||There’s only one way to improve on being the second
best team in the country.
||Tons of offense and veteran defense make the Fighting
Sioux very dangerous. Solid, consistent goaltending could
make them champions.
||The young talent is exciting, but even with Erik Johnson
and Alex Goligoski on the blue line, the goaltending is
key. And having your No. 1 goalie suspended for the first
two weeks is a bad start.
||Diminuitive stopper Jeff Lerg sparked MSU's 17-4-3 second-half
showing. Now that erstwhile starter Dominic Vicari has
bolted East Lansing, an injury to Lerg would be a severe
||The locker room leadership lost by last year’s
first line may have been more important than its on-ice
||One could argue that the Wolverines are the nation's
most talented team — on paper. Of couse, last year's
club was similarly loaded but never jelled.
||Nothing puts a target on your back in October and beyond
like hoisting a trophy the previous April. Badger fans
know that’s a good problem to have.
||The pieces are in place for the RedHawks
to make another CCHA title run and advance to the NCAA
Tournament. Stringing together strong back-to-back seasons,
however, hasn't been the team's M.O.
||Can Ryan Dingle duplicate his sophomore season heroics?
If the Pioneers are going to get back to the NCAA tourney,
he might need to.
||Who knows how long Ben Bishop will play for free? The
offense needs to step up without Greg Moore ASAP.
||Regular-season losses to teams it should've beaten have
kept Dartmouth out of the NCAA Tournament for the last
two years. Consistency might get them there this year.
||No longer the "easy" end of the travel-partner
arrangement with Cornell, Colgate will get a team's best
effort every weekend.
||Bobby Goepfert is a unique talent, but even finely-tuned
machines break down from overuse. Goepfert will be sharper
in February if rookie goalie Jase Weslosky can give him
a few nights off in November and December.
||On paper, the defense looks very good. Will that translate
to the ice?
||Scott Parse and Co. have the ability to score goals
in bunches. The biggest issue is whether the Mavericks'
goaltenders can show some consistency.
The Golden Knights had no trouble winning
at home, but need to learn how to get points on the
road, where they were 3-15-0 last year.
||Goaltending questions linger, as John Daigneau emerged
as a suitable one-year servant, but is now gone.
||Tim Army needs to make sure goalie Tyler Sims doesn’t
wear down at the end of the season.
||The offense needs to repay Joe Fallon and bail him out
||Had the Wildcats played .500 hockey last November instead
of losing six of eight, they likely would've made the
||The Bobcats won't be able to sneak up on anyone in the
ECACHL this year.
||The Beavers have made the NCAA Tournament the last two
years and other teams in CHA want to end that streak.
||Who was Cornell's best player last year, Matt Moulson,
Dave McKee, or Ryan O'Byrne? Doesn't matter. All three
||Last year’s highly-touted freshman class couldn’t
overcome inconsistent defense. Their sophomore campaign
may be “put up or shut up” time at the DECC.
||The Saints lost two All-ECACHL players in T.J.Trevelyan
and Mike Madill, and other seniors played key roles. Other
players must step up.
||There’s a 188-point hole in the lineup with Sterling,
Sertich, Crabb, and Salcido gone. And the newcomer they’re
talking most about (Billy Sweatt) was a roller hockey
||With goalie Dave Caruso graduated and leading scorer
Tom Fritsche out indefinitely with ulcerative colitis,
who becomes the go-to guy in Columbus?
||In Jeff Jackson's first season the Irish improved markedly,
especially on offense. Similar growth
and balance this season could propel the team into the
top half of the CCHA standings.
||The Pioneers' first line finished 1-2-3 in team scoring.
The next-highest returning point producer had just 13
points last year.
||Nearly everyone from last year's 17-15-8 team returns.
Putting that additional experience to use could make the
Bulldogs an NCAA Tournament darkhorse.
||Mercyhurst was 2-5-1 against Holy Cross and Sacred Heart
last year, their primary competition for Atlantic Hockey
||Picking up where they left off last year ... the Nanooks
closed the year with an 8-4-1 run and a first-round playoff
sweep at Notre Dame.
||The Crusaders made a name for themselves last spring,
and other teams will look to do the same against them.
||The Minutemen lost last season’s top-two scorers
and haven’t scared anyone offensively for three
||The Lakers were the CCHA's surprise team a year ago.
Can they achieve a similar result this time around now
that everyone knows they're no longer dormats?
||Can Scott Mollison and/or Juliano Pagliaro adequately
replace a four-year starter in goal?
||With an answer in goal and plenty of questions elsewhere,
the Mavs need to find new and reliable sources of offense
to help Travis Morin.
||Kris Mayotte left Union as a record-holder in many goaltending
categories. Justin Mrazek and two freshmen will look to
fill the void.
||Despite plenty of on-ice struggles, the school and the
community are crazy about Husky hockey. Mitch’s
Misfits need to be given more reasons to cheer.
||Seth Appert intends to play an up-tempo, aggressive
style. Time will tell if he has the personnel to succeed
with that strategy.
||It’s time for the Huskies to turn their grit into
||The Tigers have improved depth, and those players on
the second and third lines will need to perform better
to move up the standings.
These aren't your father’s River Hawks. Actually,
after losing 14 players from last year’s team,
these aren't even your River Hawks.
||After a season that ended miserably due in part to a
fractious locker room, the Falcons need to realize they've
got a better chance at succeeding if they all get along.
||The Colonials are picked by some to move into the top
three in CHA in their third year as a Division I program.
Is it too soon?
||What sophomore slump? Three freshmen finished atop the
Bentley scoring charts last season and will draw more
attention this year.
||Scott Munroe was one of the best goalies in the conference.
Can Marc Narduzzi or Jordan Erickson handle being the
||The Huskies need to avoid the mid-season slump that
derailed last year's efforts.
||Finding some help for overworked goaltender Daniel Bellissimo
and the unheralded Paul
Szczechura is imperative. Whether it's realistic is another
||Entering a new league brings lots of lessons. Gaining
familiarity with the opponents, officials, and venues
is especially important.
||Three of Yale's top-four point producers from last season
are gone, and the leading returning scorer had just 23
||The challenges start with overcoming the season-long
suspension of leading scorer and Hockey East All-Rookie
Teamer Rob Ricci.
||Last year a new head coach. This year, new assistant
coaches. Stability is the first step for young Seawolves
still looking for team, and program, identity.
||Brad Roberts commendably played 97.2 percent of the
time in goal for Army's games last year. The two returning
goalies combined to play two and a half periods.
||The Bears didn't win a single overtime game last year,
but they're hoping that experience gained in those close
games will lead to wins this year.
||NFL coach Herman Edwards says, "You play to win
the game." That is also RIT's motivation, because
they're ineligible for the playoffs.
||Off-ice problems over the last couple of years need
to be straightened out to make way for on-ice successes.
||The Yellow Jackets power-play units might have been
wearing straight jackets. They were last in the nation
at 9.8 percent last year.
||For the Warriors to improve, they'll have to do a better
job of staying out of the trainer's room than they did