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Parting Schotts

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College Hockey Slap Schotts Week 11 — Union has no reason to panic

By Ken Schott
Monday, December 10, 2012

Union should have won both of its games over the weekend against Brown and Yale. The Dutchmen had first-period leads in both contests. Instead, Brown and Yale staged rallies to tie Union.

The Dutchmen head into the Christmas break on a four-game winless streak (0-1-3), It’s time for the Dutchmen fans to panic, right?

No.

Yes, the Dutchmen haven’t played well in their last four games. But the Dutchmen went through a similar stretch at this time last season. They had consecutive ties at Quinnipiac and Princeton, and then earned wins against RPI and Merrimack heading into the Christmas break. Right after Christmas, Union went out to Colorado and lost to Denver and Colorado College in its final non-league games of the regular season. At that time, the Dutchmen were 9-5-5.

When the calendar turned from 2011 to 2012, that is when the Dutchmen went into high gear. They went 11-2-2 over the final two months of the regular season — all ECAC Hockey games — and won their second straight regular-season title.

Union’s record after 15 games last season was 7-3-5. This season, it’s 8-3-4, so the Dutchmen are slightly ahead of last season’s 26-8-7 pace.

There are signs that Union will turn things around. After a mini-slump, the Dutchmen’s power play is back on track. They lead the league at 29.4 percent (20-for-68). Their penalty kill has been outstanding, killing off 27 of their last 28 short-handed situations. Union is 91.7 percent (55-for-60), which normally would lead the league. But there are three teams better — Dartmouth (97.5 percent), Quinnipiac (94.8 percent) and Harvard (93.5 percent).

The major problem the Dutchmen need to address is their mentality when they have a lead. In several of these blogs over the years, I have written how I believed it’s important for a team to step on the gas and not let up. If you pour it on, you demoralize your opponent. If you let up, you give the other team some hope. The Dutchmen need to be reminded of that.

Also, Union can’t afford to be letting points slip away. Although the Dutchmen are tied for second place with Dartmouth, Quinnipiac, at 8-0, is threatening to run away from the rest of the conference. Points are precious.

However, Union fans, don’t push the panic button yet. Just remember that this team does its best work when it counts the most.

RPI has its goalie

RPI has to be feeling good heading into the Christmas break after its 6-1 win at No. 15 Yale on Friday and a 2-2 tie at Brown on Saturday. The Engineers are 4-6-4 going into the break. Last year, they were 3-13.

And it appears the Engineers have found their goalie. Freshman Jason Kasdorf had made five straight starts, and if he keeps playing as well as he has, Bryce Merriam and Scott Diebold will see less time in goal.

Kasdorf, a Winnipeg Jets draft pick, is 2-1-2 with a 1.46 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage. Against Yale, Kasdorf made 36 saves. He followed that up with a 24-save effort against Brown.

Kasdorf, who has made five straight starts, should win ECACH goalie of the week award this week.

Record on hold

Boston College coach Jerry York will have to wait until after Christmas to become college hockey’s all-time winnigest coach.

Ex-Union coach Nate Leaman and his Providence team prevented York from earning career win No. 925 when his Friars rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the Eagles, 3-3, Friday at Schneider Arena. Nick Saracino with 10.5 seconds left in regulation tied the score.

BC’s next game will be against Alabama-Huntsville in the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci Classic Dec. 29. York should surpass former Michigan State coach Ron Mason then.

ECACH Power Rankings

My weekly ECACH Power Rankings each week. WARNING: You may agree, or disagree, with my picks.

Team Last week’s ranking


1) Quinnipiac 1
2) Dartmouth 2
3) Cornell 5
4) Union 4
5) Harvard 6
6) Yale 3
7) Colgate 9
8) RPI 10
9) Clarkson 11
10) St. Lawrence 8
11) Princeton 7
12) Brown 12

Union falls in polls

For the second straight week, Union dropped in the USCHO.com/NCAA top-20 college hockey poll.

The Dutchmen (3-2-3 ECAC Hockey, 8-3-4 overall), fell from 12th to 14th in the poll. They had leads against Brown on Friday and Yale on Saturday, but settled for ties in both games.

Five other ECAC Hockey teams are in the poll. Quinnipiac is ninth, Dartmouth is 10th, Cornell is 12th, Yale is 15th and Harvard is 18th. It’s surprising to me that Yale remained 15th, despite suffering a 6-1 home-ice loss to RPI on Friday.

Union dropped from 12th to 13th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine top-15 poll.

USCHO.com/NCAA poll

Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Boston College (35) 11- 2-1 981 2
2 New Hampshire ( 9) 11- 2-2 921 1
3 Notre Dame ( 3) 13- 4-0 902 5
4 Minnesota ( 3) 11- 3-3 815 4
5 Miami 10- 3-3 775 3
6 Boston University 10- 5-0 727 7
7 Western Michigan 10- 3-1 723 7
8 North Dakota 8- 5-3 630 9
9 Quinnipiac 12- 3-2 541 13
10 Dartmouth 7- 2-2 529 10
11 Denver 9- 5-2 519 6
12 Cornell 6- 3-2 438 11
13 Nebraska-Omaha 10- 5-1 389 14
14 Union 8- 3-4 385 12
15 Yale 6- 3-2 246 15
16 Niagara 10- 2-3 239 18
17 St. Cloud State 9- 7-0 234 17
18 Harvard 4- 3-1 126 20
19 Ferris State 7- 6-3 116 16
20 Minnesota State 9- 5-2 96 NR
Others receiving votes: Colorado College 63, Colgate 35, Providence 32, Holy Cross 19, Ohio State 14, Robert Morris 5.

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine 2012-13 Men’s College Hockey Poll

(First-place votes in parentheses)
Rank School Last Week’s Ranking 2012-13 Record Weeks in Top 15
1 Boston College, 496 (22) 2 11-2-1 11
2 New Hampshire, 472 (9) 1 11-2-2 8
3 Notre Dame, 420 (1) 4 13-4-0 11
4 Minnesota, 405 (3) 5 11-3-3 11
5 Miami (Ohio), 362 3 10-3-3 11
6 Boston University, 325 7 10-5-0 11
7 Western Michigan, 312 8 10-3-1 11
8 North Dakota, 259 9 8-5-3 11
9 Quinnipiac, 224 11 12-3-2 2
10 Denver, 216 6 9-5-2 11
11 Dartmouth, 212 10 7-2-2 5
12 Cornell, 134 13 6-3-2 11
13 Union, 100 12 8-3-4 11
14 Nebraska-Omaha, 67 14 10-5-1 4
15 Yale, 31 15 6-3-2 3
Others receiving votes: Niagara, 14; St. Cloud State, 12; Harvard, 9; Providence, 5; Colorado College, 2; Minnesota State, 2; Ferris State, 1.

My vote

I have a vote in the USCHO.com poll. Here is how I voted:
1) Boston College
2) UNH
3) Notre Dame
4) Minnesota
5) Miami
6) Western Michigan
7) Boston U.
8) North Dakota
9) Quinnipiac
10) Dartmouth
11) Denver
12) Cornell
13) Union
14) Neb.-Omaha
15) Niagara
16) St. Cloud State
17) Holy Cross
18) Yale
19) Harvard
20) Ferris State

Daily Gazette Stick Salutes

Time for my weekly awards.

Player/Rookie of the Week — Kyle Baun, Colgate

The freshman forward had two goals and two assists in the Raiders’ 6-4 win over UMass in Friday, and added a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 5-2 victory over the Minutemen.

Goalie of the Week — Jason Kasdorf, RPI

The freshman goalie had 36 saves in Friday’s 6-1 win over Yale, and had 24 saves in Saturday’s 2-2 tie against Brown.

Teams of the Week — Clarkson


Two wins against North Country-rival St. Lawrence in two different locations (Appleton Arena and Lake Placid) helps Clarkson earn this honor.

On hiatus

Finally, with a very light schedule this week and no games next week, I’m going to take the next two weeks off from writing this blog. I will bring it back Dec. 31 with my top-10 stories of 2012 ... unless the Mayans end the world Dec. 21. Have a great holiday!

If you have any comments, post them below, or e-mail them to me at schott@dailygazette.com. You can follow me on Twitter (@slapschotts) Also, please become a fan of two Facebook pages — The Daily Gazette On Ice, and my "Slap Schotts" college hockey segment page.

Good Monday! Good Hockey!

 
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