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INCH Archive: Chats
Mike Eidelbes (2:31 PM)
Good afternoon ... we've got quite a few questions to get through during the next 30 minutes, so let's get started.
Do you think that Cornell is going to have trouble scoring this year or was this past weekend just the way they wanted to play the opening road games and who do you think is going to be the toughest test for them this year.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:32 PM)
I was surprised that they only scored one goal because I like their talent up front and I think they have better scoring depth than in recent seasons. The Big Red will score enough goals to be successful this year. It won't take many goals to get wins with such a stellar defense.
Mike (Albany, NY)
What freshmen have impressed you so far with their play? What freshmen should we be looking at to have a great year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:37 PM)
Maybe it's because there are so many solid veteran teams out east, but the crop of rookies out west -- especially in the WCHA -- is quite impressive. Of those I've seen in action, Minnesota's Jordan Schroeder and Patrick Wiercioch have been outstanding, and I liked Maine goalie Scott Darling against BC Sunday.
Mike Eidelbes (2:42 PM)
As for guys I've yet to see, our CCHA writer James V. Dowd wrote a nice piece this week on Ohio State's Zac Dalpe, and Mike and Jack Connolly have been great for UMD.
Steve (Boston, MA)
Hockey East seems to be especially competitive this year, with BU, BC, UNH, Northeastern, Vermont, and Massachusetts all currently ranked. How many, and which, teams can you see making it to the NCAAs from HEA this year?
Bob (Boston, MA)
Northeastern has had a good start this year. Do you think they will hold it together and make a run in the Beanpot and the NCAAs?
Mike Eidelbes (2:44 PM)
On a recent INCH Podcast, I argued that Hockey East is the best conference top to bottom in the country. The top four is especially strong; UMass, UMass Lowell, and Vermont are solid, above-average teams; and Maine and Merrimack are much improved.
Mike Eidelbes (2:46 PM)
That said, I think you'll see four Hockey East teams in the NCAA Tournament -- BU, BC, UNH, and Northeastern -- with Vermont and UMass very close to getting in.
Sam (Minneapolis, Mn)
Do you think a young, inexperienced team like the Gophers can overcome the veteran teams like Denver and CC to win the very talented WCHA?
Mike Eidelbes (2:48 PM)
Look at the Gopher roster, and they're not as inexperienced as you'd think. Eight of the top nine scorers are sophomores and juniors, and Alex Kangas has been through the battles in goal.
Mike Eidelbes (2:49 PM)
I think the Gophers will be right there in the conference race all season long. They're more dangerous offensively than CC, but I think they're got better goaltending than Denver.
John Brooktondale N.Y.
The ECAC has had some good games agianst other conf this year do you think that will continue,and do you think will see new teams represent the ECAC in the NCAA tourny,who?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:50 PM)
The competitive level of ECAC Hockey teams against non-league foes thus far has been pretty good, most notably Clarkson's ties against Colorado College and St. Lawrence's win over New Hampshire. We'll get a better feel for the national comparisons toward the end of the month. Some to keep an eye on include Cornell at North Dakota, Colgate at Denver and Colorado College, Harvard vs. BC, and St. Lawrence at BU.
Meghan (Hood River, OR)
Which Miami team shows up this weekend at Michigan State? The team that swept at ND or the team that struggled at home versus Ferris??
Mike Eidelbes (2:54 PM)
I questioned Miami's early inconsistencies, too ... but remembered the RedHawks are trying to replace All-American caliber players in Nathan Davis, Ryan Jones, Alec Martinez, and Jeff Zatkoff, just to name a few. What you're seeing right now is a group of young players trying to fill a variety of new roles, but they'll even out as the season goes on. Playing an MSU team trying to answer similar questions will help.
james: crow reservation, mt
to what do you attribute north dakota's slow start? what is your prognosis for the fighting sioux?
Mike Eidelbes (2:55 PM)
A lot like Miami, North Dakota lost a bunch of players who are unreplaceable -- is that a word? Guys like J-P Lamoureux, T.J. Oshie, Taylor Chorney ... they're exceptional talents.
Mike Eidelbes (2:57 PM)
The Sioux are unproven in goal, don't have a lot of scoring depth behind Ryan Duncan, and are banged up on the blue line. I know INCH picked them to finish 7th in the WCHA in the preseason, and I think the ceiling is probably around 4th in the conference.
brian custer; mishawaka, indiana
Irish were swept at home by a depleted Miami team, then made an impressive east coast swing, notching an easy victory over a loaded BC team and avoiding the trap of a let-down to Providence. Do you think the Irish will win the CCHA & do you foresee a return trip to the Frozen 4 for Notre Dame this year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:59 PM)
The Irish have the inside track on the league title, given the inconsistencies of Michigan State and Miami, injuries at Michigan, and the early disappointment that is Northern Michigan. They've certainly got the makeup of a Frozen Four team.
Joe (Columbus, OH)
Is there any point in talking about BC before February? These guys seem to enjoy making people forget about them before they start asserting themselves and then they go a smoke the opposition in March. I find it hilarious.
Mike Eidelbes (3:01 PM)
Can't argue with that. The Eagles leave the pre-March fanfare to BU and others, then steal the spotlight in March and April. Not a bad way to roll ...
Mike Eidelbes (3:01 PM)
That's our time for today. Great questions, everyone. We'll be back next week for more college hockey chatter. Have fun at the rinks ...