Author Topic: Nescac 2021-22  (Read 1632 times)

Offline Mr.Right

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Nescac 2021-22
« on: January 24, 2022, 12:23:57 pm »
I have no idea where else to post for Hockey so I have come here. I had an urge to write and continue to learn about a sport that I find fascinating but never played. I will introduce myself and as you can see I have a new interesting hobby. I'm 40 years old, white, ancestors are immigrants, gay, 5 years sober and have many different interests. I worked as a Business Analyst for 10 years which is considered Middle Office. I switched companies and then went back. I came back to Williamstown one year to Coach with my Father in one of his final seasons. So I've bounced around a bit. For people that do not know Investment Bankers are Front office and the Custodians of the Bank are Back Office(Operations, etc). The mundane weekly routine that these jobs force you to undertake even in your own personal life and its ridiculous. When they say they own you they mean it. The crazy work hours, tedious routines, constant ladder climbing and the consistent "who is stabbing me in the back this week" routine and I had had enough. So I moved back to Williamstown. I watch the EPL but that is really all the Pro Sports I watch. I just have no interest in sitting down to watch like 8 hours of NFL unless I have money on it. I can catch a highlight if it is a spectacular play but I have always enjoyed and will make time for watching College Soccer especially D3 and of course Nescac. That is in my blood and something I have a passion for. It can become inter connected with your own life because the games, teams and players are right in front of you. It is competition at its purest. I love that. Because I am in town the hobby kind of morphed into College Hockey as well because I enjoy going to the Williams Men's Hockey games.

Soccer and Hockey have many similarities but the challenge of scoring Goals which is getting harder and harder in both Sports is to me the biggest. Defenses are bigger, stronger, faster and much more organized than in years past. All the video that the Pro's and even the College Guys have makes it even harder. Attacking principles and strategies in Hockey apply to Soccer and vice versa and this is what I am most interested in. The Passing, Stickwork / Footwork, Forecheck / Pressing, Rush/ Counter, Possession, Deception, Set plays Face-offs / Set Pieces, Unpredictability in attack along with adaptability are key in both sports. Forecheck heavy with 3 guys and be willing to give up 2v1's and 3v2's is for Hockey exactly like the risks in Soccer when you Press and what you risk giving up on the counter. Either way you must be able to trust your D men and Goalie. In Hockey just like Soccer teams like to possess but they are not generating enough quality chances off that possession. As in Soccer in Hockey it is so important to make reads and play off the puck. Giving the player with the puck as many options as possible. Bad reads will happen but over time the correct reads with and without the puck will come. Cover the Ice and move off the puck. If you can grab your teammates hand you are not covering Ice. You cannot just stand and watch you have to keep moving in this Sport. To me in the O Zone of Hockey I would rather see a player make a read get 2-3 passes off and then a quick shot and retrieve the puck as fast as you can and keep possessing. If you lose the Puck in your O Zone you do not always have to get above the Puck. If the play is 50/50 or even 40/60 then you still might retrieve the Puck. Best to leave a player behind the Goaline so if you do happen to retrieve it you can keep possessing and have some serious options. In your O Zone you get behind the net and make your Reads. -Pass-Pass-Quick Shot-Battle to retrieve. To me % wise this is one of the better ways I have seen to keep generating quality scoring chances. The Puck Carrier into the O Zone is also very important in Hockey. Most Puck Carriers seem to want to drive as deep as they can and then end up dying out in the corners. Defenses want you in the corners and around the boards as it is easier for them to defend. The Puck Carrier is supposed to go only as deep as they need based on what is coming with you. This is where players that can read the game differentiate themselves. If you watch the real good D1 College teams all 5 guys play all 200 feet and your defensemen have no problem going behind the net in the O-Zone. Which means in the near future all 5 players will be interchangeable. This has serious implications for big slow players. The Hockey Gods want you playing a different sport.

Hockey is different than Soccer in regards to Goalies. Goalies in Hockey seem to have to "get set" before reacting to a shot. Not that they don't in Soccer but the Hockey Goalie is dealing with a much faster object. So if you can catch the Goalie before he can "get set up" the better chances of you scoring. Ask your Goalies what makes them most uncomfortable? I am learning some of what they will tell you is moving side to side, when attackers penetrate the slot line it makes the net bigger, when attackers get pucks to or through the slot and force the Goalie to make a decision to defend the shot or defend the pass. Ask the Goalie The Goalie knows.

I remember following Williams Hockey as a little kid with my father. He was the Head Soccer Coach but back then the Coaches had to do double duty. He worked with Men's Lax HC'ing legend Renzi Lamb as the JV Lax HC for maybe 15 years and to this day still hears from his former JV players who were probably Hockey and Football guys out there hitting, running around and just having a blast. I think my father was trying to take some things from the game of Hockey for Lacrosse and I would go to the Hockey games with him. I remember it was Coach McCormick at the helm then in the late 80's and he was another legend on campus and a super nice guy especially when he would see me running around campus as a little kid he would always stop me and say hello. His wife was actually my 4th Grade Teacher and when I was in her class it was Coach McCormick's final year in I think in 1989. I remember his final game was packed with over 2,500 people including many of his former players. My father coaching Soccer for 40 years helped me develop a passion for it. It also helped me in being able to branch out and find other passions like History or Writing and then try to inter connect them into some sort of hobby. I have been watching a ton of Nescac games though on the stream.

What I Like: The Speed, The Passing, The Stick Handling, The Hits, The Defending("The Poke") mixed in with the art of Skating.

What I Don't Like: I want to watch the games over so I can learn from them but most of these schools throw up a paywall OR worse make the game unavailable. Credit to Colby and Conn for not doing that. I also watch a ton of Babson because I like the way they play and their games are always on replay. Babson is a team that adapts well. Their entries into the O Zone they do not just drive and die in the corners they seem to drive with purpose They play all 200 feet and try to cover the ice and play fast while filling lanes. They are a Senior heavy team with #9 Ryan Black leading the way with some serious talent. Their Goaltending has been surprisingly off a bit this year but man that game Friday against Umass Boston was entertaining.

What I like: Williams. Cmon boys you are in a bit of an offensive funk right now. As is 3/4 of the league. Williams has so much talent offensively but are having trouble scoring Goals. So many teams in the league play cautiously and it can be hard to break some of these defenses down. Williams has one of the best Goalies in the league in #31 Evan Ruschil and some fast D men they should be able to take many more risks penetrating their O-Zone, play much faster up the Ice when retrieving the Puck and be willing to give up the 3v2's and 2v1's. Giveaway's and bad reads will happen but you will also find yourself in more advantageous positions to score Goals without set defenses and Goalies if you play off the Puck smartly. Tufts actually did this well when they came to Williamstown. The problem with Tufts though is they are giving up way to much on the back end without a real solid #1 netminder. However do not be tricked by their 2-10-1 record as if they come to play they can beat anyone in the league with some serious offensive firepower. I like how their forwards play heavy and forecheck with purpose as it creates tons of giveaway's and solid scoring chances. They beat Wes last weekend and had a great opening to the Trinity game with a 2-0 lead and a real solid chance to make it 3-0 but could not bury it. Tufts being Tufts gave the whole thing away in the 2nd period as Trin came at them hard and scored 6 unanswered Goals.

What I Don't Like: The complete lack of discipline in some players. You have to have real patience to be a HC in this Sport. Let's take yesterday's Hamilton at Amherst game. Does a gay guy really have to explain this trick. Amherst strategically puts an attractive woman in the opponents penalty box maybe with a splash of Gucci on and all of a sudden it is almost like she has a fishing line and she is reeling in 5 different Hamilton players in the 2nd Period for undisciplined penalties. Oh #13 Rutig let me get him off the ice, oh #24 Gellerman looks like he is about to score let me get him off the ice. One after the other. #2 Smith went in twice. What is the end goal here. Are we playing a game or are we playing Tinder matchup. What sane girl is going to ask some guy out from the penalty box? Is she supposed to text you later? This needs to be done on your own time not the team's time.

What I like: Hockey, like Soccer is one of America's finest examples of a melting pot. The names are mostly immigrant names of which I come myself. Irish, Italian, Russian, German, Greek, Jewish, Polish, Hungarian etc etc. The players Great Grandfathers and Grandmothers all came to this country somewhere between the 1880's-1930's and had to rely on each other just to survive. All different ethnicities many of whom did not speak English living in the same Tenement's relying on each other to survive. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum in NYC is a perfect example of this and shows visually how these families lived. It was like that in all cities and that is why the Klan resurfaced so vividly in the 1920's. They already had their thumb on African Americans but it was the "dirty immigrants" they were after next. I know the Hockey Gods "want to get more diverse" but if you look closely at your history at least in this country you are farther along than you think.

What I do not like: That Nescac is considered such a weak league in D3 Hockey. I think the league top to bottom is better than most people realize but an 9-21-2 OOC Record does it no favors.

What I Like: Hockey parents get a bad rap as the few I have talked to seem very genuine and knowledgeable. Of course I then had a conversation with a Wesleyan parent 2 years ago when they Won the Nescac Championship. He was complaining about the Trinity parents already celebrating in the Parking Lot in Williamstown after the 1st Period of the Nescac Final. It was only 1-0 but Trinity dominated the 1st Period. Before Wes made their come back the guy was talking about his kid this and that and I was trying to watch the game but half paying attention. His kid happened to be collecting the puck on the boards where we were standing and then out of nowhere a Trin player comes over and blows up HIS kid right in the back and face plants him right up to the boards right where the father and I were standing. Like kid / glass / father planted so I kinda grinned and looked at the father as to say eh tough hit part of the game and this guy beat me to it yelling at the top of his lungs to the Trin player "Nice HIT Dipsh*t." So like Soccer its a mix of folks but the guy woke me up to "OH its time to get our crazy on".

I will come back and go thru the teams




« Last Edit: January 25, 2022, 07:09:39 am by Mr.Right »

Offline deiscanton

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Re: Nescac 2021-22
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2022, 10:34:40 am »
Have you tried USCHO.com Fan Forum?  That is where most of the DIII Men's Hockey posters have gone.  They have a topic for Men's Hockey DII and DIII.  (Of course, there is only one conference that does DII hockey, and that is only some of the NE10 teams, so there is no national championship in DII hockey.)

I am interested in reading about NESCAC hockey, as well as the Commonwealth Coast Conference's hockey league, since Curry's hockey rink (The Canton Ice House) is just a few miles away, but I have not been able to find time to follow Curry on-line or in-person since the pandemic started.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2022, 10:37:06 am by deiscanton »

Offline deiscanton

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Re: Nescac 2021-22
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2022, 07:00:29 am »
Obviously, the one team that I would consider to be the frontrunner to get the NESCAC AQ in men's ice hockey this year would be Colby.  USCHO has them ranked at #16 of 83 teams in their Men's DIII Ice Hockey PairWise ratings. The USCHO's PairWise rankings tend to be very close, if not exactly, to the PairWise ratings. that the NCAA DIII Men's Ice Hockey Committee will put out in their selection rankings in February.

The field for the NCAA DIII Men's Ice Hockey Tournament consists of 8 AQs-- 6 from the East (Hockey Region I) (Commonwealth Coast, MASCAC, New England Hockey Conference, NESCAC, SUNYAC, and United Collegiate Hockey Conference), and 2 from the West (Hockey Region II) (MIAC and the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association)

According to the DIII Championships Committee, I do not see any regional realignment currently for Men's Ice Hockey, so I will call the East Region Region I, and the West Region as Region II to align with the other sports.

Here is the projected field right now if the selections were being made today-- The top 4 in the PairWise rankings who do not get the AQs get the Pool C at large bids.

The projected AQs, according to USCHO's PairWise ratings-- (I use the highest ranked team in each league to determine the AQ).

1.)  CCC-- Endicott
2.)  MASCAC-- Plymouth State (NH)
3.)  MIAC-- Augsburg
4.)  NEHC-- Hobart
5.)  NESCAC-- Colby
6.)  NCHA-- Adrian
7.)  SUNYAC-- Geneseo
8.)  UCHC-- Utica

The projected Pool C bids, according to USCHO PairWise ratings this week--

1.) St. Norbert-- NCHA (#5 in current PairWise ratings)
2.) Elmira-- UCHC (#6 in current PairWise ratings)
3.) Wilkes-- UCHC (#7 in current PairWise ratings)
4.) Babson-- NEHC (#9 in current PairWise ratings)

First four out-- according to USCHO--

1.)  Trine-- NCHA
2.)  Curry-- Commonwealth Coast Conference
3.)  UW-Stevens Point-- Independent
4.)  Univ. of New England-- Commonwealth Coast Conference


Offline Mr.Right

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Re: Nescac 2021-22
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2022, 07:14:11 pm »
Funny you should mention Colby deiscanton and as always I appreciate and need someone to lay down the key D3 Hockey Info which is what you do so well as I am all over the place with topics.

Colby-

This team put on an absolute clinic on Tuesday v USM. All 4 lines and 3 pairs of D-Men skated hard and were relentless all night. This is a focused team right now with every line contributing every night they play. The team speed has to be one of the best in Nescac. They might be a little undersized but they make up every inch lost with tenacity and grit. I wonder if they keep a stat for the time of possession in each zone because Colby was in their O Zone all night. They looked like the Babson team I was complimenting the other day playing fast, moving off the puck, filling the lanes and unselfishly executing passing plays that were giving teammates openings for dangerous chances on goal that at times were a thing of beauty. #12 Bourhas Goal was a perfect example with an excellent Pass from #13 Molson. What a team picture that would be from behind the goal seeing Bourhas follow thru on his shot while the puck pings the net and pops the water bottle. The Blind passes and Double Seam passes were great and they took risks and were rewarded because there were bad reads made and bad passes in bad areas but they hunted the puck down and recovered. Since they were not afraid to make mistakes they had the confidence to keep making their reads and learning throughout the game. Freedom to make mistakes on the Ice breeds confidence and it forces the players to have to rely on each other for help.

Colby has been using pretty much the same 1st and 2nd lines all year. Top Line is LW #14 Breitenfeldt, C #28 Morrissey and RW #8 Grillo the Captain, Leader and Speedster. These three have some chemistry going on right now as all 3 are incredibly dangerous players. Colby not keeping individual F/O Wins and Losses as Stats does no favors for Morrissey, #12 Bourhas, #22 Klein and #18 MacDonald as it all starts with them. Top line production has Morrissey at 2G-9A, Breitenfeldt 4G-5A and Grillo 6G-7A. 2nd Line is LW #15 Doyle, C #22 Klein and RW #3 McElaney. These guys friggin scrap and are unselfish. Doyle had a key Poke late in the game when USM was threatening and they all contributed on McElaney's GW'er early in the 2nd Period. Doyle picked up a loose puck in the Neutral Zone and rushed up Ice, stopped on a dime near the goalline but did not like his initial read so he played back to Klein who faked a bomb and played a wide open McElaney right in front of the net who calmly buried it and then McElaney and Klein celebrated by pointing to each other. That was all you NAH NAH it was all you. Hmm OK maybe it was me then. Umm Yea it was the both of them. Deception and Unselfishness.

3rd Line usually has some combination of LW #9 Sanzone, C #12 Bourhas and RW #16 Burke. Burke I think owes the Frosh #48 O'Brien a favor this week. Any kind of favor really. Maybe he should carry the kid's bag or buy him lunch because that blind pass O'Brien fed to Burke in the 2nd period was unreal and frankly deserved an Assist.

4th Line is usually some combination of LW #24 Stapleton, C #18 MacDonald and RW #19 Thousand or #29 Blanchard. The wingers are fast and scrappy and then there is the Frosh Jake MacDonald. This kid does all the little things right but more importantly shows an abundance of courage and heart. Always fun to see a Frosh in any Sport with the confidence to make sure every other Nescac team knows he has arrived and is in the building. He is always tussling with someone and does not let his opponent off easy. The MacDonald / Gellerman tussle earlier this month up at Hamilton is easily the funniest and almost worth the $10 paywall but I saw it live. The MacDonald v LaChance dustup when Wes came to town was probably my 2nd favorite. He is one player that definitely earns his penalties which is much better than a lazy hook or trip.

The D Men are led by one of the finest two way players in Nescac right now #20 Jack Sullivan who leads Nescac with 7G-9A-16. He leads the Mules in Shots and PPG with 3. He courageously blocked a vicious shot late in the 3rd against USM and I really think Colby's MVP right now. I mean #7 Korpi and #23 Kaplan are beasts as well and really play above their size as they both battle and hit with some pop. This is all being done without Colby's 2 starting Defencemen from the start of the season #2 Thomas and #6 Halpin.

Backup Goalie CJ Hapward got his first start of the year and played well even coming up with a diving buzzer beating save off a rebound at the end of the 2nd Period to preserve the 2-1 lead. Now that is just like Soccer because Colby was up in USM's grill all period but only could bury one goal and still USM had one chance to come lay down a smash and grab and almost tie the score. Like Soccer you gotta bury teams when you can because the longer they stick around the more pressure you put on your own team.


Colby now sits at 10-3(7-2) having Won their 6th straight game. It boggles my mind how that team is not ranked. Completely disrespected by the pollsters. They received a couple votes but not enough for a Top 15. I mean a couple of different bounces and they could have defeated Williams and Babson as both games could have gone either way. The loss at Hamilton they led 1-0 entering the 3rd Period and they had Hamilton sleepwalking before MacDonald poked the bear one to many times with Gellerman. That woke up Joey Moore and Co and they came out gangbusters 3rd Period to dice Colby but man this team is very close to being 13-0 or 12-1. Would they then be ranked #1 thru #5? So it goes to show what a fine line every game is and frankly Nescac has to take these OOC games more seriously because that is what moves the pollsters. When one of Nescac's best announcers Caleb Lamb say's before the puck dropped "Non-Conference game here tonight so not as much on the line" that is absolute bullsh*t. If that is the mindset than forget it. Yea I get it he is the announcer and I am sure the team takes every game seriously but it is somewhat concerning. Maybe the Nescac Home and Away's actually hurt these teams. Maybe dump the round robin but leave it open for teams to play each other twice if they want to. Colby finishes the year with 9 Nescac Games starting with their rival Bowdoin on Friday. Bowdoin is another team playing with a ton of confidence right now. That kid #7 Kimball is an absolute workhorse and #23 Small can score but most importantly Bowdoin is extremely organized defensively and leads the league on the kill. I'll have to get to them another time but every team will be gunning for #MuleTrain now because they are all looking up at them in the Standings.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 07:26:44 pm by Mr.Right »

Offline deiscanton

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Re: Nescac 2021-22
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2022, 09:42:20 pm »
The current DCU/USCHO DIII Men's Hockey Poll, which ranks the top 15 DIII teams in Men's Ice Hockey, has Colby in the receiving votes category at 26 points.

Current DCU/USCHO.com Men's Division III national poll

Adrian is currently ranked #1 in men's hockey this week-- the Bulldogs are a unanimous #1 with all 20 first place votes going to them.

For January 24, 2022 among New England DIII men's hockey teams-- Babson is ranked at #9, Curry at #10, U. New England at #12, Norwich at #13, and Endicott at #14

New England teams receiving votes-- Colby (26 points), Salve Regina (6 points), New England College (1 point), Plymouth State (1 point), UMass-Boston (1 point).

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: Nescac 2021-22
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2022, 01:52:45 pm »
More rambling:

What a College Hockey game yesterday between Trinity and Hamilton. Hamilton won the game 4-3 in OT and improved to 6-7(5-6) while Trin falls to 9-7(7-5). This game had a playoff feel with both teams competing hard desperate to win the game. I do not know the recent histories between the teams but you can tell there is no love lost between the two. Just a great game with everything in it. Competition, hard hits, snappy wristers, crisp passing, blocks, mistakes, skill, speed, desire and some craziness. The game had long spurts of up and down all 200 feet with plenty of action and with few whistles which I like. The rest of the it was more of a chess match and highly entertaining.

Trinity had LW #29 Jax Murray 7-7-14, C #11 Paul Selleck 2-2-4 and RW #22 Gerrard Marretta 8-6-14 with D men #24 Ned Blanchard 0-2-2 and the Frosh #28 Eamon Doheny 1-2-3 starting the game. The D pairing of #20 Campo 1-6-7 and #23 Andrew Troy 2-1-3 might be one of the more athletic and talented in the league as they also are #1 and #2 in Blocks on the team. 2nd Line of LW #9 Poliziani 2-3-5, C #19 Michaud 4-9-13 and RW #17 Prattson 1-8-9. Trinity got a solid game in goal from #33 Patrick Pugliese.

Hamilton used a Top Line of LW #18 Jordi Jefferson 4-6-10, C #10 Fred Allaire 3-4-7, RW Nick Hawkins 2-4-6. This line has the ability to be one of the best in the league and all 3 work hard. Still they should have even better numbers. Allaire is too talented to have only 3 Goals(1 until yesterday). He does everything F/O's (20-31 yesterday), PK, plays a full 200 and can score. Jefferson had a fantastic SH'er against Midd after he got a clean poke, got in alone on goal and then worked the Midd Goalie with a sick fake and backhander. Hamilton loves this Youngster Line LW #4 William Neault 1-1-2, C #44 McKenzie 1-3-4 and RW #14 Logan Greene 0-0-0. Then you got LW #24 Gellerman 7-2-9, C #20 Moore 0-0-0(11-15 F/O yesterday) and RW #25 Gotovets 5-5-10. Hamilton gave Frosh #42 Charlie Archer his first start of his College career. He was nervous as most Frosh are it just shows itself more in Goal because you are on an island. Then you got Poliziani talking trash after the 1st Goal and the kid could of had a meltdown but credit to the youngster for regaining his composure, playing very well and doing what he does best the rest of the game and that is saving shots.
 
I was going to dive into each goal but the Hamilton recap did an excellent job of dissecting each one.

I love the camera angle at Hamilton. It gives you a different look of the game and allows you to see the defences and what the Goalie sees but the camera guy needs to know what he is doing. He has to correctly anticipate where the puck is going to help him navigate to the best angle. Yesterday it was solid because you need the skill to know when to zoom and when to pull back, how to make soft turns instead of hard rips and not losing any focus. Even the camera guy needs to read the game. The announcer is good except he does struggle pronouncing those big long scary names. He needs to experience one big Italian Easter dinner and he will be fine. The key is not to pronounce the name in one big mouthful. You got to piece it out at first so it would be Camp-o-me-nosi or Po-liz-i-ani. Easter dinner with the yelling and shouting and craziness would I think do the trick.

It is just confounding that both of these teams are hovering around .500. Trinity had that 4 game losing streak in December but Hamilton has had a tough January. I get it teams have injuries, Covid, crazy travel, bad luck, untimely mistakes, maybe an AWOL but for whatever reason Hamilton have struggled since the break. They were playing well the first two months but now they are similarly like Trinity enigmatic and unable to put a winning streak together. The Hamilton team I saw in Williamstown in December looked more like the team that I saw yesterday. Trinity did get a tough 4 pts out of 6 against two good teams this weekend and they have beaten some very good teams this year. For Hamilton the past month should be forgotten and instead try to build off this Win. A sweep of Trinity is nothing to sneeze at and proves if they focus for a full 60 they have way to much talent to be under .500.

Rumor has it that Trinity's Captain and motor #9 Cole Poliziani likes to have a small bowl of pasta 2 hours before the game for his pregame meal. He sits in peace and focused alone on the bench. No music, no noise, no questions, no decisions, no Frosh babysitting. From what I hear he likes the pasta fresh, hot and spicy. Yesterday he went to sit down to eat and realized he forgot the spice so he had to walk back to the lockeroom to retrieve. Right about the same time Hamilton Defenceman and Alberta native #8 Max Wutzke came strolling by the benches. His senses were on high alert as he could smell the pasta and was starving. Apparently, in the province of Alberta it is customary if you see food without an owner its yours. The kid pulled just an absolute hit and run as he wolfed it and walked off. Poliziani then came back with his spices smiling away and ready to eat. When he saw that empty bowl and fork with one last bite a rush of blood and steam started welling up the back of his neck straight to his head. All you could hear echo from the locker room was Poliziani ranting and raving about "How nothing gets by him and he WILL figure this all out." Long story short his empty stomach morphed into a complete detonation on the ice as he became unglued five minutes into the game with Wutzke getting the brunt of it in front of his goal after the whistle. Safe to say Poliziani figured it all out. That was "the crazy" of the game I was talking about earlier.

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: Nescac 2021-22
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2022, 04:18:32 am »
Hey Deiscanton I am going to move it to the USCHO site fan forum as I would like to support their fan forum since they are as good a website for D3 as we have right now in College Hockey.