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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:31 PM)
It's time once again to talk college hockey here at ESPN.com. INCH writers will be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes, so go ahead and submit them now.
Gus, (Old Tappan, NJ)
What would it take for Clarkson to get back to a national ranking? If they beat the likes of Princeton and Cornell and get to 4th in the ECAC will that do the trick? Or am I just dreaming?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:33 PM)
As of right now, you're just dreaming. Clarkson has a long way to go in order to get to the top eight of the ECAC Hockey standings. National rankings will go on the back burner for now. They're 2-8-4 and in last place in the league. I think a second-half turnaround is possible, but the hole they're in now is a deep one.
Blair, Boston, Ma
Whats with the trend of random first place votes in the national polls? (ex. 5 of top 8 teams got at least one first place nod)
Joe Gladziszewski (2:36 PM)
I think it's a good thing and tells you that poll voters have varying opinions on which teams are best. One thing, in my opinion, that seems different this season is that the top 12-14 teams in the nation have established themselves and I see little fluctuation over the second half from the current group. A number of teams have proven to be out in front of other teams in their leagues by a significant margin.
What are your thoughts on BU's chances of reaching the frozen four? Are they the best team in hockey east?
Jeff Howe (2:37 PM)
After taking three points against BC last weekend, it's hard to argue anyone is better than BU right now in Hockey East. This might be the most talented conference from top to bottom in Hockey East's 25-year history, and it's saying something that BU looks head and shoulders above the field at times. As for the Frozen Four, the most conventional way to answer that question in December is yes, BU is definitely one of the four most talented teams in the country, and it's finally getting its goaltending squared away, too.
Tom/Mt. Airy, NJ
In regards to feeding hockey student-athletes into atlantic/north east college programs, is the EJHL becoming the USHL of the East ?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:40 PM)
That junior league is like many in that it won't be solely relied upon to provide a league or region with potential student athletes. Coaching staffs will grab talent from wherever they can find it, whether that is junior hockey in the U.S. or Canada, high schools, prep schools, overseas ... look at the rosters. It's a pretty diverse batch of backgrounds that players come from.
Matt, Basking Ridge, NJ
Who do you think will finish first in Hockey East this year?
Jeff Howe (2:41 PM)
It's hard to say because I'm predicting at least six teams will have a chance to win the regular-season title with two weekends to play, so it'll come down to consistency. Right now, I like BU.
Pat, New York
regarding the upcomming tourny in Denver. If rankings hold who wins between BU and Denver, noting both teams are missing key pieces to the world Juniors?
Mike Eidelbes (2:44 PM)
BU will definitely miss Colin Wilson (Kevin Shattenkirk is also on the U.S. team). But without Wilson in the lineup, I think Denver is the more dynamic team offensively. The Pioneers won't necessarily be without Patrick Wiercioch even though he's attending the Canada tryout camp this week. DU gets the edge -- I think they can hurt you in more ways than BU, and goalie Marc Cheverie has been spectacular the last couple weeks.
Ken (New Haven)
What chance does Yale have at making a run in the ECAC? They've started strong 4-2 in conference and 7-3 overall. With studs like Backman and Arcobello, I think a run to Albany is a possiblity. Your thoughts?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:47 PM)
They can make a run for a top-four spot in the standings, as they're in a group of several teams that stand behind ECACH front-runners Princeton and Cornell. Yale's done a nice job so far, but I'm a little cautious about them since three of their wins are against Brown and three others are against UConn, RPI, and Alabama Huntsville. A good test will be when Minnesota State and Nebraska-Omaha visit at the end of this month.
jon (cincinnati, OH)
With michigan being mediocre and MSU being awful this year do you see the CCHA being a two horse race this year (miami, Notre dame) maybe throw in Alaska..... maybe.
Mike Eidelbes (2:48 PM)
I wouldn't write off Michigan just yet, but Notre Dame and Miami are definitely the class of the CCHA. Alaska will be hard pressed to challenge for the top spot, but I expect them to be in the hunt for a top-four finish in the league standings. Of course, with the CCHA as watered down as it, six teams can make the same claim.
Jim, Holyoke MA
Which holiday tournament coming is the most challenging/competitive all around?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:52 PM)
Like most tournaments, there are usually a couple of underdogs in every field, but potential championship matches that are enticing include a possible BU-Denver game in the Denver Cup and a possible Minnesota-Northeastern final in the Gophers' tournament.
Scott ( oxford, Ohio)
Who wins the battle for the CCHA Miami or Notre Dame. And can Miami ride these two freshmen goaltenders to a trip to DC come April?
Mike Eidelbes (2:53 PM)
Yeah, Miami swept ND earlier this year, but I'd give the Irish the edge because of sightly better depth on defense and experience in goal. But as we saw last year, a freshman goalie can lead a team to a national title. By the way, these teams have a combined 16 players with 10+ points through 16 and 17 games played thus far. That's amazing offensive depth.
Eric Ross (Ithaca NY)
Cornell keeps rising the polls but has still only played 2 non-ECAC games (W and L against UND at their arena). How do you feel about this team heading into the winter break schedule?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:57 PM)
I've seen the Big Red several times and I think they're legit. The team concept is in place, and the overall defense in tandem with goalie Ben Scrivens is playing solidly every night (except the first game at North Dakota). I think the thing that makes this Cornell team so dangerous is that is has enough playmakers on offense to make opponents pay for their mistakes. Greening, Nash, Barlow, Jillson, Gallagher ... nice team.
Scott (St. Cloud, MN)
Where is the love for St. Cloud State?! They have swept Denver and Minnesota State. Garrett Roe and Ryan Lasch are playing well again. Does a sweept against North Dakota this weekend put them in the top 10?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:59 PM)
We're not ready to bring St. Cloud State into the INCH Power Rankings. The good wins the Huskies have had have been followed by big losses. Consistency will be the key for St. Cloud in the second half. There's enough talent there, especially on offense as you mentioned, to get a top-five finish in the WCHA.
Walt (Mason City IA)
How will the Gophers fare this weekend against CC with Barriball and Carman out of the lineup?
Mike Eidelbes (3:00 PM)
The Gophers will have to do a little juggling, but they'll be fine. CC comes in struggling. If anything, the absence puts more of the scoring onus on Stoa and Schroeder, and more from Lucia, Pat White, and Hoeffel in supporting roles.
Adam (Winston-Salem, NC)
Why no love for Miami all season long? They went to Joyce and swept ND, went to Munn and swept MSU, swept Michigan at home...what else do you guys at INCH want this team to do? Princeton has 1 fewer loss against MUCH inferior competition and they're 5th in the country in your minds?!?
Joe Gladziszewski (3:03 PM)
Miami fans are quick to point out the team's wins over Notre Dame and Michigan but don't really talk a lot about Ferris State. This is a very good RedHawks team, one of the top two in the CCHA for sure. However, I don't think they're ready to be considered a top-five team in the nation at this point.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:04 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions, and taking the time to stop in and talk college hockey. We'll be back next week at the same time to field more inquiries.