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  • MikeMidd
    replied
    First Middlebury game in-person in 15+ years, and it was... oof.

    Final score of 8-1 to Hobart reflected just how good they are, with strong passing, fast skating, team defence, physical play. You can see how they are defending national champs and #1 in the country.

    Equally, I thought 8-1 was harsh to Middlebury, even if Hobart earned those goals. Some simple defensive errors that Hobart jumped on, struggling to control the puck and transition through the neutral zone, and just outclassed. But if you played this ten times, think 8-1 would be the outlier.

    In general, was surprised at how Middlebury kept up with Hobart's speed up and down the ice. A nice shorthanded goal by Jin Lee and glad the Panthers got a deserved one. Good to see a strong performance from rookie goalie Andrew Heinze, and thought Jake Horoho was better than the goals allowed would make you think. Dante Palombo looks like a solid player, a freshman find. Some nice chirping by one of the tall trees, think it was Burdett who got under their skin a bit.

    There will be few tougher nights than this for Middlebury. Now to Ceglarski to get the team to look ahead to tomorrow night against New England College, who are having their own very tough season.

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  • eddieshack23
    replied
    Nice win by Amherst over Endicott

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  • MikeMidd
    replied
    Heading to Hobart v Middlebury tomorrow, the first time seeing the Panthers in person in 15 years. Buzzing with excitement... maybe feeling a bit of fear too.

    It's a helluva challenge for the Panthers, with the #1 ranked Statesmen having looked so good all season (and of course being the defending national champions). Hopefully there are signs of progress and competitiveness from Middlebury that they can build upon as we get back into NESCAC play.

    Any other Middlebury fans out there? And any NESCAC chatter from other schools?

    Leave a comment:


  • d3follower
    replied
    Originally posted by puckyderm View Post
    As a long suffering Jumbo fan it’s nice to see them off the great start this year. I would quibble with the notion that this was an aggressive recruiting year in that, as pointed out, they lost only one senior from last year. Brought in only five freshmen, three of whom are seeing significant ice time. This current recruiting cycle will be the challenge trying to replace 10 seniors, including 5 defensemen and two goalies! Things will get tougher for the Jumbos after this holiday break. Will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.
    It was an aggressive recruiting year for Tufts because the Jumbos brought in four more players than they needed to replace the one graduating player, displacing or reducing the playing time of a number of returning players by bringing in five new players. . I understand why it happened since Tufts will lose many players to graduation in 2024 so good to get a start in replacing some of them. .

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  • puckyderm
    replied
    As a long suffering Jumbo fan it’s nice to see them off the great start this year. I would quibble with the notion that this was an aggressive recruiting year in that, as pointed out, they lost only one senior from last year. Brought in only five freshmen, three of whom are seeing significant ice time. This current recruiting cycle will be the challenge trying to replace 10 seniors, including 5 defensemen and two goalies! Things will get tougher for the Jumbos after this holiday break. Will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

    Leave a comment:


  • d3follower
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeMidd View Post
    Reviving the NESCAC discussion, even if I'm talking to myself (or just neumeyer).

    We've reached the fall semester break, with teams having played between 4-6 games. Standings are:

    1. Tufts: 4-2-0, 13 points
    2T. Trinity: 4-0-0, 12 points
    2T. Hamilton: 4-1-0, 12 points
    4. Amherst: 3-2-0, 9 points
    5. Bowdoin: 2-2-1, 7.5 points
    6T. Colby: 1-2-2, 6 points
    6T. Conn College: 2-4-0, 6 points
    8. Middlebury: 1-4-1, 5.5 points
    9. Wesleyan, 2-2-0, 5 points
    10: Williams, 1-5-0, 2 points

    While Trinity has been as good as expected, some surprises in there. Not sure Tufts - hardly historically the strongest programme, I believe only one finish in the top four in their history - was expected to come out so strong. Similarly, a great start for Hamilton, who have improved in recent years but not really moved into the NESCAC's top tier.

    Equally, a dreadful start for Williams, who likely would've expected much more - though last year showed if you're in the playoffs anything can happen.

    Hard to get a read on Middlebury. The Panthers looked solid in their opening draw against Colby, earned a gutsy comeback win against Conn College, and lost in OT to Bowdoin and lost after leading 2-0 against Amherst. But setting aside the Norwich debacle, they were outclassed against both Hamilton and Tufts. It feels like Middlebury is having some of the same challenges scoring, but the defence is prone to bad nights too. Having streamed a few games, it's felt like a bit of puck chasing and not able to really control games.

    Thoughts from others? (Bueller?...Bueller?...)
    Both Tufts and Hamilton were very aggressive on the recruiting front in 2023, and it is paying off big time. Hamilton had the second strongest recruiting class in all of D3 (according to Neutral Zone) with 12 new players. Tufts had a smaller number of new players but only lost one senior to graduation in 2023 so oodles of experience, especially among the forwards. Trinity is the usual Trinity. The fourth through the 10th place teams will battle for play-off spots, with all 7 seeming to have the ability to make it to the post-season so it should be a hyper-competitive season. Middlebury is still a year or two away from truly turning things around -- there is the culture and there is also talent. Middoebury is at the bottom of the ladder in terms of its ability to produce goals, which is mostly a reflection of a talent gap . . I would think that removing that "interim" tag in front of Ceglarski's name sooner rather than later would help on the recruiting front. Still, Middlebury should be able to make some noise this season as there have been glimpses of possibilities in several games . . .

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeMidd
    replied
    Reviving the NESCAC discussion, even if I'm talking to myself (or just neumeyer).

    We've reached the fall semester break, with teams having played between 4-6 games. Standings are:

    1. Tufts: 4-2-0, 13 points
    2T. Trinity: 4-0-0, 12 points
    2T. Hamilton: 4-1-0, 12 points
    4. Amherst: 3-2-0, 9 points
    5. Bowdoin: 2-2-1, 7.5 points
    6T. Colby: 1-2-2, 6 points
    6T. Conn College: 2-4-0, 6 points
    8. Middlebury: 1-4-1, 5.5 points
    9. Wesleyan, 2-2-0, 5 points
    10: Williams, 1-5-0, 2 points

    While Trinity has been as good as expected, some surprises in there. Not sure Tufts - hardly historically the strongest programme, I believe only one finish in the top four in their history - was expected to come out so strong. Similarly, a great start for Hamilton, who have improved in recent years but not really moved into the NESCAC's top tier.

    Equally, a dreadful start for Williams, who likely would've expected much more - though last year showed if you're in the playoffs anything can happen.

    Hard to get a read on Middlebury. The Panthers looked solid in their opening draw against Colby, earned a gutsy comeback win against Conn College, and lost in OT to Bowdoin and lost after leading 2-0 against Amherst. But setting aside the Norwich debacle, they were outclassed against both Hamilton and Tufts. It feels like Middlebury is having some of the same challenges scoring, but the defence is prone to bad nights too. Having streamed a few games, it's felt like a bit of puck chasing and not able to really control games.

    Thoughts from others? (Bueller?...Bueller?...)

    Leave a comment:


  • neumyer
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeMidd View Post
    Friday and Saturday were good ones for the NESCAC to forget. A record of 3-6-1 in out-of-conference games:

    New England 2-1 Colby
    Skidmore 3-1 Tufts
    Curry 3 - 0 Wesleyan
    Geneseo 4 - 2 Amherst
    Babson 5 - 0 Williams
    Norwich 7 - 1 Middlebury

    Bowdoin 3 - 0 Suffolk
    Hamilton 3 - 1 Potsdam
    Trinity 4 - 3 (OT) UMB

    Middlebury 2 - 2 (OT) St Olaf

    The NESCAC's late start does it no favors. And there are some surprisingly strong opponents - teams like Skidmore, Geneseo, UNE all off to very good starts. But it does show there's a lot of work to do if the NESCAC wants to have teams in the national picture, other than Trinity.

    As for Middlebury...oof, that Norwich score is painful. The worst loss to Norwich since 1999 (the earliest Middlebury's website has results listed), but surely the worst in much longer than that, if not ever. Painful to be that uncompetitive against a rival, though I do wonder if players of this generation have any sense of the Norwich rivalry (or Plattsburgh one!) now.

    As mentioned above for the Bowdoin game, surprised Horoho didn't get the start.

    But the important games are coming up, with four at home against Conn, Tufts, Hamilton and Amherst, you have to be targeting some wins.
    Midd will have to clean up that 7-1 stuff or they shouid take this Thanksgiving tournament previously know as the Primelink off their schedule and perhaps Norwich altogether. Either move would be sad. The 2-2 draw vs. St Olafs is a postive though since they were outshot. But they did surrender two one goal leads. I hope they support Coach Ceglarski to give him a chance for success. If they're just giving him a chance to improve his resume so he can potentially move to a head coaching job someplace else, that would be just delaying the inevitable. It would mean another year lost in recruiting which will be tough enough anyway. They should give him a chance with some help with admissions (tips) and a distant holiday tournament to someplace like Minn. Basketball and baseball get those distant tournaments. I would imagine that hockey alums and Chip Kenyon must be less than pleased with the situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeMidd
    replied
    Friday and Saturday were good ones for the NESCAC to forget. A record of 3-6-1 in out-of-conference games:

    New England 2-1 Colby
    Skidmore 3-1 Tufts
    Curry 3 - 0 Wesleyan
    Geneseo 4 - 2 Amherst
    Babson 5 - 0 Williams
    Norwich 7 - 1 Middlebury

    Bowdoin 3 - 0 Suffolk
    Hamilton 3 - 1 Potsdam
    Trinity 4 - 3 (OT) UMB

    Middlebury 2 - 2 (OT) St Olaf

    The NESCAC's late start does it no favors. And there are some surprisingly strong opponents - teams like Skidmore, Geneseo, UNE all off to very good starts. But it does show there's a lot of work to do if the NESCAC wants to have teams in the national picture, other than Trinity.

    As for Middlebury...oof, that Norwich score is painful. The worst loss to Norwich since 1999 (the earliest Middlebury's website has results listed), but surely the worst in much longer than that, if not ever. Painful to be that uncompetitive against a rival, though I do wonder if players of this generation have any sense of the Norwich rivalry (or Plattsburgh one!) now.

    As mentioned above for the Bowdoin game, surprised Horoho didn't get the start.

    But the important games are coming up, with four at home against Conn, Tufts, Hamilton and Amherst, you have to be targeting some wins.

    Leave a comment:


  • neumyer
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeMidd View Post

    Had a similar reaction after Friday night. Looked solid and competitive, but the ability to turn scoring chances (or half-chances) into actual goals seemed really lacking. The five-min power play was particularly frustrating.

    Yesterday at Bowdoin then an interesting one. Three goals in Brunswick would usually make you feel pretty good. But arguably missed some reasonable chances.

    Given where this programme has been, coming home from an opening weekend in Maine with a tie and OT loss is solid. Room to grow and improve.

    Was surprised not to see Horoho in net after a great Friday night. Wonder if Ceglarski plans to rotate all season?

    Beyond the USCHO preview story, is there a sense of what type of style Ceglarski wants to play? Not sure we have the shooting for a run-and-gun style or a possession-based attack style where we look for the 'perfect' shot.
    Another thing that Midd seems to improved up is taking unnecessary penalties and putting their opponent on the power play.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeMidd
    replied
    Originally posted by tjoneslo View Post
    Having watched the Colby - Middlebury game from afar with interest, I make the following observations:

    Middlebuy does seem competitive, like last year, and they can play as a team, pass, manage their zone time. Their power play kept in the Colby zone for most of the time. They managed several cycles and some extended offensive zone time. Colby was the more physical of the two teams, was slightly better on the puck battles. Both goal tenders were great, making some impressive saves.

    Middlebury's problem, like last year, is their ability to score. Midd had a few odd man rushes and at least two complete breakaways. If they can improve their goal scoring even by a little bit, they will be in much better shape than last year.
    Had a similar reaction after Friday night. Looked solid and competitive, but the ability to turn scoring chances (or half-chances) into actual goals seemed really lacking. The five-min power play was particularly frustrating.

    Yesterday at Bowdoin then an interesting one. Three goals in Brunswick would usually make you feel pretty good. But arguably missed some reasonable chances.

    Given where this programme has been, coming home from an opening weekend in Maine with a tie and OT loss is solid. Room to grow and improve.

    Was surprised not to see Horoho in net after a great Friday night. Wonder if Ceglarski plans to rotate all season?

    Beyond the USCHO preview story, is there a sense of what type of style Ceglarski wants to play? Not sure we have the shooting for a run-and-gun style or a possession-based attack style where we look for the 'perfect' shot.

    Leave a comment:


  • tjoneslo
    replied
    Having watched the Colby - Middlebury game from afar with interest, I make the following observations:

    Middlebuy does seem competitive, like last year, and they can play as a team, pass, manage their zone time. Their power play kept in the Colby zone for most of the time. They managed several cycles and some extended offensive zone time. Colby was the more physical of the two teams, was slightly better on the puck battles. Both goal tenders were great, making some impressive saves.

    Middlebury's problem, like last year, is their ability to score. Midd had a few odd man rushes and at least two complete breakaways. If they can improve their goal scoring even by a little bit, they will be in much better shape than last year.

    Leave a comment:


  • neumyer
    replied
    It’s shocking! Hockey used to be numero uno at Middlebury and now it is a secondary sport in terms of interest and attendance. I imagine Coach Ceglarski can shed the “interim” label if he is successful this year. He really hasn’t had much time to make changes since most of the recruiting done for the freshman class was when the previous coach was in charge. I hope they give him some help and a few seasons to turn things around, otherwise he will be out and the coaching search will begin again. Sad!

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeMidd
    replied
    GAMEDAY.

    The NESCAC experience begins anew, ten teams ready to battle for supremacy - or perhaps just a chance for the playoffs, where as last year showed, anything can happen.

    As tjoneslo said, the league has been competitive top-to-bottom. Now it's a question of whether a team or teams will emerge as elite, after several years of not advancing past the first round of the NCAA tournament.

    For my Middlebury, what an interesting moment.

    First, thanks to Tim Costello for a nice preview piece with an in-depth interview with Coach Ceglarski: http://www.uscho.com/2023/11/15/cegl...-for-panthers/ He certainly sounds optimistic, even with the pressure that comes with this job and the mountain to climb.

    So is it a much-needed fresh start under a new head coach after several years of dreadful results? I'd love to know more about the atmosphere that this change has created, whether it has breathed fresh life into the team.

    Or equally, a young, inexperienced head coach who faces a big challenge to start to restore Middlebury's credibility as competitive, let alone a national power? And I still don't get that 'interim' tag.

    The schedule offers some big tests early on, with the always tough Maine trip and Norwich, plus that New Years journey to Hobart. But four home games ahead of Christmas against Conn College, Tufts, Hamilton and Amherst, an opportunity to pick up points against teams Middlebury will need to beat if it wants to move upwards in the table.

    Will also be interesting to see if some good results start to bring back what had been one of DIII's best fan bases, particularly with a passionate student following. It stuns me that Middlebury's attendance has fallen so far.

    Let's gooooo!

    Leave a comment:


  • tjoneslo
    replied
    Originally posted by WCHornet View Post

    Most of the games appear to be on NSN Sports
    Oh, finding them isn't the problem, it that there are 5 games at the same time. How to choose... ?

    Leave a comment:

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