Chat about College Hockey
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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:00 PM)
Thanks for stopping by and joining us again for another college hockey chat with Inside College Hockey. Our writers and editors are here for the next 30 minutes to answer your questions and talk about the games.
Jeff (Rochester NY)
How good will RIT be this year? Should win the conference, but how far can they go in their first year of postseason eligibility?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:03 PM)
RIT emphatically proved last year that they're already a team to be reckoned with in Atlantic Hockey. One thing we've learned about that league, however, is that playoff upsets are common. They should have an advantage at the league tournament, which is held not too far from campus in downtown Rochester. If they get to the NCAAs, they can make some noise. Holy Cross proved it two years ago and Air Force almost knocked off Minnesota last year.
John (Danbury, CT)
Are there any dark horse teams in the ECAC that you can see making a run during the season and which players on those teams could be the standouts? I love pulling for the underdogs.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:06 PM)
It's tough to label any of the middle-of-the-pack teams as darkhorses in ECAC Hockey because they all have traits that would make you believe that they can be successful. Colgate, Harvard, Cornell, and Dartmouth have all made regular appearances at the league's championship weekend in recent seasons, so they're not real darkhorses even though they finished in the middle of the standings last year. Even the bottom of the league last year ... teams like Yale, RPI, and Union have qualities that can make them dangerous. If you're a fan of the "underdog", you'll enjoy ECAC Hockey. Seems like there are a lot of teams that can be classified in that category.
What are your thought on RMU beating BU at the Frontier classic? Does BU deserve the #8 national ranking?
Mike Eidelbes (2:07 PM)
I think BU will be among the country's top-10 teams as soon as all that freshman talent becomes more familiar with one another. And remember, they're also working with two largely untested goalies. Until then, the Terriers will probably be a team of fits and starts. Losing to Robert Morris is a mild surprise, but the Colonials are a veteran club.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:08 PM)
As to whether they deserve a top-10 ranking right now ... probably not. But I think they'll be there at the end of the season.
What is the best conference in College Hockey this year and why?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:11 PM)
Depends on the criteria. Which conference has the best team? Probably the WCHA with North Dakota. Which has the most intrigue throughout the regular season? Probably Hockey East and the race for playoff seeding. Which has the best storylines? I'm intrigued by the CCHA with Michigan State and Notre Dame trying to repeat their fantastic seasons last year, Miami trying to take that next step to the Frozen Four, and Michigan trying to get new faces in the lineup and remain as one of the nation's best teams.
How do you think the UNH offense will do after losing most of last years offense and playing a lot of freshmen forwards this year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:13 PM)
Lots of fresh faces up front for the Wildcats in last week's exhibition. I think they'll be fine with the likes of newcomers James van Riemsdyk and Phil DeSimone and vets such as Jerry Pollastrone, Mike Radja, and Matt Fornataro up front. Besides, they've got Kevin Regan back in goal. As long as he continues to improve, UNH won't have to score a ton of goals to be competitive.
I'm a big Miami Redhawk fan and as you probably know hobey baker canidate nate davis went down with a seperated shoulder in the first period of the first game against vermont. I was wondering if you knew of his status at all
Joe Gladziszewski (2:15 PM)
Yes, that's a big loss for Miami. Don't expect him to play this weekend, or even for the next few weeks. Davis is one of the best players in the country and will be missed as the RedHawks begin CCHA play against Ohio State with a weekend series. Both of these teams have momentum after earning a pair of wins in non-conference play last weekend.
Gunther (Park City UT)
Kind of interesting weekend out there with some great non-conference games (DU-ND, Nodak-BC) and important league games like BU-UNH, Miami-OSU and Minnesota-CC. Which series intrigues you most?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:18 PM)
The non-league games between teams from different regions are great, and are a nice change of pace, but since college hockey is essentially regionalized, I have always preferred the league contests. They're playing for points in the standings and eventually for seeding in the conference tournaments. I mentioned Miami-Ohio State in the previous question. UNH-BU is great because the Terriers are searching for some improvement after a tie and loss last weekend, and UNH debuts James van Riemsdyk who was the second overall pick at this summer's NHL Entry Draft.
other than BC-UND what is the game of the week
Mike Eidelbes (2:21 PM)
I'm very interested in the Denver-Notre Dame series ... so interested that I'm heading down to the Joyce Center for tonight's game. There hasn't been much talk about the Pioneers in the week's leading up to the season, but they've got some unbelievably talented scorers -- Ruegsegger, Rakhshani, Trotter, and the freshmen Bozak and Ostrow. Throw in an underrated defenseman in Chris Butler and a veteran goalie in Peter Mannino, and there's the foundation for a real good season right there.
What kind of year can we expect fro Okposo? He was hot to start last year but really cooled off.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:23 PM)
Okposo's talent is superb. I think this year he'll be more ready to face the grind of an entire college season. It's a grueling campaign and consistency is especially difficult for newcomers. I think he'll have a big year for the Gophers, and he'll have more pressure to perform after the recent injury to standout forward Ryan Stoa.
Will we see some solid improvement from the Badgers this year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:26 PM)
With all the young kids on that team -- the Badgers have a total of just eight juniors and seniors on the roster, and two of those are backup goalies -- they'll get better as the season progresses. Kyle Turris will get the bulk of the headlines, and deservedly so, but I'm interested in the growth of a guy like Blake Geoffrion and the play of the defense, especially McDonagh, Goloubef, and Brendan Smith.
Biddy-Bob (Hamilton, NY)
What about Colgate vs. MSU this weekend? Do the Raiders have a shot?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:28 PM)
Yes they have a shot, but I'd expect a much better performance from Michigan State than they displayed last weekend at North Dakota. The Spartans will be unveiling the 2007 national championship banner and it should be a pretty good crowd. Colgate impressed in a pair of non-league wins, with a couple of rookies (Brisebois and Day) contributing to the offense right away. That should ease the burden on players like Tyler Burton and Jesse Winchester.
With Michigan upseting BC and giving Minnesota a good game, is Michigan a force to be wrecken with?
Mike Eidelbes (2:30 PM)
Sense a theme with the questions about BU, Wisconsin, and Michigan? Like the other two, I think the Wolverines can be good, but they've got so many freshmen in the lineup. You might think we make too much out of that, but think about when you take a new job -- how long does it take you to get acclimated to your surroundings and feel comfortable? With that in mind, my biggest concern with Michigan remains goaltender Billy Sauer. I have yet to see consistency from him, and he scares me.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:31 PM)
Thanks for the questions today. We'll be back next week at 2 p.m. for another college hockey chat. Be sure to visit insidecollegehockey.com for extensive coverage of men's Division I ice hockey.
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