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Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

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  • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

    There will be a lot said about this team hockey-wise.......the good, the not so good. But for me, in the end, it all comes down to class. The kind of class this team showed at the game's (and season's) end, after the handshakes with Princeton, and led by their Captain, each one of them sought out the Princeton Coaches and shook their hands. At the end of the day it was the underlying Colgate bond that mattered. Go 'Gate.

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    • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning





      We were ONE second away from advancing to the quarterfinals, and then the shoe fell on us. Now to be honest, I thought before this series started that Colgate and Princeton were two evenly matched teams, and that it would go the full 3 games, with an equal likelihood of either team advancing. And had we advanced, I don’t think we would have gotten past Harvard, but it would have at least salvaged something this season. However, what we’ve gone through in the past 36 hours has been nothing short of BRUTAL! This really hurts!

      I feel really bad for the seniors, after winning 42 games as "underclassmen", they only won 20 as "upperclassmen". Even more frustrating, after two VERY successful seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15), we’ve had to endure two consecutive seasons that, in my opinion, have been unmitigated disasters. Last season was bad enough, but this season was worse! Now expectations were low coming into this season, but a win total in the single digits? That makes me want to cry, especially after 20 and 22 win seasons not too long ago. By winning percentage, this isn’t the worst season (statistically) in the Don Vaughan era, but it’s the worst under Vaughan in terms of total wins.

      Is the hockey program at a crossroads? I think it is. The university is definitely committed to making both the men’s and women’s teams successful, and our new rink can certainly attest to that. But if next season ends up being similar to the previous two, a change might be necessary. And sadly, the only one I can think of would be a coaching change. Now I like Don Vaughan, and he’s a good coach. He’s also been one of the "drivers" in getting the new rink built. In the 12 seasons I’ve been following Colgate hockey, I’ve never seen the team "mail it in" during a game. Unfortunately, the coach’s resources have been thin in each of the past 2 seasons - something not entirely in his control. But I’m concerned. If no noticeable improvement is made by the end of next season, his job might be in jeopardy.

      Thank you to Jake, Brett, Anthony, Emilio, Andrew, Derek, Tim, and Charlie for your 4 years of dedication and commitment to Colgate hockey. All of you will be missed. I believe a previous poster said the players shook hands with the Princeton coaches last night. I’m happy to see that, since the Princeton coaching staff consists of primarily of Colgate alumni. And because of this, I hope the Tigers are successful in the coming years (except of course against the Raiders).

      Now onto another long offseason...
      Colgate '09

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      • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

        GREAT post by Rainman...said lots of things that make a lot of sense, some tough things, but "spot on"...the good/the bad/the ugly...THE GOOD: we could've packed it in last night after such a devastating loss on Saturday. We did not and played a solid, very competitive game...DV always has his kids ready to play, they compete for 60 minutes and the program has class, both the staff and the young men. As a Gate alum you do have to be proud of the overall effort this weekend. THE BAD: Kulevich will be almost impossible to replace, he's a horse who probably played 25 minutes per game, raised his game offensively and, I guess, will be of some interest to a number of NHL teams. He and Brett Corkey skated huge minutes over a full four years. Corkey and Finn will be missed as well. I thought the senior class actually played pretty well throughout the year but frankly I expected more production out of our freshman class (believe it or not). There is talent here but next year will require McMann, Cockerel and Snodgrass to hit double digits in goals. THE UGLY: well, 20-46-8 over two years is not good and Rainman's comments (above) reflect my feelings as well. Next year HAS to see a turnaround is overall scoring talent along with increased speed on the team. I do not think it unreasonable that with the new facility and, hopefully, a decent incoming group of frosh, that a .500 season is a 50-50 bet. If there is only muted improvement in 2017-18 some very difficult decisions may be needed. DV is a great guy and a very good coach, but we need, we really, really need to upgrade our recruiting. I wouldn't mind a couple of Eric Robinson's (P-ton's left winger) in our future. It's about time...

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        • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

          Great posts by Rainman and TheGreenCoat. I agree with much/all of what you posted. Side stepping this past weekend's series - about which I'm in a major funk - I'd like to nominate "Three Stars" for the season:

          Number 3 Star goes to Gate Radio (John McGraw) for his continuing excellence in broadcasting the games. At times when there was no video streaming, it was good to know many of us could rely on his making the games come alive on the radio. Even when there was video, I relied on his play-by-play to augment the streaming after muting.

          Number 2 Star goes to everyone on the team - highlighted by the Seniors - (except Charlie Finn) who gave it their all this season. While the record may not be as sterling as we'd like, these guys never quit and truly showed the "Spirit That Is Colgate." No one can really know all the hard work, ups and downs, and countless hours put in on the ice every day by the players and coaches. We appreciate all the devotion to the sport that they exemplify.

          Number 1 Star goes to Charlie Finn, who saved our bacon on numerous occasions. Going back over the past four years, how many outstanding games - and incredible saves - did he have to give us a win? Many. While there are some naysayers among us, if you look at the stats over his Colgate career you get the sense that he stood between us and doom in countless games. Kudos to Charlie and thanks for hanging in there when things didn't always go our way.
          Last edited by ColSkate65; 03-07-2017, 10:13 AM.
          COLGATE HOCKEY:"Is this the year?"

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          • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

            Well as a Clarkson fan I can't say I'm sad to see that senior class go haha they whooped us more times then not. I do want to just chime in and say I've always thought of DV as a great coach and a great leader but I have to agree with the recruiting aspect of things, when Clarkson announced their huge renovation plan for Cheel the future started to change in terms of recruiting and this is something 5 years down the road that some of the kids will only get to utilize for 1-2 years if at all. Just looking at Colgate you have one 2000 birth year recruit in Mark Gallant and he seems promising but the future has to be solidified, I personally thought Colgate would really take advantage of the Prep School circut with players like Gallant. These prep kids will probably be going to junior hockey sooner rather then later and if they are skilled enough will pursue a college hockey career, but with these cases DV and assistants need to be establishing contact early on when these kids are 13-15, some will develop into stars and go to BU, BC, Providence, some will be pushed out a year by those schools and tell them they should spend a year playing junior hockey, I figured Colgate would capitalize on some of those kids kind of like SLU has done with Bayreuther and a few others in the past. There is an obvious connection out in Western Canada that DV seems to have in the AJHL + BCHL so pulling a few top names out of there is always going to help but I don't see that in any of your current commits, although there will be a few good 4 year guys that will play a 200 ft game and a few good active puck movers on defense. It will be interesting to see where your program is headed, I love the new arena and I think it might be a good move for DV to stay at some level within the program but go out and find an excited alum that is willing to embrace the challenge of recruiting because that's where NCAA Hockey is going, these freshmen are ready to impact teams in positive ways and immediately. Look at Dave Quinn at BU, he's even dominating BC and Jerry York head to head for a lot of these guys because he's young, he has great connections, he's relating to these young guys and trying to improve them as human beings.

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            • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

              Great points by the posters above; I'll check in later with my full thoughts.

              But I wanted to quickly follow up on ColSkate's point about Finn. I think he personally stole two games for us late in the year, Dartmouth and one more. The game saving stop he made against Dartmouth has to be in the running for best play of the year in the NCAA. I can vividly picture the Dartmouth forward reacting by putting two hands to his head in disbelief. In a trying season full of lows that was a pretty special moment.

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              • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

                Seth Appert out at RPI, winning 42% of his games over a decade plus a year or two...replaced Dan Fridgen whose record was tangibly better...RPI brought him in, I would guess, in light of Denver's two national championships with Appert as assistant and lead recruiter...the bad news is that RPI will be paying him through the 2020-21 season...ouch!!!

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                • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

                  Bump to move Asian spam off first page.

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                  • Bump
                    RIT Tigers

                    Got one foot in the crease

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                    • Originally posted by CU13 View Post
                      Happy for the team on the win and the program on its 1,000th victory! Go 'Gate!!!!
                      ..
                      RIT Tigers

                      Got one foot in the crease

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                      • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

                        MARMOT...eagerly awaiting expected additional thoughts...we're going into the "quiet season" for Colgate hockey - again, sooner than I would like - but continue to follow progress of our incoming recruits...recent signee for 2019-2020 looks interesting (Arnaud Vachon of Brooks Bandits)...grasping at straws here and will remain depressed until another NCAA champ is crowned...I'm 66 and sand is running through the hour glass...

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                        • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

                          Well, it's taken me a bit of time to try to process what transpired this past season. I'm afraid the year I graduated (1991) may have given me unreasonable expectations for what the Colgate program should be. I see Starr Rink full and National Championships a legitimate possibility. Obviously, this year was the antithesis of those halcyon seasons.

                          But how bad was it, exactly? Well, for one thing, we had the lowest number of wins since the '77-'78 season. To give an idea how long ago that was, it was Terry Slater's first season. So, I think terming this year as epically bad is not at all hyperbole.

                          Of course, the realization that this year was terrible isn't exactly breaking news. So, the question is this: why was this team so poor?

                          Well, unlike last year's team which I believe greatly underperformed (notwithstanding the defections of Baun and Johnston, that team was rather loaded) I feel like this year's team played to about expectation. I mean, Kulevich was quite good and Corkey solid. Finn (and when he played, Point) was very often excellent. But what about our forwards? I don't think we have one forward who would be a top 2 line player for any of the better teams in the conference. Seriously, not one. I mean, Harrison had a good year and our frosh triumvirate (McMann, Cockrell and Snodgrass) has the potential to be good. But sakes alive, look at the production from this year's junior and sophomore classes. GreenCoat's been saying it all year: the talent simply isn't there.

                          And I've been following our incoming classes pretty carefully over the course of the season and am not brimming with optimism. As I've mentioned before, the two incoming freshmen defensemen look like good puck movers as they are both pretty high in their respective leagues' defensemen scoring (particularly our BCHL commit). Further research gives me some hope for McEachney who is 11th in the AJHL in scoring. And his teammate Vachon who just committed to Colgate is among the AJHL's top five in PPG. But frankly, I don't see any Austin Smith or Spink twins type talents. At least based on their numbers in juniors.

                          So, what does this all mean? Unless the aforementioned frosh triumvirate markedly improve as sophomores and we hit some home runs in the incoming class I really think we're going to be hard pressed to improve on our bottom four finish next season. And keep in mind that we're losing far and away our best two defensemen. And in Harrison, our leading goal scorer.

                          Where does this leave the program? Well, I think there is (or should be anyway) a tremendous amount of pressure on Coach Vaughan this upcoming season. Despite the fact I think he's a good coach a third consecutive terrible season cannot possibly be acceptable. Especially in light of all the resources poured into the new rink. And unfortunately I think he's going to be coaching for his job with a roster that's not going to make it easy.

                          I certainly would like to be proven wrong, but recent history doesn't give me a tremendous amount of hope.

                          What I did find interesting is that the first people this season to allude to a coaching change on our board were (I think) a Yale guy and a Clarkson guy. And if you look at the situation at Yale with Tim Taylor I find it not dissimilar to the situation with Coach Vaughan at Colgate: good coaches who had been at their respective institutions for decades with sporadic success and who are great teachers of young men. But at a certain point you have to look at the reality of the overall records and ask the question:

                          Is this good enough?

                          And I'm not sure if this is where techtodenver (the Clarkson guy) was going but I can think of a very specific alum to revitalize the program. One with tons of cachet.

                          But I'm not there yet. I really want Coach Vaughan to right the ship. Let's hope my dire prognostications are wrong and he does just that . . . .

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                          • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

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                            • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

                              not to build you up too much Marmot, but your comments are spot on...you reflect my concerns that really started back in the 2006-2007 season (ironically since that time DV's coaching record is c. 50 games below .500)...and I very much hope he can right the ship after two quite subpar years. I don't think we committed $38M to a new arena simply to have it featured in Architectural Digest...we did improve defensively as the year went on, egregious defensive zone mistakes were definitely reduced, and the kids seem to buy into their responsibilities on defense. What concerns me is the feeling that we're simply not talented enough to do what DV wants: to be very dangerous in transition. And I don't see any real upgrade in offensive talent coming in next year. I really, really hope I'm wrong. And yes, the comparisons to Tim Taylor, a great guy and a good coach for many years, are somewhat scary...I know recruiting is really really hard these days, but our school and our new arena should be positives (continued sub .500 seasons is not)...

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                              • Re: Colgate 2016-17 A New Beginning

                                Waiting on Shabby to critique the season and give his perspective. He always has good, logical thoughts. Don't anyone get too mired in negatives until our Leader posts
                                COLGATE HOCKEY:"Is this the year?"

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