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St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

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  • #31
    Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

    Having grown up in Canton and living in Canton for the better part of the past 30+ years, I can tell you one thing for certain...Canton supports winners, this goes for SLU, Canton Tech and the high school athletic teams. If you are winning people will come out in droves to support the teams, but if you are losing you aren't gonna have support from the local community. Appleton crowds easily show this from no crowds in the early 80's to a full house every night from the mid 80's-early 90's. Once SLU had a down swing in the mid 90's crowds disappeared again. The late 90's-early 00's run saw the crowds reappear. Sad fact is SLU just hasn't won enough in a long time now to pack Appleton on a nightly basis.

    Easy fix as far as attendance at Appleton is win more games and put a much better product on the ice. Much, much harder fix as far as winning more games and putting a better product on the ice is up to the coaches and administration at SLU.
    Mr. Hoot Owl says, "Scary isn't it ?!? You never know!!!"

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    • #32
      Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

      I completely agree about winning have the biggest impact on attendance and that we have the coaching staff to get that done.

      One thing that Got 6 has mentioned before is how he hated to see non-conference games in late December and early January compared to playing in a tournament. Taking a quick look at SLU's non-conference home games over the last few year's in early January, when the students are gone, does show a significant attendance drop off.

      1/7/2014 Vermont 851
      1/5/2013 RIT 1,046
      1/4/2013 RIT 1,126
      1/7/2012 MNS 1,182
      1/6/2012 MNS 1,042
      I believe Got 6 advocated playing in a holiday tournament if possible during this time frame.

      Another thought I had, was try to expand the fan base and brand of St. Lawrence hockey during this time. Since Appleton will be at least half empty or more so with a non-conference games in early January, where could or what could we do if we are not in a holiday tourney?

      One thought I had was to play a non-conference game, during this period, at Watertown's Municipal Arena. The place seats 2,000 people and is the largest city in the North Country. Have a major sponsor for the game such as the Watertown Daily Times or WWNY-TV. The game would sell out as there are many SLU alumni around Watertown and frankly you could pick up additional fans who would begin to make the drive to Canton for some games, which is only an hour away.

      It seems like a win-win to me. You could make more money, have and alumni event and push SLU hockey as the North Country's team.

      I have a few other ideas, but let me roll them out one at a time and get people's feed back. Who knows if we have a good one, maybe the school will look into it.
      SLU '97

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      • #33
        Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

        I just read where Ray Shero's son has committed to BC. Son of a gun, why aren't we getting Alum's kids????
        LETS GO BEARS!

        "Never play flag football in the nude"-Bob Kevoian

        "Don't let anyone tell you what we do builds character, it only reveals it." J.Marsh

        SUNY Potsdam '98

        St.Lawrence '00


        Mike St. Louis is not a BUM!

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        • #34
          Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

          Originally posted by Saints17 View Post
          I just read where Ray Shero's son has committed to BC. Son of a gun, why aren't we getting Alum's kids????
          Link here: https://twitter.com/hockeycommits/st...88389682364416
          SLU '97

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

            Originally posted by Spaceman View Post
            These kinds of things are truly disappointing. Why is SLU good enough for the fathers but not the son's? We know Ray is a big supporter of our program and he helps in many ways with the resources he has both from the Pens and himself. Were we even on his son's radar? Is it a situation like Lappin where we really didn't recruit him hard?

            As to all the marketing ideas I think Tayt has some good one's and I like the Watertown idea. But you can't compare what SLU or Clarkson or Colgate can and should do compared to a Union or Quinnipiac or Brown. Good on Q and U for filling up their arenas and shame on Brown for not doing so. But the first thing about marketing and sales is to know your audience (market). Relatively speaking...there is no market in Canton, Potsdam or Hamilton when you compare it to a Schenectady/Albany, Hamden/New Haven or Providence. You are talking major metro area's and comparing it to the North Country where there is little to no population density. A different challenge altogether.

            Winning and winning at home will fix most of the ills.
            SLU

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            • #36
              Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

              Originally posted by critsports View Post
              These kinds of things are truly disappointing. Why is SLU good enough for the fathers but not the son's? We know Ray is a big supporter of our program and he helps in many ways with the resources he has both from the Pens and himself. Were we even on his son's radar? Is it a situation like Lappin where we really didn't recruit him hard?

              As to all the marketing ideas I think Tayt has some good one's and I like the Watertown idea. But you can't compare what SLU or Clarkson or Colgate can and should do compared to a Union or Quinnipiac or Brown. Good on Q and U for filling up their arenas and shame on Brown for not doing so. But the first thing about marketing and sales is to know your audience (market). Relatively speaking...there is no market in Canton, Potsdam or Hamilton when you compare it to a Schenectady/Albany, Hamden/New Haven or Providence. You are talking major metro area's and comparing it to the North Country where there is little to no population density. A different challenge altogether.

              Winning and winning at home will fix most of the ills.
              Agree with all of this. Yes, it's extremely disappointing. I don't know the story behind what happened here. Maybe Ray working with Randy Sexton as his assistant GM rubbed off on him. We aren't going to win every alum's kids. Some want to be in cities, or go to big schools or pursue a specific degree that SLU doesn't offer. Maybe he wants to be a nurse? BUT, we shouldn't lose all of them either. This is one where Ray might have leaned on his son more if Joe was still coach. Ray and Joe were tight going back to New Hampton days. At least I can understand this one. If he goes to BC he has a good shot of going to a Frozen Four at least once and maybe winning it. It's not like going to Brown as Lappin did where there is a better chance of lasting Israeli / Iranian peace or Sexton going to our rival school. On the other hand, York has got to be considering retirement and who knows after that. I am not sure what BU's future really is now with Jack Parker gone.

              I like Tayt's idea of a game in Watertown or Syracuse but especially Watertown because of the Fort Drum population. It can't hurt. Other options are 1000 Islands and/or going back to Lake Placid for NC or Tourney games. I wonder if SLU shouldn't look at busses between Ft. Drum and Canton for some games. But alas, I agree with Goldenbear that the #1 thing that will fill Appleton is a winner. When even the die hard regulars on USCHO couldn't stand to watch some of the games this season, how can any of us blame people around Canton for not going. On the other hand, what bothers me is for a number of years Clarkson was below us but still got bigger crowds (apparently) at Cheel than we did. Yes, Potsdam is a bit bigger but who the **** wants to watch Clarkson!
              9/11/01 - Stewie & Pelch, you are missed by the SLU Family.
              1962, 1988, 1989, 1992, 2000, 2001, we want More!!!

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              • #37
                Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

                Originally posted by Got 6, Want More View Post
                I like Tayt's idea of a game in Watertown or Syracuse but especially Watertown because of the Fort Drum population. It can't hurt. Other options are 1000 Islands and/or going back to Lake Placid for NC or Tourney games. I wonder if SLU shouldn't look at busses between Ft. Drum and Canton for some games. But alas, I agree with Goldenbear that the #1 thing that will fill Appleton is a winner. When even the die hard regulars on USCHO couldn't stand to watch some of the games this season, how can any of us blame people around Canton for not going. On the other hand, what bothers me is for a number of years Clarkson was below us but still got bigger crowds (apparently) at Cheel than we did. Yes, Potsdam is a bit bigger but who the **** wants to watch Clarkson!
                That's not very nice!
                Not a real doctor, nor do I play one on TV!
                Clarkson 1990

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                • #38
                  Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

                  Originally posted by Saints17 View Post
                  I just read where Ray Shero's son has committed to BC. Son of a gun, why aren't we getting Alum's kids????
                  On second thought, after surfing the web a bit, I am not convinced Chris Shero can help us or that he will play at BC. He had 15 points in 37 games. KUA had a player with 4 times that and he was one of the older kids too with a 95 birth date. On a team like that, you should be, at least, a point per game guy or be a role player like Burmaster will be for us. There are several guys at KUA on the NHL CSB radar but Shero is not one of them. Moreover, he is not that big at 5'10". Maybe it's as simple as he was trying to figure out where to go to school and preferred BC. Maybe York did Ray a favor after Ray has taken a bunch of touchholes from BC into the Penguins organizations! But after taking a closer look I can't believe this is a loss for SLU. True the name is nice and the loyalty is nice and Ray continues to be a very loyal SLU alum and a true class guy, but heaven forbid we go after a kid that has delusions of grandeur without the credentials to back it up.

                  Don't know what happened with this one, and don't care as I like all the guys we have for 2014, 2015 and 2016 lined up better. I am pretty sure Bailey Conger is about a point per game guy at Cushing as a 97 or 98 sophomore....that's the kid of kid we want. Ditto for Corriveau at Westminster.
                  9/11/01 - Stewie & Pelch, you are missed by the SLU Family.
                  1962, 1988, 1989, 1992, 2000, 2001, we want More!!!

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: St. Lawrence Universckity: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

                    Originally posted by Spaceman View Post
                    Now that we are in the off season and can't talk about weekend games, let's try to rack our brains on another subject... It's been my observation over the last ten years that there has been a slow decline of attendance at Appleton Arena. With the rise of the internet and other entertainment options for people, St. Lawrence isn't the only entity facing this issue. Winning and losing also play a role as well, as there is no better way to increase attendance than winning.

                    My question to readers here, what are some of your ideas to market the hockey program to increase the fan base? With the many readers here, I'm sure there might be a few worth while ideas for people to suggest. So what are your out of the box, low cost or no cost ideas?
                    Every year my wife and I plus 2 other couples try to get to Canton for a hockey weekend. I have often thought it would be great to have a weekend devoted to the program, ie "Drop the Puck" weekend. Should be early in the season for good weather for those of us who have to travel distances, might include block of rooms a local motel, luncheon attended by the coaching staff and team, "behind the scene' tour of Appleton, presentation of the history of hockey at SLU, game tickets and post game reception - all to promote SLU hockey. Should not cost much just time and some imagination. GO SAINTS!

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                    • #40
                      Re: St. Lawrence Universckity: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

                      Originally posted by SLUdad View Post
                      Every year my wife and I plus 2 other couples try to get to Canton for a hockey weekend. I have often thought it would be great to have a weekend devoted to the program, ie "Drop the Puck" weekend. Should be early in the season for good weather for those of us who have to travel distances, might include block of rooms a local motel, luncheon attended by the coaching staff and team, "behind the scene' tour of Appleton, presentation of the history of hockey at SLU, game tickets and post game reception - all to promote SLU hockey. Should not cost much just time and some imagination. GO SAINTS!
                      You know you actually raise a very salient point! The reason I don't go to more SLU games in Canton and tend to go watch the team on the road a lot more often is because rooms are so hard to come by in Canton. When you have both teams at the BW, or its football season, or there are other teams playing, its really hard to get a room. I used to try to get the schedule early and book rooms in advance but even then I didn't have complete success. I am not about to go to a game, have a few pops and then drive to Ogdensburg. Obviously, that issue is not going away anytime soon but its an issue. I propose we put opposing teams in Appleton Riding Arena or in revolutionary war style tents on the golf course, and leave the rooms for the alums and fans.
                      9/11/01 - Stewie & Pelch, you are missed by the SLU Family.
                      1962, 1988, 1989, 1992, 2000, 2001, we want More!!!

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

                        Originally posted by Got 6, Want More View Post
                        Brian, I don't think this is the case at all. What is behind Union's rise to prominence is the same thing that was behind our rise in the late 80's....recruiting. In the late 80's when Joe was recruiting the classes of 88 and 89 which were truly the most dominating classes with five All-American's and Bakes being a sure fire sixth one if not injured, was just working his *** off to find and get great talent in. It's the same at Union. I have gone to a bunch of junior games in New England and very frequently I would see a smattering of assistant coaches at the games and then I would see Union / Providence head coach Nate Leaman there on Sunday's after weekend games, there on weekdays. I think their success is in large part due to him working his butt off and having an eye what to recruit for. His ability to get guys like Ghost, Carr, Bodie, etc. is a tribute to him. Ghost came out of prep and I don't know that very many people went after him but I'm sure they all wish they did now. What remains to be seen is if Union can stay on top with Bennett as the head coach. I think they will be good, but will drop off. That is the normal cycle in the ECAC where you see teams dominate for 2-4 years and then fade and get replaced by someone else.

                        Obviously, recruiting suffered at SLU in Joe's last two years with his health and Carvy / Hurley having to coach the team. Also, I think Bob Prier went after a different type of player than Carvy would. Bob P likes size a lot more. I don't know yet how to characterize Carvy's prototypical player but there seems to be an emphasis on puck moving, skilled defensemen and speedy, skilled forwards. I also think goaltending is a big factor and we really have not had a lights out goalie since Gusty. We have had guys that were good and stole big games, but a really consistent winner the game alone goalie...its been a while. Ackley was probably closest and he stole some games such as UNH and, I think, Wisco. You know it its also pure BS that we lost guys like Sexton and Nick Lappin to Clarkson and Brown. I can't explain their bad judgement!

                        Carvy's first class was last year. That was a very good class. There are 7-8 more coming in next year and Lough, Horn, Gluchowski, Hayton, Purmal are all going to be impact players. Last year was frustrating. We won big games. We had talent. I think the team lacked chemistry and I think there were a couple of guys who deserve the blame and they are gone. I am very optimistic about what I think our staff will be able to do. You won't find classier guys anywhere than Carvy, Hurley and Mayo. It's a tough landscape....you have schools like Yale and Harvard (although Harvard has had a rash of de-commits) that are doing an exceptional job recruiting. Q-Suck has got some key guys lined up such as Petruzulli and Smith, but at the same time, I strongly question Peckernold's ability to keep guys playing for him and some other dynamics. Right now, we have to solve Colgate who has put together a solid squad too.

                        I think it is time to be patient. There is coaching talent. The fact we had the #1 PP in the nation pretty much all year last year without a single drafted player on the roster is a tribute to coaching. Granted Greg Carey was a unique player thanks to his scoring ability, but what made the PP work was every bit as much a tribute to Bayreuther, Baker and Wick and Sweetman on the 2nd unit.

                        I was there with Carvy and Hurley. Carvy has an enormous brain and he knows how to sell Canton. Hurley is such a hard-worker and classy guy and has Joe Marsh like integrity. I am encouraged. Last season ****ed me off, but I think it was probably a learning experience for Carvy about how to deal with a certain type of player who is selfish and destroys chemistry. I think the process is there for us to improve and there are a lot of promising signs.

                        Finally, on Union, I really have no idea about their academic backgrounds, etc. I just think they worked hard at recruiting, found a few diamonds in the rough, and Bennett knows how to coach. They are effective in every zone, solid in every position, and are very well coached. I hope they slay both teams in Philly and keep the trophy with the newly emergent ECAC.
                        Agree 100% on the coaches...........we have a great staff. And, there are a lot of promising signs although my gut tells me #7 gets drafted in the 3rd or 4th round and leaves in June. Hope my gut is very wrong.

                        Truth be told, it always has been - and always will be - recruiting, recruiting, recruiting in any sport. I guess my question is - to which I'll never be able to get an answer - How does our recruiting budget stack up against our competition? Which leads to a second question - Are the SLU Board of Trustees, President, and AD (collectively, I'll refer to here as the "Culture") truly committed to fielding top-notch M & W Hockey teams year-after-year. The results on the scoreboard of late would indicate otherwise. My spin over 45 yrs. is that the Culture (as noted here), for the most part, is just happy that we are D-1. Just my honest opinion.

                        Great ideas being discussed here. I'd suggest that we partner somehow with Ft. Drum for any events in Watertown. Really like the "Drop the Puck" idea.

                        Last season ******Ed me off like no other. Bottom line IMO is that a chemistry issue(s) killed us. We had a Hobey Hat Trick finalist and a league Co-Rookie of the Year, but went 9-17-2 in our last 28 games with a very healthy roster. Something was missing and it was simple IMO - too many guys worried about their stats. which resulted in very weak puck support (see PK, or lack thereof) and losses. The coaches will fix that in a hurry.

                        GO UNION - BEAT BC!
                        GO SAINTS.

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                        • #42
                          Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

                          Nice article on Union. I hope they win it all:


                          Union Hockey Team Disdains Underdog Tag Even With Financial Gap


                          By Eben Novy-Williams Apr 10, 2014 12:37 PM ET


                          Union College hockey coach Rick Bennett said he doesn’t think the third smallest school in college hockey’s top division is an underdog as it enters its second Frozen Four in the past three years.

                          So when choosing a movie to show on Union’s four-hour bus ride to today’s national semifinals, Bennett skipped the longshot narrative offered by “Rocky,” in which an unknown boxer goes toe-to-toe with the champion, content to have avoided a knockout. Instead Bennett screened “Rocky II,” where the boxer meets the same opponent on more equal footing. And wins.

                          “This team embodies that,” Bennett said yesterday of the movie choice. “It has a lot of heart.”

                          Union is hoping to follow a similar script in its own Frozen Four sequel. Two years after the upstart Dutchmen lost to Ferris State of Michigan in their first semifinals appearance, Union enters today’s meeting against Boston College -- in Rocky’s hometown of Philadelphia -- riding a 15-game unbeaten streak, alone atop the USCHO.com national rankings.

                          Historically and financially, the gap between the two programs is wide. The Eagles have almost three times as many Frozen Four appearances (24) as Union has winning seasons in college hockey’s top division (nine).

                          Union spends about $676,000 annually on its men’s hockey team, Athletic Director Jim McLaughlin said. In the fiscal year ended June 2013, the three other semifinalists spent $3.25 million (BC), $2.68 million (North Dakota), and $2.31 million (Minnesota), according to the U.S. Department of Education.

                          “I knew that we had a great opportunity with hockey with the coaches we had in place,” McLaughlin said in a telephone interview. “If we could just get additional resources and support for the program, I knew we could be successful.”

                          More Wins

                          In the past five years, as Union steadily increased its win total, revenue from ticket sales at the Schenectady, New York, school’s 2,054-seat Messa Rink rose more than 75 percent, to $180,614. Marketing and sponsorship revenue from the program increased 82 percent, to $86,490.

                          The liberal arts school has an undergraduate enrollment of about 2,200, third lowest of the 59 schools in hockey’s Division I. Similar to Ivy League athletic programs, Union offers no athletic scholarships, only need-based financial aid.

                          McLaughlin, who has worked in the athletic departments at both Princeton and Brown universities, said another part of the program’s financial growth came from the Garnet Blades, a fundraising group comprised of former players and fans formed during the 2000-01 season. The group donated just under $10,000 in its inaugural year following a golf event, and is now raising around $175,000 annually.

                          Boosters President

                          Garnet Blades president Tim Meigher, a 1975 Union graduate, said in a telephone interview that membership has more than tripled to 220 members, in the past five years.

                          “Every year we just seem to find a way to make the golf event a little bigger, and we’ve solicited non-golfers to become members and support the program,” Meigher, who lives near Albany, New York, said in a telephone interview. “It’s an effort to supplement what the school can do and give the coaches a little cushion to do some things that they couldn’t always get budgeted for.”

                          The group’s growth has enabled the Dutchmen to travel more often to road games in the Midwest. It’s also increased their recruiting presence in those same areas, home of elite high school and junior league talent.

                          Unlike men’s hockey programs at bigger schools such as Minnesota -- whose arena could hold the entire Union student body almost five times over -- the Dutchmen do not produce revenue that can be used for Union’s other 25 programs, which outside of women’s hockey all compete at the Division III level. McLaughlin said the athletic department receives about $4 million in support from the school, about three percent of the total college budget, to meet its $5 million in expenses.

                          Conditioning Facility

                          The hockey team’s increased ticket sales, sponsorships and donations have helped the rest of the department in other ways. On the back of that revenue growth the school in the past few years has spent about $750,000 on a new strength and conditioning facility at Messa and the athletic department’s first full-time strength coach. McLaughlin said all the other sports programs use the facilities.

                          “That has been a difference-maker,” he said. “It’s not necessarily the norm in the Division III world to have full-time strength and conditioning staff and facility dedicated solely to the varsity athletes”.

                          Division I

                          Union began competing as a Division-I hockey program in 1991 (MY NOTE: Not true, see Ned Harkness), and had a winning record in two of its first 16 seasons. The program has advanced to the past four NCAA tournaments, including that semifinals loss in 2012.

                          The team is led by forward Daniel Carr and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player and a 2012 draft pick of the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers. Gostisbehere is the only NHL draft pick on the Union team; Boston College has 10.

                          Those numbers show the “Rocky” narrative, not coach Bennett’s preferred script from “Rocky II.”

                          “Our first time to the Frozen Four we were just happy to be there,” Gostisbehere said yesterday. “It didn’t end up our way, but this year’s more of a business approach here. We’re just looking to do some damage better than we did.
                          GO SAINTS.

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                          • #43
                            Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

                            Originally posted by Muskieman View Post
                            Nice article on Union. I hope they win it all:

                            Union Hockey Team Disdains Underdog Tag Even With Financial Gap
                            No reason this can't be SLU's future either. In fact, we were on the cusp of this in the early 2000's.
                            SLU '97

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

                              Originally posted by Muskieman View Post
                              Union began competing as a Division-I hockey program in 1991 (MY NOTE: Not true, see Ned Harkness)
                              It actually is true. Here are the only seasons where Union is officially recognized as playing D-1 (or its predecessor) hockey. The Harkness-coached teams of 1975-76 through 1977-78 were D-3 NESCAC.
                              Cornell University
                              National Champion 1967, 1970
                              ECAC Champion 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1986, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2010
                              Ivy League Champion 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: St. Lawrence University: Big Time, Old Time Hockey 2014-15

                                Congrats to Matt Carey for scoring his first NHL goal tonight in only his second career game. Do the Saints proud in the Big Show!
                                SLU '97

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