Quick thoughts

Rensselaer: nothing to lose

Nobody is giving RPI much of a chance against North Dakota, in the Engineers’ first NCAA appearance in 16 years… but really, why would they? The Engineers were the last team into the field and the Sioux are widely considered to be the best team in college hockey (even if Yale, Union, Boston College, or a few others may beg to differ).

So what does the ‘Tute have going for it? The element of surprise, low expectations, and Allen York/Chase Polacek/Tyler Helfrich. A fast start and a few big plays for RPI could strike a little doubt or uncertainty into NoDak, and that can have a snowballing effect.

I’m not going to lie – I don’t expect RPI to pull the upset – but I’d sure love to see it happen, as would just about every other college hockey fan in the country not wearing green and black, it seems.

Union: stating its case

The Dutchmen have a big task ahead of them Friday afternoon. Minnesota-Duluth has been ranked the top team in the country already this year, hailing from a powerful conference and carrying with it equal parts confidence and expectation against a “weak” field in the East Regional (at least, according to many unacquainted with east-coast hockey).

Union can point to its road upset of Minnesota on New Year’s Eve as proof of its worth all it wants, but skeptics will nod to losses at Alaska and two at Western Michigan as evidence of a team that has yet to earn the national spotlight.

This game is the program’s biggest opportunity ever to state its case as a major player… but will the Dutch rise to the occasion, or crumble under the pressure? The first 10 minutes of the contest should speak volumes.

Yale: road to redemption

Bulldogs players wore shirts with the slogan “unfinished business” emblazoned across the back this year. It doesn’t take an Ivy Leaguer to figure out what they mean.

Following the Elis’ slobberknocker of a loss to Boston College in the Northeast Regional finale last spring, there have been nagging, persistent questions about Yale’s true value. Is the offense as good as it seems against a shorter, ECAC schedule? Has the goaltending come far enough since last season – and the BC game – to lift the Bulldogs when they really need it to? Is this a one-dimensional team, or a squad that is really capable of playing smart, consistent, determined two-way hockey?

I don’t need to share my opinion of the team, as it’s pretty irrelevant (not to mention well-known) by now. Air Force is no joke, having already defeated Yale earlier this year and owning a brief but respectable history in the NCAA’s.

The exam for Yale starts when the puck drops Friday night, and with every shift, the Bulldogs will be tested and evaluated with the biggest grades of their careers.

Music to get the adrenaline flowing

And finally, I hope these serve to get you a little amped up and ready to go before our ECAC representatives take the ice. Go get ’em, boys.

RPI fight song: Hail Dear Old Rensselaer

Yale fight song: Bulldog

And finally, Union’s intro tune. I’m not a big fan of Coldplay, but this edited version of “Fix You” is simply outstanding. Even if you’ve never been to Messa Rink or seen the Dutchmen play, just imagine the team – or your team, or any team – taking the ice with the lights low and these beats pumping. It should give you goosebumps.

Union Dutchmen intro song: Fix You (Coldplay)

  • ECAC

    As an ECAC fan, I hope RPI does NOT pull the upset because they do NOT deserve to be there. Losing to the last-place team in the league, really?

    • Bulldog07

      Maybe not, but what do you think it would say to all those NoDak and WCHA whiners out there if a team that got bounced by the #12 team in the ECAC knocked the all-mighty Sioux out of the NCAA tourney? Not to mention it would be the second time in two years that a team that “couldn’t hack it” against the ECAC’s basement kicked the arrogant NoDak fans out of the tourney again?

      If you’re an ECAC fan, you should be rooting for all three teams this Friday…because NoDak deserves to get booted for their fans’ obnoxiousness and because that would mean an ECAC squad finally gets to the Frozen Four for the first time in a while.

      From a true-bull Eli…Let’s Go ‘Tute!!!!

      • boolaboola

        Hahaha…”True-Blue” Eli! Damn the lack of editing on Disqus.

      • Crasher1339

        I’d love to see it, but I’d love to see alot of things that ain’t gonna happen. Sorry ‘tute but it would take a major miracle for you guys to be NoDak.

        • Dreamer

          Do you believe in miracles?

          • Nyqi

            Nope, not that one at least.

      • keggy

        If RPI pulls off the upset I hope everyone gives the UND crowd the same grief everyone gave Minnesota fans when they lost to Holy Cross. And no, it’s not jealousy. If I was jealous of the number of titles your team has won I should dislike Michigan and Denver, too.

      • J_nd

        really bulldog??? come on.. A RPI upset would mean nothing to the “whiners”.. A win is a win guys.. We cant keep comparing teams who are not even in the tournament!!!

    • Mike1975

      Then Union doesn’t belong either correct?
      No. 12 Colgate at No. 1 Union (Colgate wins series, 2-1)

    • EngineerHockey

      @ ECAC

      Who is your team? Cornell, Princeton or maybe Clarkson?

      Go and look at RPI’s record and then strength of opponents on our schedule. Yeah we lost to colgate 2-1 but there is a reason RPI is in and your team isn’t: RPI had a great season and your team didn’t. Simple as that cupcake! Now sit down, turn on the game and support your ECAC boys in the playoff. GO RED!!!

  • Union Alum ’97

    When Union played @ WMU, they were without Adam Presizniuk. He is the best player in the history of Union’s program. For 4 or 5 of Union’s losses, he was either out of lineup or recovering from major thumb surgery. I very much hope the WCHA arrogance and hubris has invaded the Duluth locker room b/c they will be in for a world of shock today. The Dutchman are carrying the weight of 20 plus years of mediocrity on their shoulders and are about to explode in this tourney.

  • Scorpiancmdr

    RPI has to play the game of their life in order to win (and ND has to stumble, Union (abd I am a Union fan) depends on what Union team shows up, if they comeout and play their game they will win, if not it’s one and done. Yale as much as I respect Yale I say Don’t count Air Force out after getting screwed 2 years ago they have something to prove…..that said in the tournament it is one and done if team don’t come out ready to play and mentally in the game (Just look at Denver what happened to last year, they were not ready and RIT took it to them)

  • Anonymous

    “Here’s to Old R. P. I.” is the alma mater. The song posted is “Hail Dear Old Rensselaer” – which is, indeed, the fight song.

  • Mike

    People just seem to look past the body of work from the whole season….RPI handled top 10 at the time BU no problem…beat the USA World Juniors…beat Union once…beat Yale once..swept Dartmouth…tied Colorado College…were ranked as high as 8th at one point…have an outstanding goaltender in Allen York and 2 time Hobey Baker candidate Chase Polacek..ok, they slipped a little down the stretch which can happen to any team…Colgate was predicted to finish in the top 3 of the standings at the beginning of the season by some, because they have 7 NHL draftees (to RPI’s 3) …and Colgate handled Union the next round as well…hear nobody talking about Union losing to them….can’t just judge on one game or one series…need to look at the whole season….and if each of the ECAC playoff rounds were one game elimination games like they should be like in every other league, Union and RPI would’ve both moved on because they each won the first game of the series…so people who say “they don’t deserve to be there”, why don’t you go up to North Dakota and join the whiners…this aint the final 64 like the ncaa basketball tourney…this is the Final 16…a win wouldn’t be a drastic miracle, sorry…surprise maybe, but not a miracle

    I think it will be a close fought battle…Let’s Go RPI!!!!!

    • Nyqi

      Anyone can beat anyone on a given night (or day in this case) but if you want to look at the entire season you have to admit that UND looks to be the better squad. And rather than slipping as you say RPI has down the stretch, UND is unbeaten in 13 or 14 straight and took home a conf title. Just seems that UND is hitting on all cylinders which will be trouble for any team. But again anyone can beat anyone and a hot goalie can sometimes be the difference. Good luck to all but my money is on UND in this game in a big way.

  • BLOOMY18018

    UMD Bulldogs will win the East Regional, Fire Power – Fire Power and more Fire Power,

  • Jim

    Bc fan so I hate the Sioux – but No Dak will probably win this thing 8-0. Id be surprised if they won by a less than 5 goal margin

  • Nyqi

    Looks like Union is in a bit of trouble down by 2 now.

  • Simon

    I thought this was a mid-season review?

    • durf

      it doesnt say anywhere that it’s a mid-season review. Just thoughts on the weekend games

      • Simon

        The homepage headline was “Thoughts Before the Break” so I guess I thought they would have thoughts on more than two teams.

        • Anonymous

          Copy that.  It wasn’t even a weekend recap as UNO didn’t even play.  No mention of BSU a team that actually played,  You would think a freshman goaltender recording back to back shutouts would be worth a sentence.  True, against UAH………but still………….

          • Simon

            BSU doesn’t matter to USCHO just like all the other small schools no one cares about. College hockey is starting to turn into college football, driven by money and less about the sanctity of the sport. The best part about college hockey is that it was not like all the other big name college sports. Now it will be and will more than likely be ruined.

          • guest

            If you asked the average hockey fan in Minnesota what team they really don’t care about in Minnesota, they would probably say BSU.

          • nogofer

            After umtc…

  • OccupyTheRalph

    still can’t understand why if there’s no story, no one can write about the man whose name is on the rink at UND and how bad this guy really was.  While everyone is worried about the name on the jersey, no one wants to talk about the name on the rink, and anytime anyone mentions any of the things Ralph did, it gets deleted

    • haha, please enlighten all of us on what horrible things he did? I didn’t realize having a nazi hobby was criminal…..

      • Simon

        Well, being a Nazi sympathizer and “celebrating” one of the worst dictators who lived in the modern era certainly isn’t something to be proud of. Especially if any of your family are Holocaust survivors, it is pretty insulting.

      • Siouxicide

        actually sexually harrassing your female employees and not paying them overtime I guess are hobbies too, and celebrating Hitler’s birthday is cute. 

    • nogofer

      Next time you are in Vegas stop by the HOSPITAL with Ralph’s name on it…

    • FightingSioux4Ever

      Where is that coming from?  As if the NCAA imposing it’s politcal agenda wasn’t enough, people like you say stupid things like this.  I’m still spun about the whole nickname and logo mess.  But I have to sit back and take it, much like the 99% have had to take it the last 4 years.  And if that commen doesn’t have any place in ths forum, than taking pot shots at a benfactor that has been dead for 10 years doesn’t, either. 

  • so people get paid to write this?  I put more time and effort in my daily Comp 2 essays  LOL

    • guest

      In order to validate your claim, I would like to see you write an article. 

  • Big Al

    It is OK to be a holiday or vacation, just say so.  I think you are only allowed to “call in dead” once in your life as a legit excuse at work.  Tyler and Brian, this is your one, “call in dead”!

  • Ridingtimes

    Wow the WCHA must really be good at playing bad and have so many teams in the top 20 in the nation…Rambwildcat,,WCHA stinks this year..wake up..when it comes to the NCAA tourney mark my words there will be atleast one team in the Frozen Four if not more…

  • Guest

    Bemidji State’s freshman goalie’s name is Andrew Walsh, not Adam.

  • Gma loves hockey

    I would assume UMTC to be University of Michigan Technical College?

  • Anonymous

    A great picture of the record crowd (I assume) on the women’s main page. I’ve never seen a crowd like that at a women’s hockey game and frankly, had a hard time imagining that size crowd, until now. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if a much larger number of games everywhere got that kind of crowd.

  • Ms London

    Hahaha you crack me up Arlan.
    Candace, I think the split of UND vs BSU is a good call but I would switch the days. UND has shown this season that they give up on the first but they try to make it up on the second game. I also think you are underestimating what the Terriers become when they play home. Even though this is an across town game for the Beanpot final, the crowd will be 75% BU and boy have I seen how this fires up the team! It would be a close game but I can tell you if they do go to shout out.. NU will be in trouble.
    I’m going to go for a split on UMD and OSU but I will pick UMD to get the first one at home. They seem to bring it quite a bit on the first meeting and then just play drained on the second while home.
    I’m going with Arlan on this one, BC had a hard time with PC last meeting at home. Lacasse probably wants a second chance for allowing that five-hole winning goal. She’s not an easy goalie to score on. Regardless, BC is very well aware of what this game means in HEA.
    And Lenn, why bother? Even with the struggling last four games the Badgers have had, I don’t see them not sweeping MSU.

    • Arlan Marttila

      I hear you on UND, but BSU has also been better on the second day. I get the sense that both teams understand the importance and will play well both days. There didn’t seem to be an obvious choice, so I’m just trying to get one point.

      • Ms London

        I understand. I haven’t watched BSU that much this season but what I’ve seen is that they play hard on the first and even harder on the second. UND on the other hand really seems two different teams. But you might be right. WCHA is a conference too far from me to follow closely.