Friday, February 28, 2014

Union at Yale live blog

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Final regular-season weekend on tap for Yale

A few notes from a pre-practice media session with Yale coach Keith Allain on Wednesday afternoon. The Bulldogs play host to No. 3 Union and RPI this weekend, the last one of the regular season, with key ECAC tournament positioning and PairWise Ranking jockeying at stake. Yale seniors Jesse Root, Kenny Agostino and Gus Young will be honored prior to puck drop on Saturday night.
  • The power play went 3-for-7 last weekend, including 3-for-4 at Harvard, boosting Yale's season success rate to 18.6. Some have said the Bulldogs aren't as explosive on the power-play this season when compared to recent Yale teams. Fact is, in ECAC conference games, Yale is second only to St. Lawrence at 21.6 percent. Allain said extensive practice has helped. "It takes time to get it together, particularly early in te year, it's a small sample statistically. You go a couple games without scoring and it looks anemic; you go a couple games with them scoring and it looks prolific. In reality, if you can get to 20 percent area you've got a pretty good college power play."
  • Jesse Root and Kenny Agostino have been Yale's most consistent and productive scorers, both nearly doubling the point total of the third-highest scoring forward. Allain isn't concerned with the disparity given the circumstances. "We'll be a better team when we can get more 5-on-5 offense from the rest of the group," he said. "I still think that's there. There's no reason to me why Stu's line won't produce more going forward, and the other lines as well. With the injury situation we've had, the stability has been with Jesse's line so the other guys pay a price when we start shuffling things around."
  • As for the injury situation, Yale may get forward Carson Cooper back this weekend. "I can't say that definitively today," Allain said. 
  • Union has looked every bit like a national championship contender. The Dutchmen are 6-0-1 in their last seven, scoring at least four goals in each of those games, and quite stingy on the defensive side. "What impresses me is their team game," Allain said. "They're all on the same page and work together as groups. They are a great second-effort team. You're going to have to outwork them. And they back-pressure well into defensemen in the neutral zone and then transition extremely well off of those turnovers. We're going to have to protect the puck."
  • Yale is in contention for a first-round bye, but needs to make up two points on fourth-place Cornell. Allain would prefer to have next weekend off, citing 2012 as an example of why rest at this time of year is good. Yale needed three games to get past Princeton that year, then went to Harvard where it won game 1 in overtime and then lost in double overtime in Game 2. By Game 3, Yale was gassed while Harvard, rested, cruised to an 8-2 victory.
  • Governor Dan Malloy will be at Ingalls on Friday night. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will not. Too bad.
  • The past few weeks, Yale has spent considerable time working on team defense, one of the main area's Allain would like to see improvement. "And sorting things out on the rush, coming back into our zone and back-checking into that D-zone coverage," he said. "We'll continue to spend a lot of time on that as we get into the playoffs." 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Quinnipiac drops 3, Yale one in USCHO poll

Team             (First Place)   Record   Pts  Last Week
 1 Boston College            (49)   25- 4-4   999     1
 2 Minnesota                 ( 1)   21- 4-5   946     2
 3 Union                            22- 6-4   901     3
 4 Ferris State                     23- 7-3   834     6
 5 St. Cloud State                  18- 7-5   781     4
 6 Wisconsin                        19- 9-2   732     8
 7 Massachusetts-Lowell             20- 8-4   679     7
 8 Quinnipiac                       21- 8-5   650     5
 9 Northeastern                     18-10-4   588     9
10 North Dakota                     18- 9-3   575    11
11 Cornell                          14- 7-5   479    13
12 Providence                       17- 9-6   450    12
13 Michigan                         15-10-3   372    10
14 Notre Dame                       19-12-2   326    15
15 Yale                             14- 8-5   300    14
16 Colgate                          16-11-5   269    19
17 Vermont                          17-11-3   261    16
18 Maine                            15-11-4   141    17
19 Minnesota State                  19-13-0    86    NR
20 Denver                           14-12-6    30    18

Others receiving votes: Ohio State 25, New Hampshire 23,
Minnesota-Duluth 15, Clarkson 13, Western Michigan 12, Air
Force 7, Mercyhurst 6.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bracketology today

Two games remain in the regular season. Goes by quickly, doesn't it? Quinnipiac is struggling, but still in good standing as far as the PairWise Rankings. Yale remains on the outside looking in to the field of 16, but made up ground and is within striking distance of qualifying. Here's what our NCAA tournament field would look like if brackets were announced today. A bit of shuffling was involved...we don't think the committee would send Quinnipiac, the seventh overall seed, to St. Paul when it could be moved East and switched with Wisconsin. We placed the Bobcats in Worcester since the 8-9 matchup is all-Hockey East.

3. Union vs. 14. Michigan
8. UMass Lowell vs. 11. Cornell

1. Boston College vs. 16. Mercyhurst
7. Quinnipiac vs. 9. Northeastern

4. Ferris State vs. 13. Colgate
5. St. Cloud State vs. 12. Vermont

2. Minnesota vs. 15. Notre Dame
6. Wisconsin vs. 10. North Dakota

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Colgate at Quinnipiac, live blog

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cornell at Quinnipiac live blog

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bracketology today

Strange weekend in the PairWise Rankings for the locals. Quinnipiac beat ranked Yale, but dropped after a loss to Brown. Yale made up some ground with a win over Princeton, but still has lots of work to do to reach at-large territory. Here's what we came up with this week.

3. Union vs. 14. Notre Dame
6. Quinnipiac vs. 11. Maine

1. Boston College vs. 16. Mercyhurst
8. UMass Lowell vs. 10. Michigan

4. St. Cloud State vs. 13. Cornell
5. Ferris State vs. 12. North Dakota

2. Minnesota vs. 15. Vermont
7. Wisconsin vs. 9. Northeastern

Friday, February 14, 2014

Yale/Quinnipiac live blog

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bracketology today

Quinnipiac's loss to St. Lawrence last night knocks it from a No. 1 seed to a No. 2 seed, but may not be enough to keep the Bobcats from playing in Bridgeport. We shuffled the two seeds to keep them closer to home. Attendance pushes are always considered by the committee, and why not have high seeds Quinnipiac, Lowell and St. Cloud within driving distances of their campuses?

So here's what the NCAA brackets might look like as of now.

3. Union vs. 14. Minnesota-Duluth
5. Quinnipiac vs. 11. Providence

1. Boston College vs. 16. Mercyhurst
6. UMass Lowell vs. 9. Cornell

2. Minnesota vs. 15. Colgate
8. St. Cloud State vs. 10. Michigan

4. Ferris State vs. 13. Vermont
7. Wisconsin vs. 12. Northeastern

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's February. Time for the home stretch.

A few notes and quotes from Quinnipiac and Yale as they begin the final month of the regular season.
  • Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold was among the many who attended the funeral of Hamden's Jason Pagni on Thursday morning. Pagni was an influential youth coach in the area who knew everyone and worked tirelessly to help players continue their careers. NHL players Jonathan Quick, Cam Atkinson, Max Pacioretty and Kevin Shattenkirk were all influenced by Pagni as young players in Connecticut.
  • Pecknold was unavailable this morning, so Bill Riga handled the media swarm. (Note: it was a one-man media swarm.)
  • Odd that we're into the second week of February and Quinnipiac still hasn't played Clarkson or St. Lawrence this season. The Bobcats have seen video and expect two different types of game. "I think Clarkson wants to shrink the rink, play physical and get in your face and make things difficult," Riga said. "St. Lawrence likes to go, to get the Carey kids the puck and get out in open ice and play offense with a great power play. We prepare all week for Clarkson and Saturday morning you're up for a totally different kind of game. But when it comes down to it, you have eight league games left. Or goal is to win the league. Any point on any night, home or away, is precious."
  • Quinnipiac has played only one game in the past two weeks, an 8-1 drubbing at Dartmouth. The players are rested and ready to return to their regular routine. Practices are typically intense, but the compete level tends to get ramped up with no other outlet. "You get sick of hitting the same guys, or getting hit by the same guys," Jordan Samuels-Thomas said. "You might get frustrated with a guy just competing. At the same time, last weekend everyone was really excited and it should be the same this weekend."
  • You'd think time off is time to heal, but players take their lumps in practice. Still, the Bobcats are mostly healthy. Defenseman Connor Clifton has been nursing an injury the past couple weeks, and isn't expected to play this weekend.
  • Yale's brutal stretch run continues at Union and RPI this weekend. Ex-Quinnipiac player Joe Dumais continues his four-game run as Union interim coach during Rick Bennett's suspension.
  • Medical staff at Yale is earning their money. The Bulldogs dressed every healthy player last Saturday night against Colgate, only to lose forward Stu Wilson on his first shift. Wilson, Carson Cooper, Mike Doherty, Anthony Day and Alex Ward are all on the injury report. We could see some return to action this weekend. Just won't know for sure until they come out for warm-ups.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Quinnipiac, Yale hold steady in poll

The poll, released today: Division I Men's Poll
Minneapolis, Minn./February 3, 2014

   Team             (First Place)   Record   Pts  Last Week
 1 Minnesota                 (40)   19- 2-5   989     1
 2 Boston College            (10)   19- 4-3   959     2
 3 Quinnipiac                       19- 4-5   897     3
 4 Union                            17- 6-3   798     4
 5 Ferris State                     18- 6-3   758     6
 6 St. Cloud State                  14- 6-4   745     5
 7 Massachusetts-Lowell             18- 7-2   738     8
 8 Providence                       15- 7-5   621     7
 9 Cornell                          12- 4-5   602    11
10 Michigan                         13- 6-3   546    12
11 Northeastern                     15- 8-3   528    10
12 Wisconsin                        14- 8-2   460     9
13 Yale                             11- 6-4   342    13
14 Clarkson                         16-10-2   291    15
15 Denver                           13- 8-5   278    16
16 North Dakota                     13- 8-3   266    17
17 Minnesota-Duluth                 12- 9-3   166    NR
18 Notre Dame                       15-11-1   147    14
19 Vermont                          13- 9-3   130    19
20 New Hampshire                    16-13-1   120    NR

Others receiving votes: Maine 50, Colgate 23, Ohio State 18,
Mercyhurst 11, Air Force 6, Nebraska-Omaha 4, Western
Michigan 4, Minnesota State 3.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Yale gets commitment from a D

Billy Sweezey, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound defenseman, announced via Twitter than he plans to attend Yale. He is a junior at Noble and Greenough High in Dedham, Mass. and was at Ingalls Rink for Saturday's win over Colgate.

Here's what an story on Central Scouting prospects said about Sweezey last month:

3. Billy Sweezey, Nobles & Greenough (HIGH-MA): Gregory acknowledged that there's a lot to like about the 6-foot, 190-pound junior defenceman. According to the veteran scout, Sweezey just now is beginning to realize how dominant a player he can be. Sweezey has been compared by some to Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik. "He's a big defenceman starting to use his size well and can make a pro pass," (Central Scouting's Dave) Gregory said. "He's beginning to understand that he can and should dominate games at the high school level. His mobility is good and he loves to hit. If he hit all the time and laid kids out he'd really get scouts excited about him even more because he's a really thick and strong kid."

Bracketology this week

Quinnipiac remains third in the PairWise Rankings, behind Boston College and Minnesota. Yale falls to 20th. Here's what the NCAA bracket might look like as of now.

3. Quinnipiac vs. 14. New Hampshire
6. Cornell vs. 11. Providence

2. Boston College vs. 15. North Dakota
7. UMass Lowell vs. 12. Minnesota-Duluth

1. Minnesota vs. 16. Mercyhurst
8. Michigan vs. 9. St. Cloud State

4. Union vs. 13. Wisconsin
5. Ferris State vs. 10. Northeastern

Goal or no goal? You make the call.

Here is video of the disputed Yale no-goal against Cornell Friday night. Stu Wilson appears to push goalie Andy Iles into the net. But you be the judge. 

By the way, the video review was timed at 19 seconds. Referees didn't have this specific replay (the Yale All-Access feed) as an option, but did have Yale's press box camera view from the other side. ECAC rules allow for whatever in-house cameras a school chooses to provide for video review usage, not just the overhead cameras. Yale has two overhead cams and the home-side press box camera every home game.