Coburn may be back in time for tournament

Greg Coburn was scared. The Union freshman defenseman was writhing in pain after teammate Jason Shaf

Greg Coburn was scared. The Union freshman defenseman was writhing in pain after teammate Jason Shaffer accidentally fell on his left leg and hip during practice Tuesday at Messa Rink.

Coburn feared the worst — a season-ending injury — but he won’t have to worry about that. An MRI on Wednesday revealed no tears in his hip. Coburn did suffer a dis­located hip, but it popped back into place.

The bad news is that Coburn will miss the final four games of the regular season. He could be back for the ECAC Hockey tournament. The best-of-three first round starts March 5.

The 16th-ranked Dutchmen are hoping for a first-round bye. They are in third place, two points behind Cornell and Yale, who are tied for first. The best-of-three quarterfinals begin March 12.

“It’s a matter of how I’m going to be feeling in the next couple of days,” Coburn said. “I’ll have a better time line after that.”

Coburn got tangled up with Shaffer and both players fell to the ice. Shaffer fell on top of Coburn’s left leg.

“There was a lot of pain,” said Coburn, who has two goals and 14 assists in 29 games, tying him for seventh in overall scoring among ECACH defensemen. “It’s just unfortunate that it happened. My leg got caught under me. My body was going the other way. It wasn’t good all around.

“It was instant pain in my hip.”

Coburn, who is the brother of Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn, is tied for seventh in defensemen league scoring with a goal and 10 assists.

“It’s still frustrating being out for two weeks,” Coburn said. “I want to be out with the guys, and I want to be playing. I’ll just have to go through it and hope for the best.”

Big Red Freakout

Rensselaer Polytechnic Ins­titute’s annual Big Red Freakout will take place Saturday night at 7 against Princeton at Houston Field House.

It is a rare occurrence that the Freakout is played on RPI’s final regular-season game. This will be just the third time that has occurred in the 33 years of the Freakout. The other two times were in 1995 and 1996. On Feb. 25, 1995, the Engineers beat Brown, 6-1, and on March 2, 1996, RPI defeated Princeton, 4-1.

“I like it, because it’s a proper way to send your seniors off,” RPI coach Seth Appert said.

RPI is winless in its last three Freakouts, including losses in the last two — to Princeton, 4-0, on Feb. 2, 2008, and to Yale, 4-1, on Feb. 14, 2009.

Playoff ranges

With four games left in the regular season, three teams have clinched home ice for at least the first round of the ECACH tourn­ament.

Cornell, Union and Yale, the top three teams in the standings, clinched home ice last weekend, and are in position to win the regular-season title. Cornell, which is tied for first with Yale, can finish no worse than fifth. The Bulldogs can go as low as sixth. Union, which is in third place, two points behind Cornell and Yale, can finish no worse than eighth.

Colgate, RPI and St. Lawrence are still in the running for first place, but can still be on the road for the first round.

Clarkson is the only team that knows it will be on the road for the first round.

Here are the ranges of where the 12 teams can finish:

— Yale — first through sixth.

— Cornell — first through fifth.

— Union — first through eighth.

— RPI and St. Lawrence — first through 10th.

— Colgate — first through 11th

— Harvard and Quinnipiac — third through 11th.

— Brown and Princeton — fourth through 12th.

— Dartmouth — seventh through 12th.

— Clarkson — ninth through 12th.

Local update

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

— Quinnipiac senior forward Mike Atkinson (Kinderhook) had a goal in the Bobcats’ 5-0 win over St. Lawrence last Friday.

— RPI senior defenseman Laura Gersten (Queensbury) had an assist to help the Engineers to a 5-2 victory over Dartmouth last Saturday.

— St. Lawrence senior forward Tara Akstull (Clifton Park) scored the Saints’ only goal in a 2-1 loss to Quinnipiac last Friday.

Kazmaier nominees

Two RPI players have been nominated for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which goes to the top player in women’s Division I college hockey.

Gersten and goalie Sonja van der Bliek are among 45 players nom­inated for the award, which was announced Wednesday. Gersten, a senior, is the Engineers’ third-leading scorer with five goals and 14 assists. In ECACH play, she is tied for fifth among defensemen in scoring with three goals and nine assists.

Van der Bliek, a junior, is 13-11-5 with a 1.90 goals-against average. She has a .922 save percentage and six shutouts. She has the seventh-best GAA in ECACH play at 1.68.

Categories: College Sports

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