Ron: Should we do a back and forth chat preview today?
Brett: Sure. I'm kind of nervous about tonight to tell the truth.
Ron: So why are you nervous about tonight? I actually haven't been feeling this good about this series in years.
Brett: Colgate plays us tough, and with Dodge out I'm worried about a flat effort which would really be the opposite of what should happen.
Ron: Well, the last I checked Colgate has a losing record, and only has one victory over a team with a winning record, and that was Niagara the third game of the season. Niagara just took them out last Friday. This is a game Clarkson should win unless they pack it in before they even hit the ice. More importantly, what happened to Colgate this year? How do you go from pre-season #1 to where they are now?
Brett: Records don't mean much when the puck drops. I think a lot of it falls on the defense, Dekanich had a great year last year but he cooled off and the defense has given up 30 shots a game, 35 in league play
Ron: Do you think Vaughn will run out Kowalkoski or Long this weekend?
Brett: Nope, Colgate needs the points, and these are two top teams in the league right now. Dekanich will start both nights.
Ron: Well, this is one of those games that I think Clarkson will make a blow-out, or end up losing by a goal. I was thinking to myself this morning on the walk to the train, that these guys will likely be looking to make a statement after this series and the playoffs last year. Before this year, people would say that Clarkson would need to give 100% effort and get some bounces, maybe have the goalie stand on his head. I think now all they need is 100% effort.
Brett: Good point, we know the offense is there, but it will be the team commitment to defense that will win games from here on out. we dont need to see another Quinnipiac, Princeton weekend. I think they learned a lot from that weekend.
Ron: I think the coaches did too and have found the right ways to motivate the team
Brett: So despite their record Colgate has outscored their opponents 62-59 this year, and has eight players with double digit point totals. They just are streaky.
Ron: Yeah, but look at the schedule.
Brett: They seem to either score in bunches or not at all.
Ron: This is true. So how about Cornell. Are we going to thrash them, or are they going to come out firing. Losses to Wayne State and Sacred Heart don't bode well. We expected them to be hurting this year after the mass departures, but I didn't think it would be this bad.
Brett: They aren't going to thrash them. Cornell knows how to play Clarkson. It will be a good game, and Clarkson will get a chance to show off the full arsenal so to speak.
Ron: But this obviously isn't the same Clarkson they've seen the last couple of years. I reject your blanket statement,.
Brett: So you're saying Cornell doesn't know how to play Clarkson?
Ron: No I'm saying teams change from year to year. It's like saying the Red Sox know how to play the Yankees despite the fact both teams have entirely new starting pitching.
Brett: The Red Sox know how to play the Yankees?
Ron: Clarkson is suddenly defined as a run and gun offense. Last year they weren't even in the Top 20 in team offense. This year they're averaging four goals a game. It's quite a change, and just as I wouldn't suspect the same Cornell team to step out onto the ice, they can't step out and expect the same Clarkson team. The buckle down defense is obsolete.
I hate to be cliche, but the key to Cornell's chances is for them to stay out of the box. Clarkson is now 2nd in the country in the PP behind Maine. When you're converting 25% of your PP opportunities, you're in good shape. Same for Colgate actually. They spend 22 minutes in the box a game.
Brett: Who says run and gun anymore? When did Gerry Glanville start coaching hockey?
Ron: Wasn't he the coach of the (Bentley) Falcons?
Brett: Cornell does have the leagues best defense but the goaltending is suspect.
Ron: Actually Brown has the league's best defense? At least as a total package. And I consider the goalie part of the D.
- 1 Cornell 2.38
- 3 Brown 2.50
Ron: Wow, did I just say Brown has the league's best defense?
Brett: They don't.
Ron: Are you talking league or NCAA?
Ron: My mistake. I was looking at the NCAAHL. So who steps up to the plate with Dodge out?
Brett: Gotta be Weller Zalewski Beca
Ron: Any particular reason?
Brett: Best line on the ice, Beca is due for a big night, Zalewski is the teams best faceoff man next to dodge and Weller is 3-1-4 in the last 3, 4-2-6 if you count the exhibition
Ron: Are you concerned about Leggio taking the weekend off against McGill?
Brett: Not really. Goalies get fatigued and backups need to see some ice just in case. Leggio will be ready to go. With the way the defense has been in front of him I'm not too concerned about the layoff.
Ron: Are the students back yet? Do they realize how big this series is? I haven't heard much.
Brett: Classes started Thursday. I don't think you need to tell them to go to the games, student section has been the only full section all year.
Ron: Yeah, but when classes started on Thursday, I showed up on Monday.
Brett: I showed up the following Thursday.
Brett: Any thoughts on the other league match ups?
Brett: Quinnipaic / Princeton @ Brown / Yale and the RPI-Union home and home.
Ron: I dunno, just looking at the schedule, the entire slate seems to be Clarkson's to lose.
Brett: You're really flying high on confidence this morning...
Ron: I am. I am. It's not woofing, it's just this team is a very strong team, with losses to only a few stronger teams like St. Cloud who is red-hot. There are talented teams in the ECAC, but when everything is clicking, the only thing that can kill you is luck, lack of effort, or insane efforts by other teams, and lack of effort is usually the big one.
Brett: I never called it woofing, I'm just not ready to buy the farm yet.
Ron: I saw you walking around the place, checking it out.
Brett: Yeah, but your soil pH is way too low.
Ron: But yeah, so I'm pretty confident. I haven't felt this confident since 98-99 so that says a lot.
We were talking about this the other day. Any chance you think we'll see anyone leave from this squad like a Cole or Mitchell?
Brett: I'd like to think no one will leave, but that's up to the player. If Weller and Zalewski keep their play at the level they have been at they could be looking at offers, but I hope they realize that getting a degree is more valuable in the long term then the money up front
Ron: I agree. This team certainly has the chemistry together. Talent right now is borderline for the jump, although I was blown away by the number of players that signed pro deals last off-season.
Brett: I think there are only 1 or 2 players like Matt Carle, who just got recalled to Sharks by the way, while there are 100's of Hugh Jessemans out there. Staying that fourth year can be a real investment, and I hope they all realize that
Ron: Trevelyan being a prime example of how that's slowly but surely paying off for him.
Ron: How's Scott Freeman doing these days?
Ron: Did he get tired?
Brett: Must have... 2.25 PPG. Freeman and Rufenach were the only two recruits listed on central scoutings draft list.
Any predicitions for the games?
Ron: Clarkson 4, Colgate 2
Ron: Clarkson 3, Cornell 1 (ENG)
Ron: I know I said the Cornell game could be a blow out, but then again. It is Cornell.
Ron: So lets just say I'll do a little jig if it's a blowout.
Brett: As long as you jig in private.