Chat with Inside College Hockey
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, the experts from Inside College Hockey will stop by to take your questions about the 2009-10 season.
ESPN and Inside College Hockey team up to bring you the latest NCAA college hockey news, scores, schedules, and more.
Send your questions now and join INCH Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:29 PM)
It's time to talk college hockey and the writers from InsideCollegeHockey.com are here to take your questions for the next 30 minutes.
is bemidji state for real or are they not as good as ranked.
Roger (Big Lake, MN)
How is it that Bemidji State is ranked 7th in the nation when they have played no one with a winning record thus far?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:31 PM)
We'll throw one answer at these two similar questions, and I guess that an early season evaluation of Bemidji State is that they've taken care of the games on their schedule. Can't fault them for that, and it is a team that played in the Frozen Four just a few months ago. National polls have rated Bemidji State higher than we've slotted them in the INCH Power Rankings. We'll be watching closely to see how they fare at Minnesota this weekend.
Josh (Middletown, CT)
What game should we be looking forward to this weekend in the ECAC? Go QU!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:33 PM)
I'm interested in following both games in the state of Connecticut on Friday night. Yale-Cornell is a rematch of last year's conference title game and a pairing of two very strong teams. Harvard and Quinnipiac should also be a great one. Both teams have shown an ability to score goals in bunches.
My suggestion for today's Found On a Cocktail Napkin....start a new TV show called CSI:Grand Forks starring Dave Hakstol!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:34 PM)
Nice one, Scott. Thanks for checking out the Napkin.
frank faleetta (new yorl)
what do you think of UMASS James Marcou chances of being a Hobey Baker Finalist now that UMASS is off to a good start.I know they have to keep it going but if they do do you think his chances are ther because UMASS has never had a winner of this award
Jeff Howe (2:35 PM)
Quite frankly, because of the point you just mentioned, it's going to be very difficult for a player from a non-traditional program to win the Hobey. We've seen some amazing seasons recently from Hockey East players, particularly Nathan Gerbe, who have fallen short of the award because it tends to get a little more Midwestern love. Marcou would have to be the hands-down best player in Hockey East (meaning he'll need at least 50 points, if not 60), and the Minutemen will need to finish in the top-two of the league standings. And that's just to get him in the discussion.
Big sweep of UM by Miami....do you think they can continue the run they are on and how excited for you for the upcoming games between No Dak and DU next weekend and Miami/UND over thanksgiving?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:38 PM)
I think Miami's team is good enough to stay at the top or near the top of the national rankings and CCHA all year. Getting those wins at Michigan last weekend should give them some great confidence over the next several weeks when they face other highly-ranked teams like Notre Dame, Bemidji State and North Dakota.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:40 PM)
... and you mentioned North Dakota's schedule. Next weekend two games at Denver, then a home game against Miami the following week, and two games in January at Cornell. All of those opponents are in the top five of the national polls. Nobody can accuse the Sioux of taking it easy with their schedule.
Justin (Stillwater, MN)
Bemidji plays Minnesota this weekend. How big is this series for both teams considering A.) The Beavers will be in the WCHA and a solid weekend could be beneficial for them next season as well as RPI rankings this year, and B.) The Gophers are in a small hole and are behind Bemidji in the national rankings?
Mike Eidelbes (2:41 PM)
Aren't Gophers always in a small hole? I don't think Bemidji State is looking at this weekend as anything other than a chance to cement its status as one of the nation's top 10 teams. BSU is playing with a lot of confidence and Matt Read has been among the country's best players through the first month of the season. The Gophers, have been a mess thus far but are showing some signs of life, namely with the play of Alex Kangas and Tony Lucia.
Fear my YellowJackets
Joe Gladziszewski (2:42 PM)
Pretty sure this is the first AIC mention we've ever received in doing this chat for the last five-plus seasons. Just posted to note that.
Where do you think Umass will end up finishing in Hockey East at the end of the season after their hot start to this season?
Jeff Howe (2:43 PM)
UMass is capable of finishing with a home-ice slot and obviously looks very strong right now. It's still too early to fall in love with their game, though, because the Minutemen have had strong starts in the past before falling off in the second half.
Ross (Columbus, OH)
Are the Miami RedHawks the real deal this year? They looked very impressive this past weekend completing the sweep in Ann Arbor for the first time in the history of their program. But do they have the talent and the chemistry to improve on last year's finish and win the title this year?
Matt (Chicago, IL)
It seems that Miami is thriving behind a well-rounded and deep roster that can get contributions from different guys on any given night, but I'm wondering if its lack of a bona fide star will ultimately be a detriment when the stakes are upped later in the season. Thoughts?
Mike Eidelbes (2:45 PM)
Interesting point, but we've seen teams in the not-too-distant past that have thrived without a name player -- the Denver team that won the national title in 2004 was like that. What makes the RedHawks so good is that not only do they get contributions from different guys on a given night, but it's different guys stepping forward in clutch situations. That balance and the ability to perform under pressure sets them apart.
Ryan (Astoria, NY)
RPI looked pretty impressive against Yale... any shot they can figure into the ECAC race?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:47 PM)
It would be foolish to discount them after some of their early-season performances. Chase Polacek is off to a great start and is proving why he was one of Seth Appert's prized early recruits and freshmen Jerry D'Amigo and Brandon Pirri are also putting up big offensive numbers. They've allowed 23 goals in 10 games, which isn't great, but is an improvement at that end of the rink. That's a positive indicator for success later in the year.
Karl (Minneapolis, MN)
Even with Jordan Schreoder denying the rumor, how likely do you think he leaves mid-season (or at least the end of the year) especially if he continues his current production? How concerned should gopher fans be with what has happened in the last 3 years? How much should be blamed on Don Lucia for players leaving and less then expected results?
Mike Eidelbes (2:49 PM)
Whew ... tough question. First, I don't think Schroeder leaves. I'm sure Vancouver could find a place for him either in the WHL or the American Hockey League if it wanted, but there's something to be said for working through adversity and Schroeder seems like that kind of kid. Should Gopher fans be concerned about what's happened the last three years? I've said recently that the last couple of seasons have mirrored the end of the Doug Woog era not only in terms of results on the ice, but also recruiting. Minnesota has grabbed a lot of "name" kids from within the state who have yet to meet expectations, or maybe the expectations are/were too high.
Kyle (Lansing, MI)
do my Spartans get a sweep over the wolverines this weekend?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:51 PM)
I think it's unlikely. Michigan State's playing much better than they were last year, but I think Michigan will come up with its best efforts of the season in these games, after last weekend's performances against Miami. My prediction - each team wins at home.
How many CCHA teams will make it to the NCAA tournament?
Mike Eidelbes (2:52 PM)
Tough call less than a third of the way into the season, but I'd say anywhere from 3-5 teams from a pool of Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska-Omaha, and Notre Dame. I'd like to throw Alaska on that list, but I want to see what kind of team they are once they play a few games south of Anchorage.
Is BU just off to a bad start this season or do you foresee a down year for them?
Jeff Howe (2:53 PM)
It's a bad start while the Terriers are searching for their identity. There are still so many pieces from the title team that have returned this season, but it's going to be tough for the Terriers to score goals while Nick Bonino is out with his injury. They'll rebound, but they've put themselves in a serious hole at this point.
Brandon (Kansas City)
What can we UNO alumni expect from our Mavericks in this final CCHA season? Is the NCAA tournament our send-off?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:56 PM)
An NCAA Tournament appearance would be a great way for the Mavs to wrap up their CCHA tenure before moving to the WCHA next year. For some reason, to me it seems that the January-February grind in the CCHA is tougher than in any of the other leagues. That's definite moving time in that league, and we'll see how UNO handles it but most of their second-half games are at home.
UND in SLP (Metro, MN)
With Garrett Roe out for Friday night's UND v SCSU game, will Lasch be able to step up and finally produce in the abscence of the seemingly non-existant Roe. Secondly, Bret Hextall (injury) might not play this weeknd, which is a big loss since he is a key role player for the Sioux. Will UND's depth be too much for the Huskies to handle?It's great to have the weekly chat back, guys!
Mike Eidelbes (2:56 PM)
Great to be back! North Dakota is a really good team, especially at home, and their balance is as good as any team in the country. If I'm SCSU, I'm less worried about Lasch and Roe and more concerned about getting solid goaltending from either Dunn or Lee, and keeping the Sioux off the board early. Seems like they get an early goal in their barn and any chance of swinging momentum in your favor is gone.
Mikey (Grand Forks)
It appears that college hockey has a lot of parity this season and in the early going UND, MU, DU are the class of the NCAA but do you get the feeling that any team could win it this season.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:00 PM)
I get that feeling every season, and then last year you end up with Bemidji State and Vermont in the Frozen Four to strengthen that feeling even more. In a one-game elimination tournament it takes the right mix of playing well, getting breaks and executing opportunities. I agree that those three teams you mentioned are legit favorites (and I'd add Cornell) but there's not a huge gap in ability between those teams and the likes of UMass-Lowell, Michigan, and Notre Dame to just name a few.
What do you think is up with the Gophers? Seems like Don Lucia might be on his last few hinges here if they don't turn it around because you know how Minnesotans love their hockey!
Let's hypothetically say that Don Lucia gets fired or resigns...who could be potential candidates for the coaching job for the Gophers?
Joe Gladziszewski (3:01 PM)
So Will puts Lucia on the hot seat and Charlie's already speculating on replacements ...
Mike Eidelbes (3:01 PM)
Man, you Gopher fans aren't happy ... if I had a little slip of paper in my desk drawer with coach names on it, Enrico Blasi would be right up there. Gopher AD Joel Maturi knows him well from his time at Miami. Just sayin' ...
Joe Gladziszewski (3:02 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions and for stopping by to check out this week's chat. We'll be back next week, same time, for more discussion. Enjoy the games this weekend.