Cup? What Cup?

The New Year’s Edition of three things I learned from Atlantic Hockey play this weekend:

There is no Catamount Cup. A tournament yes, a trophy…

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Rochester Institute of Technology knocked off a pair of ranked teams at the Catamount Cup (the tournament). The Tigers defeated No. 11 Ferris State 3-0 on Thursday and then bested No. 16 Lake Superior State 3-1 to win the Cup (the tournament). RIT defenseman Chris Saracino was named the MVP with a goal and two assists. Shane Madolora recorded his eighth career shutout, extending what is already a school record in its Division I era. Sophomore Josh Watson won the second game, his first NCAA victory.

Three out of ten ain’t bad. The league was just 13-46-8 in non-conference play going into this week, so going 3-7 improved Atlantic Hockey’s winning percentage. All three wins came against ranked teams, with RIT winning the aforementioned pair, and Air Force defeating cross-town rival Colorado College 2-1. Connecticut and Robert Morris also played well against ranked opponents but ultimately come up short with the Colonials falling to Ohio State 4-2 with an empty-net goal and the Huskies dropping the championship game of their tournament 3-2 in overtime.

Highs and lows come be extreme in a 24 hour period. On Friday night, Air Force won for the first time at the Colorado Springs World Arena, defeating fifth-ranked Colorado College 2-1. But the following evening in front of 2,812 fans at Cadet Arena, Air Force was thumped by No. 15 Denver 7-1. “Last night we showed what we are capable of and tonight showed that we still have some work to do,” said Air Force coach Frank Serratore.


Getting my vote:

Here’s my ballot for this week’s Poll:

1. Minnesota-Duluth
2. Ohio State
3. Notre Dame
4. Minnesota
5. Boston College
6. Merrimack
7. Colorado College
8. Colgate
9. Western Michigan
10. Boston University
11. Denver
12. Mass-Lowell
13. Union
14. Ferris State
15. North Dakota
16. Michigan
17. Yale
18. Lake Superior
19. Michigan State
20. Air Force


  1. Wisco’s streak with Johnson behind the bench is actually at 27-0 against non-WCHA teams.  Not sure how you are getting to 82-0.

    • I got to 82-0 by counting all games for UW + Mark Johnson versus everybody but UMD and Minnesota. Thus, games with Bemidji State, Minnesota State, North Dakota, Ohio State, and St. Cloud State were counted.

  2. Come on, man.  Air Force gets thumped by DU, while RIT beats Ferris and LSSU, and Air Force still gets your twenty slot?

    Powers  &8^]

      • You know Air force has a history of choking in OT in the NCAA Regionals right?  Plus their players won’t see a lick of NHL or AHL ice.

        • That’s not because they are bad players or incapable of playing at those levels. It’s because they are choosing to go fight and possibly lose their lives in defense of their country. 

        • losing to top seeded yale last year in OT was a choke? air force dominated that game. they were the better team. Yale won on a soft goal that took a weird bounce off of Torf. Unless you were there, like i was two rows off the ice, then you dont have a clue.

      • Air Force also is ranked higher in the RPI and Krach.  The only thing RIT has over Air Force is that the Tigers won their only meeting to date. 

  3. Where’s Cornell? You have AF ranked and don’t even have one most well balanced teams on there. Typical homer. 

  4. Moving the tournament to Chicago without an Illinois based B10 hockey program would not improve the tournament attendance over Detroit. The MSU-UM game at the Joe in January sold out. A week later, at the Hockey City classic, not many people. And having the tournament locked in St. Paul would just alienate everyone outside of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    I think it’s an issue that came up with the post CCHA world and the deregionalization of college hockey. Yeah, the CCHA and old WCHA are gone, but in those days the conferences and their tournaments rotated around the states of Michigan and Minnesota, so you could have 3 of 4 finalists from the home state play right down the road. Fans from NoDak, Wisconsin, BG or ND were also well within driving distance of the tourney sites as well. For the Joe, there’s only two teams within that distance (same I think for St. Paul).

    I don’t have a solution. The B10 should cultivate more of its members to get Hockey teams, but that takes time and money. It would bolster fans in the Midwest footprint, though. And jumping on teams like ASU just because is rather short sighted in my opinion.

    Oh. And having games at 4:00 on Thursdays might not be the most optimal time to have good attendance.

      • I understand due to the timing constraints of the tournaments. However, I still doubt that people in Ohio or Pennsylvania or, heck, Michigan are able to make that time on a weekday. I don’t know if they can move the games up or have a series the weekend before, but I don’t think the time is a helping factor for attendance.

  5. It really is all about proximity. Look at the the old WCHA and CCHA, but the WCHA in particular. Usually at least 4 of the final five were within 4-5 hours to drive and 3 were probably within a 2-3 hour drive from the Xcel Center or minor variations of that. College hockey doesn’t have legions of casual fans who will just stop by the arena if you stick it in Chicago or Milwaukee. Yes, Big Ten suckage didn’t help, but the general loss of decades old rivalries has alot to do with it too. The players didn’t grow up playing each other and the fan bases didn’t keep track of the recruiting. there’s just no “juice” in the new conferences (yet).

    I’d pay more to see Minnesota play NoDak or UMD in a conference tourney, but I still can’t get amped up about Michigan or Michigan State and I sure wouldn’t drive 10 hours or spend $300 on a plane ticket + hotel + game tickets to see us play Ohio State and Michigan when I have 50 inch HDTV.

    • Bill Morris, TV is killing College Hockey and Lacrosse attendance – your words, not mine. Perhaps it is growing the sports? Just a theory???

      • While tv CAN affect attendance somewhat, it can also help in-person attendance, too, as folks who might never go to a game can be exposed to it and get interested in buying tickets.
        TV helps grow the sport. ESPN and BTN do a very nice job.

  6. Minnesota should move to the Big 12 so we can move into the NCHC. The B1G is migrating East. They don’t want us and we would be in the same competitive position in the Big 12 as we are in the B1G.
    I don’t hate Wisconsin because we only beat them in hockey and I could still hate Iowa (State).
    It’s time for a change. I want to see us wrestle against Oklahoma, play basketball against Kansas, and try to run with Baylor’s offense and we could get back the buzz in our third revenue generating sport.

    • Yeah, I’m sure that Minnesota is just going to get up and leave the Big10 over ice hockey. The school makes WAY too much $ from the Big10 ($23million from BTN tv alone)
      Where do you get the idea that the Big10 does not want your school ? I have NEVER heard that from ANYONE.
      Minnesota is an integral part of the league and has good teams in many sports. We at PSU really LOVE the idea of playing you guys in hockey. It was a real blast to see the Gophers and the Nittany Lions play the 2 games in State College this year in-person. Tremendous to see your fans, listen to them cheer and talk with them in-person; good, knowledgeable folks and fun to sit with. Great hockey and great people.
      And, if you want to wrestle Oklahoma , I imagine that you’re tired of wrestling in the best conference in the country (PSU won 4 of the last 5 National Championships and Iowa is, well, Iowa), play Kansas in basketball (like Wisconsin and Michigan State aren’t any good) and Baylor in football (tired of playing and National Champ Ohio State ?). You can schedule the Big12 schools as non-conference games. As far as hockey goes, you can still have SIXTEEN non-conference games; you could schedule a bunch of NCHC games. What’s the problem ?
      No school will bolt the Big10 over ice hockey. It would amount to financial stupidity.

      • Calling it ‘Ice Hockey’ indicates a fundamental cultural difference between our states that is a huge part of the reason that I want us in the NCHC.

        • So, there is a “fundamental difference” between our states (PA and MN)? Because I called it “ice hockey” vs “hockey” ? Yeah, I guess I’m with the great unwashed that has to sit in awe of the Big10 powers and stay on the sidelines while the big boys play.
          Your state and mine are quite similar actually. We both hate losing, and we both like ice hockey (excuse me, make that “hockey”).
          Besides, here in PA, there IS another form of “hockey”, called “field hockey”, which is also a Big10 sport; I personally don’t care about it, but it’s there.
          The more the newcomers to hockey are frowned upon and discouraged, the less the sport will grow. And, when is one no longer considered to be “new” to the sport ? Pennsylvania has had two NHL teams since the 60’s, AHL since the early 40’s, and now has three NCAA division 1 teams. Plus ECHL, USHL, NAHL. High school hockey is exploding in the number of teams, ect. I know that our hockey culture/history does not match Minnesota, of course, but we play it, too, and we also buy lots of tickets (except to the Big10 tournament-lol).

  7. No one ever wants to go to Detroit, new stadium or not. The tournament should be played at the universities and only Ann Arbor, Madison, or the Twin Cities at this point. These are the only places that will draw crowds locally…maybe not even Madison come to think of it…OK, Ann Arbor and the Twin Cities. The other schools are not in hockey-knowledgeable areas where people just go to game because it’s hockey.

    • Mike, you are an idiot. You sound in now but where have you been all year? Did this problem just arise? No Madison, no East Lansing or no State College? OSU has the best facility but is the only justification of your argument. Do your homework before you sound in young man.

  8. It was cheaper to fly to Tampa than Detroit (from MSP) last weekend for the Big 10 Tournament. Don’t get me wrong, Detroit is the winter tourism capital of the world, but I chose Tampa for $100 less.


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