Some members of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Union men’s hockey teams had more than this weekend’s games on their minds.
Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy caused major damage along the East Coast, particularly along the Jersey Shore, New York City, Long Island and parts of Connecticut.
Union defenseman Charlie Vasaturo is from Sewell, N.J., which is just outside of Atlantic City. Atlantic City was one of the areas hit hardest by the storm.
Vasaturo’s family also has a vacation home in Ocean City, N.J.
“Unfortunately, there’s a bit of flooding to it,” Vasaturo said of the Ocean City house. “Nothing [affected], family-wise, [in Sewell]. They were out of there by then. It was just [water] up to the knees there. Some of the pictures there are pretty shocking. Other than that, it’s not too bad. You just have to wait for time now, and go back and fix it. Hopefully, it will be good by summertime.”
RPI senior center CJ Lee is from Staten Island. His family escaped unscathed.
“It didn’t affect where I’m from as badly as it sounded,” Lee said. “They just had a little bit of power outage. That was about it. I was contacting them the whole day, calling and texting them, and they were letting me know that they were fine.”
Engineers forward Greg Burgdoerfer is from East Setauket.
“There’s a lot of damage on Long Island,” Burgdoerfer said. “I have a lot of family in New York City and on the island. Flooding’s pretty bad. They won’t have power for about eight to 10 days, so that’s pretty bad. My house itself is all right, but there’s been a lot of destruction in the town, especially on the waterfronts”
RPI forward Ryan Haggerty is a native of Stamford, Conn. His family is OK.
“There were a couple of trees down, blocking the neighborhood,” Haggerty said. “Stamford was hit pretty hard, though. The one island was completely wiped out. It’s something to be thinking about, and keep everyone in their prayers. Obviously, it’s a tragedy. You don’t want that happening any time.”
Another Connecticut native is Union forward Kevin Sullivan, who is from Darien.
“Fortunately, my family didn’t get it that bad,” Sullivan said. “A couple of people got it pretty bad who live on the water. My sister goes to school in Pennsylvania at Lehigh University, and they got sent home. My brother came home from [New York] City, and so did my sister.”
Dutchmen forward Max Novak is from Oak Ridge, N.J. Oak Ridge is inland, but Sandy still managed to cause problems.
“The power was out for a couple of days,” Novak said. “There was a tree in our front yard that went down just as the rain went. But we’re at a pretty good elevation at my house, so there was no flooding damage. Just wind and tree damage.”
To hear more from the players, check out the video interviews at http://www.dailygazette.com/videos/2012/nov/01/1197/.
Sandy wasn’t strong enough to knock the ECAC Hockey championships out of Atlantic City.
After receiving some encouraging reports from officials of Boardwalk Hall, where the championships will take place, ECACH commissioner Steve Hagwell said that the league’s final four will remain in Atlantic City March 22-23.
“The [underground] parking garage got a little water, but the building is fine,” Hagwell said. “It didn’t sustain any damage.”
This is the final year of the league’s three-year deal in Atlantic City. The tournament moves to Lake Placid for three years starting in 2014.
BURKE’S BIG GAME
Wisconsin freshman defenseman Courtney Burke, who is from Albany, helped the Badgers to a 5-0 victory over New Hampshire on Sunday.
She had a goal and two assists. Burke assisted on Brianna Decker’s power-play goal at 11:14 of the first period. She scored her second goal of the season in the second period to make it 2-0. Burke then set up Karley Sylvester’s third-period power-play goal that made it 5-0.
Besides this weekend’s RPI vs. Union games, six other teams open ECACH play.
Rivals Cornell and Colgate will play a home-and-home series. Colgate hosts tonight’s game, and the series shifts to Cornell on Saturday.
Harvard hosts Brown tonight and Yale on Saturday. Dartmouth will be home for Yale tonight and Brown on Saturday.
2014 SITES SELECTED
The sites have been selected for the 2014 NCAA men’s hockey tournament regionals, it was announced Thursday.
The East Regional will be at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn., March 28-29. The Northeast Regional is at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass, March 29-30. The Midwest Regional takes place at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati March 28-29. The Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis will host the West Regional March 29-30.
The 2014 Frozen Four is at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia April 10-12.
ECACH MONTHLY AWARDS
Two St. Lawrence players won the ECACH monthly awards for October.
Saints forward Kyle Flanagan was named player of the month. Flanagan, who won the first two player of the week awards this season, had five goals and six assists in four games, all on the road, as St. Lawrence went 3-1.
St. Lawrence’s Matt Weninger was named goalie of the month. He posted a 1.75 goals-against average, a .952 save percentage and one shutout.
Colgate forward Tylor Spink won rookie of the month. The freshman had three goals and five assists in seven games. He had a game-winning goal in his first collegiate game, a 10-2 triumph over Niagara Oct. 9.
Union forward Kyle Bodie and RPI forward Matt Neal were nominated for player of the month. The Dutchmen’s Troy Grosenick and the Engineers’ Scott Diebold were nominated for goalie of the month. Union defenseman Sebastien Gingras was a nominee for rookie of the month.