Gate slipping for Governor’s Cup

The Governor’s Cup, won by Union for the first time last Saturday, isn’t drawing well, and those con
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The Governor’s Cup, won by Union for the first time last Saturday, isn’t drawing well, and those connected with the tournament will soon be sitting down to look for answers.

Total attendance for the four games last weekend at the Times Union Center was 6,987, a drop of nearly a thousand fans from 7,943 in 2007. Last Saturday’s attendance was 3,487, an all-time low for the 3-year-old event.

Union athletic director Jim McLaughlin will meet with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute AD Jim Knowlton, TU Center general manager Bob Belber and ECAC Hockey commissioner Steve Hagwell to discuss the tournament’s future.

“I’m not sure what’s going to come of that, but that meeting will happen soon,” Hagwell said. “I don’t think anything’s out of the realm of possibility. Anything is on the table.”

But that doesn’t include ending the tournament.

“We haven’t had those discussions,” Hagwell said.

Belber has one idea on how the tournament should continue.

“We are honored to have the Governor’s Cup continue at the facility, and would like to see RPI, Union, Colgate and, possibly next year, Army, come in an have their championship game and consol­ation game here [at the TU Center],” Belber said. “The issue right now we’re talking about is whether or not the first day would take place, or whether there would be a [first-round] game at Union, as well as at RPI. I’ve started to talk to the teams of maybe holding the first round on their campuses so that we can get the kids more involved, and more in support of their hockey programs, which could potentially bring the kids here in bigger numbers for the championship game and the consolation for the following day.”

McLaughlin is open to all ideas on how to improve attendance for the tournament.

“We enjoy playing in that facility,” McLaughlin said. “I think it’s great for our programs. Obviously, finances have to be factored in. It’s something we have to take a hard look at.”

NORTH COUNTRY SHINES

Last weekend was a good one for North Country rivals Clarkson and St. Lawrence in their home openers.

The task for both of them was to take on a pair of top-five teams. Clarkson had a two-game series with top-ranked Colorado College at Cheel Arena, while St. Lawrence faced No. 4 New Hampshire at

Appleton Arena.

The result was an unbeaten weekend.

The Golden Knights played to a pair of ties with the Tigers. Friday’s game ended, 1-1, and Saturday’s contest was 2-2.

Clarkson freshman goalie Paul Karpowich, taking over for the graduated David Leggio, made 61 saves in the games, including 33 Friday. Karpowich was named ECAC Hockey rookie of the week.

The Knights moved up four spots in the USCHO.com/CBS College Sports Hockey Poll to No. 15. The Tigers remained in the top spot.

“I thought we played very well, especially in our own end,” Clarkson coach George Roll said. “Are we satisfied? No, but the effort was there. The challenge now is to play at that level each and every night, and it we do, we have a chance for a successful season. It gives us the confidence that we can play at a higher level against a quality team, but now we must maintain that level of play.”

On Sunday, St. Lawrence surprised New Hampshire, 4-1. Goalie Alex Petizian made 28 saves, and Zach Miskovic scored twice in a game televised by ESPNU.

“I think we played really well,” Saints coach Joe Marsh said. “We got off to a good start, and we had a lot of energy. Maybe we caught [New Hampshire] at the right time. I don’t think the score is indicative. They’re a really good team.”

UNH fell to sixth in the poll. St. Lawrence earned 64 points, third most among teams in the others-receiving-votes category.

LOCAL UPDATE

Here’s a look at how college hockey players from the Capital Region did over the past week.

u RPI junior defenseman Laura Gersten (Queensbury) scored a goal in the Engineers; 5-1 victory over Niagara last Saturday.

u St. Lawrence junior forward Tara Akstull (Clifton Park) had three assists in the Saints’s 5-1 win over Robert Morris last Friday.

u Vermont junior defenseman Melanie Greene (Queensbury) had an assist in last Saturday’s 5-1 loss to Cornell.

PARKER RETURNS

Former Clarkson interim head coach Fred Parker returns to Cheel Arena for the first time since the 2002-03 season on Saturday when he leads his Carleton (Ontario) University team against the Knights for an exhibition game.

Parker became Clarkson’s coach three games into the 2002-03 season after Mark Morris was fired following an incident with Knights player Zach Schwan. Parker was in his first year as an assistant coach with Clarkson.

The Knights, who were 0-3 when Morris was let go, went 12-17-3 under Parker. They were eliminated in the first round of the ECACH tournament by Vermont.

“He came into a very difficult situation and did an outstanding job,” Clarkson athletic director Steve Yianoukos told the Watertown Daily Times. “He had excellent communication skills with the players. It was a tough year for everybody involved, and he helped stabilize it. He was very well liked when he was here.”

Carleton has a 4-1 record under Parker this season.

Categories: College Sports

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