Monday, June 4, 2012

Three Stars: May 28-June 3

Curtis Loik was involved in an interesting transaction last week.

3. RMU Hockey

Robert Morris' Facebook page is running a poll asking who you'd like to see the Colonials play in their opener at the Pittsburgh College Hockey Invitational in December. I have no clue how much influence this poll has over the actual decision (if any), but get on there and vote for Miami. An RMU-Miami matchup would lock in PSU-Ohio State on the other side. You do want to play Ohio State this year, right?

Don't worry about coming off as selfish either. A PSU-OSU matchup stands the greatest chance of drawing out the notoriously light-traveling Buckeye fans, as well as casual PSU fans who would only turn up for a name opponent, and therefore maximizing the tournament's revenue. And from host RMU's perspective, that's a good thing. So is playing someone you haven't already played that month - the Colonials are slated to play Ohio State on December 7th and 8th, followed by the Nittany Lions on the 15th. Technically, they also play PSU on the 2nd. Wait, what?

They mean RMU's ACHA D3 team, a regular opponent of Brandywine's ACHA D3 team, right? If not, that's about the craziest scheduling quirk I've ever seen. Geographically, it makes sense. RMU is at Holy Cross on the 11/30-12/1 weekend, and it wouldn't be an ordeal to swing past southeast PA on the way home. But until the Colonials officially announce their schedule - the source on this is the Atlantic Hockey site - I'm just going to assume it's some kind of amusing error.

2. In hockey or softball, Neuqua’s Meyer thrives on pressure

Get to know freshman women's goalie Brooke Meyer here. And here's all I need to know:
“I love the pressure — take me to a shootout any time,” said Meyer, who has never lost one. “I love being the last person my team can count on. You gotta love pressure to play sports.”
1. Penticton-Victoria Trade
(Brian's Banter)

In a somewhat curious move, the Penticton Vees have shipped the rights to incoming forward Curtis Loik to the Victoria Grizzlies to complete the January 11th trade in which the Vees acquired Wade Murphy, a 2013 Merrimack commit and a vital component of Penticton's run to the RBC Cup this past season.
In my mind, Loik is the real wild card in the trade as he seems poised to break out as a 19-year-old in 2012-13, but it won't be in the BCHL as he's committed to Penn. State for the upcoming season. I'm thinking the only way he goes to Victoria is at the recommendation of his college team, and that's got to be what the Grizzlies are banking on, otherwise he probably wouldn't have been included in the deal.
TYT has confirmed with Guy Gadowsky that Loik is still scheduled to come to PSU this season, so uhhh...sorry about your luck Victoria. The Grizzlies still do get Zach Urban and Chad Bannor, two uncommitted defensemen who could conceivably help their team this year. And it's not like their shot in the dark at Loik had any risk associated with it. So nice try, I guess.

Best of the Rest

Princeton tough guy stands ready to help Kings
(The Trentonian)

Regular readers of Three Stars know I'm a sucker for a good Gadowsky compliment. So here's one from Princeton alumnus/Kings enforcer Kevin Westgarth:
"Coach (Guy) Gadowsky was there when I was there, and it was a big reason why I got to where I am. I wouldn’t change that for anything."
O'Brien, Crispin, Mitchell And More To Tee Off On Cancer

...and a check in with Gadowsky's women's counterpart, Josh Brandwene (also known as "and more"), reveals that he played in the Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Tournament on Friday.


The last Lady Icers captain approves of the first Nittany Lions captain. That's always nice to know.

2012-2013 Recruiting Update

While I'm not paying too much attention to ACHA recruiting as a whole, I really can't imagine that anyone's doing better than Arizona State right now. Their latest adds: USHL defenseman Jordan Young, OJHL defenseman Zach Bayer and forward Faiz Khan, a transfer from NCAA Division III UMass-Boston. All three are Arizona or California natives who apparently agree with my opinion that going to a large and well-known school with a good ACHA program is better than DIII. There's not a huge difference in the quality of the hockey, you're not going to make much of a living playing the game either way and you're not getting an athletic scholarship either way, so you might as well go to a place like ASU instead of a place like...well, UMass-Boston.

The Sun Devils, in addition to this latest group, are also bringing in three Canadian Junior A guys and a transfer from DI Canisius to complement what was already a pretty good roster. Calling it right now: Penn State better not take the games with ASU this year lightly, or the visitors may leave the Ice Pavilion with a story for their grandkids. The Lions will have the better team, but the Devils will certainly be talented enough to punish them if they're less than fully dialed in. PSU, of all schools, should know that an in-transition DI is not necessarily an automatic over a top ACHA. Let's not be the people who don't learn from history, especially when its our own history.

Five members of the Spartan hockey media contingent discuss the coming season with coach Tom Anastos (left) while a camera guy records the proceedings...oh wait, that's just one guy on the near side of the table. So four members.

Anastos Holds Spring Media Briefing

There's little doubt in my mind that Michigan State gets social media and the public dialog better than any other Big Ten school (I'll exempt Penn State from this statement, since it's still too early to say how things will go once the NCAA program is in full swing). Head coach Tom Anastos is on Twitter, and on the Derek Schooley Scale of Interesting, he doesn't rate too badly. And during Anastos' spring media briefing, the program's Twitter account shot out some of the details. This one's among the juiciest, if you don't want to listen to the whole thing:

Analysis of the 2012-2013 Penn State hockey schedule
(Rome's Ramblings)

Remember last week when I complained about a lack of analysis concerning the schedule? Order up.

I'll pass on a full critique of the critique, but generally speaking, I think this perspective eschews rationality in favor of a "waaaahhhh...I wanna be a real DI team NOW!" attitude. While that's understandable to a point, there are numerous reasons why Penn State couldn't (and really, shouldn't) have a schedule of Denver, North Dakota, Minnesota, Boston College, Michigan, rinse and repeat, this year.

Basically, have some patience. We'll get there, as soon as 2013-2014, when 20 of our 34 are spoken for by the Big Ten. Plus in the non-con, we'll almost certainly have return trips from the likes of Union and RIT (the writer seems to think that reciprocation has to happen in the same year) plus the Pittsburgh tournament.

Hockey back at WSU with new ACHA squad

It's good to see the Wayne State men back on the grid. Still, scoreboard.

Staten Island Sanitation worker jumps to his death from Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
A 54-year-old Sanitation worker jumped to his death from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Sunday morning.

Joseph Battista plunged around 8:20 a.m. from the upper level, according to police.

Passing drivers spotted Battista standing outside the guardrail, pacing in the rain, around 8 a.m., according to a New York Post report. Two officers approached Battista in an effort to talk him down, but the 54-year old Sanitation worker jumped.
You guys better appreciate the amount of stuff I have to sift through to do this. Rest in peace, Joe Battista.

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