Three Things: November 23, 2014

Three things from the weekend in Atlantic Hockey:

What a difference day makes

Friday’s action saw some dramatic results, including a 7-0 thumping delivered by Denver over Air Force, a convincing 5-1 win by Rochester Institute of Technology over Sacred Heart, and a wild 5-5 tie between Robert Morris and American International that saw the Colonials erase three deficits to earn a point.

Saturday was a different story. Air Force rebounded to defeat Colorado College 3-1 to claim the Pikes Peak Trophy and local bragging rights in Colorado Springs.

“We played a much better game tonight and our puck management was better,” said Falcons coach Frank Serratore after the game. “This was a huge win for our guys, for our fans and for our self-esteem.”

At AIC, Robert Morris looked more like a ranked team with a 6-0 win over the Yellow Jackets. David Friedmann had a hat-trick for the Colonials and goaltender Terry Shafer recorded his fourth career shutout.

Sacred Heart gained a split with RIT with a 2-1 win on Saturday. This…


Having their number

…win by the Pioneers snapped a 10 game winless streak for Sacred Heart over RIT. The Tigers were 9-0-1 in their last ten meetings with Sacred Heart dating back to 2010.

While SHU was able to end a frustrating streak, it was more of the same for Bentley, which was defeated by Harvard for the third year in a row. Each time, Bentley fans came out in droves to Bright Hockey Center only to see their Falcons denied. In 2012, Harvard won 5-0. Last season, it was 3-0 for the Crimson. This time around, a 5-1 win.

On an individual level, Canisius junior forward Ralph Cuddemi had a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-3 tie with Mercyhurst. Culdemi has 11 points including eight goals in nine career games against the Lakers. One third of his collegiate goals have come against Mercyhurst.


The Difference

How weird are the Atlantic Hockey standings right now?

Robert Morris continues to have a fairly large lead – currently five points separate the Colonials from second-place Holy Cross and Sacred Heart.

But less than that, just four points, separate second place from last.


  1. What about brian Flynn? Hereally should be considered in the top 10 he only centers the line of Abbott, and diamond. The three of them are all in the top 12 in scoring in te country. He is the co- captain of a team nobody thought would be here. He is the center of the best power play unit in college hockey! And he himself has 46 points. I think this top ten is really good. I’m just wondering why Flynn isn’t in consideration?? It’s amazing that six of the top 12 scores in the country are from umaine ( Abbott, Flynn, diamond) and from umd (Connolly, OleKsuk, Brown) what a great year by those six guys!

    • I agree with you in a way, but I think Diamond should be another finalist….4th in goals in the nation….the little ball of hate in college hockey…..but no reason I feel Abbott should be in the top 3! Go Black Beras!

      • It will be a bit of a shock if Flynn or Diamond make the final ten. When a player has a line mate that is first in the nation in scoring and his numbers magically double his performance is in some ways attributed to the attention his line mate draws. As soon as Nyquist left Diamond is plopped on a line with Abbott and Flynn and his point totals went from 21 last year to 44 so far this season, plus the fighting and stupid penalties Diamond takes hurt his team — character and sportsmanship are part of the Hobey Award criteria. Flynn most likely deserves to be there but not being the best player on his own line as well as Abbott’s surge as team leader in terms of scoring may end up costing him a spot.

    • If you think Flynn should be there, then Wagner from Colgate needs to be there.  The argument for him is much better than Flynn’s.  He has 50 points, his plus minus is better and only one of his line mates is in the top 50 in scoring.  Plays all situations with Smith, especially short handed.  Further 80% of the points he and Smith pick up are on even strength situations. 

    •  but he has Shaun Hunwick listed…..what a joke.  West of the Mississippi means that you are legit.   Would be nice to see an un-eastern slant in this blog once in awhile, how about one person from the east and one from the west at least that way there would be someone that actually saw games in the west played rather than commenting based on media buzz rather than actual play!

      • Have you ever noticed how the people that scream of bias are usually the ones that are in fact the most biassed themselves? Four, count ’em, FOUR WCHA players out of 10! With two each from three other conferences. Michigan isn’t exactly in the east either. Mr. Olshansky obviously needs to edit this article to only include WCHA players so that the article can be completely unbiassed.

  2. Please draw me a picture of Abbott for the hat trick.  I would really enjoy it.  

    As I’ve posted earlier in a blog about Connolly… 

    Connolly against TUC 32 pt in 18 games = 1.78 ppgAbbott against TUC 27 pts in 23 games = 1.17 ppg Smith against TUC 26 pts in 18 games = 1.44 ppAnd don’t bother firing back with SOS, against TUC the weighted average for the rank of team played is almost identical.  Smith is about 15.4, then Abbott, then Connolly at about 17.2. 

    • Karl,

      If you still need a picture painted as to why Abbott will be in the final three Hobey spots then you don’t know a whole lot about hockey, period.

        • If you mean where he scores more points than anyone in the nation, playing in one of the two toughest conferences (not willing to say either the HEC or the WCHA is “better” than there other) in the nation then that is exactly what I am talking about. Nice try to downplay what he has done, though. 

          • if you look at the stats he has been only average against the tough teams in his conference. Stop assuming that since he has a ton of points he’s automatically #1. If you have a player who gets a lot of points against bad teams and a few against great teams compared to a player who scores against teams whether they are great or bad I’d take the second player, aka Connolly.

          • First of all, don’t assume I want Abbott to win it. When you put up 36 goals — 5 of which were GW’s and 6 of which were SH’s — the numbers speak for themselves. If the numbers don’t speak for his talent then the attention he is getting from pro scouts should. The he I speak of is Smith, and him winning is the best story, in my opinion. But if we’re talking Abbott vs. Connolly and we’re only looking at how players played against the “tough teams” at the top of each conference then don’t just assume the top of each looks the same.

            Connolly scored 15 points and played played 8 games against the top five teams in his conference, while Abbott tallied 12 in 15 games. Connolly has a higher stat total there, you act like I denied this at some point. BUT, Connolly only played 8 games against the tough teams in his conference and Abbott played 15??

            The top four teams in Hockey East are amongst the top ten of the PWR, and the top two teams in the HEC are in the top five — including BC at number one. Minnesota, the top seed in the WCHA, is eighth, and Minnesota-Duluth wraps up WCHA teams in the top ten at second. The top five teams in the HEC are in the top 20 of the PWR, fifth seeded Colorado College just narrowly misses the top 20, tied at 22 in the PWR with Harvard — what conference do they play in again? Simply looking at the “tough teams” at the top of each conference, in my opinion, Hockey East is the toughest in the nation, and Abbott plays tougher competition more frequently as teams play each other three times in the HEC. Maine also played Merrimack in the first round of the playoffs and just so happened to advance on a 2-1 win propelled by Abbott’s goal and assist. Shouldn’t Connolly have “feasted” on 12-24-2 Minnesota State? Abbott played tougher competition more often and scored a few less points and beat up on the teams he was supposed to score a ton on. Connolly played fewer games against tougher competition, and tallied 8 of his 15 points against “tough teams” in two games against North Dakota and Colorado College.

            Aka, replace seven of Connolly’s games against any of the WCHA teams below fifth place — St. Cloud St., Nebraska-Omaha, Michigan Tech, Bemidji St., Wisconsin, Minnesota St., or Alaska Anchorage — and replace that game with a “tough team” from the top five and that is what Abbott’s faced….better yet, replace that game with a team as good as B.C., B.U., UML, or Merrimack, and let’s see what Connolly’s over all stat line over the season looks like.

            Once again, just in my opinion, I think the Hobey Baker is about the overall body of work this season, and I prefer Abbott over Connolly, but secretly im routing for Smith. And in reality all of our opinions don’t mean a damn thing, and I’l be the first to admit that.

          • ok I’m going to stop you at where you brought up the points vs how many games. You would rather have a guy who played more games but yet got less points than someone who played in 7 less games yet totaled more points? That argument is awful, I don’t care how many games he played against tough opponents, what matters is how they play against the tough opponents. You just very clearly defined my point, Connolly has a ppg at almost 1.5, Abbott has a ppg at around .75. When dealing with ppg you automatically through out number of games as meaningless. Drop that argument you are making yourself look like a fool.

            Secondly, North Dakota and CC would probably be battling each other for first in the ECAC if they were in that league, as CC beat Union earlier in the year. So idk what the sarcastic quotation marks around tough really meant but the WCHA is the best conference top to bottom. Yes HE might have more in the top ten but once you get past those 4-5 teams you take a nosedive. We don’t take any game for granted and we can’t take nights off or else the cellar dwellars make you pay.

          • Did you read the entirety of what I wrote or are you still assuming I’m related to Abbott? I just wrote that I have been more than aware of the point you are making above. Funny how I’m a fool when I disagree with you Jason, and I can already see your bias oozing out as you refer to the WCHA as “WE”. Which team are you on? Or are you a coach in the WCHA? What does top to bottom as a whole have to do with your previous point in which I was responding to about how each player plays against the top of each conference solely? If we’re discussing how each team plays against the top, then the amount of games played against that top competition counts for something. And my counter to your point which said look at how they played against the top is to point out that Abbott played tougher teams more often, and Connolly’s average against the top teams being higher is the result of two, really maybe one, games. And UNH beat Union this year too, so I guess they would be competing for the top of the ECAC as well, heck, UNH finished sixth in Hockey East? Must be a deep conference.

          • Connolly might play better against the better teams(at least according to point production) because Maine essentially only has one great line that teams can gear up against. UMD has a more balanced all around team which makes teams have to defend more players/lines likewise giving Connolly more opportunities to be a point producer. Abbott becomes more of a decoy while Connolly has JT and Travis(on a different line) to take care of that for him. Don’t forget that Connolly is a second liner – playing against other teams second lines. Abbott’s line always gets the opposing team’s best shot, where as Connolly’s doesn’t.

      • I’m just trying to get you all riled up.  I’ve posted earlier that I hope Abbott finishes second to Connolly.   I have not seen a legitimate argument as to why Abbott should win the Hobey over Connolly, and that was my reason for posting a jab to a good player here.

        The facts are Abbott has feasted on weak opponents and only been a good player vs strong opponents.  He has 3 more points but he also put up 28.6% of his points in two weekends against Vermont and Huntsville.  Abbott has been held scoreless in 10 games compared to Connolly’s 5.  And Abbott’s points against TUC is what you expect out of a good first line player, but not a Hobey winner.   If you want to scream the SOS why don’t you take a look at the average TUC opponent’s rank played for both players.  Abbott’s average opponent considered a TUC is ranked 16.6 on the PWR as it stands today, where as Connolly’s is 17.6.  This is not statistically significant, however the PPG for each player vs TUC is.  Connolly has been more consistent and has out performed Abbott against good teams.

        I’d rather not get into the character or leadership issue.  As far as I’ve heard Abbott is a stand up kid and a good leader.  He does wear an A instead of a C though…

        And as to questioning my hockey knowledge, come on man.  You have been posting garbage in the all the same Hobey threads that I have been bringing actual stats to. Come up with a legitimate argument before you insult someone’s hockey knowledge. I can assure you that unless you are a D-1 player or coach you have not spent the same amount of time around the game in the last 4 years as I have. 

        • Karl, 

          Who is riled? I — having some fun as well — take a one line jab in return to your jab, and you write a novela of a response claiming I insulted you? I never directly questioned your knowledge considering I sure felt like I implied that if you can’t see why he is one of the top three then you’re a maroon. And as far as time around the game, if that is the route you want to take, I guarantee you that you haven’t spent more time around the game over the last 20 years, chief. As for your actual stats, more than one person had to correct your flawed mathematics last weekend, so I’d rather not get into a conversation about you “bringing actual stats” to threads. Either way, lighten up, dude.

        • Random side note, I don’t recall ever questioning the leadership and character of either Connolly or Abbott, so I’m not sure why this came into question? I brought it up in regards to a comment about Joey Diamond as a top ten candidate for obvious reasons, but never Abbott of Connolly.

        • I like your post – and would love to see Jack win the Hobey.  But, I fear that it is his to loose right now.  He’s slowed as of late (although anything is slow by comparison to the pace he was on during the season).  A good strong finish with some points in the playoffs and a deep push into the post season should all but secure the Hobey for him.

          Also – people need to remember that the Hobey is awarded to somebody who is a great player on and off the ice.  While I admittedly don’t know much about how the other players conduct themselves off the ice, I can say that Jack Connelly is the epitome of a role model both on and off the ice.

  3. So you totally downgrade the Bjugstad selection despite his numbers and the fact that he is a dominate player on the ice, but then you include Schultz who is granted a very high scoring d-man on a low scoring team, but really should a d-man be based on his defensive prowess?  Also you disregard your own rule about being on a losing team.  I would say that he is an excellent offensive d-man that has benefited a great deal from a lot of buzz from the media.  The fact that you mention or include Drew Shore and Jaden Schwartz shows that you don’t watch much WCHA hockey, because they are invisible on the ice more often than not.

  4. Spencer Abbott is NOT the nation’s leading scorer… its unfortunate Maine is in such a weak league this year allowing an average player to score.  But Hobey is NOT about just scoring… review the full content regarding qualifications to awarding such honor

    AND Colgate pounded Vermont… so what does that mean in your analogy?

    • you dont know anything about hockey east then. cause 3 different teams from that confrence has been ranked number 1 this year 4 teams have been in the top 10 most of the year and the lower class teams such as providence, vermont, and northeastern have all beaten really good teams. Vermont beat minnesota twice. providence took 2 out of 3 in the playoffs last weekend from umass lowell who was a top 6 team. and northeastern had a great first half of hockey but slipped down the strecth. You really should look at facts and learn more before you make such an obscure statement. sorry to be a little harsh but you really have no clue of what you are talking about.

      • and also about the other qualifications. he is a 3.5 gpa student. assitant captain, and until this past weekend had only 13 penalty minutes all year. he defines what the hobey baker award means. He is a leader, he is the national points leader, he is an assistant captain, and he is an excellent student. that just about sums up the hobey baker award qualifications.

  5. Wow, that’s a lot of bickering.  Is it impossible to have a reasonable debate without antagonizing one another?  More likely than not, we (collectively, as amateur collegiate ice hockey fans) aren’t able to see a quality sample size of action from every player in every conference.  Naturally, we will tend to show favoritism and bias toward players or conferences we are more familiar with.  We’re also sharing opinions – often we will pick and choose statistics to support our opinion.  Supporting one player doesn’t have to come at the expense of another.  The same thing goes for conference.  And for individual opinions.  None of us are as smart as we think we are, and no one is a dumb as we will attempt to make them sound.

    Here’s my two cents: The ECAC will never get as much respect as the WCHA, CCHA or HEC until they consistently put teams in the Frozen Four or a member school wins the National Championship (or the Hobey Baker).  Seven schools in the nation traditionally are a cut above the rest: Wisconsin, BC, BU, Michigan, North Dakota, Michigan State and Minnesota.  Outside this elite group, teams within each conference are relatively close in talent and ability, varying slightly from year to year.  The seven schools I listed above are the only schools to have double digit player representatives currently skating in the NHL (W-18, BC-17, MI-17, BU-15, ND-12, MS-11, MN-11).  Withstanding those seven, schools like Clarkson, Dartmouth, Princeton and Harvard are right there, or surpass, schools such as Maine, Ohio State and Denver as far as player reps in the NHL.  So while the ECAC hasn’t been awarded the Hobey since 1989, there is still a lot of high end talent coming out of these programs.  It would be foolish to ignore talent based on the perception of a “mediocre” conference – NHL scouts apparently don’t.  While the ECAC hasn’t been able to consistently elevate a program to the top of collegiate ice hockey, it’s tough to argue the ECAC isn’t a competitive conference.

    That doesn’t mean I believe Austin Smith will win the Hobey.  Centers are more likely to win the Hobey than wings.  Since 1990, only one right wing has one the award.  It seems unlikely Smith will break both the conference and positional droughts of the ECAC and RWs.  It doesn’t bode well that he is both of these things.  Empirical evidence would give the edge to a three zone center like Connolly over Smith, Smith or Abbott.

  6. Wow, just to hear Shawn Hunwick’s name mentioned as a Top 10 Finalist is amazing.  The “Little Goalie that Could” took a team 2 years ago who needed to win the CCHA tourney, just to make the NCAA Tourney and made that run, then he led a mediocre bunch to the Final Game last year, and now has leads another UM team that isn’t the strongest in recent memory, but has them poised for a #1 seed in the NCAA tourney and a shot at the CCHA Championship tomorrow night.  All for a kid who was a third string practice goalie, 5’6″.  Just a great story.  He isn’t going to win the Hobey by any stretch, and will be playing hockey in beer leagues vs. the NHL in the future, but he has cemented himself in the hearts and minds of a lot of UM Hockey fans, and a great tribute would be to see him in the Hobey Final 10.  Nice selection.

    •  My wife made a great analogy and called Hunwick, UM’s “Rudy”.  I hate Rudy being a UM fan, but you can’t deny loving a story about an underdog little guy who makes the most of what God gave him…

  7. I wanna say it was back in 2004 when the TUC being in the pairwise led to an otherwise meaningless CCHA consolation game deciding the NCAA fate of like 7 or 8 teams. I take it the coaches decided they don’t like that.


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