The start of college football season means that college ice hockey season is not far behind. With the Blue-White game slated for September 30th, the Icers announced today the roster for the Icers' final season in the ACHA. Here is the team in alphabetical order, courtesy of PennStateHockey.com (returning players in italics):
Here are some of the breakdowns:
Freshmen - 11
Sophomores - 7
Juniors - 6
Seniors - 6
Forwards - 18
Defensemen - 9
Goalies - 3
Gadowsky Recruits - 10
Pre-Gadowsky Recruits - 5
Returning Players - 15
Two pre-Gadowsky recruits did not make the cut - Matt Venoit (likely due to an injury) and Creek Lewis (apparently just not good enough to make the cut). Still, 5 out of 7 pre-Gadowsky recruits is a good number, considering that they weren't recruited by the coaching staff. Not surprisingly, the 6 recruits and 4 transfers that Gadowsky picked up since April did make the team. And the coaching staff should get (further) praise for making it a 30-man roster, ensuring some of the returning Icers still have a spot on the team. So while we all have to start learning the new faces and names, there will still be guys like Cerutti, Saad, Morrone, and Steinour remaining as regulars in the lineup.
As was predicted, the changes created by the up-coming jump to Varsity and the accompanying influx of recruits meant that some of last year's Icers would find themselves as odd-men out in the whole situation. Kevin Miller, last season's transfer from RMU's club team, now finds himself having to fight for a spot on the D2 Ice Lions. Dan Ivanir (the goalie I championed for regularly during last season) is in the same position, as the two new recruits bumped him to the #4 goalie on the Icers' depth chart. Since it is not common for teams to keep four goalies, Ivanir will likely be heading to the Ice Lion tryouts next week. Guys like Mike Broccolo, Alan Clark, Andrew Duval, Ryan Erbe, Mac Winchester, and Joe Zitarelli might be there as well, as they are casualties of 15 new, high quality players. For those who follow the Icers' closely, Marek Polidor's name is missing from the roster, and that's because he decided not to play in his final year of eligibility. A captain last year, Polidor did have a 4th year of eligibility available to him. At the end of last season, he intended to take advantage of a final season, but decided against it during the summer (likely to spend a greater amount of energy on his MBA).
Speaking of captains, I'm curious to see how the coaches divvy out the captaincy this season. Based on how Gadowsky has handled himself to this point, I'll work under the assumption that the captains will be returning Icers - as a way to honor them as committed players and part of the final ACHA team. If you expect your captains to be starters every game, then senior Chris Cerutti and junior George Saad lead the way. If your looking for good character guys who might have to fight more to get into the lineup regularly, seniors Nick Seravalli and Dan Petrick would be at the top of my list. Any combination of those four (or all four, if the coaches like) would make for a great group of captains to lead this final run at the Murdoch Cup.