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Tom Naeger
06-11-2012, 10:06 PM
I'm not sure I'd say "THE class of the AHA"... Scoreboard: AFA - 5 Championships; RIT - 1 Championship. Definitely amongst the class of the AHA with all the regular season success and the one FF appearance. But in a one-bid league, the Tigers have lost far more than they've won when it matters the most. I have to give the nod to Air Force on that one (sadly).

This is how I sum it up. RIT banged hard on the door after shocking the AHA and taking the regular season title their first year. For the next two, RIT would be right at the front but learned how difficult one game playoff can be. They blow the door wide open all the way to the Frozen Four and was clearly the class of the league. With respect to Air Force and all the great thing they did for the league, RIT did more that season for the AHA then Air Force did even with the NCAA Tournament wins the Falcons had.

Next year I felt Air Force stole back the top spot by a hair by riding Torfs big game in the AHA finals but Air Force being unable to advance from the first round despite a good effort still left RIT and Air Force at a virtual tie going into this past year. Air Force sure blow that away with a dominating performance in this year’s AHA finals. RIT now clearly has something to prove…

Humanoid
06-12-2012, 10:24 AM
About time someone mentions them. ;)

I believe Holy Cross was one of the candidates when Quinnipiac left AHA for the ECAC, but there were some issues they wouldn't be able to fix, so they were given a no.

It's incredibly hard to think that Holy Cross wouldn't look at improving the state of their program since they are a big-time D1 program in comparison to the rest of their eastern pod brethren. Even though they're in a low-level D1 conference, HC is still a big deal in Massachusetts because of reputation. Their basketball team and football team are decent draws, and the baseball team has had runs of success. They have lacrosse.

I think it's hard for Holy Cross to justify keeping their hockey team under a glass ceiling when they can look up and see basketball, football, etc. That especially rings true since Holy Cross typically views itself on the same level as Boston College in some regards (football notwithstanding). It's extremely hard for HC to justify remaining in Atlantic Hockey forever without ensuring the program hits a ceiling in its rise. Their programs and reputation alone are bigger than most of the rest of the conference in that respect (at least in their own eyes).

That said, they're perfectly happy in AHA, and it's a good deal at current. So, like I said, they are going to investigate leaving, but they'll leave only if it's the right fit. ECAC would've been a fantastic fit for them. Hockey east - I don't think that's as much a good fit.

LtPowers
06-12-2012, 11:17 AM
It's incredibly hard to think that Holy Cross wouldn't look at improving the state of their program since they are a big-time D1 program in comparison to the rest of their eastern pod brethren.

Well they can start by improving their results in-conference (last season was a good step forward). The team is competitive but hasn't been dominant since beating Minnesota all those years ago (with four losing seasons in the last six), and they've been to the BCA only once. Couple that with their women's team languishing and playing a D-III schedule, and it seems clear to me hockey isn't a huge priority for them.

One could say the same about UConn, but they've given notice to Hockey East that they're ready to step up their game. I suppose HC might do the same if a conference came calling, but they have a long way to go before they start hitting any AHA "glass ceiling".


Powers &8^]

UncleRay
06-12-2012, 02:39 PM
Their programs and reputation alone are bigger than most of the rest of the conference in that respect (at least in their own eyes)."In their own eyes." HC has a history of thinking they are so much better than they are. If they were twice as good as they actually are, they'd be half as good as they think they are. I remember how they used to run their institutional mouth back in the day about their football record against the Ivies. Of course, they used the Ivies as a benchmark since that is what they claim to be academically. They changed leagues, lost their scholarships, and immediately started getting consistently pounded by the Ivies. I still laugh.

Jim
06-12-2012, 02:42 PM
Well they can start by improving their results in-conference (last season was a good step forward). The team is competitive but hasn't been dominant since beating Minnesota all those years ago (with four losing seasons in the last six), and they've been to the BCA only once. Couple that with their women's team languishing and playing a D-III schedule, and it seems clear to me hockey isn't a huge priority for them.

One could say the same about UConn, but they've given notice to Hockey East that they're ready to step up their game. I suppose HC might do the same if a conference came calling, but they have a long way to go before they start hitting any AHA "glass ceiling".


Powers &8^]I think Humanoid overstates how Holy Cross sees its athletic programs to a degree, and its hockey program in particular. I'd say their model is much more the Ivy league for football, basketball and other sports. As far as hockey goes, they'd probably be willing to upgrade somewhat to play in the ECAC which in some ways would be a better fit for them, but as I remember, womens hockey was the thing that kept them out of the ECAC discussions last time. They are generally pretty satisfied with where they are on the ice, though. AHA allows them to keep the sport, but they can keep the costs under control and if another ECAC invitation comes along, they'll be in position to make a sound decision. They'd love to play Harvard and Dartmouth a few times a year as well as Patriot League oppnent Colgate. I really think that while they might have had discussions with Hockey East, you almost have to at least meet with them if they call, it wouldn't have been a good match for either party. People think of Holy Cross as BC's "sister school" to some extent, but in fact, it is much closer in size and philosphy to schools like Union and some of the NESCAC schools...smaller liberal arts colleges. Indeed if you look at their marketing, that is they are now trying to get the same type of students as might choose Tufts or Connecticut College or Wesleyan.

joecct
06-12-2012, 07:56 PM
About time someone mentions them. ;)

I believe Holy Cross was one of the candidates when Quinnipiac left AHA for the ECAC, but there were some issues they wouldn't be able to fix, so they were given a no.The only issue I am aware of was upgrading the women's team to Division I. If they had done that, they were in as their academics blew Q's out of the forest.

Snively65
06-12-2012, 09:21 PM
The only issue I am aware of was upgrading the women's team to Division I. If they had done that, they were in as their academics blew Q's out of the forest.

As much as I like Hart Rink, I do not think it is feasible to increase seating, so my guess is that Quinnipiac won that contest for their ECAC bid. My guess is that the same seating issue was a factor for UConn's HE bid, with the option to play home games in Hartford until they build something on campus?

BC/HE
06-12-2012, 10:01 PM
As much as I like Hart Rink, I do not think it is feasible to increase seating, so my guess is that Quinnipiac won that contest for their ECAC bid. My guess is that the same seating issue was a factor for UConn's HE bid, with the option to play home games in Hartford until they build something on campus?


Holy Cross is 2 miles away(walkable from campus or an easy shuttle bus ride that could be established for games) from the DCU Center, the site of numerous NCAA tournament games(almost every other year) compared to a 25 mile drive from Storrs to Hartford. There could be a case for Holy Cross that is far better than UConn's in that respect.

Snively65
06-13-2012, 12:52 AM
Good point on DCU proximity to HC, so probably $$ and scholarship issue?

rpi82
06-13-2012, 08:28 AM
Holy Cross is 2 miles away(walkable from campus or an easy shuttle bus ride that could be established for games) from the DCU Center, the site of numerous NCAA tournament games(almost every other year) compared to a 25 mile drive from Storrs to Hartford. There could be a case for Holy Cross that is far better than UConn's in that respect.

The distance is only a small part of the issue. Holy Cross is a small private school with a limited local fan base or interaction with community. HC students rarely venture downtown for anything that doesn't involve alcohol. Similarly, community members rarely have reason to venture onto the HC campus.. Although having the minor league baseball team may have reduced somewhat the perceived isolation and increased community connection to HC's campus on the hill, it's far different from the connection that comes from being State U with an open campus and frequent large crowds for big-time college sports. UConn soccer probably outdraws any Holy Cross team outside of football. Also, there is an established tradition for UConn athletics in the Hartford area that doesn't exist for HC at the DCU Center.

Frankly, I don't think the XL Center is an appropriate long term choice for an entire hockey schedule either. Ideally they'd have an on-campus rink for most games and might play a handful of top opponents in Hartford, but it is a far better choice than having HC play in downtown Worcester. To the extent that HC could draw, it's most likely that it would be for a few popular opponents (BC, BU, UNH, etc.) with the majority rooting for the road team.

UncleRay
06-13-2012, 09:23 AM
People think of Holy Cross as BC's "sister school" Rosemary to BC's Eunice.

FlagDUDE08
06-13-2012, 09:34 AM
Holy Cross is 2 miles away(walkable from campus or an easy shuttle bus ride that could be established for games) from the DCU Center, the site of numerous NCAA tournament games(almost every other year) compared to a 25 mile drive from Storrs to Hartford. There could be a case for Holy Cross that is far better than UConn's in that respect.

As a similar point, isn't Colorado College about 4 miles away from World Arena? I'm sure that wouldn't have been an issue.

Humanoid
06-13-2012, 11:18 AM
As a similar point, isn't Colorado College about 4 miles away from World Arena? I'm sure that wouldn't have been an issue.

CC also has better relations within the community than HC. I agree with the point being made that Holy Cross doesn't have the same interaction with the community that other schools, including UConn have. But the people who go to HC games also aren't from Worcester.

I think the statement about the minor league baseball team is overstated; they're far too gimmicky to be sustainable for the long term at that field, unless Jose Canseco stays there fora 10 year stay. And an independent minor league team is far different than short-season single A (like Lowell has with the Spinners).

Town/gown for Worcester/HC isn't great, but then again, the Holy Cross core isn't from Worcester. It's the same reason UMass is going to play their home games at Gillette Stadium even though it's 90 miles away. Their core fans aren't from Amherst anyways, or at least that's the perception from the people upstairs.

FlagDUDE08
06-13-2012, 12:24 PM
CC also has better relations within the community than HC. I agree with the point being made that Holy Cross doesn't have the same interaction with the community that other schools, including UConn have. But the people who go to HC games also aren't from Worcester.

I think the statement about the minor league baseball team is overstated; they're far too gimmicky to be sustainable for the long term at that field, unless Jose Canseco stays there fora 10 year stay. And an independent minor league team is far different than short-season single A (like Lowell has with the Spinners).

Town/gown for Worcester/HC isn't great, but then again, the Holy Cross core isn't from Worcester. It's the same reason UMass is going to play their home games at Gillette Stadium even though it's 90 miles away. Their core fans aren't from Amherst anyways, or at least that's the perception from the people upstairs.

As another example, could that be a reason that Maine plays a game in Portland each year, or why Cornell started doing a yearly (or at least bi-yearly) game at Madison Square Garden? Where is the Holy Cross core? Are they all on campus?

Humanoid
06-13-2012, 01:20 PM
As another example, could that be a reason that Maine plays a game in Portland each year, or why Cornell started doing a yearly (or at least bi-yearly) game at Madison Square Garden? Where is the Holy Cross core? Are they all on campus?

From my experience as a Boston guy, the HC core is spread mainly throughout western and eastern Mass. The western mass folks are out past Springfield into the nether regions of Massachusetts that might as well be ceded to Vermont and upstate New York. The eastern Mass people are predominantly Boston, but there's no way HC will ever be able to touch the market in this part of the state simply because its monopolized by the Beanpot.

I was shocked Holy Cross wasn't the team sent to the Cape Cod Classic, but then again, the seating at the JFK Jr. rink in Hyannis is less than the Hart Center, and Army has a larger base down there because of the Kennedy name (no pun intended). West Point has a large Cape Cod following, much larger than metropolitan Boston. Most of it is due to Jack Riley's residence and being seen throughout the community at semi-pro and low level minor league games.

Jim
06-13-2012, 05:45 PM
The distance is only a small part of the issue. Holy Cross is a small private school with a limited local fan base or interaction with community. HC students rarely venture downtown for anything that doesn't involve alcohol. Similarly, community members rarely have reason to venture onto the HC campus.. Although having the minor league baseball team may have reduced somewhat the perceived isolation and increased community connection to HC's campus on the hill, it's far different from the connection that comes from being State U with an open campus and frequent large crowds for big-time college sports. UConn soccer probably outdraws any Holy Cross team outside of football. Also, there is an established tradition for UConn athletics in the Hartford area that doesn't exist for HC at the DCU Center.

Frankly, I don't think the XL Center is an appropriate long term choice for an entire hockey schedule either. Ideally they'd have an on-campus rink for most games and might play a handful of top opponents in Hartford, but it is a far better choice than having HC play in downtown Worcester. To the extent that HC could draw, it's most likely that it would be for a few popular opponents (BC, BU, UNH, etc.) with the majority rooting for the road team.Most UCONN fans don't think the XL is a long term solution, nor I think do the UCONN administration. I get the sense that there is an expectation that there will be at least an expansion if not a new Frietas Forum in the next 5 years. In the interim UCONN will play the Hockey East opponents in hartford and non-conference opponents on campus. UCONN already has a long tradition of playing football, mens and womens basketball all in Hartford (well, Rentschler field is in East Hartford, maybe 10 minutes away from Downtown) so this isn't all that illogical, and they have figured out the systems for getting students from campus to those venues. Those are also more accepssible to the bulk of UCONN's fans. I'm not sure a school like Holy Cross really has the same fan potential. BC, BU, Northeastern, Harvard all to the east, but not that far away. Providence and Brown 40 minutes south catching the Rhode Island and southeastern Mass fans, UMASS_Amherst a much bigger entity to the west and Lowell and Merrimack 40 minutes north...there are just a lot of options so the Crusaders need to rely on local, alumni and student support. It simply isn'tthe same as the market UCONN draws on. Over 100,000 alumni in Connecticut, no real competion until you get to New Haven...basically they have the whole northern and eastern half of the state to draw on. I'm not usggesting that means they'll sell out the XL. Of course they won't. just that they are in a better position than Holy Cross to be successful.

gfmorris
06-14-2012, 01:09 AM
I'm pretty sure we'd take a scholarship reduction if we had to. As with our desire to be in the nWCHA, travel is a concern, but the key thing is getting together and talking about it. It's easy for people to put together spreadsheets [which I agree with] and talk about anecdotes [which I partially agree with], but the fact is that member schools from each conference have made the trip to Huntsville, and some of them have done it quite recently. They can vouch for the benefits and drawbacks of the situation. As an example, if you go ask one of the coaches at one of the UP teams, he'll tell you that the trip just isn't a problem. [I'm not giving you a name.]

I can learn to say mean things about your goalies just as well as I can mean things about theirs. RMU boss Derek Schooley and I chirp each other on Twitter. It's all good.

GFM <-- just wants a home to be found this summer, because otherwise it's almost a given that this is our last year.

LtPowers
06-14-2012, 06:38 PM
The only issue I am aware of was upgrading the women's team to Division I. If they had done that, they were in as their academics blew Q's out of the forest.

I'm stunned, then, that they didn't. There's no good reason for a D-I school to be playing a D-III schedule in any sport. They're really doing their men's program a disservice if they're not investing in their women's program.


Powers &8^]

Jim
06-15-2012, 09:49 AM
I'm stunned, then, that they didn't. There's no good reason for a D-I school to be playing a D-III schedule in any sport. They're really doing their men's program a disservice if they're not investing in their women's program.


Powers &8^]I'm not sure I ever bought that entirely, by the way. I always had a sense that Holy Cross wasn't really prepared to make the investment in its program that would have been required. They applied to the ECAC more to test the waters. Had they been accepted, great, but they were always behind Quinipiac in terms of how aggressivly they were going after that slot.

schiegs
06-15-2012, 12:02 PM
Don't forget that QU had labeld hockey as a "Sport of Emphasis". :rolleyes: