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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:31 PM)
It's time to talk college hockey here at SportsNation. Inside College Hockey writers will be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes, so fire away.
Chris (Waltham, MA)
What does Northeastern have to do this weekend to show everyone that they're for real? A minimum three points against a UVM team that's done well versus BC and BU?
Jeff Howe (2:33 PM)
By now, I think everyone realizes Northeastern is for real, and the only thing the Huskies have to prove in my eyes is that they can finish strong down the stretch, which they failed to do last year. Taking two points from Vermont would be a successful weekend.
JD Ann Arbor, MI
After this weekend's results, is Miami falling apart or is Michigan really unstoppable with Hogan in goal?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:34 PM)
It's a little bit of both. There's no denying that Miami is struggling right now with last week's losses at Michigan and losses to Army and Clarkson prior to that. Michigan deserves credit too. For whatever reason, it's a more confident team in front of Bryan Hogan and they're getting a little healthier. Michigan will be dangerous for the rest of the season.
Maddie (Walpole, MA)
With BC having its struggles against UVM, BU having its problems with PC this week, NU struggling to beat the Mack twice, how does the swami see the top 4 looking in Hockey East come early March?
Jeff Howe (2:35 PM)
I still think BU is the best team and is my current favorite to win the Hockey East tournament. I'm really torn on the standings, but I'll take an early stab at it and say BU, Vermont, Northeastern, BC in the top four.
Here come the Sioux (I hope)...Nodak is 9-2-0 since the start of December and 4-0 in 2009. What are you thoughts from last weekends spanking of Minnesota, aaaaaand what Sioux team do you foresee heading down the stretch, the back to back 6 goal scoring (20 in the last four) team or the GLI Sioux who couldn't beat my sister and only managed 2 goals on the weekend?
Jess Myers (2:37 PM)
History tells us that the six-goal version is the one we'll see from now until the opening game of the Frozen Four, when it will all go horribly wrong and Boston College will cruise into the championship game. But more to the point, I stick by my November and December contention that North Dakota is OK, but just OK. They're part of that huge muddle in the middle of the WCHA, and are in the hunt for home ice, but not a lock for home ice.
Matt, Basking Ridge, NJ
Jordan Pearce is having an unreal season so far, backstopping a very strong Notre Dame team. Any shot at the Hobey this year? Can he make it at the next level in the NHL?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:38 PM)
Pearce's Hobey stock is on the rise (as evidenced in our latest Hobey Tracker) after back-to-back shutouts last week. Another mind-blowing stat ... he's allowed more than one goal just once in his last 12 starts. Notre Dame is obviously a great defensive team, but great goaltending is a part of that.
Tom Matthews Hazelwood, NJ
Coming off a tie and a loss to Vermont, how do you see B.C. fairing this weekend against [UMass-Lowell&B.U.] this weekend ?
Jeff Howe (2:40 PM)
BC really needs to refocus and take care of a struggling Lowell team Friday night to give itself some momentum heading into Saturday. It'll be difficult -- almost a statement game, as much as I hate to use that phrase -- because the Eagles need to pick up a win to provide some confidence against their rivals. BU took three points from BC when they met during the first weekend of December.
Ken Toledo ohio
What do you think of Ohio States chances to finish in the top 4 of the CCHA?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:42 PM)
I think their chances are getting better every week. After the clear top two in Miami and Notre Dame, teams like Alaska, Ohio State and Michigan are right in the mix. I've been impressed with the Buckeyes this year. Just when you wait for them to go away, they come up with a big win against a good team.
Will North Dakota make its annual second half (of the season) run and go deep into the playoffs?
Mark: Fargo, ND
Do you see the UND Fighting Sioux making another second half run, especially with the destruction of the gophers this last weekend or do you think they will still take 7th place in the WCHA?
Jess Myers (2:44 PM)
I'm someone who admits it when I have it all wrong. But sorry Sioux fans, I'm not convinced just yet that my 7th place prediction was too far off. Of course, after winning four in a row, the folks who bleed green are certainly convinced that those picking the Sioux in the top five nationally were right on the mark. The key to the recent success North Dakota has had is the improved defensive play, and the on-going maturity of some talented freshmen. In previous years, the second-half surges by North Dakota followed first halves in which they underachieved. If it happens this year it will mean overachieving in the second half.
stuart wilkes from brooklyn ny
If notre dame hockey were to face boston university terriers who do you give the edge to? The boston goalie does give up some goals.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:45 PM)
I'd give Notre Dame the edge right now because of team defense, but aside from this week's loss to Providence, BU has been very impressive -- especially winning at Denver without Colin Wilson and Kevin Shattenkirk. Notre Dame is the nation's best, most well-rounded team right now. BU isn't far behind.
Mike (Ft. Myers)
Any word on the health of Don Lucia? I know that he was going to make whatever illness he has been facing public this week...
Jess Myers (2:46 PM)
Don is planning to have a press conference later today. He's revealed that it's not something immediately life threatening (such as cancer) which is a relief. And he's planning to be back behind the bench this weekend.
Jack, Hollis NH
Do you really think HE teams will stay strong in the 2nd half and get 6 teams in Tournmanent field, as figured by current Pairwise?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:48 PM)
It's not going to be easy for that to happen, because they'll be playing against each other for the last two months. That will decide the top four from the "other two" but I think you can expect to see four Hockey East clubs in the NCAAs.
Dave (Park Ridge,IL)
Atlantic Hockey teams have had some big wins this season, Air Force over Colorado College, Army over Miami etc. Is this league on the rise?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:50 PM)
I think so. It's not just the better teams (such as Air Force) but I think that the other teams in the league have done a lot to improve their programs and there's more depth in Atlantic Hockey than ever before. Programs like Canisius and RIT are also very good this year, and most every series within the league is tough and competitive.
Joe Cubicle Hell
Is Northern Michigan starting to catch fire? They ran into a goaltender seriously standing on his head on Friday. Otherwise, they sweep UNO at home.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:52 PM)
The Wildcats are playing better, and they got a big boost with those two wins at Wisconsin to launch them into the second half of CCHA play. Talk about a team that plays close games ... their last nine have been seven one-goal games and two ties (3-4-2).
James (Ithaca, NY)
Cornell's Ben Scrivens leads the nation with a 1.27 goals-against average and a .952 save percentage. If he keeps this up, do you think he has a chance to be among the three hobey baker hat trick finalist?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:55 PM)
We definitely do, as evidenced by him being third on our Big Board at the latest Hobey Tracker. The knock on recent Cornell goalies (Leneveu, McKee) has always been that the team plays a great defensive system. But when that system breaks down, guys have to come up with huge saves, and Scrivens has done that all year long. Plus, his numbers are extraordinary, and there aren't any forwards or defensemen who are making significant impactful bids for the Hobey.
brian custer, mishawaka, indiana
week after week, the fighting irish prove INCH's wisdom in choosing them as the current national #1. not to look past the competition in between, but can you preview the games with the two michigans & ohio state for all the many fans of exciting fighting irish hockey?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:58 PM)
The home-and-home with Michigan will be Notre Dame's toughest test down the stretch. The Wolverine offense is really starting to click and they've found a No. 1 goalie in Bryan Hogan. It's going to be a great measuring stick for both teams. As far as the Ohio State series, that one is also interesting, as it's in Columbus and comes the week after the games against Michigan (letdown?). The Buckeyes could sneak up and grab one or two of those.
Matt, Basking Ridge, NJ
Wisconsin takes on Colorado College in a couple days. Whose going to take this key series for teams? [you were right about the Vermont/BC series last week so lets see if you can go 2/2]
Jess Myers (2:59 PM)
Wisconsin is clearly playing better than CC, or at least more consistently, right now. But as good as the Badgers are, I can't bring myself to predict that Shane Connelly will beat Richard Bachman two nights in a row. So call it a split.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:00 PM)
That's all of the time we have this week. We'll be back at the same time next Thursday to take more questions and talk about the latest games, players, and issues in college hockey. In the meantime, check out insidecollegehockey.com for comprehensive coverage of all six conferences and national features.
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