INCH First Shift: Week of INCH 2018

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

ANTHONY ANGELLO
CORNELL
Jr. | F | Manlius, N.Y.

© 2017 Dave BurbankTalk to most Cornell fans and they’ll say without hesitation that games against Harvard are the most important on the schedule. The entirety of the season is of greater concern within the program. Friday’s 3-0 win at Harvard was meaningful from a rivalry standpoint, but moreso because it was a matchup of teams that carried nation-leading eight-game unbeaten streaks.

Junior forward Anthony Angello scored all three goals for the Big Red (including this beauty) to continue his recent torrid scoring pace. Angello added Cornell’s second goal, the eventual game-winner, in Saturday’s win at Dartmouth.

He has 10 goals in his last 10 games, Cornell is 9-0-1 in that span, has moved into first place in ECAC Hockey, and on Monday the Big Red moved atop the national polls.

STICK SALUTE

North Dakota could easily lure a non-conference opponent to Grand Forks for a weekend, throw open the doors at the rink, sell 11,000 tickets, and count their money like Scrooge McDuck while the Fighting Hawks pound their hapless foe. So we’re pleased to see a power program take a step outside of their comfort zone and schedule a trip to Buffalo next season to face Canisius.

This isn’t the first time  North Dakota has ventured on the less-traveled path — they’ve been to Alaska Fairbanks, Union, and Vermont in recent years. Buffalo is a terrific hockey town, and Canisius has a beautiful new rink that’ll likely be packed to the rafters for the Golden Griffins’ most-anticipated home series in quite some time.

For the 2017-18 season NCHC teams played 83 non-conference games, and 34 were road games. NCHC teams were 16-11-7 in those 34.  Team-by-team non-conference games (road games/total games): Colorado College 5/10, Denver 4/10, Miami 4/10, Minnesota Duluth 5/12, Omaha 4/10, North Dakota 5/12, St. Cloud State 4/9, Western Michigan 3/10.

BENCH MINOR

First off, stick tap to former North Dakota star Brock Boeser who dominated the NHL All-Star Weekend according to reports we read. Read, because we didn’t watch the coverage. Longtime readers will know that we prefer our hockey the traditional way, so gimmicked-up all-star games aren’t really our thing. When we flipped over to NBC on Sunday afternoon and the first thing we saw was a video review for offsides on a goal in the all-star game(s) … we immediately turned the channel back to the golf tournament playoff.

As a friend wisely observed, “That league can’t get out of its own way.”

SAY WHAT?

“Three legs, blind in one eye, missing right ear, tail broken, recently castrated … answers to the name ‘Lucky.'”

That was the text on signs posted around Lawson Ice Arena by Western Michigan coach Andy Murray. No, he didn’t really lose a pet. He was sending a subtle message to his Broncos: we’re hobbled by injuries to high-scoring forwards Wade Allison and Colt Conrad, among others, but there’s no time for excuses.

“I’m pretty lucky, and I can tell you that dog, if you were his owner and called his name, he’d come over to you and be pretty happy,” Murray told the Kalamazoo Gazette’s Patrick Nothaft. “You get up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and realize how lucky you are to be doing what you’re doing, so we’ll never make excuses, complain about injuries or whatever.”

RANKINGS OUTRAGE

We don’t pay a whole lot of attention to national polls. Sure, we’ll take a cursory glance when the rankings hit our social media feeds on Monday afternoons, and we did weekly Power Rankings back in the day mainly because people like numbered lists.

That said, we do like to hold voters accountable. Like, who’s voting for Maine? The Black Bears are just outside this week’s USCHO Top-20 with 44 points. Yes, they’re in the midst of their best season since 2011-12. But while their 14-9-4 record looks good from afar, zoom in and you’ll see their best wins are against meh-plus Boston University and UMass Lowell. Feel free to peel back a layer or two of that onion before casting your ballot.

TWEET O’ THE WEEK

As long-time fans of Rensselaer’s Puckman mascot, we were disappointed when the school relegated him to a lower profile about a decade ago. Imagine our glee, then, when we saw the plucky puck on the front of the Engineers’ sweaters for Saturday’s Mayor’s Cup tilt against rival Union. Unfortunately, Puckman’s presence didn’t spur RPI to victory — the Dutchmen jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on for a 4-3 win.

Suggestions? Feedback? Comments? Check in on Twitter at @INCH and @INCH_Gladdy.

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