College hockey notes: Vecchione is his own biggest critic

After winning a second straight ECAC Hockey player of the week award on Tuesday, one would surmise t

After winning a second straight ECAC Hockey player of the week award on Tuesday, one would surmise that Union sophomore center Mike Vecchione would be happy.

Despite helping the second-ranked Dutchmen to a two-game sweep of Maine last weekend with a goal and four assists, Vecchione is far from pleased.

“I definitely need some work to improve right now,” Vecchione said. “I really have to thank my teammates for the past weekend. I don’t think I played to the best of my potential. I really struggled in the [defensive] zone. I had a fluke goal. They had a bunch of good goals. I had a bunch of nice passes. I didn’t have the best weekend, so I have to give credit to them.”

The statistics tell a far different story. Vecch­ione’s goal in Friday’s 3-0 win was the game-winner. It was fluky in the fact that he shot the puck from center ice. The puck caromed off Maine goalie Matt Morris’ glove and rolled past him. Vecchione won 31 of 45 faceoffs, and was a plus-3.

Vecchione, who had 14 goals and 20 assists in 38 games last season, leads the Dutchmen in scoring with three goals and six assists. His nine points is tied for the national lead with Omaha’s Jake Guentzel.

But Union coach Rick Bennett agrees with Vecchione’s assesment of his game.

“I feel there’s another level to Mike’s game, and he feels the same way,” Bennett said. “That’s good to know. The reason I say that is we had our one-on-one meetings [Tuesday]. I like players who are very honest about their games.”


After playing its first four games on the road, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute opens the Houston Field House portion of its regular-season schedule tonight at 7 when it hosts Bentley for a two-game series.

After opening the season with a 3-2 win over Notre Dame in the IceBreaker tournament Oct. 10, the Engineers (1-3) have lost three straight, hindered by a lack of offense. They were shut out by Minnesota, 3-0, in the IceBreaker final Oct. 12, and by Denver, 3-0, last Friday. It was the first time RPI had failed to score in back-to-back games since Nov. 9-10, 2012, when they lost a pair of 4-0 decisions at Dartmouth and at Harvard.

The Engineers were 35 seconds away from being blanked for the third straight game, something that had not happened since November 1996, when Chris Bradley scored to snap the shutout skid of 194 minutes, 53 seconds.

Only three forwards have scored for RPI — Jacob Laliberté, Viktor Liljegren and Mark Miller.


Colgate coach Don Vaughan earned his 350th career victory when the Raiders beat Northeastern, 3-0, last Friday. He is the 11th active NCAA hockey coach to reach that milestone.

Vaughan got win No. 351 the next night when the Raiders put up another 3-0 victory over the Bobcats.

In his 22nd season as head coach at Colgate, Vaughan has a 351-346-80 career record.


UConn gave its new coach, Mike Cavanaugh, his first career win Tuesday when it upset 15th-ranked and in-state rival Quinnipiac, 4-1, in a game played at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn.

But what stood out in the game is how Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold played musical goalies. In his best impression of Mike Keenan, the former NHL coach who notoriously yanked goalies from games, Pecknold replaced starter Michael Garteig after he allowed two first-period goals with Sean Lawrence to start the second. Garteig made seven saves.

The move seem to work as Sam Anas scored 43 seconds into the second to pull Quinnipiac within 2-1. But when UConn regained its two-goal lead after Patrick Kirtland’s tally at 12:08, Lawrence was pulled in favor of Garteig. Lawrence only faced two shots.

Garteig stopped all seven shots he faced in his return. Jesse Schwartz’s empty-net goal with 39 seconds left sealed the deal.

Afterward, SBN Nation’s Jeff Cox asked Pecknold of his goaltending switches. Pecknold got testy.

“Trying to win hockey games. Is that the answer you want?” Pecknold said. “I’m trying to win hockey games. I’m trying to have the best kid out there to win hockey games.”

After winning its season opener over Bentley, Quinnipiac is winless in three straight. The Bobcats went 0-1-1 against UMass Lowell last weekend.


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

Union senior goalie Colin Stevens (Niskayuna) picked up his 10th career shutout in last Friday’s 3-0 win over Maine. He had a couple of firsts the next night in the Dutchmen’s 5-2 triumph over the Black Bears. He picked up his first career assist and his first career penalty.

Union sophomore defenseman Jeff Taylor (Clifton Park) had an assist in Friday’s game, and two more helpers on Saturday.

Boston University junior forward Jordan Juron (Latham) had a goal and an assist to help the Terriers beat defending NCAA women’s champion Clarkson, 5-2, last Saturday. They were Juron’s first two points of the season.

Wisconsin junior defenseman Courtney Burke (Albany) had an assist in the Badgers’ 4-1 loss to Minnesota last Friday.

Categories: College Sports

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