College Hockey Slap Schotts Week 23 — Good riddance to Atlantic City
Late in Union’s postgame press conference after its 3-1 victory over Brown in the ECAC Hockey tournament championship game Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., a reporter asked Union coach Rick Bennett and players Troy Grosenick and Max Novak if they would miss playing in the gambling resort after winning two straight tournament titles. The tournament returns to Lake Placid next year.
“I’m kind of mad that we’re moving to Lake Placid next year, to be completely honest with you,” Grosenick said. “Atlantic City is a great town. It might be my fourth favorite town behind my hometown [Brookfield, Wis.], Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I played junior, and Schenectady.”
“I also prefer to keep it in my home state,” said Novak, who is from Oak Ridge, N.J.
“That’s a great question because I don’t know where you can run on the beach and it’s snowing,” Bennett said. It snowed Thursday afternoon. “It was, actually, a dream come true. That was a first.”
The Dutchmen may be the only ones that will miss Atlantic City. I can speak for the rest of the ECACH nation and say, “Good riddance!”
The three-year stay in Atlantic City was a disaster for the league. Start with the attendance, or lack there of. The announced attendance for Friday’s semifinals was 3,145, and 4,017 for Saturday’s games. Were those numbers that were provided by Boardwalk Hall from the New Jersey Lottery Pick-4? Or were those numbers for the seats NOT filled? Or were those numbers the three-year total attendance?
Atlantic City never embraced the tournament. Blame must be placed with the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority. They didn’t do a good enough job of getting the town residents interested in watching college hockey.
The ECACH should be blamed, too, for going down to Atlantic City in the first place. It was a money grab, plain and simple.
Another problem are the hotel rates. Hockey fans had to pay three different rates on the weekend. Sure, some may also come for the gambling, but there should have been a flat rate charged for the weekend.
Another thing that not only ticked me off, but other members of the media as well, was Boardwalk Hall officials taking the dinner away from us a half-hour after the first game started. Memo to Boardwalk Hall officials: Not all media members were covering the first games each day. They did that last year, too.
Even more upsetting was that on Friday night, a security guard and a Boardwalk Hall official were antsy to get the media out of the media room. Speaking for the media members there, I said we will leave when we are done. We had stories, blogs and videos to put together. No one dared asked us when we were leaving on Saturday night.
Here is what I will miss about Atlantic City — visiting my Mom in Philadelphia prior to heading down to the shore, and the White House sub shop, the best subs ever. I recommend the Italian Sub.
As I drove out of Atlantic City, all I could think of was how good it will be to be back in Lake Placid for the next three years. It will be a lot more fun there.
Allain embarrasses ECACH
It was not a great championship round for Yale. The Bulldogs were shut out by Union and Quinnipiac.
After Saturday’s loss to Quinnipiac, the media waited for Yale coach Keith Allain to come to the dais for the postgame press conference. They waited, and waited, and waited.
Allain decided not to show up. Nor did any of his players.
This is unacceptable. The league needs to come down hard on Allain and Yale. Now, Allain isn’t a media-savvy coach. His answers and short and bland.
However, he is not above the league where he can blow off the media. And it’s not the first time. He was a no-show for last Tuesday’s conference call for the championship round.
Allain embarrassed the ECACH, and he embarrassed Yale. It was a classless act. There is no excuse for his actions. He should be severely reprimanded.
Colacino makes women’s Frozen Four
Another hearty congratulations to ECAC Hockey women’s linesmen and Schenectady’s Jamie Colacino. After working his first his first NCAA women’s hockey tournament game last weekend, Colacino worked the Frozen Four over the weekend. He worked Friday’s 3-2 overtime win for Minnesota over Boston College, and Sunday’s title game, a 6-3 victory for Minnesota over Boston University.
The 21-year-old Colacino is in his third year as an ECACH linesmen.
Tickets on sale
Tickets for the NCAA hockey tournament East Regional are now on sale at the Union athletics box office in Alumni Gym.
The semifinal games Saturday at the Dunkin' Donuts Center are Quinnipiac against Canisius at 5:30 p.m., and Union vs. defending NCAA-champion Boston College at 9 p.m. The championship game is Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
The three-game full-session tickets for adults are $75, $55 for seniors and youth, and children 2 and under are free. Single-session (one day) prices are $45. Call 388-6020. Union's box office will accept orders until Wednesday.
Buccigross, Melrose to call NCAA hockey East Regionals
I posted this earlier Monday, but in case you missed it, John Buccigross and Barry Melrose will call the action of the NCAA hockey tournament East Regional from the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., this weekend, ESPN announced.
Saturday's second semifinal between Union and Boston College will be on ESPNU at 9 p.m. The first semifinal will be on ESPN3 at 5:30 p.m. It will be re-aired on ESPNU at 11:30 p.m. Sunday's final will be on ESPNU at 6:30 p.m.
All three West Regional games from Grand Rapids, Mich., will be on ESPNU and called by Joe Davis and Sean Ritchlin. Friday's semifinals will have Minnesota against Yale at 2 p.m., and Niagara against North Dakota at 5:30 p.m. The title game is 4 p.m. Saturday.
Clay Matvick and Jim Paradise will call the Northeast Regional games from Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. Friday's first semifinal between UMass-Lowell and Wisconsin will be on ESPN3 at 4:30 p.m. (with a re-air on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m.). The second semifinal between Denver and New Hampshire will be on ESPNU at 8 p.m. The final is on ESPNU at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Ben Holden and Darren Eliot will call the Midwest Regionals from Toledo, Ohio. Saturday's semifinals -- St. Cloud State vs. Notre Dame at 1:30 p.m. and Minnesota State vs. Miami (Ohio) at 5 p.m. -- will be on ESPN3. Those games will re-air at noon and 2 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU, and that will lead into the regional final at 4 p.m. on ESPNU.
The Frozen Four will be April 11-13 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The semifinals April 11 are 4:30 and 8 p.m. on ESPN2, and the final is 7 p.m. April 13 on ESPN. Buccigross, Melrose and Matvick are the announcers.
Union up five
Union made a big leap in the latest USCHO.com/NCAA hockey poll Monday.
The Dutchmen climbed from 18th to 13th in the poll. Union captured its second straight ECAC Hockey tournament title Saturday with a 3-1 win over Brown.
Meanwhile, RPI fell out of the poll. The Engineers, who were 19th last week, were edged out by Canisius, 53-52, for the No. 20 spot.
Quinnipiac reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the poll, getting 26 of 50 first-place votes. The Bobcats had 948 points, five more than No. 2 Minnesota, which was the top-ranked team last week.
Union returned to the USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today poll. The Dutchmen are ranked 13th.
Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Quinnipiac (26) 27- 7-5 948 2
2 Minnesota (10) 26- 8-5 943 1
3 Massachusetts-Lowell (14) 26-10-2 930 5
4 Notre Dame 25-12-3 818 9
5 Miami 24-11-5 811 3
6 Boston College 22-11-4 754 4
7 North Dakota 21-12-7 685 6
8 Wisconsin 22-12-7 549 14
9 St. Cloud State 23-15-1 546 7
10 New Hampshire 19-11-7 543 10
11 Minnesota State 24-13-3 532 8
12 Denver 20-13-5 457 13
13 Union 21-12-5 412 18
14 Niagara 23- 9-5 328 15
15 Yale 18-12-3 317 11
16 Western Michigan 19-11-8 257 12
17 Boston University 21-16-2 221 17
18 Providence 17-14-7 144 16
19 Michigan 18-19-3 98 20
20 Canisius 19-18-5 53 NR
Others receiving votes: RPI 52, Colorado College 45, Brown 27, Robert Morris 23, Dartmouth 3, Nebraska-Omaha 3, Alaska 1.
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine 2012-13 Men’s College Hockey Poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)
Rank School Last Week’s Ranking 2012-13 Record Weeks in Top 15
T-1 Quinnipiac, 473 (16) 1 27-7-5 16
T-1 Minnesota, 473 (9) 2 26-8-5 25
3 UMass-Lowell, 463 (9) 5 26-10-2 16
4 Notre Dame, 399 9 25-12-3 25
5 Miami (Ohio), 376 3 24-11-5 25
6 Boston College, 354 4 22-11-4 25
7 North Dakota, 286 6 21-12-7 25
T-8 Minnesota State, 202 8 24-13-3 12
T-8 Wisconsin, 202 15 22-12-7 6
10 New Hampshire, 201 11 19-11-7 22
11 St. Cloud State, 196 7 23-15-1 13
12 Denver, 158 12 20-13-5 25
13 Union, 135 NR 21-12-5 14
14 Niagara, 71 14 23-9-5 7
15 Yale, 57 10 18-12-3 16
Others receiving votes: Boston University, 20; Western Michigan, 12; Michigan, 1; Providence, 1.
I have a vote in the USCHO.com poll. Here is how I voted:
5) Notre Dame
6) Boston College
7) North Dakota
9) New Hampshire
10) St. Cloud
11) Minn. State
13) Western Michigan
15) Boston U.
Daily Gazette Stick Salutes
Time for my final weekly awards of the season.
Player of the Week — Max Novak, Union
The sophomore center had three goals in the championship round. He scored early in the second period of Friday’s 5-0 win over Yale. Novak scored twice, including the game-winner late in the first period, powering the Dutchmen to the victory over Brown in Saturday’s title game. Novak was named to the ECACH all-tournament team.
Goalie of the Week — Troy Grosenick, Union
The junior netminder made 34 saves against Yale for his first career playoff shutout, then made 32 saves against Brown. Grosenick was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and was on the all-tournament team.
Rookie of the Week — Mark Naclerio, Brown
The freshman forward had three assists over the weekend. He had two assists in Friday’s 4-0 win over Quinnipiac, and assisted on Dennis Robertson’s power-play goal against Union.
Team of the Week — Union
A second straight ECACH tournament title for Union.
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Good Monday! Good Hockey!