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by Ken Schott

Parting Schotts

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Ken Schott blogs about college hockey & more

College Hockey Slap Schotts 2010-11: Week 14

Construction is nearly complete on the Union women's hockey team lounge, which is above the Zamboni storage area in Messa Rink. I bet it will look nice, except for the fans in the bleachers next to the lounge. They may have an obstructed view of the game.

But I can't help but wonder if it is time for the college to commission a study for the construction of a new hockey rink on campus.

Yes, I can hear the thousands of you screaming, "Where on campus can they build it? There is no room on campus!"

Ah, but there is.

Garis Field, the old soccer pitch that sits next to the Memorial Fieldhouse, is the perfect spot for a new hockey rink. With the soccer teams using now using The Turf at College Park at the bottom of Nott Street, it would make sense for college administrators to look at the Garis Field site.

What they will see is that there is plenty of room for a 3,500-4,000 seat arena. Perhaps, if the college wanted to get ambitious, build a two-rink facility and rent out the second sheet for youth hockey games. Plus, the Dutchmen and Dutchwomen wouldn't have to juggle practice times. About they only thing they would have to juggle is who gets to practice on the main rink and who gets the second facility. I say split the practice times equally!

The growth of the Dutchmen under coach Nate Leaman has attracted plenty of interest in the community. Even though the crowd for Friday's game against St. Lawrence was announced at 1,627, there didn't appear to be too many empty places in the 2,225-seat facility. Even Saturday's crowd of 2,170 seemed off because there were fans standing along the walls at both ends of the ice.

There are other issues a new rink would address, as well. A new rink would mean more bathroom space for the fans. If you ever stood in the long lines between periods, you know what I mean.

Also, there would be room for more concession stands. Right now, there is just one stand, and the lines can get long there too.

Selfishly, if I had a say in the construction of a new rink, I would want the press box on the side. Unless Union is planning to match RPI by adding a video scoreboard, it is sometimes difficult to see from the end zone press box who is scoring goals, or if shots are going on goal, at the other end of the rink.

Of course, there is one small problem: where is Union going to get the money to finance a new rink? The economy is still struggling, and I can't imagine any of the Capital Region's major companies willing to donate money to help, and maybe get their name on a new building.

But it wouldn't hurt the Union administration to begin a study on a new facility for the hockey teams. With Messa Rink approaching 40 years old in a few years, it would be worth putting money into building a new facility instead of spending it on making tweaks to Messa Rink.

Cahill eligible?
There was a buzz created by writer Julie Robenhymer Saturday with a story that claimed Yale may have violated NCAA rules with senior forward Chris Cahill.

Cahill left Yale after the 2008-09 season, his junior year, because of academic issues. He was 22 at the time, and was too old to play junior hockey. So, he went to play in France last year. The league he played in was a second-tier league, and he played against players who were paid.

Cahill was reinstated at Yale in September, and is playing his senior season. Robenhymer wrote that Cahill's situation was discussed among Ivy League members, and it was determined that no NCAA rules were violated. But then she said that Yale and the Ivy League never checked with the NCAA of ECAC Hockey.

When the story popped up Saturday night, I asked ECACH commissioner Steve Hagwell, who was at the Union-Clarkson game, about it. He wouldn't comment.

This morning, New Haven Register reporter Chip Malafronte posted a blog about the situation. He spoke to Yale athletic director Tom Beckett, who said coach Keith Allain worked with the Ivy League and Yale's NCAA compliance officers to find a place where Cahill could play hockey and retain his NCAA eligibility.

"It was all approved prior to Chris being involved with the team, it wasn't after the fact," Beckett said. "Chris' family was very concerned about doing what was right. This is a process that took months."

Beckett said he has no concerns that the NCAA could launch an investigation.

"The burden of proof, every standard, all of those issues have been met; the Ivy office signed off on it at the very beginning," Beckett said.

If Cahill is found to be ineligible, Yale could have to forfeit their wins.

UPDATE: Late Monday afternoon, Yale issued a statement, saying: "Yale University athletics director Tom Beckett confirms that every standard pertaining to the collegiate eligibility of Chris Cahill has been met to the satisfaction of the Yale and Ivy League compliance staffs. Chris Cahill remains eligible to compete in all Yale hockey games."

Poll news
Union moved up one spot, while RPI stayed steady in the latest hockey top-20 poll on Monday.

The Dutchmen (5-2-1 ECAC Hockey, 13-6-3 overall) went from 15th to 14th after their weekend sweep of the North Country teams. Union beat St. Lawrence, 3-1, Friday, and crushed Clarkson, 8-1, Saturday.

RPI remains at No. 10 for the second straight week. The Engineers (4-4 ECACH, 12-5-3 overall) lost to Clarkson, 3-2, in overtime Friday, and downed St. Lawrence, 5-3, Saturday.

In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine top-15 poll, moved from 14th to 13th, and RPI remained ninth.

Team (First Place) Record Pts Last Week
1 Yale (45) 14-1-0 991 1
2 North Dakota (2) 16-5-2 940 2
3 Boston College (3) 15-5-0 894 3
4 New Hampshire 12-3-4 856 4
5 Minnesota-Duluth 14-4-3 805 5
6 Denver 13-5-4 763 6
7 Michigan 13-6-4 653 8
8 Notre Dame 14-7-3 624 11
9 Wisconsin 14-7-3 505 13
10 RPI 12-5-3 492 10
11 Nebraska-Omaha 12-7-1 483 12
12 Miami 11-8-3 459 7
13 Maine 9-6-4 379 9
14 Union 13-6-3 357 15
15 Merrimack 10-4-4 354 17
16 Boston University 9-5-6 339 14
17 Colorado College 12-9-1 174 18
18 Western Michigan 11-6-5 116 NR
19 Ferris State 11-8-4 101 20
20 Alaska 9-7-4 76 16
Others receiving votes: Princeton 44, Ohio State 36, Dartmouth 26, Minnesota State 20, Clarkson 4, Robert Morris 4, Minnesota 3, RIT 1, St. Cloud State 1.

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)
Rank School Last Week's Ranking 2010-11 Record Weeks in Top 15
1 Yale. 509 (33) 1 14-1-0 14
2 North Dakota, 469 (1) 2 16-5-2 14
3 Boston College, 434 3 15-5-0 14
4 New Hampshire, 406 4 12-3-4 14
5 Minnesota Duluth, 380 5 14-4-3 14
6 Denver, 350 6 13-5-4 14
7 Michigan, 270 7 13-6-4 14
8 Notre Dame, 264 12 14-7-3 11
9 RPI, 186 9 12-5-3 6
10 Nebraska Omaha, 168 10 12-7-1 12
11 Wisconsin, 162 13 14-7-3 9
12 Miami (Ohio), 124 8 11-8-3 14
13 Union, 101 14 13-6-3 11
14 Maine, 99 11 9-6-4 14
15 Merrimack, 83 NR 10-4-4 NR
Others receiving votes: Boston University, 53; Western Michigan, 10; Colorado College, 8; Ohio State, 3; Dartmouth, 1.

Union moved up from 12th to 10th in the latest Inside College Hockey Power Rankings. RPI remains eighth.

To view INCH's Power Rankings, click here.

My vote
I have a vote in the poll. Here is how I voted this week.

1) Yale
2) North Dakota
3) Boston College
4) New Hampshire
5) Minn. Duluth
6) Denver
7) Notre Dame
8) Wisconsin
9) Michigan
10) Miami (Ohio)
11) Union
12) RPI
13) Maine
14) Nebraska-Omaha
15) Boston U.
16) Merrimack
17) Colorado College
18) Ferris State
19) Western Michigan
20) Alaska

Daily Gazette ECACH Awards
Time for my weekly awards.

Player of the Week — Kyle Bodie, Union
The sophomore forward had a goal and an assist in the Dutchmen's 3-1 win over St. Lawrence, and then he had two goals during Union's five-goal second period in its 8-1 rout of Clarkson on Saturday.

Rookie of the Week — Greg Carey, St. Lawrence
The freshman right wing had three goals and two assists in three games, including a two-goal, one-assist effort in the Saints' 5-3 loss to RPI on Saturday.

Goalie of the Week — Ryan Rondeau, Yale
Rondeau stopped 32 shots in the top-ranked Bulldogs' 2-1 win at Dartmouth on Friday, and had 29 saves in a 4-2 triumph over Harvard.

Team of the Week — Cornell
The struggling Big Red went on the road and earned its first league sweep of the season with a pair of one-goal wins. They beat Princeton, 2-1, Friday, and Quinnipiac, 3-2, in overtime Saturday.

If you have any comments, post them below, or e-mail them to me at

Good Monday! Good Hockey!

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January 10, 2011
4:52 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I agree on a new arena. It's not a D1 caliber facility. It was constructed well before Union had a D1 hockey team and has the second lowest capacity of the ECAC rinks. Only Princeton's has fewer seats. Eight of the 12 ECAC rinks seat at least 3000 and three sit at least 4200. Messa Rink sits 2225.

Messa Rink remains a good place to watch a game as you always feel like you're very close to the action. There's probably not a bad seat in the house. But the program needs a better facility as it looks forward.

The bleachers need to go in favor of permanent seats throughout the building. And the current seating set-up -- where you need to go to the ends of the building and then up the stairs -- is very bizarre and needs to go. I remember the first time I went there. I was like, how the hell do you get up there? Concessions and the merchandise area (the latter can clog up space when the house is packed) would benefit from more dedicated spaces. They'd probably make more money too. The press box should be in the center of the building, not on the far end, and be with the radio/TV guys. And the main lobby is very small. I can't speak about the bathroom issue, but there doesn't seem to be many of them.

Messa underwent a massive renovation back in 2003, but that money (1.5 mil) would have been better off had it been put toward a fund for a new facility. It's still a homey little place but it's probably outlived its usefulness.

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