European trips give teams an early start

Hidden among the typical summertime news, we’ve actually had actual college hockey teams playing actual hockey games.

Dartmouth and Quinnipiac have both taken advantage of an NCAA rule that allows teams to make a trip to play foreign competition once every four years.

Quinnipiac went to Italy and Switzerland earlier this month for four games against European pro competition, and Dartmouth is in the middle of a trip to the same two countries for three games.

Read up on Dartmouth’s trip here and see how Quinnipiac’s excursion went here.

NCAA rules allow for such trips once every four years during a vacation period for the school. Incoming freshmen aren’t allowed, and the team is limited to 10 games, none against other American teams.

The team gets 10 days of practice before the trip, and don’t think that isn’t a valuable early start to the season.

UPDATE: Adrian coach Ron Fogarty got in touch to mention that the Bulldogs also toured Italy and Switzerland this summer. Read about that on Adrian’s site here.


  1. It’s nice that you recognize what we are saying. Regardless if what we say is right or wrong it’s nice to get acknowledged so thanks for that. 

  2. As an easterner, I just want to interject and say that I’m fine with a westerner winning the award this year.  This year the best player in the East is Kreider but he doesn’t have the numbers.  Same with Dumoulin – hands down the best defenseman in the East.  Both phenomenal talents and they look great when you watch them.  Don’t be fooled by Spencer Abbott.  Not Hobey material.  Good player having a great season but he won’t blow anyone away.  No goalies out East really stick out either, especially in HE where the level of competition is high.  This kid in the ECAC has eleven billion goals but the ECAC is borderline DIII. 

    Is it time maybe we actually give it to the best player and not the guy with the most goals/points.  People are such stuck on the numbers end of the argument it is just getting ridiculous.

    • How is Abbott not a legitimate candidate? The kid took his game to a whole other level this season. The Black Bears needed people to step up and fill voids left by last year’s Seniors and Gustav Nyquist and Abbott (along with Flynn, Diamond, and Mangene) have been a major reason why Maine has had the season they have had and are back in the National picture. 

      • gosh now only if Abbott did that for 4 straight years like Jack Connolly did then he might have a chance…..Jack is at 191 points. This is his second straight 50+ point year. Come on man pull your ” East Coast Biased” head out.

    • Ur dumb Abbott is def top candidate been leadin league for a while and taking Maine to the tourney after loosing Gus. KReider is good but not hobby material this year, Abbotts put up mad points and set lots of achievments this year, like turning around a team ppl wrote off after winning 3 og the first 11. The Maine reason was Abbott.

  3. Poker Face should wake up and smell the coffee. The Union goalie – I think it’s Troy Grosenick – is only leading the country in GAA – something like 1.52. He is far and away the best and deserving of Hobey mention. And this is coming from an arch enemy who would like to see Austin Smith win the award.

  4. I also wanted to say thanks for listening. Whether we were all wrong or right, it was nice of you to listen and acknowledge our comments. 

      • Hahahaha, weak league???? You fricken crack me up. That is the exact equivalent to calling the SEC weak in football. Get a clue pal.

      • Gotta be the dumbest statement ever made on this site…  Ill take any WCHA team and plug them into any other conference around, and bet my lif savings they finifh in at least the top half of that conference.

  5. Look at JCon’s entire career as well as this season. Looking at the big picture he wins. With his scoring and leadership he has taken a Bulldog team way beyond expectations this season. GO JACK!

  6. jack connolly deserves this. leadership like said before, and he proved to everyone he can be a top player even when he lost both of his linemates.

  7. Kent Patterson? WHO? who does he play for? Kenny Reiter from UMD has a better chance of winning it than Patterson does. I mean Reiter has 5 points this year….as a GOALIE. He has more points than 10 players on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMTC) squad…..But with that aside UMD’s Jack Connolly will win HANDS DOWN. Nobody else in the country even has a remotely close chance of winning. Wooo, Abbott puts up 4 points against North Dakota in a weekend. While Jack on the other hand puts up 6 in a weekend against North Dakota…Oh yea and (5) in Saturdays game. All the East Cost people can shut up. Not a chance…. Jack Connolly will be UMD’s nation leading fifth Hobey Baker Award Winner come season end.

    •  I didn’t know Abbott vs JC came down to a ND Series lol, checkout Abbotts series last year vs them.  5 points is a solid game even thou ND spent most the game in the box, thats a huge help….

      For this season Abbott has a better story, bringing a team who won only 3 games out of the first 11, back to make the tournament(first time since 07), something that was never done with Nyquist.  Also to be leading the nation on a team that wasn;t ranked number 1 all year is a big thing as well.

  8. who is this idiot Olshansky??  a native of Minnesota?  when it comes to puck, all leagues are ignored except WCHA and Hockey East.  we’ll see who comes out on top …
    and people… READ the definitions pertaining to Hobey. its not all about scoring in an easy conference

  9. Bjustad is the best canidate just look at the teams success if Bjustad scores the gophers usually win. So if Bjustad doesnt come to play so do the gophers! Look out fo the Gophers in the NCAA we will be in the frozen four and make it to the title game

  10. Good article, Elliot. We have had our differences on past boards but I wholeheartedly agree with your position here.

  11. A fact noone considers, Colgate has one scoring line, Smith has two people on him at all times. He still does it !  Also, less than %25 of his points are on the PP,  the other candidates are over %50 points on the PP.   And, he has the lead in “shorties”.

  12. lets not forget that scholastic achievement is supposed to be considered to, cant wait for all the ECAC haters to find a flaw with that part of the ECAC too.

  13. I think it’s crazy that he can say Jack is automatically going to be in when Abbott is having a better season on a weaker team.  Maine had the 16th hardest schedule, Colgate 38(i think) and UMD(35)  On top of that Maine has 1 line, so for Abbott to put up those points, when teams know if they shut down the first line they are more then likely going to win.  If anyone should be in the Hat trick it’s Abbott.

    Abbott should be getting a lot more credit then he is.

    • Who is on Abbott’s line?  I am assuming Flynn is on it, (I haven’t seen Maine play this year).

      Jack has played with Siedel all year (26 points) and Basaraba most of the year (14 points)  he has played the last three weekends with Flaherty instead of Basaraba (Flaherty 10 points).  Connolly has played on a line with Brown and Oleksuk for only 3 games all year. 

      I think its a sealed deal that Connolly and Abbott are in the hat trick, both have had great season and great careers. I’m going to have to go with Connolly, he has had a better career and done it in a deeper conference.  Take this for whatever you want, I’ve had two transfers from HE to WCHA tell me this year that the jump was easier to make than moving from NAHL to HE. 

  14. Man, this is a pretty tough dilemma in terms of Smith vs. Connelly.  I think it’s pretty clear that Connelly plays in the conference with better teams, but at the same time he also plays on a line that makes up the top three scorers in the WCHA, so how much of his numbers are a byproduct of that? A previous poster commented on goal-assist ratio and how Connelly has many more assists than goals, which demonstrates that he’s the better player.  If Smith had JT Brown and Travis Oleksuk on his line, he’d probably have more assists too I think.  

    Overall, I think Smith deserves a spot in the Hobey Hat Trick, but his chances of winning are pretty slim in my opinion.  Connelly’s chances are much greater, but he might lose some votes because he plays on such an explosive line, which may open the way for Abbott or whoever else is in the final three.  Who knows? Either way, it seems to be shaping up to be one of the more intriguing Hobey races in recent memory because there’s no clear front runner. 

    •  Your forgetting Abbott, who has more points then Both, plays on a weaker team than Connelly, had a much harder schedule than both, had taken his team from 3 wins in first 11 to more than likely making the tourny (Connelly team would of made it without him)

      Abbott deserves it this year.

  15. You are really hooked on Connolly, you have almost guaranteed he is going to win it. Spender goes against the best competition in college hockey every weekend, and he still leads the nation in scoring! Not considering he has lead a umaine team that everyone picked to finish 8th in hockey east to a possible home ice quarterfinal, plus nobody picked them to be in the NCAA tourney!! And yet look where they sit!! Correct me if I’m wrong but that right there sums up what the honey baker award is a leader, the best player, great student-athlete, and teammate!

    • One thing that could hurt Abbott is that he has racked up 28.6% of his points in two weekends, playing Vermont and Alabama Huntsville.  Connolly’s biggest weekend was 6 points vs North Dakota.  Connolly has been held scoreless in just 4 games this year, Abbott in 7.  

    • Yes, let’s just hand the NCAA tournament finals to the WCHA and CCHA. In fact, let’s just skip the whole season altogether and just play one big game with the team everyone likes best from these two leagues. We all know that one of them will eventually win it every time, right?

      Sometimes I really wonder if people entirely miss the point of competitive athletics…

    • How many frozen fours have those teams made in the past 5 years? None. Last appearance by an ECAC team was 2003 with Cornell. Compare that to Hockey East, WCHA, and CCHA who all pretty much have at least 1 team in it every year.

  16. Smitty played injured last season after hip surgery. He also had his other hip operated on during the past off-season. This explains the dip in numbers for his junior year. Taking away those injuries one can extrapolate he would have had 20-25 goals and maybe near 45-50 pts last campaign. Just sayin’…

  17. Pairwise Rankings:
    8 teams from the WCHA (4 with a winning % of .500 or above against teams under consideration)
    5 teams from the ECAC (2 with a winning % of .500 or above against teams under consideration)

    -WCHA is a much more competitve league, ECAC had 7 teams that didnt hit 10 confrence wins, compared to only 2 in the WCHA

    -Colgate was 4-7-2 against teams under consideration. The best players perform and win in big games. That includes leading your team to the post season.

    -In my opinion I would say it goes WCHA, Hockey East (to top heavy), ECAC.
    Connolly plays touger competion every night! and after the first round of public voting I would say Connolly and Abbott are locks for the top 3

  18. From the top down, Hockey East is the most competitive league in the country and Abbott has thrived in it. Abbott hands down.


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