Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Well here we are, the day before I stuff my face full of turkey. Of course, I couldn't be happier as I am traveling up to the Capital District for this and will be catching the holiday tournament and the good ol HFH.

The tourney is always a kick off to the holiday season and I look forward to it every year. Hopefully I will get another travel mug!

RPI, as typical with their tourney has scheduled an opponent from a conference I have never heard in the first game and then scheduled someone from the WCHA or CCHA in the other part of the bracket. Sure its their tourney and they want to advance to the finals but American International? Some of the teams similarly scheduled over the years have been Bowling Green, Merrimack, Niagara and Robert Morris.

This is not to say all of the teams are creampuffs. RPI has played some great teams in the tourney year after year- here is a listing: In fact, just recently they have played OSU, Mercyhurst, Northeastern, among others.

Also, it seems that the CCHA/WCHA opponent will usually have the advantage just by playing in a tougher conference. I remember a few years ago seeing Lake State play at the HFH and while they were the dregs of the CCHA at the time (in between their title runs in the early 90s and their current resurgence) they handled the teams at the holiday tourney pretty easily. I am not saying that RPI will be a pushover to Notre Dame in the final but I have my doubts.

I really think it has to do with the level of play in the conferences. The CCHA, WCHA and Hockey East generally have better recruits and tougher opponents in conference. The ECAC, Atlantic and CHA while having good teams, are on a slightly lower tier competition wise. That is why I am glad Appert has scheduled so many tough non-conference games. Minn, BC, CC, Maine, ND. All of these opponents will be good to cut the ol "teeth" on for RPI and will make them a better program.

Regardless, I will be cheering my RPI heart out this weekend for the lads. Congrats to RPI for maintaining their ranking at 16-

I will have lots of pics up on Monday and have a happy and safe turkey day! Go RPI!

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