SHARE

USCHO.com Hobey Watch Podcast, Episode 1: Jerry York

Hobey WatchBoston College head coach Jerry York gives his thoughts on three Hockey East Hobey Baker hopefuls: BC’s Brock Bradford, Northeastern goalie Brad Theissen and Boston University defenseman Matt Gilroy.

  • Lenn

    As Lindenwood is in its first year at D-1 and an independent, scheduling was not going to be easy this year; not that it will get any better in the future.  Wisconsin probably did Lindenwood a favor by filling in a weekend series with them.  Give Wisconsin some credit.  Without games like these, many of the women’s teams would have no one to play.

  • Arlan Marttila

    I understand the scheduling from Lindenwood’s perspective, although they would be better served trying to get games in their first year with St. Cloud State, Gustavus Adolphus, or St. Thomas. IMO, Wisconsin has a greater responsibility to promote the game, and that is done when good teams meet good teams, producing good hockey. There are others available to serve as an orientation to new varsity programs.

    • Lenn

      First of all, St. Cloud St. is the only D-1 school you named.

      Second, this year, WI plays Lindenwood (independent), Rensselaer (ECAC; home-and-home series from last year), and BU (HE, whom WI beat in the national championship game last year).

      Third, last year, WI played Mercyhurst (CHA, another women’s powerhouse), Robert Morris (CHA), and Northeastern (HE).

      I think WI does a great job of balancing playing good teams and spreading games across all conferences.

      • Arlan Marttila

        Thanks for your comments.

        Lindenwood is already playing Minnesota State, Bemidji State, and Robert Morris, so I didn’t mention those teams. For the Lions, I think that a mix is optimal. In sport, one improves by competing against opponents that are better, because that forces one to grow, but only to a certain point. In hockey, it is important to also have possession of the puck at times to develop as players.

        WCHA teams like Wisconsin can play a maximum of six inter-conference games. Those six games are their only opportunity to demonstrate the strength of their league prior to NCAA tournament selection. Last season, the Badgers did play Mercyhurst, but for one game only. Their second-best opponent out of league was Northeastern — again, one game. They played RPI and RMU twice each, but those teams ranked in the bottom third. UMD played only two non-league games, both against UConn, a bottom half team, and won them easily. Those schedules were costly at NCAA selection time, as the two were matched for the first round. It hurt North Dakota dearly, because UND was the team that fell just short.

        I believe that Minnesota’s schedule should be tougher as well. This season, the Gophers play Union, Syracuse, UNH(2) and Harvard(2). None of them were top-ten teams last year. On the plus side, UW is playing BU for two, UMD has BC for two, and UND plays BU twice this weekend. WCHA fans may think that their conference is good enough that four teams deserve to get into the NCAA field, but the burden of proof rests with the WCHA teams, and those six games per team are their only chance to make a case. Too often in the past, teams like Bemidji State have had to do the heavy lifting of showing just how tough the WCHA can be.

  • Geez, so who was Lindenwood supposed to play?  Twenty games against Sacred Heart?  At least now they know how far they have to go.

  • Lenn

    Granted, the top-three WCHA teams should overall schedule better non-conference (NC) games.  But as you pointed out, they only get six of them (three series, if they played two games).

    And if you looked at the Frozen Four the past several years, the only non-WCHA teams to make it that far have been Mercyhurst, Cornell, BU and BC.  So if the top-tier WCHA schools only scheduled tough NC games, the pool would be limited.  Would those eastern schools be willing to schedule six of their NC games against the best of the WCHA?

    I still like the approach taken by WI; two tough games, and then spread the rest out across the other conferences.  If only the other WCHA teams were to do the same, I think the WCHA could make its case to be tough.

    Of couse, we do have the NCAA championship hardware to back up our claim.  :)

    • Lenn

      This was supposed to be in reply to Arlan’s last post.  I hit the wrong button.