The season is almost upon us and you all know what that means, right? POLLS. Before the season starts, the USCHO began their weekly polls for Division I women's hockey. This poll places our very own Lady Rouge at number three in the nation, following reigning champs Minnesota and runner-up Wisconsin. Minnesota got 15 first place votes. It isn't terribly surprising, given how the top of the poll mimics the national championship. However, what is of interest is the number of teams that the Lady Rouge are scheduled to play this year. Cornell has Boston College (4), Boston University (6), ECAC foe St Lawrence (7), Northeastern (9), and Mercyhurst (10) on its schedule. That is half of the top ten teams in the country! On top of that, Ivy rival Harvard just barely missed the list, getting 28 votes. ECAC teams Clarkson and Quinnipiac also received votes. While polls don't mean everything, it is nice for the Red to be recognized nationally before the season begins.
The beginning of the season brings a lot of preseason polls, and this one recognizes individuals on the women's team. The six-member squad named includes 3 Big Red players. Both defensemen slots went to our ladies in red with seniors Laura Fortino and Lauriane Rougeau earning those honors. Junior Brianne Jenner snatched up one of the three forward spots. The remainder of the team consisted of Harvard forward Jillian Dempsey, Quinnpiac forward Kelly Babstock, and Clarkson goalie Erica Howe. It is wonderful to see three upperclassmen recognized for their outstanding efforts.
The Great White North Calls For A Lot Of Red
This week's newscycle certainly has been dominated by articles related to the dominating prescence that is Michael McCarron. Most impressively are the glowing reviews that he has received from the United States of Hockey. The post mentions his impressive skill as well as his tenacity. I am sure that many among the Faithful will be happy to see his intensity welcome on a griding, grueling Big Red roster in just one year.
The second major announcement is a quasi-victory for WAFT. For those who do not know, Michael McCarron was committed originally to the land-grant institution of his homestate. The McCarron family of John and Michael seem to have little love lost between it and the Wolverines if one recalls John McCarron's comments during the press conference before the 2012 Midwest Regional Semifinal between Cornell and Michigan. So, Michael planned to suit up for Sparty. However, just as the off-season was upon Cornell, Michael had a change of mind and decommitted from Michigan State. Then, he committed to Cornell. Partially to play with his brother, but I am sure that he will find many more reasons to love what Cornell, Cornell hockey, and the Lynah Faithful have to offer. I know that WAFT is excited to watch his development (up close on October 19 when Team USA U18 ventures to Lynah Rink) and we look forward to welcoming him to East Hill.
Michael McCarron was announced as a participant in the inaugural All-American Prospects Game that will be held in Buffalo, NY on September 29. He is one of three representatives of the ECAC. His selection is a great testament to his talents. However, USA Hockey, the entity that organizes the game, persisted to list Michael McCarron as committed to Michigan State through the end of last week. This led to a few twitter exchanges with USA Hockey and the Buffalo Sabres organizations. The Sabres organization has seized upon its sponsorship to gain exposure for local hockey talent in Western and Upstate New York. WAFT thought it important that the most historic and successful college hockey program of New York State, and the only one of ten New York State universities that sponsor to have a representative at the All-American Prospects Game had that representative and program recognized so that he and Cornell received proper exposure. Especially, when people in Western and Upstate New York will be looking for a nearby fix for high-level, competitive hockey now that the start to the Sabres' season is delayed.
Now, the situation is resolved. The Lynah Faithful are proud to claim Michael McCarron as a future player for the Big Red and we wish him well at the All-American Prospects Game and as he competes with Team USA U18. WAFT will keep you appraised of his many successes to come in the near future.
Lynah Rink Slated To Appear On The Big Stage Twice
NBC Sports will broadcast both of the Cornell games that the network will cover from Lynah Rink. The two games include the interesting choice of the January 25, 2013 clash against Yale. I find this choice odd considering other than a short period when Cornell went winless against Yale during the span of 1-2 graduating classes including two embarrasing losses to Yale in the ECAC Championship Final in 2009 and 2011, Cornell-Yale clashes are not particularly heated or emotional. With Schafer gleefully breaking that disappointing streak against the Elis in November 2011, I do not have reason to think the January 2013 clash will make for particularly great televesion. Even though, I think that Lynah has the character and personal ambiance that makes it positioned uniquely to expose the the nation to the best of college hockey with the best fans in college hockey, even if one of the two chosen games is not a marquee game or opponent.
The best of Lynah will be on display with what is likely to be the largest national television audience to ever watch a Cornell hockey game from Lynah on November 16. NBC Sports made a brilliant selection to air the Cornell-Harvard game from Lynah. If NBC Sports invests the production time, this could be good television, not just a good hockey game as the best rivalry in collegiate athletics will take center ice.
Mason Cup Will Stave Off The New (College Hockey) World Order For An Extra Day
The oft-neglected element of the CCHA's move to Sunday? The CCHA decided that by moving the game back to Sunday that it no longer would be to host a consolation game. I feel bad for those teams that make the CCHA Championships at The Joe that may be on the bubble and would have relied upon that game to play into the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Cornell needed such a play-in game in 2012 with the ECAC Championships Consolation Game. So, the Lynah Faithful will be able to empathize with any teams that fall off the bubble because of the lack of one last game.
See ya, you goon
This section this week is not addressed to any criticisms of Cornell hockey, but rather comments made on another hockey blog toward a less successful, but emerging, program. A team that won three national titles in five years should not feel so insecure that it needs to take shots at a newcomer to its conference, right? Evidentally, BC Interruption doesn't think so as it commonly takes shots at UConn for the Huskies's goal to become competitive in Hockey East. The latest included:
"Including all 11 (2014) and 12 (2015) programs only increases the chances that a non-TUC program -- looking at you,
2011-12 Vermont and every season UConn -- faces an NCAA Tournament bubble team...However, this may have a
much bigger impact the following season, when the fifth best team in the conference will have to play the last-place
team UConn in the first-round of the 2015 tournament."
I am not sure why BC Interruption feels compelled to mock UConn. One mocks teams for three typical reasons: 1. the team that is the target of mocking is a traditional rival, 2. the team that is the target of the mocking has fans who lack historical perspective and condescend to established and already successful programs, 3. the mocking fans are insecure about their success. Considering, that 1 and 2 are out because BC and UConn are not rivals, and UConn has recognized unconditionally and unequivocally that it will be an uphill battle to be successful in Hockey East. So, it must be the third. I guess it makes sense. A program that rises to an astoundingly dominant status after a more than five-decade long absence from the pinnacle of the sport is bound to question internally when the dark times will come again.
Also, BC Interruption, when condescending to UConn about its competitiveness within a conference, consider that in 22 years in the ECAC, BC won only two ECAC Championships. BU and Cornell didn't seem to have a problem as they won five and six ECAC Championships respectively. I guess it might take a program that was uncompetitve to recognize one. However, lay off UConn, they will do fine, and it isn't becoming of the fanbase of a national champion to lord itself over an emerging program.
Is this common for ECAC teams? I have done a cursory search online of all teams who have won in recent memories and can find no such rings for Cornell, Princeton, or Yale. WAFT is sincerely curious. Why the choice to get such a championship ring? I enjoy the fact that Union is appropriately and deservedly happy to have brought home its first Whitelaw Cup, but I was curious how unusual or out of the ordinary it is for programs that win an ECAC Championship to have such rings made.
If this becomes a convetion, then Cornell might need to follow the example of one other dominant franchise and borrow a theme for shirts from another dominant franchise.