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 (2:30 PM)
Welcome to another college hockey chat with the writers from Inside College Hockey. We'll be taking your questions for at least a half hour, so start sending them in.
John (Concord, NH )
Isn't it time to give North Dakota a big boot down in the polls? A long-time Colorado College fan, my team has been on the receiving end of the second half surge we have grown accustomed to seeing from NoDak teams. But it isn't happening this year. 1-4-1 in their last 6 games, including getting swept this last weekend on their home ice (albeit by the best team in the country) does not justify a top 10 spot in my book.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:31 PM)
All of the national polls and the INCH Power Rankings definitely hammered North Dakota this past week and it seems that voter confidence in the Sioux's potential is now starting to be replaced by reflecting North Dakota's actual record. Most of North Dakota's losses have come to teams in the top-10. Maybe it shows that they're just not at that elite level, but I definitely think they're in the top 15 and will make the NCAAs.
tom (troy ny)
how do u think the RPI ENGINEERS will far for the rest of the season
Joe Gladziszewski (2:34 PM)
RPI will be fine during the rest of the season and they've definitely got something to play for as they've positioned themselves in the mix for a top-four standings spot and first-round bye in the ECAC Hockey playoffs. I really like RPI's scoring depth, led by Chase Polacek and some talented freshmen. Allen York, the sophomore goalie, is going to be counted on down the stretch as games get tighter in ECAC Hockey. Big game is Friday night, Feb 19 against Quinnipiac. That head-to-head could decide fourth place.
Dan (Bellingham, WA)
What happens up in Orono this weekend?? Dont say split, unless you really mean it!
Jeff Howe (2:36 PM)
I'll say split, and I mean it. Maine is very good at home, and UNH has been just as solid on the road. I don't think UNH is that superior to predict a sweep, especially at Alfond, so I'm thinking each team takes one game.
Garret Kollin (Fargo,ND)
What do you think about Matt Read from Bemidji State? Should he be considered for the Hobey? He is having an outstanding year so far. Everytime he scores i think the beavers win.
Mike Eidelbes (2:37 PM)
Read is certainly a fine player, but as you'll note in our latest Hobey Tracker, we mentioned BSU goalie Dan Bakala as a possibility. He was the Beavers' biggest question mark heading into the season, and all he's done is rank among the top 10 in the country in goals-against average, save percentage, and wins. It's a remarkable performance for a guy who didn't play at all as a freshman.
Bert (Titletown, ND)
Gladdy you seem to have more confidence in UND than most of the UND faithful. Why?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:39 PM)
Must be because I'm from a different part of the country and not saddled with the lifelong stigma that North Dakota is always under-appreciated when good, and absolutely terrible when not in first place. I like the team's grit and scoring depth primarily. They're a tough team to play against, and even in several losses I think they've outplayed their opponents. The worm's gotta turn.
Jerome (Burlington, VT)
Hey guys! The next two weeks for UVM do not look too formidable (I hope). Two games at Providence this weekend, then facing Mack at the Gut the week after that and we know Mack's away record is not that great. What do you think of UVM pull off 6 or more points in those two weeks and getting back into the run for home ice in the Hockey East playoffs?
Jeff Howe (2:40 PM)
I keep waiting for Vermont to get it going, so maybe this is the stretch when it happens. I'll say this, though: This HAS to be the stretch when UVM establishes some momentum if it's ever going to be considered a postseason threat. Anything less than six points in the next two weekends would be -- and I don't say this loosely -- disastrous.
David (Park Ridge,IL)
Who is the best tead in Atlantic Hockey? Is it RIT, Air Force, Sacred Heart, or a dark horse like Army who is young but have been in almost every game and given the best teams fits.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:43 PM)
To me, it's RIT. The Tigers have been the most consistent team in Atlantic Hockey and after being swept at Air Force back in October really rolled through the middle of the season. Dan Ringwald has been a legit point-producer from the blue line throughout his career and they've got great balance in scoring among the forwards. Only one player has 11 goals, nobody else more than seven. Air Force heads to the Ritter on Feb. 19-20 in a huge series in Atlantic Hockey.
Guys,Thanks for finally getting out some podcasts! Was watching the Michigan-Michigan State series and they mentioned both teams support and stockpiling of local Michigan talent. I also know that the Minnesota's draw primarily from the state. My question is this: Do you see the trend of Division 1 schools to be swinging toward in-state or region recruitment or are they trending toward expansion to US recruitment regardless of region?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:45 PM)
I see the trend moving toward out-of-region talent because there are so many talented players developing in non-traditional college hockey hotbeds. You see rosters featuring players from Georgia, Texas, California and other locales. In-state talent is a strong way to build the foundation for a program, but coaches will go wherever they need to go in order to find the best players.
Erik (Madison, WI)
Who do you think is the leading candidate for Hobey Baker?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:47 PM)
For us right now, as published in this morning's most recent Hobey Tracker at INCH, it's Denver goalie Marc Cheverie. He's got great numbers, lots of important wins over very good teams and six shutouts. Also, he won't be saddled with the negative stigma of playing behind a totally defense-oriented system.
What is that chance that UVM gets an at large bid to the NCAA tournament? I know that they are not highly ranked but they are 14th in the pairwise.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:49 PM)
Vermont's an interesting study because they've only been OK in Hockey East but have a bunch of notable non-league victories. That's what is propping them up in the current PairWise Rankings. Vermont's victories over the likes of Minnesota Duluth, Denver and Yale are very important.
Parker (Cincinnati, OH)
Given Bemidji State's unlikely run to the Frozen Four last year, and their consistent play this season, how likely is another deep tourney run this season?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:51 PM)
I'd say unlikely at best. I think they'll definitely make the NCAAs, but this tournament pool is especially deep through the second and third seeded teams. It's going to be a tough skate for the Beavers and teams definitely won't take them lightly after what they've done this season in addition to last spring's Frozen Four run.
True or False: Brian Gibbons is the best player in Hockey East.
Jeff Howe (2:51 PM)
That's not as easy as a true or false question, so I'll qualify it. Gibbons, Nick Bonino and James Marcou are the league's three most skilled point producers. At this point, though, Gibbons is leading the Eagles to national prominence and has big-stage experience. He's playing better at this point than anyone in the league now that he's gotten some stability on his line.
Jack (St. Louis)
With the departure of Nebraska-Omaha to the WCHA next season, what is the timeframe of finding a replacement (if ever)? Also, who are the likely candidates?
Mike Eidelbes (2:55 PM)
Good question ... the CCHA hasn't really talked much about adding another team since last summer. Some schools hesitate to add Alabama-Huntsville because of the pressure it'll put on travel budgets. Pure speculation on my part, I think you'll eventually see UAH in the CCHA, maybe after the school offers travel incentives (which the two Alaska schools provide to the teams in its leagues).
STLFan83 (St. Louis)
Assuming a Miami or Michigan State CCHA tournament victory, what is the likelihood of a third CCHA team in the field of 16?
Mike Eidelbes (2:57 PM)
Barring a late run by either Michigan or Notre Dame, Ferris State looks like the best bet to be the third CCHA team to get in, and I think they will.
How has Marc Cheverie emerged as the frontrunner for the Hobey while Miami goaltender Cody Reichard is left out of the entire conversation? Cody has the edge statistically in GAA and save percentage and has only played a few less games?
Mike Eidelbes (2:59 PM)
Glad you asked ... INCH CCHA correspondent James V. Dowd is working on a Miami piece for tonight regarding the RedHawks' defensive philosophies. Not taking anything away from Reichard, but Miami's style of play -- with an emphasis on blocking shots, disrupting the other team's offensive flow, etc. -- greatly benefits its goaltender, regardless of who it is.
What are Michigan State's chances at a Frozen Four run this year? And if they do make it to Detroit, will the 'home ice advantage' make them the favorite?
Mike Eidelbes (3:01 PM)
Michigan State is a good, not great, team. They've got a decent shot at making it to the Frozen Four, but I wouldn't consider them a favorite to do so. Seems like they struggle if Corey Tropp's line isn't scoring.
How is James marcou not in your Hobey watch but everybody elses,His point production has been steady all year and the team is 7 pairwise
Mike Eidelbes (3:04 PM)
I have a hard time figuring out where Marcou fits. He's probably a top-10 Hobey guy and he puts up a lot of points, but I don't get the sense that he's a dominant-type player who can singlehandedly beat other teams. That, to me, defines a Hobey favorite, which is why, for example, I would've voted for Colin Wilson over Matt Gilroy last season.
Chris (Boston, MA)
Bad grammar and spelling... yep, it's a UMass grad submitting a question!
Mike Eidelbes (3:04 PM)
Hey, Jeff Howe went to UMass! Best seven years of his life ...
Mike Eidelbes (3:04 PM)
Time for one more ...
What are your thoughts on next year's Frozen Four in Tampa? I'm all for expanding college hockey's fan base, but isn't this at the expense of the current fans?
Mike Eidelbes (3:07 PM)
Interesting question, especially since Notre Dame had to pull its holiday tourney out of Tampa when the current Lightning owners didn't want anything to do with it. The Tampa Frozen Four in 2012 will be fine (and provide a nice respite for those of us who've been freezing all winter) but I agree that it's best in traditional hockey markets. That doesn't necessarily mean traditional college hockey markets -- St. Louis and D.C were just fine, for example.
Mike Eidelbes (3:08 PM)
That's it for this week ... sorry if we didn't get to your questions. Enjoy the games this weekend -- especially those of you planning to spend Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium for Michigan-Wisconsin!