSU, vs. OSU, at Miami, and vs. Michigan. They can't afford to split series if they want to make up ground.
Alex (Burlington, Vermont)
Do you see anybody catching Minnesota or New Hampshire in league play? The two teams have distanced themselves in the conference, if not nationally, from the rest of the field. Both leagues are highly competitive top to bottom, so the leads seem even more safe with teams below them beating up on each other.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:49 PM)
You're right that they have distanced themselves and it'll be tough to catch them. Denver still has a shot in the WCHA, if they can get 3 or 4 points out of Mariucci this weekend, but that will be a tough task. For New Hampshire, they've still got six total games left against BU, Maine, and BC. Those are tough.
Doug (Cedar Rapids)
Do you think that St. Cloud has a decent chance of making the NCAA tournament? They have great goaltending, but are they lacking in scoring?
Jess Myers (2:51 PM)
I would expect the Huskies to be making travel plans on Selection Sunday, barring a serious collapse. They have one of the top goalies in the league and perhaps the best freshman tandem (Andreas Nodl and Ryan Lasch) in the country. I think they score enough.
Kramer (NY, NY)
What three teams have underachieved to this point, but will bounce back to make a run toward the NCAA tournament?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:54 PM)
It's hard to say that they're out of the NCAA picture, because they're still around the top 10, but Boston College has performed below expectations, as has Michigan. Those teams are always in the mix and have enough talent to surge in the second half. I'd also throw Dartmouth into the mix. They've got a pretty favorable schedule down the stretch and could get their record to somewhere around 17-18 wins before the end of the regular season, and a post-season surge would make them a candidate.
Does ND have a legit shot at at least making the frozen four this year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:57 PM)
Absolutely. They're a team that's well rounded and has performed very well in big games. I think Jeff Jackson's coaching has prepared them well for the marquee contests, and the sweep of Lake Superior State is noteworthy. They're very well-rounded, and appear to have the right mix for a post-season run.
What were your thoughts on ND getting beat by Robert Morris two weeks ago? Certaintly this has to give Robert Morris some credentials as this is only their third year with a hockey team.
Mike Eidelbes (2:59 PM)
It gained RMU a lot of notoriety nationwide, that's for sure. But I think people who follow college hockey closely have noted that coach Derek Schooley has put a competitive team on the ice since Day One, and that the Colonials continue to get better and better each season. The key will be convincing the top talent in Pennsylvania to stay close to home -- guys like Michigan's Chad Kolarik, Harvard's Dylan Reese, and Dartmouth's Grant Lewis. That's certainly a tall order.
Ming Chow (Boston)
We know BC has the forwards (Rooney, Gerbe, Ferriero, and Boyle - who is a notorious 2nd half player) and the coaching and the goaltending with Schneider. It's all about their defense. Will the defense come around and get them into the title game again?
Jeff Howe (3:00 PM)
That's definitely the big question for BC this season. Schneider has been hung out to dry a little more often this year than in the past. We like guys like Motherwell and the potential of Sneep. O'Hanley was a healthy scratch for a few games earlier in the season but has since returned. It's been a unique situation for BC, which typically has a solid blue line.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:02 PM)
That's all of the time we have for chat here today. Be sure to visit insidecollegehockey.com for more on the game including Power Rankings, Hobey Tracker, and weekly notebooks from every conference. We'll be back next Thursday at the same time.