Monday, October 12, 2009

Hockey Headlines - October 12

For 52 of 58 of the D-I men's college hockey programs, the season has just begun. But all Ivy League icers are still a couple weeks away from beginning exhibition play because of Ivy League restrictions.

That said, nearly all prominent college hockey news sources have posted a ECAC/Harvard season preview of some kind in the last week. After the jump, you'll find our breakdown of those previews, plus a few more bits of Harvard hockey news.

 First, Brian Sullivan, the site's ECAC writer, has a conference breakdown and Harvard-specific preview. Sullivan spoke with head coach Ted Donato at length for the preview, and his Harvard preview emphasizes the strength of the incoming class. Donato says nothing new, although it is interesting to read Donato's view of Harvard's challenging schedule - five straight away from Cambridge to open the season, including road tilts at Dartmouth, Cornell, and Princeton. Harvard's traditional fast start will be a little more difficult than in past seasons. Sullivan tabs the Crimson for fourth place in 2009-10.

For Inside College Hockey, Joe Gladziszewski previews ECAC Hockey by labeling a number of the conference's teams. The Crimson's label is "Pressure to Perform." It's a fair statement about this year's senior class and Ted Donato, because the Crimson are now four seasons removed from an NCAA berth. Gladziszewski notes that the netminding situation, particularly the return of junior goaltender Kyle Richter, will play a large role in how things turn out for Harvard. Gladziszewski has the Crimson in fourth place as well.

The Boston Globe also rolled out its ECAC preview last week, and college hockey writer Nancy Marrapese-Burell profiled the Biega brothers - senior captain Alex, junior forward Mike, and freshman defenseman Danny - along with capsules on each ECAC squad.

In a bit of alumni news, Jimmy Fraser '09, released last week by the Providence Bruins, headed southward to Reading, Penn. and joined the training camp of the ECHL's Reading Royals. Fraser will have a chance to earn a contract with the Royals and shuttle between the AHL and ECHL this season.

Lastly, Nathaniel Popper penned a lengthy feature article on Harvard men's hockey for this Sunday's Boston Globe Magazine. Popper looks at the numerous Crimson alums populating NHL rosters and front offices - including Dominic Moore '03 of the Atlanta Thrashers and Peter Chiarelli '87, GM of the Boston Bruins. It is an interesting read for any fan of the Crimson or college hockey, and includes a look at Louis Leblanc, who is undoubtedly the highest profile recruit in college hockey this season.

WHRB Sports will begin rolling out a Harvard men's hockey season preview on the WHRB Sports Blog tomorrow, starting with a recap of last season and what lessons to take from the Crimson's difficult 2008-09 campaign. 

Also available beginning tomorrow will be a new episode of Top Shelf on iTunes and, which features
Jimmy Fraser, Alex Biega, and Kyle Richter in the booth for the final time together. Consider that episode an official Top Shelf wrap-up of last season, with a preview of what is to come this year.

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