Chat with Inside College Hockey
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, the experts from Inside College Hockey will stop by to take your questions about the 2009-10 season.
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Joe Gladziszewski (2:31 PM)
It's time to talk college hockey. Inside College Hockey's writers will be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes.
Big Ben (Pittsburgh, PA)
What do you make of Robert Morris beating my alma mater (Miami)? Shocking..Not once but twice.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:33 PM)
Thanks for checking in, Ben. Sorry about all of your free time this January but we're glad that you're staying in touch with the RedHawks. Last week's sweep by Robert Morris was certainly one of the biggest upset storylines in college hockey in quite some time. Our Power Rankings comment compared it to the Holy Cross win over Minnesota in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. I don't think Miami should be too discouraged about it. They heavily outshot the Colonials in both games and RMU had a hot goalie in Brooks Ostergard. Huge weekend coming up for Miami in a first-place showdown with Ferris State. I don't think they'll have any problem re-focusing for the important CCHA tilts.
Airplane! (North Dakota)
Is Minnesota vs North Dakota the best rivalry in college hockey?
Jess Myers (2:35 PM)
As it's the one I grew up closest to, Sioux-Gophers is definitely my favorite. It's helped of course by the fact that most years the teams are battling for the MacNaughton Cup or more (2005 Frozen Four, anyone?). A true rivalry needs geography and history, and this pairing has plenty of both. Now, others will surely argue in favor of St. Lawrence-Clarkson, BC-BU, UNH-Maine, Cornell-Harvard or Michigan-Michigan State, but for the WCHA, I think you'll see the best rivalry this weekend.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will the Winter Classic be played in the future at Busch Stadium in St.Louis? If yes what year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:37 PM)
That hasn't been discussed or announced yet, but I think it would be under consideration. The Frozen Four at St. Louis was a pretty good event, but I don't think there would be much regional tie-in with the Blues/Cardinals and college hockey.
Carolyn (Amherst, Ma)
With Vermont's 6-1 out-of-conference record, including wins over Denver, Yale and Minnesota-Duluth, where do the Catamounts have to finish in Hockey East to make the NCAA tournament? How many HE teams make the field?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:39 PM)
Vermont's out-of-league record will certainly give it a boost in terms of NCAA selection criteria but they're still going to have to improve in conference play if they want to make the national tournament. I think a top-four spot in Hockey East and first-round playoff series win would be enough to get them in. They're currently in sixth place. I think three Hockey East teams will make the NCAAs.
Plante26 (Duluth, MN)
What do you think about UMD's chances in the 2nd half of the season, and more specifically, the possibility of a MacNaughton Cup? Also, your thoughts on a fifth Hobey Baker award coming to Duluth?
Jess Myers (2:41 PM)
Last weekend's sweep of Colorado College was a huge step forward in proving they're for real, but I still see the Bulldogs being a step behind Wisconsin offensively and a step behind Denver defensively overall. In other words, don't expect to see the Cup on display at the new DECC next season. As for another Hobey, I see Fontaine and the Connellys as legitimate top 10 candidates, but they're likely to cancel each other out in terms of winning the trophy. Ask Chris Marinucci how that works.
My Quinnipiac team has gone in the tank. What is up with them?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:44 PM)
I think the Bobcats are undergoing a little bit of a market correction. They probably weren't as good as their 12-1-0 start appeared and probably aren't as bad as their current run (1-6-1) looks. They were in a tight game with Union last weekend and that's probably more important than the records -- how a team is playing against other good teams. They've got two straight weeks of non-league action to get things figured out before the stretch run in the conference through February.
Matheus Rocha (Uberlandia, Brazil)
Do you think that Michigan can climb in the CCHA standings and reach a NCAA tournament bid?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:46 PM)
I think they can, because I think the CCHA is very top-heavy and any team in the middle of the pack can make a run against some of their conference peers. To me, Ferris, Miami and Michigan State are ahead of the rest of the teams, but it leaves room for the likes of Michigan, Alaska and some others to make a run in the second half. Hugely important games at Yost this weekend for both Michigan and Alaska. One of those teams can take a big step forward with a solid weekend.
ted (irvine ca)
who would be your top four sedds in ncaa tournament
Joe Gladziszewski (2:47 PM)
Projecting to the end of the season and how I think things will transpire - I think the top four seeds will be Denver, Miami, Boston College and Wisconsin
brian custer (mishawaka, indiana)
Notre Dame looked horrible against Ferris last weekend. Other than victories over BU & the Sioux, the Irish have been mostly lackluster this year. Any chance of the Irish making any noise in the postseason or are they just playing out the ccha string?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:50 PM)
They're in the same position as Michigan, which I just discussed. Regardless of the first half, there's opportunity for CCHA teams to make a run. For Notre Dame it starts this weekend with a home-and-home against a very good Michigan State team. Knocking off some teams ahead of you in the standings is a great way to build momentum. Saw some stats today about Notre Dame's goal-scoring that were quite surprising. They need more production from the team's veterans -- Kissel and Thang especially.
Daniel (Pittsburgh, PA)
Minnesota has put up a reasonable streak against the bottom rung of college hockey, but do you think they have a reasonable chance of winning some games the rest of the way and saving Lucia's job?
Jess Myers (2:52 PM)
Don Lucia's job is not on the line, in my opinion. At least not this year. But to answer the first part of your question, yes, the Gophers have the talent to rattle off several wins in a row and make a run at home ice. Whether they will do so or not is anyone's guess. Based on what they've done (and left undone) so far, I'm not betting on it.
Chris (Boulder, Colo)
How do you expect guys from the World Junior team to react to the rest of the season? Is coming back to college a letdown or can we expect them to raise their level of play?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:54 PM)
I think you'll get a mix of that. For some players, it's a bit of a letdown and causes fatigue, and for others it's a launching pad for the second half. I think coaches of college teams are adapting and handling the workload better. Many of the WJC collegians got time off last weekend when they returned to their NCAA teams.
Fenway's out of the way and Camp Randall's on deck. What else would you like to see in the outdoor game realm?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:56 PM)
I think it's important that the NHL and host cities/clubs/venues make the most of the opportunity that an outdoor game provides. There were many events scheduled at Fenway Park in conjunction with the New Year's Day NHL event, including last weekend's Hockey East games. My hope is that college hockey can continue to be a part of future Winter Classics.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
why doesnt the NCAA expand and let club teams like USU play for a NC?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:58 PM)
I'm sure that the NCAA would entertain programs exploring making the transition to Division I hockey, but club level support and compliance is much different than the varsity level. It's a good option for schools in non-traditional markets but it's a long way from competing at the Division I level.
Will you be attending the Badgers - Wolverines game in Camp Randall in February?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:59 PM)
INCH will be there and will have full coverage from the event. Looking forward to it. ... lots of outdoor hockey questions today. I guess that's a testament to how popular it is around the nation.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:01 PM)
Thanks for checking in this week. We'll be back next week for more college hockey discussion. Be sure to check out insidecollegehockey.com for full coverage from the leagues and our weekly weekend preview tomorrow morning, the Friday Four-cast.