NCAA preview: Trinity v. Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh at Trinity (7:00 pm)

Trinity, the winner of back-to-back NESCAC championships, has a decided statistical advantage over Plattsburgh, this year’s SUNYAC champion, in virtually every important statistical category, including both offense and defense. But this first-round NCAA play-off game is to be decided on the ice rather than by past statistics. Plattsburgh has some important intangibles in its favor – like the momentum associated with a strong close (a 11-1-1 finish, culminating in the league championship) but those intangibles do not clearly outweigh Trinity’s, whose season had a similar trajectory, so perhaps a wash.

Plattsburgh has some offensive depth but no flashy scorers, with 11 double-digit scorers but with its 2 top scorers maxing out at the modest point total of 21 (Joe Drabin ’20 (11-10-21); and d-man Ayrton Valente ’18 (6-15-21)). Trinity, in contrast, has 4 30+ scorers (Sean Orlando ’17 (15-18-33); Tyler Whitney ’18 (12-20-32); Anthony Sabitsky ’18 (16-15-31); and Ryan Cole ’17 (13-17-30)) and a host of other offensive threats. On the defensive end, Trinity has an excellent corps of d-men and a solid goalie in junior Alex Morin (1.88 GAA (no. 7 in D3) and .930 save percentage (no. 14 in D3)). Plattsburgh’s greatest vulnerability may very well lie on its side of the blue line where its no. 1 goalie (and Quinnipiac transfer), Brady Rouleau, has compiled mediocre numbers (2.84 in GAA (no. 60 in D3) and .895 in save percentage (no. 87 in D3)) and the team’s overall defensive numbers are unimpressive (surrendering 3.26 GPG or tied for the no. 53 defense in D3). Rouleau can rise to the occasion, however, as he backstopped Platty to its SUNYAC championship with a 3-2 win over regular season champion, Oswego, in the conference finals and was named tournament MVP.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Jan 11, 2013, recap

Bowdoin’s undefeated season comes crashing down on home ice as the Polar Bears fall  6-5 in OT to Wesleyan and a dominating 6-point performance by Keith Buehler. OT games  were the theme of the day as 3 of the 4 league games went to OT, with 2 ending in ties:

Wesleyan 6 Bowdoin 5 (OT) (Here’s a link to a nice write up of the game in the Maine Hockey Journal with some quotes from Bowdoin Coach Terry Meagher. Keith Buehler and the Wesleyan power play overwhelmed Bowdoin and goalie Steve Messina, with Buehler scoring the game winner with 50 seconds to go in OT after Wesleyan tied the game up with an extra attacker goal and just 24 seconds to go in the game. Buehler rang up a hat trick and assisted on the other 3 goals. Bowdoin remains in 1st place in the NESCA at 7-1-1 and retained its 2-point lead over idle Williams while its lead over 3rd place Amherst shrunk to 3 points. Polar Bears started strong but faded in the 3rd period, giving up 3 goals while scoring only 1. Ominously for Bowdoin, its PK was terrible as it gave up 4 PP goals. The Polar Bear line-up looked to be somewhat make shift, suggesting that injuries and sickness may be taking a toll on Bowdoin. Frosh Nolan Daley got the win in goal for the Cardinals while Bowdoin’s Messina was tagged with his first loss of the season.)

Amherst 6 Tufts 2 (Amherst easily knocked off Tufts, which seems to have lost all momentum from last year’s strong performance. Perhaps most important for Amherst, it showed offensive prowess for the 2nd game in a row with back-to-back 6-goal games and out shot Tufts by more than 2-1 (38-18). With a 6-3 NESCAC record, Amherst now is in 3rd place in the NESCAC. Andrew Kurlandski had a 2-1-3 night while Mike Rowbotham racked up 3 assists for the Jeffs. Nate Corey got the win in net for Amherst while Derek Metcalfe was credited with the loss for Tufts.)

Colby 2 Trinity 2 (OT) (Mike Flynn tied the game up for the Bantams with an extra attacker goal with 78 seconds to go in the game. The game tying-goal came just a couple of minutes after Nick Lanza and broken a 1-1 tie and given the Mules a 2-1 lead. Colby dominated the OT, firing 7 shots on Trinity ace Ben Coulthard but he was equal to the task. Jordan Nathan went the distance in net for Colby. Both teams dressed only 2 goalies, suggesting that perhaps the flu has touched down in the NESCAC world.)

Connecticut Coll 2 Hamilton 2 (OT) (In a wild one in Clinton, NY, Dom Jancaterino tied the game for Hamilton with less than 7 seconds to go in regulation. Junior ace Mike DiMare had his hands in both Hamilton goals (1-1-2) so perhaps he has overcome a hand injury that has dogged him for most of the season.)

OOC games:

Williams 6 Skidmore 2 (ummm 51 SoGs for Williams?? Even more dubious is the attendance number of 1000.)

Plattsburgh 7 Middlebury 1 (Coach Bill Beaney yanked frosh goalie Liam Moorfield-Yee in favor of Nick BobDurant early in the game but it made no difference as the Panthers got shellacked, falling to 5-7-2 on the year and well below .500. Plattsburgh out shot the young Panthers by more than 2-1 (43-19) and held Middlebury to a single shot in the 3rd period. The young but talented Panthers may have hit the wall.)

Middlebury-Plattsburgh in Primelink

Middlebury wins 3-2 and will face Norwich (3-2 winner over St. Thomas) in the championship game at 7PM tomorrow (Saturday). Nick BonDurant in net for the Panthers. Great game all around for the Panthers, who look to be primed for a superb season. The North East Sports Network really knows how to cover college hockey games — wish some of the NESCACs would take note and work a little harder on the technical/skill upgrades.

NCAA Quarterfinals (March 10, 2012): Plattsburgh v Amherst

Amherst 3 Plattsburgh 1: link to video of the Amherst goals; terrific win by Amherst as it secures its first appearance in the NCAA semifinals over a very tough Plattsburgh club

NCAA quarterfinals – ticket info & preview

Here’s a link to an excellent piece from the Amherst website that provides ticket information, a preview, and the NCAA’s bracket.

The starting time for Saturday’s (March 10) Plattsburgh at Amherst quarterfinal is 7:30PM. The late start is likely due to the fact that Amherst is hosting regionals for women’s D3 basketball the same day, with the finals scheduled for 6PM on Saturday. Tickets will be sold on-site at Orr Arena, starting at 6PM, with no advance sales.

The teams appear to be evenly matched, with great goal tending and well-balanced offenses but no great offensive stars. Plattsburgh and Amherst have played each other three times in the past, with Platty winning each game handily. Most NESCAC fans want to see an end to that pattern this year!!

Here the NCAA brackets, which show that Amherst will meet Norwich only if it makes it to the finals and, if it gets by Plattsburgh this Saturday, its next opponent will be either Oswego or Elmira:

RESULTS – JAN 22

MIDWAY POINT!!!

Results:

Bowdoin 3 Tufts 2

Amherst 2 Skidmore 1

Colby 4 Conn College 3

NEC 7 Middlebury 4

Williams 6 St. Anselm 2

Trinity 3 St. Mike’s 0

Hamilton 2 Castleton 2 (OT)

Norwich 8 Wesleyan 0

Standings:

1.Bowdoin: 7-3-0 (14 pts)

Amherst: 6-2-2 (14 pts)

3. Colby: 5-2-2 (13 pts)

4. Middlebury: 4-1-4 (12 pts)

Williams: 6-3-0 (12 pts)

Trinity 5-2-2 (12 pts)

7.Tufts: 4-5-1 (9 pts)

Hamilton: 4-5-1 (9 pts)

9. Conn College: 2-7-1 (5 pts)

10. Wesleyan: 2-7-0 (4 pts)

The beat goes on for both Amherst and Colby as the Lord Jeffs’ unbeaten streak hits 10 games while the White Mules ring up their 12th game in a row without a loss. Middlebury heads in the other direction as its 10-game unbeaten streak is rudely interrupted by NEC and questions about the Panthers’ goaltending are once again front and center. Meanwhile, the bloom is off the Jumbos’ rose as Tufts experiences its 4th loss in a row in league play and now sits in 7th place.

At the midpoint of the season, Bowdoin and Amherst are tied for first place with Colby just a point off in 3rd place. Middlebury, Williams, and Trinity are tied for 4th place but all three have a game in hand on all three teams above them in the standings. Williams and Middlebury will not catch up in games played until Feb 9 when they play each other. Trinity catches up on Jan. 26 when it plays travel partner Wesleyan.   So six teams are within 2 points of first place, with all three that are 2 points off the pace also having played one less game, meaning that who will host the first-round games cannot be predicted with any reliability.

Among the top six, Bowdoin and Colby have played a weaker schedule to date and therefore face rough sledding in the 4 weeks remaining in the regular season after this weekend (including trips to Connecticut (Trinity and Wesleyan) and Vermont/Mass (Middlebury and Williams) to face 3 of the other 5 top contenders and visits to Maine by Amherst and Hamilton).  Middlebury, meanwhile, faces goaltending questions so it is difficult to offer firm predictions as to how the Panthers will finish the season. That leaves Amherst, Williams, and Trinity, with their strong goaltending and tougher early season schedule, as possibly the leading contenders for the top spots at the end of the season although Colby is also playing very well and could easily be in the mix for a top spot too.

As for tonight’s results, a couple of late third-period goals by Eddie Effinger paced Amherst to a come-from-behind victory over Skidmore in Saratoga by a score of 2-1.

Bowdoin completely dominated Tufts territorially, outshooting the Jumbos by 49-28 and taking control of the game early in the third period when Ryan Blossom scored the winning goal in a 3-2 game in Brunswick, ME. Bowdoin senior Chris Rossi made 26 saves in winning his sixth game of the season without a loss.

Colby edged Connecticut College, 4-3, on a late PP goal by Bill Crinnion (at 18:35 of the third period) in Waterville, ME. With 4 assists on the night, Wil Hartigan continued his superb play as the Colby unbeaten streak reached 12.

NEC crushed Middlebury in Henniker, NH,  with 5 consecutive goals in the second and third periods. Middlebury dominated the game territorially, outshooting NEC by 41-28, but neither of the Panthers top 2 goaltenders was able to get the job done tonight. Middlebury Coach Bill Beaney pulled Max Kennedy in the second period after he allowed 3 goals. John Yanchek  replaced Kennedy and allowed 2 goals to be pulled in favor of Kennedy early in the third period who then allowed 2 more goals and took the loss.  Hard to say exactly what is going on other than to say that the goaltending situation at Middlebury is unsettled. Even so, Middlebury is still well situated as it hovers just outside of first place with a game in hand.

Trinity’s Wes Vesprini shut out St. Mike’s, 3-0. Nothing much to say about this game other than that Trinity got the job done on one of the interlock’s weaker teams but did not dominate as it barely outshot the Knights (30-28).

Williams easily handled St. Anselm, 6-2. This game, in combination with the Ephs’ solid 1-1 tie with national powerhouse Plattsburgh State (third ranked) on Monday,  suggesting that Williams has righted the ship since last week’s lost weekend in Connecticut.

With a late third period tally by Tom Chiappetta, Hamilton grabbed a tie with Castleton in a closely played road game that was dominated by excellent goaltending for both teams. Alberta Junior alum Calvin Bartel backstopped the Continentals for the third game in a row, suggesting he may have captured the number one spot in the goalie rotation for Hamilton.

The nation’s number 2 team, Norwich, clobbered the inconsistent cellar-dwelling Wesleyan Cardinals in a penalty-filled game in Northfield, VT, by a score of 8-0.