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OT : UConn looking to upgrade the Men's Ice Hockey Program?

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My current school, Buffalo, is joining D1 next year, and if they ever dropped football and focused on hockey, they would dominate in short order. It's dumb of them not do so, since WNY is a hockey hotbed, and Ontario is 5 minutes away. I can think of no better placed school in America for hockey, and yet they persist with this football fantasy.

If that were the case why hasn't Niagara or even Mercyhurst been able to dominate? Niagara is the same location as Buffalo and although they have had some success they are far from dominant!
 
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If that were the case why hasn't Niagara or even Mercyhurst been able to dominate? Niagara is the same location as Buffalo and although they have had some success they are far from dominant!

Niagara is not fully subscribed with scholarships, nor does it have the resources, or the population. Ever been to Niagara? It's way out there, approx. 40 minutes from Buffalo. Mercyhurst isn't around here.

All the youth teams here play in Ontario leagues, and even the High schools are in Ontario leagues. The ice hockey talent here is higher than what you'll find in the Boston area. Not as any people, but the high school kids play the game at a higher level.
 

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UConn might not be able to match the history, but that goes without saying.

Nonetheless, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont have all had top teams. Heck, Merrimack and UMass Lowell have had top teams. Lake Superior State! has had top teams. I see no reason why UConn couldn't jump in and immediately compete.

My current school, Buffalo, is joining D1 next year, and if they ever dropped football and focused on hockey, they would dominate in short order. It's dumb of them not do so, since WNY is a hockey hotbed, and Ontario is 5 minutes away. I can think of no better placed school in America for hockey, and yet they persist with this football fantasy.

I heard Buffalo had a lot of BCS quality players on their defense this year.

The problem with the hockey upgrade is this:
It won't work unless they do it right, but to do it right is going to be extremely expensive. They need their own legitimate on-campus building, with it's own legitimate parking lots and access to roads.
 
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I heard Buffalo had a lot of BCS quality players on their defense this year.

The problem with the hockey upgrade is this:
It won't work unless they do it right, but to do it right is going to be extremely expensive. They need their own legitimate on-campus building, with it's own legitimate parking lots and access to roads.

Buffalo has a huge expanse of space for such a thing but there's already the Buffalo Sabres practice rink right next to campus, and it currently has seating for about 1,500-2,000. We'll see if they can fill that up first.
 

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Buffalo has a huge expanse of space for such a thing but there's already the Buffalo Sabres practice rink right next to campus, and it currently has seating for about 1,500-2,000. We'll see if they can fill that up first.

I meant UConn's upgrade. I just like making fun of Buffalo's football program. I shouldn't have tried to combine the two into a reply to your post.
 
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Niagara is not fully subscribed with scholarships, nor does it have the resources, or the population. Ever been to Niagara? It's way out there, approx. 40 minutes from Buffalo. Mercyhurst isn't around here.

All the youth teams here play in Ontario leagues, and even the High schools are in Ontario leagues. The ice hockey talent here is higher than what you'll find in the Boston area. Not as any people, but the high school kids play the game at a higher level.

Actually Niagara is less than 25 miles from U of Buffalo. Actually closer to Ontario than UofB. Won't one of the problems be competing against the Junior hockey leagues for both talent and fans? Pretty established fan bases in many of the Ontario communities.

No question that upstate New York has a lot of talent. BC has taken advantage of it for years.
 
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I meant UConn's upgrade. I just like making fun of Buffalo's football program. I shouldn't have tried to combine the two into a reply to your post.

In that case, ditch Gampel, create a new facility for Basketball and Hockey instead of a basketball practice facility only.
 
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Actually Niagara is less than 25 miles from U of Buffalo. Actually closer to Ontario than UofB. Won't one of the problems be competing against the Junior hockey leagues for both talent and fans? Pretty established fan bases in many of the Ontario communities.

No question that upstate New York has a lot of talent. BC has taken advantage of it for years.

U Buffalo is in the northern burbs of Buffalo, 10-15 miles from the city center, so yeah NU is closer to UB than it is to Buffalo. I was referring to the city of Buffalo (the center of the population) to Niagara U. It takes me about 40-45 minutes. Trust me I've done it when I visit a friend on the reservation right next to Niagara U.

The junior hockey leagues will continue to take top talent. Even in the Buffalo area, you have kids like Patrick Kane going to the juniors. Fans? No. I think they'd be much more interested in college than the junior teams. So, juniors would be a talent drain, but they are now already for all colleges. But, for the Buffalonians and Canadians who are interested in college hockey, it would be a draw to play an hour away from your hometown. Heck, St. Catharine's and Mississauga have great youth hockey.

Buffalo has ramped up its youth hockey. They start at 3 years old here, which is ridiculous, if you ask me. By 5 years old, they start traveling to Ontario. Even I set up a backyard rink (though not this year, may not do it all in this balmy weather). Hockey has exploded here in the last decade or so far beyond what it was in any other place I've lived (Boston, Providence, New Haven, Albany, even Rochester).

I really think the upgrade would be a big winner, but only if they devoted football resources to it.
 

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upstate NY hockey is 2nd to only Minn in my mind. I am a firm believer that a Cuse hockey program would draw 10k to games and be really good quick. alot of the best players in the sport dont play in hs or college and thats not going to stop, but there is easily enough talent around for Cuse to build a winner quickly. the d3 following up there is strong. and all of those ppl are cuse bball/fball fans. it wouldnt take much to built up there.
 
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upstate NY hockey is 2nd to only Minn in my mind. I am a firm believer that a Cuse hockey program would draw 10k to games and be really good quick. alot of the best players in the sport dont play in hs or college and thats not going to stop, but there is easily enough talent around for Cuse to build a winner quickly. the d3 following up there is strong. and all of those ppl are cuse bball/fball fans. it wouldnt take much to built up there.

Cuse has fans in Cuse. That's it. It's not a big deal upstate. Even the Cuse board agrees with this.
 

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upstate NY hockey is 2nd to only Minn in my mind. I am a firm believer that a Cuse hockey program would draw 10k to games and be really good quick. alot of the best players in the sport dont play in hs or college and thats not going to stop, but there is easily enough talent around for Cuse to build a winner quickly. the d3 following up there is strong. and all of those ppl are cuse bball/fball fans. it wouldnt take much to built up there.

I had a cousin that played at Utica after going the junior route. They got some big crowds for DIII up there. Really any decent public school could be successful if they just invested the resources in hockey. If Quinnipiac can be decent, no reason UConn or Buffalo or anyone else couldn't.
 

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I had a cousin that played at Utica after going the junior route. They got some big crowds for DIII up there. Really any decent public school could be successful if they just invested the resources in hockey. If Quinnipiac can be decent, no reason UConn or Buffalo or anyone else couldn't.

thats cool, utica hockey is strong and ive seen them a couple times. i hope my alma wneu can developed something like they have over time. a good friend on mine that i visit a couple times a year grew up down the street in new hartford. they for a public hs have a great hockey program. he has several friends that have been active in the nhl recently and always rips me for my fp friends as they are in the minors right now lol. i learned the hockey scene up there through being around him and a couple other guys in college. it would take a real idiot to not be able to win quick up there.

Minn hockey is in another world. but i would say that some NY hockey teams could go there and compete with Minn teams. i would say the top 30 schools in NY, top 15 in MA(catholic/bc/malden etc) top 5 in NJ(db/sh/delbar etc) and in CT just FP/Hamden are all on the same level. throw in BH and a school or 2(ice hogs) from RI and thats the real legit hockey being played at the hs level in the northeast. the prep school leagues that don't play publics in new england and buffalo areas are a whole nother ball game.

edit- i should also mention that Mich hockey is very good, on par with NY and then WI/ND/SD are like new england...for those just learning about hockey levels.
 
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I know this has been discussed before on this board...but just saw this release posted on UConnHuskies.com:

http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/122011aaa.html

UConn To Evaluate Men's Ice Hockey Program
Assessment will include financial support, staffing and potential revenue sources.

Dec. 20, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut Division of Athletics has named Stafford Sports, LLC, a nationally recognized sports consulting firm, to conduct a complete evaluation of its men's ice hockey program. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the program's current level of support to that of Atlantic Hockey league members and other programs in the region. The assessment will include financial support, staffing, facilities and potential revenue sources.
Stafford Sports, of Medford, NJ, provides strategic planning, negotiation services and operational consulting for the public and private sector in the development of sports and entertainment properties and facilities. Collegiate clients in the past have included UMass-Lowell, Georgetown, Villanova and Wake Forest. The firm currently is providing consulting and strategic services to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, a newly formed, eight-team Division I men's hockey conference that will commence play in the 2013-14 season.

I doubt it, but I really hope that this is Herbst evaluating the potential for UConn to upgrade it's Men's Ice Hockey program and look to finally join Hockey East and play with the 'big boys'. I am already a donor for the Ice Hockey program...but if this goes anywhere I will definately look to up my donation level. This is long overdue in my opinion.

In related news, I think Bruce Marshall has already started cleaning out his office! ;)
I think upgrading hockey in conjunction with Herbst trying to get AAU membership for UCONN makes UCONN much more attractive to the Big 10 than Rutgers. College hockey in the Big 10 is big and about to get bigger.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=6243751
 
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Big 10 level ice hockey will take a level of facilities commitment far beyond just blowing out a few walls to expand Freitas. Penn State will be opening a gorgeous new arena that sounds similar in specs to Agganis. MN, UW and tOSU play in very large, relatively new buildings (with the former two filling them on a regular basis) and the Michigan schools draw extremely well in their traditional 6,000+ seat barns. MN, UW, UM and MSU all have multiple national championships to their credit.

Unless it was almost completely flattened and replaced with an essentially new building, an enlarged Freitas would probably be in the bottom 1/3 of HE - trailing modern facilities at ND, BU, BCU, UNH, UML and UMass (albeit the latter is oversized for its market) as well as classic facilities at UVM and NU. Even Merrimack's barn, the traditional bottom of the HE barrel has undergone renovations but I haven't seen it since the recent work.

If UConn does decide to go forward hopefully it will be in a first class manner to be competitive rather than an attempt to get by with the minimum upgrade possible to gain admission. Of course the same could be said for staffing requirements, scholarships, operating budget, etc.
 
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If that were the case why hasn't Niagara or even Mercyhurst been able to dominate? Niagara is the same location as Buffalo and although they have had some success they are far from dominant!
Niagara has only had a team for maybe 10-15 years. They are one of the few, maybe the only, team to make the NCAA tourney as an idependent and they beat a very good New Hampshire team when they did it. their problems have been related to their leagues. First they were in a new and very unstable CHA that spread from Buffalo to Alabama to colorado to Michgan and Bemiji Minnesota. The league was practically a revolving door, losing members, barely keeping NCAA eligible. Twice it almost went under only to be saved at the 11th hour. It finally ended for good a couple of years ago. It was a very tough league to recruit in,partly because of the travel, and partly because of the instability, though they won it a couple of times and have been back to the NCAAs at least one or two other times. Now they are in the same league with UCONN, the AHA. That league limits scholarships to 12 compared witht he NCAA limit of 18. Sort of think of it as 1AA hockey. While the situation is now stable, I think if you take into consideration the situation they have been in, that, not location, is why they haven't dominated.
 
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Here at the tournament tonight at freitas. Pretty good crowd do far and the huskies don't play until 715
 

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Saw they won 2-0 tonight. How'd they look? I haven't gotten a chance to see them at all this year. I've to catch a couple games every year that I've been a student at UConn. Going back to campus tomorrow so I might try to catch the game tomorrow night.
 
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Lowell is hot right now, UConn will have their hands full. For those that go, Lowell goalie Doug Carr's nickname is Doogles. Feel free to yell that at him, it's a funny one.
 

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The lack of BTHC jokes in this thread is disappointing.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk. Not that you care.
 
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The lack of BTHC jokes in this thread is disappointing.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk. Not that you care.

That's because the NCHC is the real joke. ;)
 
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Huskies are taking hockey east's umass Lowell to the limit. 3-3 in OT with 12:00 to go
 
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Seemed like a nice effort. Lowell unexpectedly is a solid team this year, despite being picked to finish at the bottom of the league. It remains to be seen whether they're legit and are a contender for home ice in HE and an at-large NCAA bid, or if they just got hot under a new coach. Good to see UConn competing against them though, that's the kind of program they have to be targeting as a level to strive for in the near future.
 
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