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  • d3follower
    replied
    This does have all the markings of a failed search -- that Midd had a more credentialed candidate within its sights but could not work things out with that candidate so had to turn to the internal guy to ensure that someone was in place for the ongoing recruiting season and for the rapidly approaching school year. Ceglarski is too young and inexperienced to make any meaningful projections or even guesses as to how he will do. It was a mistake for Bowdoin to hire from within when former head coach Terry Meagher retired in 2016 and it did take some 6 years for the parties to recognize that it was very much a failed experiment and change course. Hopefully the Ceglarski experiment works out better for Middlebury than it did for Bowdoin but it definitely is an experiment. Still, it is a bit of a surprise that Middlebury was not properly prepared for its search for a new head coach and did not pull out all the stops in the hiring process. I am not a Middlebury person but would love to see the program get back in the running.

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  • rufus22
    replied
    This bothers me too. To be clear I know nothing about Ceglarski except what's on his Midd bio and I wish him and the team all the best. But it strikes as the same kind of lazy move as the hiring of Sinclair. This school can pay a great salary, has unmatched facilities and is in a great place to live. Even with questions about the current administration's commmittment to hockey, this opening should bring top-flight talent. I hope this guy gets a genuinely fair shot but I also hope the school stands ready to do a full-scale recruitment if he doesn't pan out.

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  • MikeMidd
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeMidd View Post
    Six weeks since Neil Sinclair stepped down as Middlebury head coach. Any sense of potential candidates for the job? Or when an announcement may come?

    Even with the questions above about the college's commitment to hockey and the competitiveness of the league and wider landscape, I'd think this is a pretty attractive job.
    We have an answer: https://athletics.middlebury.edu/new...key-coach.aspx

    Jack Ceglarski, assistant coach for the past two seasons, has been named Interim Head Coach for the year ahead.

    That "interim" bothers me a bit. Why is it not a permanent position? Were they not able to recruit a permanent head coach? Very strange.

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  • MikeMidd
    replied
    Six weeks since Neil Sinclair stepped down as Middlebury head coach. Any sense of potential candidates for the job? Or when an announcement may come?

    Even with the questions above about the college's commitment to hockey and the competitiveness of the league and wider landscape, I'd think this is a pretty attractive job.

    Leave a comment:


  • neumyer
    replied
    Changes at the Helm

    Middlebury men's ice hockey head coach Neil Sinclair '93 has stepped down from the helm of the program, Director of Athletics Erin Quinn announced on Wednesday, May 10.
    "I have decided to step down as the men's ice hockey coach at Middlebury College," said Sinclair. "This is a decision that I have taken some time to come to, and I know this is what's best for me and the program. I want to especially thank Jack Ceglarski, Nick Bingaman, Brian Phinney, and Brad Schuler for their work as assistant coaches. I also want to thank my colleagues at Middlebury, and those in the larger hockey community for their support. This program has a rich tradition and proud history; I am grateful to have been a part of that tradition."

    Quinn described Sinclair as "an important part of Middlebury men's ice hockey, noting that he was "an impactful player and leader, assistant coach, and head coach."

    "Neil has worked tirelessly in his career to develop a strong team culture and has set the program and players up for success moving forward both on and off the ice," Quinn said. "He has been a supportive colleague and has led within our department with integrity. We wish Neil the best in his next chapter."

    During his tenure at Middlebury, Sinclair has led the Panthers to four NESCAC Tournament appearances. He was also the interim head coach during the 2002-03 season after serving as the assistant for three seasons. During the interim year, Sinclair guided the squad to the NCAA Semifinals and a 22-5-2 record. Sinclair also served as an assistant women's golf coach during his time at Middlebury.

    Prior to Middlebury, Sinclair spent 11 years as the head coach at Skidmore College, during which time he earned the 2007 Edward Jeremiah Award for National Coach of the Year and was tabbed the ECAC East Coach of the Year. Sinclair also coached at Williams and Middlebury Union High School.

    As a student-athlete at Middlebury, Sinclair earned First Team All-American laurels and was a member of the 1991 ECAC Championship team.

    Middlebury will share more information about plans to name the next head men's ice hockey coach once it becomes available.

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  • tjoneslo
    replied
    In thinking back on this through memories, dimmed by time, of overheard conversations and hearsay I believe the Knelman lawsuit was a symptom of a deeper set of changes. And these changes resulted in the frustrations boiling over in the lawsuit.

    Starting back in the bad old days where Middelbury was the dominate force there were two things coach Beaney was doing. First was recruiting the Junior College graduates, not many but enough to form a strong core of a team and bring the rest of the players along. Second was to teach a slightly unique style of play. And this worked beautifully; five national championships, and a unmatched winning record.

    And then a few things changed concurrently. The number of D-I caliber and Junior College graduates willing to be recruited into playing for a D-III program increased. So the skill advantage used by Middlebury to dominate was no longer there. Second, the point at which players, even high school players, got into serious training became earlier and earlier. So now the kids were learning the "Hockey way" from age 5 or 10. But this was not Beaney's way and so he was having to spend more time getting the recruits to unlearn their old teachings and learn the "new" Beaney way.

    Finally, Beaney's recruiting had to change. I heard (without anything to back these up) that either the new President of Middlebuy College, or NESCAC, or both, wanted to change the recruiting policy. The President reasoning was to focus on the Academic experience.

    The NESCAC reasoning was to balance the teams within a sport. Having teams regularly blown out 9-0 isn't a learning experience, it's a humiliation. So NESCAC requested/required a change to the recruiting rules to allow the teams (not just hockey, but all sports) to be on equal footing.

    For Beaney he looses the ability to have a core of highly skilled players to drive the team forward and is spending more time debating his players about how to play than actually coaching them. And I think he finally came to the realization that the world had changed and he wasn't able to change with it.

    For NESCAC, the change has been hugely successful. Their goal was to eliminate having a league where there was one 15-0 team and two 0-13-2 teams, the same ones every year. You need to look a little deeper than the zero sum in-league records, but there are no teams being repeatedly blown out. The out-of-league records are less important. But, again, look deeper. Are the losses by one or two goals with the shots and zone times being about equal, or are they 5+ goal humiliations?

    Which brings us to Coach Sinclair. Sinclair isn't a bad coach. He's not a national championship level coach but that not what either Middlebury nor NESCAC is looking for. There are better coaches, but finding one is time consuming (and expensive). And better coaches have requirements for their ability to recruit which may well clash with the requirements of Middlebury and NESCAC. So as long as hockey team is playing within the scope of what Middlebury considered acceptable, even if they're not winning a lot, I'm of the opinion Sinclair has the job until he wants to retire.

    For Middlebury this year, I've say the team has improved except in one (utterly critical) area: Their shooting. In the game vs Cortland, Midd took 45+ shots on goal and scored once. This is terrible. But even with a slight improvement in this area the one or two goal losses become one or two goal wins.

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  • d3follower
    replied
    Agree that the Knelman lawsuit had a lasting and perhaps permanent impact on the Middlebury men's hockey program. Likely it was an indicator to the Middlebury administration that things were seriously out of whack with the men's hockey program, and a different more low-key approach to men's hockey was in order. Perhaps an over reaction but Beaney has been gone for close to 8 years now, and there is no sign that the ship is about to be righted. It seems to be a men's hockey specific problem for Middlebury since women's hockey has enjoyed huge success, and Middlebury generally performs well in most men's sports . . In fact, an argument could be made that Middlebury decided to replace men's hockey with men's basketball as its premier men's winter sport . .

    Generally speaking, men's hockey seems to be down across the NESCAC, with Trinity the last national champion from the NESCAC in 2015. NESCAC teams have performed poorly in out-of-conference play, with the losses out numbering the wins. Some of the poor NESCAC performance may be attributable to tougher recruiting standards. That is hard to measure or prove but the NESCAC seems to have more players coming straight from prep hockey without any junior hockey seasoning than most other D3 leagues. Perhaps a trickle down impact of the Middlebury syndrome or a reaction to other bad episodes at other NESCACs like the sexual assualt allegations against a member of the Williams' hockey team a few years ago.
    Last edited by d3follower; 01-04-2023, 03:16 AM.

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  • rufus22
    replied
    --Sorry if it hurts: The coach was a comfortable, lazy hire who now has 2 winning seasons in 17 in D3 men's hockey. I'm not counting the 2003 season at Midd when Beaney went on sabbatical and briefly relinquished the keys to his assistant.
    --The Knelman lawsuit hurt. Altho Beaney was exonerated it illustrated an intensity to the program that spooked some in the admin.
    --Since roughly then, all the NESCACs have been under pressure to recruit less semi-qualified canadian juniors and others and play it by the book. Some have moved quicker than others, but if you look at the rosters now its mostly prep school and US HS kids. But here again Midd, with its facilities, history and unmatched money (save Williams) has no disadvantage or excuse.
    --It's likely that that the Patton administration, like all the NESCAC and like minded schools, is more focused on diversity etc. than men's hockey. But that's across the board and no excuse for being 1-9 with a recent loss to SUNY Cortland, which I never though I'd see..

    Leave a comment:


  • puxrex
    replied
    Mikemidd: The problem with Middlebury men's hockey does not lie with the college's administration. Support of athletics from the top is very solid. Facilities (already among the best in d3 sports and better than many d1 programs) continue to be upgraded. New men's soccer field, new women's soccer field, and new field hockey/women's lacrosse field have come on line in the past 6 months. National championships in multiple sports in the past year including an undefeated women's hockey team in then 21/22 season. Men's hockey is the anomaly and given some of their past successes it tends to stand out when it doesn't measure up. Baseball was in a similar situation to men's hockey a few years back, with years of mostly lackluster results. That turned around with a new coach not long ago which resulted in a NESCAC championship and NCAA tournament play this past spring. Men's hockey will be competitive at some point. As noted in another post, the program is celebrating its' 100th anniversary this season. There have been high and low moments in those 100 years. And many more to come, hopefully more high ones than have been in evidence recently.

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  • eddieshack23
    replied
    Nescac appears to be down conference wide this weekends out of conference play was abysmal

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeMidd
    replied
    I’m back in the States and saw a hockey game in person for the first time in five years last week. It got me thinking about Middlebury, this weekend’s games, and the USCHO forums. Not spent time here in years, hope old friends are doing well.

    Almost five years ago I asked here about the drastic downfall of Midd hockey. A real cocktail of issues – institutional support, recruiting challenges, coaching, more competitive league, and more. It seems like after another half decade of mediocrity and more since then. Hard to imagine a Midd program with only 4, 8, 10 and 6 wins in a season, barely competitive against some of the historically weaker teams in the NESCAC and country.

    I’d be curious for thoughts on what’s happening at Middlebury now, as I’m not connected to the hockey program at this point.

    Has the college simply decided that men's hockey isn't a priority? Is that a choice from President Patton, or elsewhere?

    Is there any pressure on Sinclair, who has clearly failed to deliver any success over six-plus seasons?

    Has recruitment fallen off that drastically, or is it a question of not getting the best out of players?

    Is there a sense of anyone fighting to restore or revitalise the Middlebury traditions and culture? What's the alumni environment like now?

    And are other NESCAC schools seeing any similar issues, given hockey is expensive, resource intensive, etc.?

    Realise it’s quite quiet here so thought it would be interesting to prompt a discussion.
    Last edited by MikeMidd; 01-01-2023, 08:00 PM.

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  • Mr.Right
    replied
    Random Thoughts:


    Amherst- Amherst is 4-1-1 and playing pretty well to start the year. They have a good mix of veterans and I think maybe the best Frosh class in the league. #9 Josh Burke 2-2-4 is a fast winger with skill and can beat D-men 1v1 to open up some good scoring looks for his linemates and himself. He is a fun player to watch. #18 Andrew Carmody and #2 Ben Ritter are two legit D-men. You can tell Carmody has a High Hockey IQ as he knows when to either body up the opponent or get him quickly on his backhand. Amherst is scoring goals as well with stud #20 Ben Kuzma 7-3-10 leading the way. He got Amherst on the scoreboard late in the 3rd v Wesleyan with a sick goal. His change of gears in open ice and nasty stickwork helped him absolutely blow by Wesleyan D-man #28 Liam Donelan and then beat Wes G #30 Erik Voloshin. Occasionally, Kuzma can disappear from games for stretches but then he reappears with an effort like that. Amherst Top Line was LW #20 Kuzma- C #41 Toporowski- RW Frosh #13 Ryan Corcoran. On Saturday they flipped Corcoran for #19 Bobby Luca on the wing v Trinity and they looked even more dangerous. They have two solid Captains in #14 Joey Verkerke and #22 Connor Merrill. The one minor issue with Merrill were his two penalties against Wesleyan on Friday night. They were both 200 feet from his own goal and completely out of frustration of not finishing an earlier chance. These were just gifting Wesleyan PP opportunities in the 2nd and unnecessarily wearing down your own PK. He has to remember he now has a "C" on his shirt and his teammates, especially all these good Frosh, are looking at him for leadership in all areas of the Game. #33 G Alex Wisco has played very well to start the year and you can tell his teammates have full confidence in him back there. Congrats to HC Jack Arena on 500 Wins which is mind blowing in any Sport and in any Division. I like though what he did in his 499th Win. Wes was up 2-0 going into the 3rd period and playing very well with Amherst struggling to find a Goal even with plenty of sniffs against Voloshin. So, Arena flipped the lines up to either take advantage of a matchup he liked or to just see if some different combinations would work better for the 3rd. He switched Nescac POW #24 Quint Fox onto #12 Tyler Bourque's line replacing another Frosh #6 Oscar Smink to go along with Frosh #9 Burke. He then created a more veteran line of LW #23 Evan Lichman- C #21 Michael Pitts- RW #22 Merrill. These two lines along with the Top Line is what made the difference in the 3rd Period. Amherst finishes with two Home Games against rival Williams and Middlebury before heading out on break. MIA #16 Connor McGinnis and #25 Ryan Tucker

    Trinity- For the League's sake let's hope Trinity takes out its frustration of this past weekend on both its non-conference opponents this week before heading out on break. Starting with Babson today at 4pm. Will take a look at them when I have a chance to rewatch some of their games over the break.

    Colby- From 4th Line to Top Line. Good to see Nepotism alive and well.

    Wes- This team I completely got wrong in my predictions. I felt they had lost a ton of Senior leadership from last year and might drop a spot or two. I was wrong because they are playing in front of an improved and confident Goalie #30 Erik Voloshin. They have veteran D-men that can move the Puck with skill. #15 Cobb had a great Goal against Amherst. I want to get into this team over the break as well when I have some more time because if they can continue to put the Puck in the Goal, they are going to be successful. Not sure they can roll 4 lines yet like last year, but they were missing a key player #11 Alex Giummo. They finish with Endicott on Wednesday before heading out on break so hopefully they are fully focused for that Game.

    Tufts- Tufts coming off a dominating 5-0 rout of Middlebury. Their Captain #21 Mason Kohn "Kohner" with some after game thought's: I literally spit out my coffee in laughter. Was this seriously done on the first take? His nickname should be "brain". He is like half human / half bot with blue eyes and a sh*t eatin' grin. Good kid. Now can this team go up to Maine and get 2 Wins? I can promise you both Bowdoin and Colby are overconfident right now and will be looking past both Tufts and Conn and assuming 2 "dubs". Is this how you want to be thought of? An assumed "dub". This is a good opportunity for both schools to get some results.
    Tufts Jumbos on Twitter: "HOCKEY | Big win for the boys today, as @TuftsMensHockey blanks Midd 5-0 at home. Here’s Kohner talking about the win! #JumboPride // #GoJumbos https://t.co/wS6zlnHaTM" / Twitter





    Last edited by Mr.Right; 12-06-2022, 08:19 AM.

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  • Mr.Right
    replied
    On Ramp / Back on Thruway:


    Act II: "The Flying Wisco Brothers"(minus one brother) -NO you cannot get a discount.

    -Nescac Friday Feature - Midd Senior Goalie #1 Adam Wisco. Never met the kid but my take is that most Goalies are analytical, and he is no exception. Still, I would consider him based on his answers more of a free thinker. Either way a sharp kid with personality and character. If I had to put a $100 on a minor drawback my guess would be that with his gregarious personality, he is just up in everyone's business. Being inquisitive and having curiosity is good, excessive hockey busybody not so good. Very good read so take a look.

    https://nescac.com/news/2022/12/4/ne...ce-hockey.aspx

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  • WhiteMule
    replied
    Colby 10-0-1 v. Bowdoin in their last 11 games.

    Leave a comment:


  • eddieshack23
    replied
    Congratulations to Amherst College coach Jack Arena on his 500th win!!!

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