Players of the Week*
*These are my selections; ECAC Hockey’s can be found here.
Player of the Week: Chase Polacek, Rensselaer
Everyone knows Polacek by now… even, at this point, Hockey East. The senior sniper scored the game-tying goal at Northeastern Friday night, then planted the game-winner the following evening against Bentley… before assisting on each of RPI’s other two goals, of course. Both goals were of the power-play variety, keeping the Engineers’ advantage running hot.
Honorable mention: Jeremy Welsh, Union (two PPG’s, one assist at Alaska and Alaska-Anchorage)
Rookie of the Week: Mat Bodie, Union
The freshman defenseman out of East St. Paul, Manitoba, notched two power-play assists up in Alaska this weekend, and narrowly beat out classmate Josh Jooris for this honor by virtue of a -1 rating for the weekend (compared to Jooris’ -2). It’s not about to warrant Hobey hype in the near future, but Mat Bodie – not to be confused with sophomore forward and brother Kyle Bodie – has accumulated three points in four games to open his collegiate career.
Honorable mention: Jooris (two assists)
Goalie of the Week: Paul Karpowich, Clarkson
The third-year backstop saved 52 of 54 Bowling Green shots last weekend, but had only a split to show for his efforts. Karpowich stopped all 16 third-period shots on Friday in a 31-save shutout, and was indeed his team’s best penalty-killer, holding BGSU scoreless on seven man-advantages over the weekend.
Honorable mention: Keith Kinkaid, Union (56 saves on 61 shots in Alaska);
Allen York, Rensselaer (49 saves on 51 shots vs. Northeastern, Bentley; shut out the latter)
Brown lightens up
It’s been a simmering pet peeve of mine over the last few seasons, one with which the more loyal of you will be all too aware: the Brown Bears’ black pants and helmets, contrasting their brown sweaters in such a fashion faux-pas.
“When I first got here, I thought they were, like, practice pants or something,” said second-year Bruno bench boss Brendan Whittet.
Well, bid those aesthetic abortions adieu, and praise be to Saint Louis (the patron saint of haberdashers!): Brown is back in style.
For those who can recall that far back, these new duds might look a bit familiar. That is because Whittet & Co. wanted to recall the Brown look of the 1960’s and 70’s, replete with red striping, block script, and not a dash of black to be found. My only concern will be for the fate of Brown’s last road jerseys… cliched though they may have been, I really liked the script.
My Top 20
Last week’s response has led me to explain myself a bit.
First, there are obviously a number of different philosophies behind a ranking:
A) Rank by who you think would beat whom right now,
B) …or by who you think will ultimately be the best, based on results to date,
C) …or who has had the most successful campaign so far,
D) …or who is most “impressive” at this moment.
There’s a lot of overlap between the theories, and I’m sure there are other approaches out there as well. Personally, I’m a proponent of C, with a touch of D. To illustrate, I ranked Nebraska-Omaha (4-0-0) second this week because they swept Minnesota (whom I had ranked ninth last week) on the road, and are undefeated against reasonably challenging opposition (Clarkson, Rochester Institute of Technology). That said, Robert Morris (4-0-0) isn’t ranked (yet) because they’ve only defeated American International (0-3-0), Ohio State (1-2-0) and Air Force (0-3-0). Have the Colonials had a more impressive start than 20th-ranked Western Michigan (3-1-0), No. 16 Union (3-1-0) or No. 13 Denver (1-2-1)? Who’s to say? Oh, that’s right: me, at least as far as this blog and my ballot are concerned.
1. Boston College
4. New Hampshire
5. Boston University
7. North Dakota
9. Colorado College
10. Michigan Tech
17. Notre Dame
19. Michigan State
20. Western Michigan