College Hockey:
Three to get ready…

Was it dramatic? No. Was it boisterous? No. Was it inspiring? Not really.

Ah, but was it predictable? Never… not in ECAC Hockey.

Union marched to its second consecutive ECAC tournament title in Atlantic City, and – all things considered – the Dutchmen are probably the only folks will enjoyed the three-year A.C. experiment, having hoisted the trophy twice at Boardwalk Hall. This also marked the third time in four years that Union played in the league’s season finale, and the third consecutive NCAA berth for the Schenectady program.

Final assessment

Well for a little while there, it looked perfectly reasonable to think that five ECAC squads might make the NCAA’s. My, my, but weren’t those halcyon days… as a matter of hours later, we felt fortunate to have three again.

RPI was the first team bumped off the bubble with Friday’s wild and tumultuous results, as eight of Division 1′s 10 semifinal games went to the underdog. Eight out of 10! Brown was next out, falling to Union in the conference’s title tilt – Bruno never had a shot beyond the auto-bid, so that was hardly a twist of fate.

And then there was the Yale debacle. Once considered a functional lock for the big dance, the Bulldogs utterly failed to show up this weekend: Friday’s 5-0 loss to Union suddenly put the Elis in a precarious PairWise position, but even that didn’t seem to spur the Blue as they were shut out again on Saturday – 3-0 – against rival Quinnipiac. Not sure what happened (more on that in a moment), but Notre Dame bucked the weekend’s trend by downing underdog Michigan in the final CCHA final to secure Yale a spot in the field of 16.

All told, it was a weekend of wild results; it’s a shame for the ECAC at least, the excitement was more in the results than in the product on the ice.

Disappearing act

Perhaps it was only fitting: The Bulldogs didn’t show up on the ice, so why should we have expected them to appear for a press conference?

Yale ditched the obligatory post-game presser following the consolation-game loss, with nary a word of explanation. Per colleague Nate Owen, who was live at the scene:

“[The media] waited for a few minutes… someone went back to find [Yale], said they were showering and would be out. Then they came back and said they had already gotten on the bus and left.”

Nate added that ECAC Hockey Assistant Commissioner Ed Krajewski, who MC’ed the weekend’s press conferences, “was pretty sheepish when he said they weren’t coming out.”

Head coach Keith Allain has developed a reputation as a tough quote – he is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Rensselaer’s Seth Appert, Brown’s Brendan Whittet, or Dartmouth’s Bob Gaudet in that respect – but, as frustrating as that may be to the media, tweren’t no crime.

No-showing one of the league’s major pressers, on the other hand, is unprofessional.

I have never had a personal problem with Allain, nor – to the best of my knowledge – has he with me, but this action deserves attention for its gross impertinence. Yale is a great team at a great school, with a great history, great recruiting, great coaching, a great support staff, and great local support as well. I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if I criticized any of these aspects of the program.

But deliberately hanging Krajewski, the league he represents, and the media – most of whom traveled great distances to cover Allain’s team, among others – out to dry… well, that’s a great disrespect.

Per the Yale sports information department, Allain had no comment on the issue on Monday morning.


ECAC Hockey will be well-represented at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence next weekend, as both QU and Union are in the mix… and Brown is the host program.

The Bobcats will tangle with Atlantic Hockey champion Canisius (19-18-5) in Saturday’s 5:30 opener, while Union draws defending national champion Boston College (22-11-4) for the 9pm contest. Yale was sent out West to grapple with overall No. 2 seed Minnesota in Grand Rapids, Mich., at 2:00 on Friday.

Much more on all three participants in the regional previews, out on Wednesday. Catch up with all of our weekend’s ECAC material – along with comprehensive coverage of the other leagues – on USCHO’s front page, if you haven’t already. Also, don’t miss the annual USCHO Pickem, with chances to win prizes (and to make up for that Georgetown blunder on your squeakball bracket).

It’s that time of year again. Get excited… good luck to ECAC Hockey.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KBVOP7JEIJTGTBGPEMTI67KVLU J

    i think its funny how you talk about yale scoring so much when they play agianst shitty teams all year round. id like to see yale play in wcha for one year and we will see how many goals they score…HOW ABOUT NONE im sick of these mediocre players winning awards where there strength of schedule is far behind other top teams with outstanding players yet those players dont even get looked at Minnesotas Jay Bariball should be a top player so far and i hate the gophers. jack connely or even matt frattin of north dakota…but ofcourse that makes me biased because im a sioux fan..all im saying is goals and assists shouldnt be the only factor of decision and i know its not but you uscho writers just suck soooo much yale is a good team but they need to play harder teams more consistently

    • Cctempserv

      Yale 3 North Dakota 2… i guess there bad

  • Callanmp

    All three of those Yale players have solid chances of playing in the NHL with the exception of O Neil due to size being the only drawback. How about more love for your” so difficult” to play rivals the high powered offense of the midgets at UMD?

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree with J above…however he appears to rate the WCHA a little to highly. I believe this will be yet another Hocley East domination year and would not be surprised if they place 3 teams in the Frozen Four. Denver swept by BC, North Dakota dominated by Maine BU on a roll and UNH always a regular season powerhouse…

  • Kuhn&Friends

    please submit this to ESPN outside the lines, I think this deserves an in depth report as do many in the k-zoo area

  • Union Alum ’97

    I am a Union fan and have been waiting over 20 years for our first NCAA game, but after seeing this, I wouldn’t mind at all if Western Michigan won the darn whole thing for that family. Great work guys.

    • UMD_what_UMD_what_UMD

      I had the same thought. I have been a UMD fan since I can remember and have been waiting for a championship. Now I want this team to win it all. Best of luck to your team as well. It should be a very evenly matched offensive show!

  • HE Parent

    This is one of the most touching stories I’ve seen. As a parent of another D1 hockey program player, since his team is done for the year, I will be rooting for Western to win it all. This is why hockey is the greatest sport with the best people in it. Go Broncos! Get better kid!

  • SiouxInMinny

    Touching. Very nice of the Broncos.

  • Whetto345

    WOW Go Broncos!

    UNO fan

  • Tiger Fan

    This was truly inspiring and I think after watching it, it’s hard for anyone to not support this Western Michigan team. When players go out of their way to do things like this because it means something to them as well is amazing. Division I athletes have a lot on their plates as students, but for them to take their free time and spend it the way they did shows a lot of character and heart, both things I’d like to see help them take home the title this year.

    RIT Tiger fan

  • Lenytobias

    At almost 9 mos pregnant and having no defintie names, I instantly just fell in love with the name Gideon.

  • Lenytobias

    At 9 mos pregnant and no definite names, I instantly just feel in love with the name Gideon.

  • TigerJim

    If my team doesn’t make it, I’m rooting for Western Michigan!

  • Anonymous

    That right there is what college hockey is all about… inspiring kids that they can do anything. Shows a LOT of heart from the Broncos team. NCAA should make an award for a team that is outstanding off the ice for their community service and heartfelt inspiration of youth.

  • Bucky

    Class act all the way!

  • Tim

    Thats why hockey players are the finest athletes…….always keeping it real! Ct now roots for the Broncos!

  • KzooHockeyMom

    As a Western Alum, I am very proud of these boys and the way they have adopted the Schripsema Family. What a statement of this fantastic sport and the athletes involved. I am also a Hockey Mom of a 12 yo boy – it warms my heart to see him watching these young men go above and beyond the call of duty and want to be like them. Go Broncos!!!!

  • Oracle

    I am a UND fan, however I will be rooting for Western in my heart.

  • EngineerHockey

    THAT is what college sports is all about! From an RPI and college hockey fan I say well done Broncos. That was truly amazing!

  • M.E.

    I just don’t think I can truly express my admiration for the Broncos hockey team for this heroic display of compassion. As a lifelong college hockey fan these young men displayed true heart. They have shown the real colors of what it is to be a collegiate athlete, and how to be true role models for the young kids that idolize them. My hats of to you Western Michigan….again and again.

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