College hockey: Coaches will adjust to rules
College hockey coaches got some good news on the recruiting front, but some bad news about scouting opponents.
On the final day of the NCAA convention last Saturday, the board of directors voted to eliminate the restrictions on ways coaches can communicate with potential players during the recruiting process. Another rule change allows more than two coaches to recruit off campus at the same time. The new rules go into effect Aug. 1.
The NCAA recognized that 21st century communications methods are different than last century. Text messaging and emails have replaced the phone calls. There are no longer limits on text messages and emails, just as long as the messages are private.
“It’s nice that we can [be in] touch them a bit more,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “But just reading [about] a lot of football and basketball players and their recruits, a lot of them don’t like a ton of calls, so you have to be kind of careful. That’s going to take some getting used to with this stuff and what’s the right mix to talk to recruits with the new rule.”
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute coach Seth Appert believes the new rules look favorable.
“At first glance, it looks like you’re going to have more access to recruits, in terms of the kind of contact today’s kids want, text messages, social media, things of that nature,” Appert said.
The previous rule concerning the number of coaches out recruiting at the same time was two.
“As far as the coaches on the road, I love it,” Bennett said. “As a coach, I can either sit in the office, or I can get out on the road and try and help out the staff, and I enjoy getting out there and watching.”
“I like the ability to have three coaches out on the road at the same time,” Appert said. “In the summer, and in the month of September or over Christmas break, it makes a lot of sense. It allows us to utilize our dollars the best way we can.”
The rule change that the coaches may not like is they will no longer be allowed to scout a game in person. Previously, coaches were allowed to go to games and scout, provided they weren’t reimbursed by the school for expenses incurred.
“I’m fine with it,” said Appert, who was at Messa Rink Tuesday to take in the Harvard-Union game. RPI faces Union Saturday in the Mayor’s Cup game at the Times Union Center, and then hosts Harvard next Friday.
“I don’t agree with it, per se, but it’s fine. There’s always a give and take. It’s probably a cost-saving measure. With all the technology we have available, we can download things on the Internet. We have the capability, in the ECAC, to download [a] game, so you don’t have to waste money being on the road.”
The Dutchmen are in the middle of a disturbing trend.
In Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over Harvard, Union was called for too many men on the ice. It was the third straight game the Dutchmen got caught with an extra skater.
“That was a tough one today,” Dutchmen defenseman Mat Bodie said. “I thought the two over the weekend were our fault completely. This one, there was a little bit of confusion as to who was actually touching the puck between Greg [Coburn] and Dan Carr, who was hopping on. I don’t think that one was as big of a deal, but, yeah, that’s something that we’re definitely
going to clean up.”
There have been repercussions for everyone.
“It’s going to be a tough skate Thursday, and for the coaching staff, as well,” Bennett said after the game. “That’s a team penalty. The coaching staff is going to be held accountable just as much as the players.”
The Dutchmen have been called for seven too-many-men penalties this season. Fortunately for them, they haven’t given up a power-play goal on any of them.
It has been a tough couple of months for Harvard.
The team that lost to Union in last March’s ECAC Hockey tourn-ament championship game opened this season 4-2. But when the Crimson lost to Union on Tuesday, they dropped to 1-9-1 in their last 11 games.
Harvard has been affected by the loss of four players — goalie Steve Michalek and defensemen Max Everson, Patrick McNally and Mark Luzar — supposedly to the academic scandal that rocked the university over the summer.
The schedule hasn’t been kind, either. The Crimson have only had two home games since Nov. 10.
“This schedule has been pretty much a grind over the last couple of weeks, especially with the number of bodies we’re juggling, certainly less than we started the season with,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said. “But some home cooking, and to get some home ice and a chance to get on a little bit more of a reg-ular schedule [will help]. I think this team has a run in it. Hopefully, being at home will jump start that.”
RPI freshman goalie Jason Kasdorf was named ECAC Hockey rookie of the week on Tuesday.
In his first action since suffering a shoulder injury Dec. 27 at St. Cloud State, Kasdorf stopped 32 shots in a 2-1 win over Colgate on Friday. He followed that up Saturday with a 34-save effort in a 3-2 victory over Cornell.
It was the Engineers’ first Houston Field House sweep of Colgate and Cornell since Feb. 26-27, 1999.
BARDREAU’S SEASON OVER
Earlier this month, Cornell forward Cole Bardreau was celebrating winning a gold medal with his Team USA teammates at the World Junior Hockey Championships.
On Tuesday, Bardreau found out his season was over.
The Big Red announced that Bardreau was diagnosed with a fractured neck. He suffered the inj-ury in last Saturday’s game against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Bardreau was hit into the boards from behind by the Engineers’ Greg Burgdoerfer midway through the first period. Burgdoerfer was given a five-minute major and game misconduct. Bardreau missed just one shift.
“He’s a very lucky human being,” Cornell coach Mike Schafer told the Ithaca Journal at his weekly Tuesday press conference. “He had no pain during the course of the game, no indication that had happened. He’s a lucky kid.”
Linemate John McCarron told the Ithaca Journal that Bardreau’s injury is a huge blow to the Big Red.
“After getting the gold medal at the World Juniors, I can’t even imagine how high his emotions were, and now to get this, probably an all-time low in his life, it’s hard to deal with,” McCarron said. “He’s going to support our team and be with us the rest of the way, and [we] all hope for the best for him and we’re going to look out for him.”
Bardreau sat next to Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere in the Team USA locker room during the WJCs. Union honored the two players before last Friday’s game at Messa Rink.
“It was an unbelievable experience,” Bardreau said after Cornell beat Union, 3-2. “I didn’t know [Shayne] very well before the tournament. But we got paired up with each other the locker room and got to know him pretty well. He’s a great kid.”