These are the TBRW ECAC Predictions for the 2006-07 season. For the gory statistical details, see Never Apologize, Never Explain.
What a difference a year makes. Twenty-six little fortnights.
Cornell hockey is nearly unrecognizable from the product Coach Mike Schafer iced last fall. Gone, first, is a large and important senior class: scorer Matt Moulson, two-way whiz Dan Pegoraro, the hustling Abbott twins, solid blueliner John Gleed, and Gunga Din-like goaltender Louis Chabot.
Came the summer. July. 104 degrees in the shade. The slushball was the defections of David McKee (expected), Sasha Pokulok (suspected) and Ryan O'Byrne ("what the ----?") to NHL contracts. Suddenly, as Cornell prepared to admit a crew of forwards tasked with stepping in immediately as the core of the team's attack, their erstwhile stalwart defense receded like the tide evaporating from a summer beach.
All of which amounts to this: 2006-07, for the first time in a long time, will likely be a very tough year for fans to swallow. Lord knows, the Big Red deserve slack, after a five-year run which has included a return to the Frozen Four and three near misses. Likewise, Coach Schafer has earned our trust in the direction he is taking the program, his aim never wavering from a national title which, prior to his engagement as coach, seemed like a cloud of controlled substance-enhanced nostalgia.
Relax. Enjoy this year. Lynah has new touches for the fans and for the players. We have a very young team that will make a huge number of mistakes right before our eyes -- stuff even that idiot newbie to your left will catch and bawl about when he's not screaming "Shoot! Shoot!" on the power play. If you expect a .900 winning percentage, ha ha, um, get used to disappointment. If you want to see a group of kids learn and come together under an experienced coach's tutelage, and perhaps make a modest post-season run, you've come to the right place.
And hey, they're an underdog again!
It was great to be the Big Dog -- the Biggest the conference has seen in a generation. Now, it will be exhilarating to be that little snapping a-hole puppy who messes on everybody's rug.
We repeat the prior year's methodology. For the full statistical details, see Never Apologize, Never Explain.
We know of the following non-senior departures, either by defection to the pros, transfer, loss of eligibility or leaving the team or school, among players with at least one appearance last season:
In all other cases, each non-senior who appeared in at least one game last season is assumed to be returning.
We have some prodigal sons who have returned to the ECAC rosters:
In addition, several transfers grace ECAC rosters: