Inside College Hockey Chat
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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (1:32 PM)
Hello again everyone, and welcome to another visit by Inside College Hockey to The Show at ESPN.com SportsNation. I am a Senior Writer, primarily covering the ECAC Hockey League, and will be joined by INCH Co-Editors Mike Eidelbes and Nate Ewell today. Feel free to send questions on any topic in college hockey.
John, Rochester, MN
Do the other schools (non WCHA teams) actually think they have a chance this year? What do you think?
Nate Ewell (1:34 PM)
Thanks for the question John. I've got a hunch the teams that have beaten WCHA teams thus far feel like they've got a good shot -- like an impressive Maine group that swept Denver. And I'm excited to see Michigan and Michigan State against the W in the College Hockey Showcase in a couple of weeks.
Larry (Springfield, Mass.)_
I went to an AHL game lately and felt like I was at a Frozen Four five years ago. Have you guys noticed how many former college guys are tearing up the AHL? Props to my fellow Cornell alum Ryan Vesce ...
Joe Gladziszewski (1:38 PM)
I also the opportunity to see an AHL game recently and noticed the same thing, Larry. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are the best team in the league, and they've been using five ex-collegians on the blueline -- BU's Ryan Whitney and Chris Kelleher, Harvard's Ryan Lannon and Noah Welch, and North Dakota's Andy Schneider -- although Whitney was recently recalled to the big club. It's a good recruiting tool for programs to use, and a strong reflection on college hockey. Ex-BC player Ryan Shannon was named as the AHL Rookie of the Month.
Tiger (La Crosse, Wisconsin)
Is it too early to call Phil Kessel overrated?
Mike Eidelbes (1:41 PM)
Five points in six games isn't anything to sneeze at. One thing to keep in mind about Minnesota -- outside of Guyer, Harrington and Sertich, they don't have a lot of experience. Potulny missed about three-quarters of his freshman year, so he's basically a sophomore and a half. Irmen and Hirsch are both out of the lineup, so that leaves Atherton and Vannelli as the only other upperclassmen (not including Briggs). Right now, Coach Lucia is relying heavily on the freshmen and sophomores to deliver.
Tim, St. Paul MN
I know the WCHA is a bad conference that never sends teams to the Frozen Four and has poor attedance, but is every chat going to be about eastern hockey this year???
Nate Ewell (1:42 PM)
So far today alone, we've gotten emails accusing us of Midwestern bias, Western bias, and now Eastern bias. Waiting for the complaints about the South. We've said it before -- our only bias is Canadian beer.
Joe, Princeton, NJ
Do you think Clarkson's early offensive resurgance and Weller's five goals put's them in place to challenge for a first round buy (remember they beat Cornell two years ago and were within seconds of the finals and certainly scared Schaffer and the Big red last in the second round?) -- they seem like the early sleeper in the league?
Joe Gladziszewski (1:45 PM)
Clarkson certainly does seem to have things going early in the season. While some onlookers might question their strength of competition thus far, they've lined up and beaten the teams they've played against. And, for the most part, there has been a pretty consistent effort from Friday-to-Saturday every weekend. In the past few years, it's seemed that Clarkson has been good one night and not-so-good the next. Clarkson can realistically expect to have a winning record and could compete for one of the top four spots and a playoff bye, but just securing home ice for the first round would be an accomplishment ... they've been 9th the last two years.
Ohio State and there realistic chances of makong it to the frozen four?
Mike Eidelbes (1:49 PM)
Well, Chris, if OSU continues to have weekends like it did against Western Michigan -- going scoreless on 18 power play chances, giving up 7 PPGs in 17 WMU tries, and having its goalies combine for a 72% save percentage on the weekend -- the only place they'll go in April is the spring football game. The Bucks have a tough series with Miami this weekend, which should tell us alot about their character.
David (Shrewsbury, MA)
I had the pleasure of watching RPI take on BU in Boston, then Merrimack in Troy. Admittedly I haven't seen much of them, but after being outplayed by Merrimack so badly, what does that say about BU?
Nate Ewell (1:51 PM)
I'd be fairly worried if I was a BU fan. Not just the RPI loss, but splitting with UMass Lowell isn't a great sign at this point, either. Despite Pete MacArthur, I think the Terriers are lacking up front -- goal production hasn't been easy, and I don't think it will be.
Tye from Minnesota
It seems like the Ivy League has had some recent success in recruiting. Tell me a little bit about what is drawing players to these schools. Also, do you think these schools will start making more of an impact on the national scene?
Joe Gladziszewski (1:53 PM)
Recruiting success in the Ivy League can be attributed to two things. The first is dilligent work by the coaching staffs to find excellent players that meet strict academic requirements. The second is that they have a lot to offer. Not many people would turn down a chance to attain a degree from Harvard, Princeton, or Yale, etc.
Eric (Los Angeles, CA)
Transplanted Spartan out here on the left coast. Considering the mediocre seasons Michigan State has had the past few years (I know Ron Mason is a tough act to follow) and the turmoil the team seemingly has been in with players leaving, how tenuous is Rick Comley's job security?
Mike Eidelbes (1:55 PM)
I thought this year would Comley's make or break season, but he should be commended for the way the Spartans have played early despite an epidemic of injuries that have robbed him of about a half-dozen regulars. They've beaten North Dakota, tied Michigan and split with Cornell...and have yet to play a home game. Pretty good job by MSU, in my opinion.
Nate Ewell (1:56 PM)
And they'll be even better, Eric, if they get Drew Stanton on the power play after football season. Better than the basketball team with Matt Trannon.
Collin (Franklin, MA)
What are your early thoughts on the style of play Army has instituted at Providence? To me it shows that the offensive firepower was there, just dormant.
Nate Ewell (1:58 PM)
Tim Army was obviously the perfect fit for that program (and that's not just because of their good start). But he deserves credit for loosening the reigns on the likes of Jon Rheault -- he's a real good offensive player who is getting more of a chance to shine, and Tyler Sims is good enough in net to make up for any mistakes.
Josh (Dallas, TX)
Hey Joe, thanks for taking questions...what's the outlook in the ECAC for the St. Lawrence Saints?
Joe Gladziszewski (1:59 PM)
If I were a Saints fan, I wouldn't be too alarmed by the loss to RIT last weekend. SLU has been hampered by injuries to veteran players, most notably John Zeiler, Drew Bagnall, and Kevin Ackley. This is their best chance for success in the last few years. A home-ice playoff spot is certainly within reach.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:03 PM)
Thanks everyone for an excellent batch of questions. We'll be addressing some of the ones we didn't get to in INCH OT, at www.insidecollegehockey.com and on the INCH Podcasts, a weekly feature recorded and posted on Tuesday evenings at INCH. It is now our distinct pleasure to turn things over to Barry Melrose, president of the Gabe Gauthier Fan Club.