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sshablak
09-30-2015, 08:01 AM
With the excitement of the new rink this will be a bittersweet ending for me kind of like losing an old friend. Built in 1959, my first peewee team in 1962, guestimating I've seen well over 500 games in my fifty plus years of watching Gate hockey. From Kollevol to Vaughan, remembering the students tearing down the chickenwire fence(no glass back then) after an OT win over Army in the mid 60's, from Bob Nilan going into the stands(Northeastern) and the game being called after he knocked out our captain with a suckerpunch. Terry Slater and our rise on the national scene, beating Lake Superior in two games at Starr in the NCAA quarterfinals with Gordie Howe in the pressbox, getting 3000 fans for Harvard, Clarkson or Cornell, shirtless students over the glass after knocking off #1 nationally ranked Harvard or Cornell. I could go on and on. Hoping to at least secure a #1-4 spot in the playoffs to retire Starr properly ! Maybe Silver Puck can get twenty or thirty of our best to come back for the ceremony.

The other thread mentioned much of what I would of covered, guessing he thought I was tardy. Hoping for a great year, the seniors are one of the best recruited classes ever, let's send them out on a high note.

Wonder who will replace Baun on the Spinks line, coach said there's a possibility it could be Racine. The frosh defensemen will be called on immediately to fill in the losses. Johnson left us high and dry as he wasn't expected to depart early, Baun was expected. This leaves us with only sixteen scholarships(of eighteen) so staying healthy is the key to our 2015-16 season.

CU13
09-30-2015, 08:32 AM
I share Shabby's sentiment about Starr........having watched games there since 1963. So many great games, players, coaches, fans. No doubt the closing of Starr will be felt most deeply by the long time fans. Big plans are underway for a great celebration during Silver Puck weekend in February.
We always seem to have a short bench, and this year it seems even shorter (thanks, Ryan). Staying healthy is paramount. I am looking for break out years from Sannitti, Black, Panowyk and Petersen. I love that we are picked to finish 5th......so we can fly under the radar. OOC wins will be huge. I like the leadership that Mike Borkowski brings to the team and I think the addition of Asst. Coach Pagliano will prove to be one of our best hires in years.
Very optimistic about the season! GO 'GATE!!!!!

Rainman
09-30-2015, 08:50 AM
After a long spring/summer (which felt even longer given (A): we won 22 games but missed the NCAA's and (B): my MLB team, the Boston Red Sox, was a complete disaster throughout May, June and July), I am ready for the puck to drop on this final season at Starr Rink. Here are my thoughts on the upcoming season (and I'm sorry if I reiterate some of Shabby's above post):

OFFENSE:

We should be fine on offense. We return the Spink twins, Mike Borkowski, and Darcy Murphy. This should give us two scoring lines. However, we will need these players to stay healthy and/or not get suspended for contact to the head. See last season for more on this. Even though we lost Kyle Baun to the Blackhawks, I still think we have the firepower to put the puck in the net. But other forwards need to step up, starting with the four junior forwards on the roster: Emilio Audi, Andrew Black, Derek Freeman, and Tim Harrison. Whether it's creating a third scoring line or being an Ethan Cox/Jason Williams type player that can be a defensive forward or kill penalties, it will go a LONG way. We also have 3 returning sophomore forwards: Evan Peterson, Mike Panowyk, and Sebastian Weberg, that also add to the mix. Finally, two freshmen forwards join the team this year, Cameron Radziwon and Hunter Racine. If there's a problem here it's that we only have 13 forwards, only adding two this year when losing five from last season. If just one forward misses significant time with an injury, we're in deeper trouble than we were last season.

DEFENSE:

Bad news #1: we lost Spiro Goulakos to graduation. He was a team leader and he will be missed. Bad news #2: we lost Ryan Johnston to the pros. It was a double hit for me because I root for the Bruins and Johnston signed with the Montreal Canadiens. When Baun departed, I thought we would still be competitive this season, but losing Johnston was like being sucker-punched out of nowhere! We fortunately bring in 3 defensemen to replace Goulakos, Johnston, and Brendan Corcoran (who also graduated), but now we will dress at least 2 freshmen defensemen every game. It could bring about some growing pains like in 2009-10 and 2013-14. That said, going into 2013-14 we had also lost 3 regular defensemen from 2012-13 (Jeremy Price, Thomas Larkin, and Nathan Sinz), and we all know how that season turned out. Again, lack of depth here could be an issue. If just one defensemen misses significant time with an injury (see also last Jan.-Feb. when we didn't have Spiro), we'll be walking a tightrope again this year.

GOALTENDING:

Nothing much to say here. Charlie Finn is our #1 guy here, and in my opinion, he's our first legitimate goaltender since Mark Dekanich. He's made the key saves when he has to, now can he keep it up with a modified defensive corps in front of him? We also bring back a proven (albeit inexperienced) backup in Zac Hamilton, who only started 3 games last year but earned a shutout in his one win. This should be a strength going into the next two seasons.

SEASON OUTLOOK:

Given some of our losses from last season, we could be in for a tough October/November. If the defense can continue to succeed without Goulakos and Johnston, and the 3 new blueliners can get acclimated to playing Division 1 college hockey by Christmas, we could have a good second half of the season that would hopefully vault us into a top-4 finish and a home ECAC Quarterfinal series. That would be a great way to close out Starr Rink. If we can make it to Lake Placid for a 3rd year in a row, this season would be a success for me. The team is hungry for an ECAC Championship after coming oh-so-close each of the past two seasons.

But my one significant complaint is about the schedule. Why why WHY do we have to give up our league home game to Brown just for participating in the "Friendship Four"? And why do we have to play Brown AGAIN in the Catamount Cup? Are the tournament schedulers eggheads? It would have made more sense for us to play Northeastern or UMass Lowell in the first game of the Belfast Tournament. And it also would have made more sense for us to play Vermont or Lake Superior in the first game of the Catamount Cup! Because of this, we have to play 6 of 7 league games on the road from Jan. 24 through Feb. 21. No other ECAC team has an unbalanced league schedule like this down the stretch! (Well, maybe Harvard. They have given up their league home game against Quinnipiac to play them at Madison Square Garden, which may have been necessitated by their regularly having to move league games due to the Beanpot.) Also, I see we're playing Cornell early in the season again. I know, the ECAC block schedule didn't give us (or many other ECAC teams) an open weekend in January or February but Double ugh. At least we play them in Ithaca on Colgate Day this year (Friday the 13th).

Side note #1 - we should use this thread instead of the other one. Shabby has started the in-season threads going back to when I joined this Fan Forum in 2008 (and maybe even earlier than that).

Side note #2 - this is my 2,000th post on the USCHO Fan Forum. Let's make it a great year!

ColSkate65
09-30-2015, 08:57 AM
Reporting for duty. Looking forward to celebrating the history of Starr and a good season. Been attending games at the 'OL barn since 1961. Some may not agree, but I like the atmosphere and will miss it going forward.

FlagDUDE08
09-30-2015, 09:06 AM
Although I've only seen games at Starr since 2007 (didn't travel much my first few years of college), and regularly since 2008-09 as a "community member" (although still rooting for the other team, sorry) for men and women when possible, Starr has always been an absolute pleasure to visit. The history in the walkway, the other tributes, and just the old barn style atmosphere has been enjoyable for both FlagDUDETTE and myself. Here's to the end of the Starr chapter and the beginning of the Class of '65 chapter.

'Gate Radio
09-30-2015, 09:44 AM
But my one significant complaint is about the schedule. Why why WHY do we have to give up our league home game to Brown just for participating in the "Friendship Four"? And why do we have to play Brown AGAIN in the Catamount Cup? Are the tournament schedulers eggheads? It would have made more sense for us to play Northeastern or UMass Lowell in the first game of the Belfast Tournament. And it also would have made more sense for us to play Vermont or Lake Superior in the first game of the Catamount Cup! Because of this, we have to play 6 of 7 league games on the road from Jan. 24 through Feb. 21. No other ECAC team has an unbalanced league schedule like this down the stretch! (Well, maybe Harvard. They have given up their league home game against Quinnipiac to play them at Madison Square Garden, which may have been necessitated by their regularly having to move league games due to the Beanpot.) Also, I see we're playing Cornell early in the season again. I know, the ECAC block schedule didn't give us (or many other ECAC teams) an open weekend in January or February but Double ugh. At least we play them in Ithaca on Colgate Day this year (Friday the 13th).


1 - Catamount Cup. It's Vermont's tournament and UVM makes the schedule, not the other teams in it (Lake State, Colgate, Brown). It also has a pre-set format whereas past years have been in a tournament format with no pre-set games on the second day. While I agree in that playing Brown a third time, as opposed to playing Lake State, is a little much, it is what it is. Brown IMO will be much improved this season and a potential win over Bruno may have more PWR implications.

2 - Re: Belfast tournament. I don't have the entire details but I know that NCAA rules regarding international games and tournaments required that the teams play a league game. The only way to accomplish this and have a true tournament format for the "BelPot" was to have the two league opponents square off in the opening round - Colgate-Brown, UML-Northeastern. And then losing a home game, it's part of doing business in regards to getting the opportunity to play in Northern Ireland. Colgate or Brown was going to lose a home game and CU got the short end of the stick, this happens. IMO the added day of rest in February with a one-game weekend versus Yale as opposed to two games with Yale/Brown will help more in the long run. Almost everyone else (not sure about Harvard re: Beanpot schedule switching around) will be playing two games that weekend as part of the stretch run to the end of the season.

sshablak
09-30-2015, 10:15 AM
Won't it help our recruiting in Ireland ??:)

FlagDUDE08
09-30-2015, 11:40 AM
2 - Re: Belfast tournament. I don't have the entire details but I know that NCAA rules regarding international games and tournaments required that the teams play a league game. The only way to accomplish this and have a true tournament format for the "BelPot" was to have the two league opponents square off in the opening round - Colgate-Brown, UML-Northeastern. And then losing a home game, it's part of doing business in regards to getting the opportunity to play in Northern Ireland. Colgate or Brown was going to lose a home game and CU got the short end of the stick, this happens. IMO the added day of rest in February with a one-game weekend versus Yale as opposed to two games with Yale/Brown will help more in the long run. Almost everyone else (not sure about Harvard re: Beanpot schedule switching around) will be playing two games that weekend as part of the stretch run to the end of the season.

And of course the Ivy gets the home game, because heaven forbid Brown lose all that revenue they get for the 30 people that actually show up to their games.

Rainman
09-30-2015, 12:29 PM
And of course the Ivy gets the home game, because heaven forbid Brown lose all that revenue they get for the 30 people that actually show up to their games.

Given that we're playing Brown on Nov. 20, coupled with the NCAA rules that apparently require us to play a league game in Ireland, it would have made more sense for the game in Ireland to be Brown's home game. Both teams would have gotten an extra day off to prepare for this trip. Either way, Brown "wins" here, as they never, EVER have to play at Starr Rink again. (Brown's record there is comparable to Union's).

And while we're at it, it would have made more sense for the ECAC to move the "Clarkson/SLU at Colgate/Cornell" weekend on Dec. 4/5 to Nov. 13/14 (all four teams had this weekend open in the block schedule) so that Colgate wouldn't have to play two league games immediately after playing in Ireland. But then again, Colgate may have had to play its home and home with Cornell that weekend, or at the very least, 1 game against the Big Red after the Ireland trip. It is what it is.

I'm hoping to get back to Starr at least twice this season - first for the Cornell game, and then for the final regular season game vs. Union, weather permitting.

ColSkate65
09-30-2015, 03:03 PM
Reporting for duty. Looking forward to celebrating the history of Starr and a good season. Been attending games at the 'OL barn since 1961. Some may not agree, but I like the atmosphere and will miss it going forward.

Good previews of the season by Shabby, CU13, Rainman - in fact all of you. Seems like we all like our offensive firepower but have qualms about the defense. I share those concerns, and just hope we stay injury free and no match game penalties or illness.

While I share the sentiments of many about Starr, I have to put in a plug for the Class of 1965 Arena, which will be an exciting place to see games. Since some deep pockets members of my class were mostly responsible for its creation, I take special pride. I look forward to its dedication in October 2016.

still an empty net
09-30-2015, 06:43 PM
Ah yes! Now the boys are back, I deleted the other thread. Sorry shabby just can't wait for Saturday and the start of college hockey! We can all agree with that.

My post from the old thread if you did not see it, otherwise nothing new:


Preseason national rank 20. ECAC 5th.

Looking at our roster from last year, 8 out of the 13 players with 9 or more points will return this year with the departures/graduation of Spiro, Wilson, Lidgett, Baun, and Johnston. It is also important to keep in mind that last yearís team dealt with numerous injuries/suspensions with Borkowski, Murphy, Spink etcÖ so if they can stay healthy this year we could be a top four ECAC team in the league again and that's what the polls point at as well if you believe them. In my opinion, the two big names that need to step it up are first, Tim Harrison, who improved a lot from his freshman year to sophomore. Last year he had 11 points, (5 the year before with no goals) so hopefully he can get up to around 15-20 this year. I would also like to see Mike Panowyk step it up as well. He started off the season well but then disappeared for a while but still had 9 points at the end of the season. I think he will need to have more than 15 this year to help fill some of the gaps. We also have both Spinks, Murphy, as well as Borkowski who are all very productive. I think this will be a VERY similar season to last year as we may be fighting for one of the last spots in the NCAAs. We will need some freshmen to step up and fill some gaps. R. Johnston leaving hurt us more than some may realize.

On to the schedule:
Although there may not be as many home games as some people want, this is still a solid schedule when we look at our competition. First, remember more pairwise weight goes in to road wins so more road games arenít always a bad thing. I canít emphasize enough that the two most important factors in the pairwise right now are road wins and wins over top 20 teams. This is why Yale was pulled into the NCAAs last year over us because their 4 wins over Harvard throughout the year. Also, we have to remember how important the OOC scheduled games effect the pairwise. It's also a great opportunity to check out some new/different arenas. RITs new rink is very nice although it is probably too big for their normal fan base. The tournament in Vermont looks like a quality road trip as well.

Back to our scheduleÖfirst, we play at least 7 Hockey East teams this year which we went 2-2 against last year (2 wins over Northeastern and the two losses that surely kept us out of the NCAAs, at Providence and at BU). We start off with four of our first 5 games on the road. Ideally, 4-1 would be a great start but 3-2 is probably realistic. A 2-3 record could really hurt come March given that 4 of those opponents are AHA teams. Then we have Providence at home for two games in which one win is a must and anything more than that is a bonus. Much like last year we will have our opportunities to get to the NCAAs but we must win the games against the top 20 pairwise competition which we completely failed to do last year. Iím guessing we will have played 8-10 top 20 pairwise teams come March 15th. Those teams possibly being Yale (2), Quinnipiac (2), Harvard (2), SLU (2) Providence (2), Vermont, maybe Umass Lowell depending on the tournament, Northeastern (maybe 2), and maybe Dartmouth (2). Letís say we play 10 top 20 pairwise teams by the end of the year, I think we will need to win at least 5 of those if we want to be on the right side of the bubble this time. I wish we had a western opponent to add to the mix but I guess we have been lucky over the last years getting SCSU, Ferris St, Miami, etc.. to Starr.

Mercyhurst does not look as strong as last year so I am hoping for an opening sweep to get some momentum heading leading into a quality HE opponent; Northeastern.

Gate83
09-30-2015, 07:36 PM
Great previews. I'll enjoy the last year at Starr, but am fully on board with the new arena which I believe was necessary if we want to continue on as a program with national aspirations. Like '65, have to flak for our own project... the Tighe Sullivan '83 reception area I'm hoping will be a great addition to the new arena. Let's get a sweep this weekend to start the year off right!

CU13
09-30-2015, 08:37 PM
I am thrilled about the new rink and am grateful to the Class of '65 and all those wonderful donors who have made it a possibility! I drive or walk by it every day and love watching the progress. It will be sad, however, to say goodbye to the 'ol barn, even though its' time has come.

red133883
10-01-2015, 09:10 PM
This is more about the new rink than this season. It was previously stated that we believe our first game in the new rink was against Army. With Riggs being in the military it might be a very nice way to break in the new rink with a very meaningful way. Especially if Briggs was part of the Army(not sure which branch he was in).

May not be the best hockey game but the emotion would be there.

And with that we are less than 48 hours away from the start of the season!

sshablak
10-02-2015, 06:54 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, this may be our earliest opening game ever? And, we are the only ranked team playing this weekend that's not playing an exhibition game. I wonder with a sweep if we jump up significantly in the meaningless polls, subconsciously we'd have an edge for the voters.

red133883
10-02-2015, 07:23 AM
shabby, our games are the only regular season, "non-exhibition" games going on this weekend

sshablak
10-02-2015, 09:17 AM
I just said that, what part didn't you understand ?? So we are the only ranked team playing non exhibition games obviously.

red133883
10-02-2015, 10:25 AM
I understood it, was just surprised not to see ANY other regular season games this week. It seems like Vaughn likes to get to a fast start, I think we did this a couple years ago.

rodney
10-02-2015, 10:30 AM
I understood it, was just surprised not to see ANY other regular season games this week. It seems like Vaughn likes to get to a fast start, I think we did this a couple years ago.

It's a function of the Belfast trip. The Colgate-Mercyhurst games were supposed to be Thanksgiving weekend. Once that was booked, this was the only available weekend both teams had in common.

Rainman
10-02-2015, 10:36 AM
It's a function of the Belfast trip. The Colgate-Mercyhurst games were supposed to be Thanksgiving weekend. Once that was booked, this was the only available weekend both teams had in common.

Based on this data, I'm also guessing we were also originally scheduled to play 2 games at Northeastern, but one of them got axed for the Belfast tournament.