Category Archives: Featured Recruiting

Post #28 — 1/19/21 — Weekend Update, Scores and Highlights, COVID Recruiting, Sifters

In This Post…

  • Weekend Recap
  • Scores & Highlights
  • COVID Recruiting Update
  • Sifters

Weekend Recap…

To clarify, the first ranking number you see will always be the USCHO.com poll and the second will be from the USA Toda/USA Hockey Magazine Poll.

How The Top 10 fared… Top 10 teams through Sunday’s games went 11-6-1-1-1 (W-L-T-OTW-OTL). #2 Wisconsin swept #1 Minnesota at home in Madison.

#3/4 Northeastern needed OT to beat Maine

#4/3 Ohio State split with #6 Duluth.

#5 Colgate beat #9 Clarkson at home in game one of that series.

#7 Providence swept its weekend series with Merrimack.

#8 Boston College swept its series with Holy Cross.

#10/NR Mercyhurst tied and lost to Robert Morris in OT

#NR/10 Quinnipiac swept its series with LIU.

All scores, game highlights, and postgame reaction can be found below.

COVID Postponements… Due to COVID protocols the Penn State @ RIT and Lindenwood at Syracuse series were postponed.

Conference Standings as of 1/18/21…

Friday Scores & Highlights – 1/15

Holy Cross 2
#8 Boston College 3
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Video
#1 Minnesota 0
#2 Wisconsin 5
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Video (MN)
#7 Providence 3
Merrimack 0
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Write-Up
Concordia-Wisconsin 1
Adrian College 9
Box / NO Video Highlights / Postgame Write-Up
Robert Morris 2
#10/NR Mercyhurst 2
Box / Video Highlights & Postgame Reaction
UCONN 1
New Hampshire 0
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Write-Up
Bemidji State 1
St. Cloud 3
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Write-Up
Ohio State 0
MN-Duluth 2
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Video
Penn State @ RIT – PPD
Lindenwood @ Syracuse – PPD

Saturday Scores & Highlights – 1/16

#10/NR Mercyhurst 2
Robert Morris 3 (OT)
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Write-Up
Long Island Univ. 0
#NR/10 Quinnipiac 5
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Write-Up
Minnesota 3
Wisconsin 6
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Video (MN)
#9 Clarkson 1
#5 Colgate 4
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Write-Up
Bemidji 2
St. Cloud 2 (OT) BEMIDJI Wins Shootout 1-0
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Write-Up
#4/3 Ohio State 1
#6 MN-Duluth 0
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Video UMD
Adrian College 4
Concordia-Wisconsin 1
Box / No Video Highlights / Postgame Write-Up
UCONN 4
New Hampshire 0
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Write-Up
Penn State @ RIT – PPD
Lindenwood @ Syracuse – PPD

Sunday Scores & Highlights – 1/17

Merrimack 2
#7 Providence 4
Box / Video Highlights & Postgame Video
Maine 2
Northeastern 3 (OT)
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame Video
#NR/10 Quinnipiac 11
Long Island Univ. 0
Box / No Video Highlights / Postgame Write-Up

COVID Recruiting Update… Players & Parents Hang In There!

Recruiting in women’s hockey has been turned on its head and in many respects has come to a standstill for certain age groups. Needless to say, it’s been a bit messy. On March 12th, 2020 the NCAA announced the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Women’s Hockey National Championship due to concerns over COVID. Shortly after that announcement the NCAA announced a temporary ‘COVID’ recruiting dead period which basically meant no off-campus recruiting for D-I coaches nor could recruits and or their families make trips to visit campuses in an official or unofficial capacity. Since then, the COVID recruiting dead period has been extended several times and is currently in effect until April 15, 2021.

As coaches we often tell our players to be patient… things will work themselves out in time. Well… whether you’re a player, a parent, or minor/youth coach reading this, I’d like to offer the same bit of advice – be patient with the recruiting process during COVID.

I’ve spoken to several club and high school coaches since the holidays on how the pandemic is impacting their players. Almost across the board, coaches have intimated their players and parents are on full out freak-out mode relative to their D-I recruiting situations and perceived loss of opportunity–mostly for those who are in grade 11. And the biggest complaint I heard is the lack of information coming from college coaches back to these players and parents. And there is good reason why college programs aren’t providing that info — because they don’t have it themselves, yet.

Part of this angst stems from a recruiting environment we were all used to prior to the pandemic where early commitments and back-and-forth communication was the norm. Players could call coaches on their own and get the info they wanted/needed to make decisions or just to know who had interest in them was nice to know because it meant you might have some options. Since June for those in grades 9 and 10, most of that has been taken away due to NCAA rules. Players in grades 11 and 12 have been subject to a whole new world of college recruiting in the COVID era where coaches won’t know how many spots they’ll need or what there roster could look like in a lot of cases until May or June this Spring. I’ve talked with plenty of college coaches of late, and the sense I get is they want to be patient. Not being able to see players play live doesn’t make for great recruiting decisions. And let’s face it – players haven’t really been able to play. Some yes, but this hasn’t been a normal hockey season of development. Add in a whole class of NCAA players who can come back and play next year and you have a new transfer market college coaches are now taking into account. Trouble is, college coaches won’t know who’s going to transfer in a lot of cases until this Spring.

When I first started coaching in the early 2000’s, coaches wouldn’t even call players for the first time until the summer between a players’ junior and senior year when the rules said we could. Official visits were a real and a vital aspect of the recruiting process which absolutely helped determine who we made official offers to… after the player came to campus. Players would actually take multiple visits to schools before making a decision and for the most part were patient with the process.

Then, all of a sudden the process changed and early recruiting/commitments became the norm. So too did the expectations of players, parents, and their club or high school coaches. Patients in the process went out the window. Enter the pandemic, a NCAA dead period that will last at least 13 months, and NCAA rules allowing current college players an extra year of eligibility… Welcome back to the early 2000’s and programs taking their time to make recruiting decisions.

Here is the reality for a lot of college programs–they don’t even have all of the info they want and need to make recruiting decisions. In part because watching live games of club and high school hockey has been off-limits due to the dead period. And also because the NCAA threw a nice wrench into the mix granting all players on a roster this year an extra year of eligibility. A lot of programs are still trying to hash-out what seniors may come back or transfer elsewhere. Chances are that won’t be known until sometime this Spring after the season is over.

The old saying ‘control what you can control’, really applies here – otherwise you are going to drive yourself nuts over-thinking all of this. You can’t control what the NCAA does nor a college program.

So if you want to be smart, use this time to your advantage and take control of your development. Do what you can to make yourself a better player so when the time comes for coaches to get back out on the road and watch games live, you’re ready and can show them how much you’ve improved. You might have to re-think your approach to your process like taking a gap year somewhere or you might have to consider other schools where you know there is an opportunity for you. Because there are still spots available out there – but you have to be good enough to get one. Case in point… when the Univ. of North Dakota dropped their program in March of 2017, all but a player or two found a home. That meant there had to be space on rosters and scholarship money available to give out – and there was. So, if you’re one of those players who’s in a holding pattern and haven’t heard much from the coaches you were chatting it up with this summer or early fall, take a deep breath, hang in there and be patient as you let this crazy process play itself out. Things will get better but it will take some time.

Sifters…

Transfers Make Debuts… A couple of recent transfers have made debuts with their new teams. Freshman forward Lacey Eden was supposed to suit up for Princeton this year but has found her way to Madison, Wisconsin and is now a Badger. She skated in her first game this past weekend in UW’s sweep in #1 ranked Minnesota. You can read her story HERE. Maureen Murphy suited up for Northeastern this past weekend after spending 2+ years at Providence College. The Hockey East executive committee granted her immediate eligibility beginning this Spring semester. You can read her story HERE.

A Change for the May Quiet Period… There has been talk D-I Coaches will try and request the NCAA to suspend its self-imposed May quiet period this Spring. D-I coaches in women’s hockey have long had what is called the May Quiet Period where from the Monday prior to the American Hockey Coaches Association convention (usually late April) and ending 12:01am June 1, coaches were not allowed to go off-campus to recruit and evaluate or meet face-to-face with perspective players and their families. So, with the NCAA COVID temporary dead period slated to end on April 15, that would give D-I coaches a 10 day stretch to get out and watch players play. Not exactly an ideal amount of time to make recruiting decisions. By April 15, D-I coaches will have gone a year + without being able to watch players live. We’ll keep you posted on future developments.

Until Next Time… Have a great weekend everyone!

Post #21 — 12/28/20 — BY THE NUMBERS – where are D-I players from, YALE HELPING NWHL, SIFTERS

In This Post…

  • By The Numbers-Where This Years D-I Players Are From
  • Yale Helping NWHL
  • Sifters

By The Numbers-Where This Years D-I Players Are From…

32 U.S. states, 16 countries, and 10 Canadian provinces. That is where the 773 rostered players on NCAA D-I teams from the 2020-2021 season hail from. Here is a breakdown by U.S. state below.

Here is how each US state, the Canadian provinces, and each country match up.

Here are the top 10 producing locations around the globe:

LOCATIONNUMBER of PLYRS
Minnesota172
Ontario135
Massachusetts72
New York52
Michigan35
Illinois26
British Columbia25
Wisconsin22
Quebec20
Connecticut19

Keep in mind there are 10 teams not playing this year and those rosters are not accounted forin the above numbers. 10 teams X 24 (ave. roster size) = 240 players missing. That said, the top 3–Minnesota, Ontario, and Massachusetts have long been major producers of D-I talent. The question of ‘who has the best talent?’ would be a fun comparison by location. You could rank each location by total points produced and number of goalie wins, GAA, and SV %. Might take some time, would be interesting to see.

Yale School of Public Health Helping NWHL…

The NWHL has partnered with Yale Pathology Labs to provide Yale’s emergency FDA approved COVID SalivaDirect PCR and RNA viral tests to NWHL players and staff for the upcoming NWHL bubble season. The SalivaDirect tests for the NWHL will be the first provided to a professional women’s sports league. The NWHL will be hosting its entire regular season and Isobel Cup playoffs in Lake Placid, NY for two weeks between January 23 – February 5, 2021. You can read more on the NWHL’s partnership with Yale HERE.

Sifters…

3 NEWHA Teams Opt-out of Return to Play… On Dec 16th. the New England Women’s Hockey Alliance announced only 2 teams, Sacred Heart and Long Island University, would be continuing to schedule games this season. NEWHA will not have a regular season schedule or championship playoff competition for 20-21. NEWHA had announced on Dec. 9 that 5 NEWHA members would play a condensed schedule beginning in January. However, as discussions continued, St. Anselm, Franklin Pierce, and St. Michael’s College announced they would not continue their season due to COVID. Post University announced it was cancelling its season back in October. Schedules for Sacred Heart and LIU can be found online. You can read more about the announcement HERE.

D-III NCHA Plans to Move Forward… The Northern Collegiate Hockey Conference is planning to have a season starting sometime in January. The announcement was made Dec. 23 just before the holiday. You can read it HERE.

NBCSN to Televise NWHL Playoffs… For the first time in the USA and for the NWHL, each game of the Isobel Cup semi-finals and championship game will be televised live on NBCSN and streamed on the NBC Sports app. Click HERE for game times and future schedules.

Give The Pipeline a Follow… Give the Bulldog Pipeline a follow! You can find us on Twitter and Instagram. Just click the link below!

Twitter = @BulldogPipeline | Instagram = thebulldogpipeline

Until Next Time… Have a great weekend everyone!

Post #19 — 12/22/20 — wknd recap, scores and highlights, covid recruiting, sifters

In This Post…

  • Weekend Recap, Scores, and Highlights
  • COVID Recruiting
  • Sifters

Weekend Recap, Scores and Highlights…

How The Top 10 fared… Providence was the only team to play games this weekend as Northeastern games vs. Holy Cross were cancelled. The #7 Friars split with Maine winning game one 4-0 and losing game two 2-1. Everyone else was idle and will be until after the holiday.

COVID Postponements… COVID protocol caused the postponement of the Ohio St. @ Wisconsin series. The Northeastern/Holy Cross has been cancelled, exactly why is not yet known. Neither the Hockey East Conference or Northeastern/Holy Cross websites are saying exactly why… yet.

Firsts… Vermont saw their first game-action of the 20-21 season this past weekend. They hosted UNH in a Saturday/Sunday series at Gutterson Fieldhouse. It was also the debut of a revamped Gutterson Fieldhouse complete with new scoreboard. You can read more about the upgrades HERE.

Thursday Scores & Highlights – 12/17

Bemidji 2
MSU-Mankato 2 (OT)
Box / Video / Postgame
Bemidji wins shootout 1-0 / 4 rounds

Friday Scores & Highlights – 12/18

Merrimack 0
UCONN 4
Box / Video / Postgame
Bemidji 3
MSU-Mankato 5
Box / Video / Postgame
Maine 0
Providence 4
Box / Video / Postgame
Ohio State –
Wisconsin – PPD
Box / Video / Postgame
Postponed due to COVID

Saturday Scores & Highlights – 12/19

UCONN 5
Merrimack 0
Box / Video / Postgame
Maine 2
Providence 1
Box / Video / Postgame
New Hampshire 2
Vermont 4
Box / Video / Postgame
Ohio State –
Wisconsin – PPD
Box / Video / Postgame
Postponed due to COVID

Sunday Scores & Highlights – 12/20

New Hampshire
Vermont
Box / Video / Postgame

COVID Recruiting…

Recruiting during COVID has been quite the challenge for college coaches, namely being able to evaluate players in person. The in-person ‘eye test’ has long been the gold standard for coaches to get a sense of how a player, well… plays. Evaluating by video however, has become much more prevalent over the years thanks to the internet and savvy parents and coaches with their iPhones & tablets. And in a year when NO off-campus recruiting has been allowed for D-I coaches – watching video is all we’ve had to go by.

I’ll be honest… watching video has been downright tough to watch if not impossible at times. Rarely is there broadcast quality video angle used where coaches can actually see whos doing what out there. It’s been a struggle just to see the jersey numbers of who’s playing. LiveBarn is like looking through a fishbowl. But let’s be honest, most high school and club teams that are playing games don’t have a videographer or a crew to set up a legit streaming broadcast. So it is what it is – for now. But there are some things a player, parent, or coach can do to make the video more palatable for college coaches to watch so we can get something out of it.

Improve The Camera Angle… quite a bit of video we get from players is shown from an ‘off-center’ type of angle. Mom or Dad is perched in a corner somewhere or behind the glass at ice level videotaping the game from a full length-of-the-rink view. Not ideal for trying to evaluate the play. Try to position yourself as close to center ice as possible and as high up so the video is not being shot through the glass. But not too high otherwise it will be tough to see jersey numbers.

Do follow the puck… if you drew the short straw for your team as the camera person and want to do a good job on the video part – don’t watch the game. Follow the puck so it’s in the middle of your screen at all times. This ensures you’ll get an equal amount of space in the shot relative to where the puck is. Coaches will see more of who’s involved that way.

Use a tripod… A tripod will help stabilize your camera and allow you to follow the play better. It can feel like we’re on a ride at Disney otherwise. They make some great phone and tablet tripods that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

UNTUCK YOUR JERSEYS!!!… Can’t say this enough – players – don’t tuck your jersey in you pants. Coaches can’t see your number and thus don’t know who you are.

Jersey and number color are important… Watching a game where teams have similar jersey and number colors don’t work. I recall watching a game in September where a team had black jersey base color and dark purple colored numbers. Couldn’t see a thing and after a while of straining my eyes, didn’t watch.

Players, send video of you WITHOUT the puck… A lot of video we get are clips of the player carrying the puck or just her shots on net. 98% of the game is played without the puck and while true we want to know what a player does with the puck, we do want to see how she plays without it and in all three zones. This is how we get a idea of what her positioning and overall ‘hockey IQ’ is like. So–DO send video clips or periods of play where we can see her in 1)Breakout situations, 2) Def. zone play, 3) Faceoffs in all 3 zones, 4) Offensive Zone entries, 5) For-checking situations, and 6) special teams–penalty killing and powerplay

Use some video editing software… One of the things that is hard to sometimes pick up on is – who am I supposed to be watching? Oftentimes the video clips we get is of a shift or multiple shifts in a row and we don’t even know who we need to watch… Players, #1, in your email please let us know what number you’re wearing and what color jersey your team is. We love the shadow circles some editing programs allow you to place in the video to highlight yourselves – those are great. iMovie evan has a tool where you can zoom in on video too help improve the camera angle even after it’s been shot. It’s called the ‘Ken Burns’… google it and you find out how to use it.

Sifters…

D-III vs. D-I… As we reported in a previous post, D-III Adrian college was looking to schedule games vs. D-I opponents. It has happened on the men’s side a bit this year already. Well, Adrian has been able to schedule 2 D-I games vs. Mercyhurst and Robert Morris on Jan. 2nd and 4th. You can read the story HERE.

Social Media Internship… The American Hockey Coaches Association is looking for a social media intern and has officially posted for the position. The AHCA is looking for someone to help build their social media online presence through sites like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Interested candidates can read about the position below and download the file. The internship runs from Jan-May, 2021.ahca-social-media-postDownload

Until Next Time… Have a great weekend everyone!

Post #16 — 12/13/20 — Wknd recap, scores and highlights, milestones, understanding the process – part iv

In This Post…

  • Weekend Recap, Scores, and Highlights
  • Milestones
  • Understanding The Process – Part IV…

Weekend Recap…

How The Top 10 fared… Teams in the top 10 went 4-3-0 this weekend. #9 Boston Univ. dropped its lone game of the weekend to UCONN while #2 Northeastern and #9 Boston College split their home-and-home series, Northeastern winning game one and BC winning game two. #3 Minnesota swept MSU-Mankato, #1 Wisconsin, #4 Ohio St., #5 Colgate, #6 MN-Duluth, #7 Clarkson and #8 Providence were all idle.

COVID Postponements… COVID protocol caused the postponements of just two series, Minnesota/Ohio State and MN-Duluth/Wisconsin

Firsts… Mercyhurst, Merrimack, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart all saw their first game-action of the 20-21 season.

Thursday Scores & Highlights – 12/10

Mercyhurst 2
RIT 1
Box / NO-Video / Postgame
St. Cloud State 3
Bemidji 2 (OT)
Box / Video / Postgame
Minnesota 5
MSU-Mankato 1
Box / NO-Video / Postgame
Robert Morris 4
Lindenwood 0
Box / NO-Video / Postgame

Friday Scores & Highlights – 12/11

Maine 2
New Hampshire 1
Box / Video / Postgame
Northeastern 4
Boston College 1
Box / Video-BC / Postgame-BC
Video-NU — Postgame-NU
Robert Morris 2
Lindenwood 1 (OT)
Box / NO-Video / Postgame
RIT 1
Mercyhurst 5
Box / Video / Postgame
Holy Cross 4
Merrimack 2
Box / Video / Postgame
St. Cloud State 2
Bemidji 3 (OT)
Box / Video / Postgame
Boston Univ. 1
UCONN 4
Box / Video / Postgame
Penn State 4
Syracuse 3 (OT)
Box / Video / Postgame
MSU-Mankato 1
Minnesota 2
Box / NO-Video / Postgame

Saturday Scores & Highlights – 12/12

Maine 2
New Hampshire 1
Box / Video / Postgame
Penn State 2
Syracuse 4
Box / Video / Postgame
Merrimack 3
Holy Cross 2
Box / Video / Postgame

Sunday Scores & Highlights – 12/13

Sacred Heart 1
Quinnipiac 6
Box / Video / Postgame
Boston College 2
Northeastern 1
Box / Video / Postgame

Monday Scores & Highlights – 12/14

Sacred Heart 1
Quinnipiac 9
Box / Video / Postgame

Milestones…

Two coaching milestones were reached this past weekend. Mercyhurst head coach Mike Sisti notched career victories # 499 & 500 in a sweep of RIT. He is only the 2nd DI coach in NCAA women’s hockey history to amass 500 wins. Mark Johnson in #1 in D-I.

Cassie Turner, Head Coach of Quinnipiac University got her 100th victory in a sweep of Sacred Heart.

Understanding The Process-Coaches Want You, To Want Them!

In our fourth and final segment of ‘Understanding The Process’ we want to explain why it’s so important for coaches to select student-athletes who REALLY want to be a part of their school and hockey program.

When you consider all that a student-athletes goes through… a rigorous class day, a demanding hockey schedule with practices, video, travel/road trips, off-ice workouts, extra-curricular activities, time with friends etc., it takes a motivated individual to do it all at a high level and ENJOY what they do day-in-and-day-out. Because let’s be honest, if something isn’t enjoyable or you’re wishing you’d be elsewhere, there’s a little something that gets missed from the experience. Enjoyment should be a part of your college experience. That is why coaching staffs really like it recruits (who they are serious about) aren’t afraid to tell them their school is #1 on their list and they want to be there!

Players who attack life and the challenges they face head-on with enthusiasm, energy and a passion for the pursuit of excellence are the type of people coaches seek to be a part of their program. Often times in the recruiting process coaches get a player where they can just tell the player doesn’t seem to have that excitement for your school or your program, but wind up committing and coming anyway. These are the types of players where it’s like pulling teeth to get them to do anything and when they do what’s asked, it’s a half-assed effort. It’s a whole lot easier to ‘do what is being asked’ when you want to be there in the first place. We have news for you, every program in the country can be a tough place for someone who isn’t motivated to be there.

So, for you coaches who are advising your players, give them some help when it comes to communicating with a particular coaching staff… if they really like a school and feel it would be a tremendous experience on and off the ice, like it’s just the right fit all the way around… tell them TO TELL THE COACHING STAFF! Coaches love to hear when a player really wants to be at their school. If a coach has two equal players in terms of hockey ability but one is absolutely adamant about wanting to be at your school, who do you think the coach is going to want to take?

By having players who want to be at their school and a part of their program, coaches get to bypass the ‘pulling teeth process’ and have players who are motivated to immerse themselves in their program and have a truly enjoyable experience because the player wants to be there in the first place.

Until Next Time…

Post #11 — 11/26/20 — ivy Financial aid – understanding the process part-III, ncaa covid update

Before getting into our post for the day, we want to take a moment and wish all of our Women’s College Hockey Pipeline readers in the U.S. a very special and happy Thanksgiving. There have been thousands of you reading and watching our content. It’s exciting to see all of you take an interest in our program. A very happy Thanksgiving to all of you no matter where you are.

IN THIS POST…

  • Affordability/Financial Aid – Understanding The IVY Process – Part III
  • NCAA/COVID Update

Affordability/Financial Aid – Understanding the Process…

It’s no secret an Ivy education isn’t cheap. The average cost of attendance among Ivy schools that have hockey programs for the 20-21 academic year is around $78,000. In this post we’ll review how an Ivy education becomes affordable, lay out the financial aid process families can expect go through, and explain why an Ivy League education may be less expensive than a school who offers you a scholarship. In future posts, we’ll tackle the financial process for scholarship schools as well as non-scholarship schools that are not in the Ivy League.

Understanding Affordability

By its own rules, Ivy league institutions don’t offer athletic scholarships. So to help students offset the high cost of attending an Ivy, institutions offer what are called ‘need-based’ financial aid packages to qualifying students. Students qualify based on financial need which is determined by a review of the family’s financial situation. These packages are made up of three areas:

Cost of Attendance includes tuition, room, board (meal plan), books, sometimes travel, and personal expense costs.

Gift Aid includes any money the institution, any governmental or external financial awards. Gift aid in most cases does not need to be paid back. It’s not a loan.

Estimated Net Cost is the amount a student and family is expected to contribute towards the cost of the student’s education.

How much $ do students receive in financial aid? It varies. Financial Aid packages are evaluated on the family’s need and personal financial situation. Think of it as the more income a family makes usually = less financial aid given. Less income = more financial aid.

How how do schools help make things affordable? For starters, those who qualify for financial aid usually receive some amount of money from the institution, which is the main component of the gift aid portion of the package. I am sure many of you are asking, well I make xyz a year, what could I potentially qualify for? That’s a bit harder to determine as each of the Ivy’s calculate awards slightly differently. Theoretically, based on Ivy League financial aid rules, one package shouldn’t really vary much, but sometimes they do. As an example, some schools take into account how much equity you might have in your home… and other do not. But most school are very generous with packages for students who can get in and would attend. Some schools in fact will offer the chance to go to an Ivy virtually free a few thousand dollars per year if your income is at a certain amount. To find out how much you may qualify for at a particular school, best to visit the financial aid website and look for statistics on the percentage of students who qualify for aid and at what income levels those %’s exist at.

Ivy League schools typically evaluate yearly income and normal family assets such as the equity in your home, college savings plan accounts, student savings, stock investments, etc. to determine what’s called the ‘Expected Family Contribution’, a percentage of income the financial aid office feels parents and students should pay toward their child’s education. Some may think, well my daughter is bright and should get a lot of ‘academic’ money. Not so. Unfortunately, there no academic scholarship awards offered at any Ivy League School. The Ivies attract the best and brightest in the world – everyone is wicked smart. Players are welcome to apply for scholarships in their local community to help defray costs provided they are not based on athletic ability and are cleared by the institutions NCAA compliance department.

The Athlete Financial Aid Process

Knowing how much it may cost to attend an Ivy League school is needless to say, important. Once NCAA rules allow, most coaches will broach the subject of affordability with recruits and their parents as they try and answer the ‘can you afford my school’ question. And most coaches would agree it’s best to answer that as early in the process as they can so as to not waste anyone’s time. Bottom line, a school could want you to come and you could want to make a commitment, but if it’s not affordable–it just won’t work. And if it doesn’t work, that’s okay.

So how early can you know costs? U.S. families can get a really good ballpark estimate by using one of the cost estimator calculators found on most of the school’s Financial Aid websites. International recruits could have a tougher time using those calculators because some may not take into account an international physical address. International families could contact a financial aid officer and get direction on how to estimate costs.

Much like Ivies have a ‘pre-academic read’ process, the same holds true for Financial Aid. These reads can begin in the recruits’ grade 11 year, usually after Jan. 1st. This can sometimes be a bit of a selective process as there are only so many requests athletic departments can produce under Ivy League rules. Not every recruit a program has an intterest in will get one. The process usually entails some type of direct communication with that institutions F-A office requesting tax and other financial documents to assess the family financial situation. Once a package has been returned, you’ll know the costs to the penny.

Better Than A scholarship?

In some cases, yes–an Ivy financial aid offer could be more attractive than a partial scholarship. Simple math can get will get you down to net costs. Say you’re offered a 50% scholarship where tuition, room, board, and some fees are covered for two years. That means have to pay out-of-pocket for two more years to graduate. If it costs $50K per year to attend that’s $100K you have to come up with. If you go by the average cost to attend an Ivy today at close to $78K and subtract the average F-A award package of around $55K… do the math and you’re paying out of pocket $92K over four years – for an IVY education.

We find there is a BIG misconception out there that an Ivy education isn’t affordable. Most think you have to have oodles of $ to make it work. The reality is that just isn’t the case in most instances. No doubt there are those who won’t qualify for F-A and wind up paying the full-freight and are happy to do so knowing the value of the education they’ll receive. Most Ivy’s are committed to making it affordable for those who can get in.

NCAA/COVID Update…

College Hockey America is the latest conference to announce scheduling plans for the 20-21 season. You can read the official press release HERE. RIT will travel to play Syracuse on Friday. RIT had originally cancelled its season weeks ago but reversed its decision upon the state of New York approving COVID-19 protocols.

Hockey East had 2 more teams suspend hockey activities in the last 48-hours. On Tuesday Northeastern followed Vermont’s lead in pausing all athletic activities in five sports, including women’s and men’ hockey until Dec. 18th. This was due to a small cluster of positive cases among athletes. You can read the story HERE.

Also on Tuesday the University of Maine announced it would pause all hockey activity until Dec. 8th after positive cases among varsity athletes. It was not known if any of the positive cases were within the women’s or men’s hockey programs. You can read the story HERE.

Until next time… be well and stay safe!

Post #9 — 11/20/20 — Fall semester, ivy academic / admissions – understanding the process part-II, ncaa wknd schedule

IN THIS POST…

  • Fall Semester Winds Down
  • Academics – Understanding The Ivy Recruiting Process
  • NCAA Weekend Slate of Games

Fall Semesters Winding Down…

As bleak as things seem, there does appear to be some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Recently announced is hope for two highly effective vaccines. Experts say ‘the average’ citizen could possibly get vaccinated by April. Should that be the case, life and college athletics we assume could get back to a more normal course of activity by next fall. But there is a lot that has to happen between now and then. In the short-term, we’ll work on keeping all of you connected with news and insight about the college hockey season.

Academics — Understanding The Ivy Recruiting Process

We announced a 4-part series called ‘Understanding The Process’ to aid coaches and parents with an understanding in certain areas of how the recruiting process works. Our first installment was how coaches go about player identification and evaluation. You can find that in Post #2. In our second installment below, we discuss how the academic and admissions process works for a very specific group of schools, ‘The Ivies’ – Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

To be blunt, very few athletes would be admitted to an Ivy League school on their own without the ‘support’ of their head coaches in the admissions process. We’ll talk about the term ‘support’ later as it’s important to know. No knock against these athletes and their academic aptitude but getting into to one of these institutions is truly an accomplishment. Heck, there are students with 4.0 GPA’s and perfect test scores who still don’t get accepted! In the admissions process, athletes who want to apply to an Ivy will have different timelines and evaluation opportunities than normal students would. A word of caution… all information below is ‘general in nature’. We cannot speak to how recruitment, academics and the admissions process may work at a specific Ivy institutions.

The Academic Process

The academic process for Ivy recruits has a few steps to it.

Step 1, Coaching Staff Academic Evaluation… for any player coaches have a real interest in, they’ll usually ask for transcripts and test scores as early as possible. It doesn’t matter how good of a hockey player a recruit is, if they aren’t close to having the grades and test scores a coach needs, most coaches won’t move ahead in the recruiting process. Does that mean someone after completing grade 9 with a decent but not great transcript and no SAT/ACT test get’s pushed aside? No, not at all. There is just only so much a coach can do with a recruit who is only in grade 9 or 10. But knowing where a student is trending academically can be reassuring for the coach. Coaches know what academic standards their admissions departments are looking for and know the ranges they can work with, most of the time. Some Ivy coaches get a little more leeway than others when it comes to academic standards. So what may work at one school, may not at another. Coaches are generally very careful about positioning whether or not someone is a good candidate for admission.

Step 2, Athletic Admissions Pre-Read… Under Ivy League admissions rules and beginning July 1 after the students grade 11 year, coaches can submit a player’s academic file to be evaluated by their admissions department for feedback to determine the likelihood of admissibility. Keep in mind this two weeks after June 15 with is the date coaches are allowed to communicate by phone/email/text with recruits. Important to note, this is not the official admissions decision, just a first-glance from admissions at the transcript, ACT/SAT scores, grades, and future class schedule. Turnaround time varies but generally it’s a quick process. There are usually three type of responses coaches get: 1) Continue to recruit 2) Recruit with some caution and 3) Don’t continue to recruit. Coaches may then communicate with their recruit to explain what admissions may be thinking and any next steps to take. These pre-reads are usually not for everyone though. Most coaches use them for players they are seriously considering making offers to or in many cases for players who have already committed to the program.

Step 3, Official Admissions Application Process & Head Coach ‘Support’… After a player has verbally accepted and committed back to the program, going through the official application process comes next. Most schools have a few different pieces to this process. The official application, teacher recommendation letters, student essay, and perhaps a personal interview all part of the official process. Some schools have different application options for students to apply to, different cycles like ‘single choice early-action’, ‘early decision’, are just a few. Coaches will direct players how to fill out the application and which cycle to apply for. As stated in Ivy League rules, all applications for regular decision must be submitted by January 1 – no later.

Head Coach ‘support’ as its called, is vitally important to a player winding up at an Ivy League school. Without it, it’s unlikely the athlete would get in on their own. And that’s because athletes are held to a different academic standard then traditional non-athlete applicants. Support of the head coach is ‘vouching’ for a specific player he or she would like as a part of their program and letting the admissions department know that. Coaches put their reputations with admissions and the school on the line when they support a player. Each admissions department has its own process of how they want their head coaches to let them know who they are supporting. Some coaches have to write letters, some may have a sit down chat with admissions, etc. Coaches can’t give their ‘support’ to just any player – only to players they feel have an excellent chance of getting in and they want in their program. Ivy coaches can only recruit so many recruits per year, they can’t take an unlimited amount.

A few things to keep in mind… Grades, Test Scores, Teacher Recommendations, and The Essay.

Players and parents often ask, what kind of grades and test scores does my daughter need for an Ivy? Our answer… too tough to say because each school has a different set of academic standards. Needless to say excellent grades in a challenging course load with honors and AP classes will go a long way. Coupled with high SAT/ACT scores (think high twenties and well above a 1200 on the SAT is also a good place to begin. Players should shoot for high GPA’s, north of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, or high 80’s and above for those on a % scale. If you have one or two C’s early in grade 9 or 10, you could still be okay. D’s and F’s are almost always tough to get by admissions unless there is a compelling reason behind it.

One of the most important parts of the application process has to do with evaluating the transcript and determining the academic ‘rigor’ of the students course load… meaning did the student challenge herself or take easy classes? a 3.9/4.0 in cake-walk classes won’t hold as much weight as a 3.7/3.8 in honors and/or AP classes. You want to take the most challenging classes and achieve the kind of GPA’s mentioned above.

Equally as important are the several application short answer questions and the longer essay. Also heavily valued are the teacher and counselor recommendations. Have great grades and test scores, but wrote a poor essay? Or have a teacher recommendation that says you are a smart kid but don’t apply yourself? That is exactly the kind of combination that will get you denied. Write a coherent (and grammatically correct) essay that answers the question asked Also, really think about who you want to write your recommendation letters. Best to get one from a teacher where you did really well in their class and you know the teacher LOVES you and won’t sell you out. And…

NEVER WRITE YOUR ESSAY ABOUT HOCKEY!!!! EVER!!!!!. The school you apply to already knows you play hockey and are pretty good at it–that’s why you are applying. Write about why the school should be lucky to have you or an experience outside of hockey/sports that really articulates who you are and the type of person the school is getting. Match your personal values, dreams, aspirations with that schools resources and explain why the school is such a good match.

NCAA Weekend Slate of Games…

In the absence of what would normally be a preview of our games for the coming weekend, we are going to give you this weekend’s NCAA women’s hockey schedule of games. Full recaps to follow next week.

Until next time… be well and stay safe!

Post #3 — 10/22/20 — Player evaluation / identification – understanding the process part-I, COVID update

IN THIS POST…

  • Player Identification/Evaluation – Understanding The Process
  • NCAA/Team COVID Update

Player Identification/Evaluation – Understanding The Process…

In this first installment of our 4-part ‘Understanding The Process’ series we tackle player evaluation and identification. In our last post we said these two pieces were the most important in the recruitment process. The reason… It’s tough to have success when you don’t recruit the right players. Identify the wrong players or do a poor job in evaluating and the next few years can be very difficult to recover from. Understanding the approach coaches at the DI or DIII level take will help you understand their mentality.

Let’s start with a point of clarification about the term ‘recruiting’. I’m sure you hear the term recruiting a lot… Coaches go recruiting’, ‘you guys done recruiting? ‘How’s recruiting going?’. Most people associate recruiting with evaluating and just watching players, which is partly true. But there is a difference. Recruiting is not just solely evaluating players. Recruiting is more about ALL of the things that happen after most coaches have identified a player they want and know they’ll have a strong interest in. Quite honestly, it’s the more ‘salesy’ side of the process. Ultimately recruiting is everything that helps a coach get someone to their school. So, think about a multi-step process with a ton of communication between the coaching staff, the player, her family, and anyone else important helping in her decision – like you as coaches.

OK—On to player evaluation.

Coaches are often asked by parents and youth coaches, ‘What do you guys look for in a player?’ The short answer is a lot of things. There is no one right definition of skills that each coach looks for. Each coach is different. Most coaches approach this answer with answering a few questions: 1) How many players at each position do we need to recruit in a given year and 2) What type of players do we want at those positions. Coaches do have a minimum fundamental skill set they are looking for that will translate well to their style of play. Here are a few fundamental skills coaches evaluate. Keep in mind, there aren’t a lot of differences if any when you’re looking between DI and D-III programs.

Skating ability… Very high on a lot of coaches lists of skills to eval. Having above average speed, quickness, and agility is certainly going to help. Good skaters can play an aggressive, attacking style. With the puck, a great skating forward need to evade defenders and move up ice with pace and attack the net/slot area to create offense. Forwards need to jump on loose pucks and close off time and space forechecking. Defensemen need to skate backwards almost as fast or faster than they can forwards while being able to have lateral mobility and smooth transitions backward to forward and vice versa. Defensive need to close gaps and get in lanes while defending. With the puck, defensemen need to begin the breakout moving their feet to start the attack up the ice. At the offensive end of the rink, defensemen need to be confident skaters on the blueline making themselves an offensive option, open up a shooting lane, jumping into an open space, etc.

Passing/Puck management/control/protection… Especially as a wing, coaches want players to be able to skate at top speed with the puck and make a play. Can you keep possession while being defended against and find an open player to keep the play alive? Do you give the puck away and panic? Can you catch a bad pass? Does the play always end with you or can you keep the play going? Defensemen have to be able to break the puck out and make a good first pass. Defensemen can’t get beat to pucks in their own end and present the puck to a forechecker and have it stripped. Offensively, Defensemen need to catch passes and be ready to distribute the puck while moving, like D to D along the blueline.

Shooting… Both forwards and defensemen need accuracy. Do you have proper shot mechanics? A quick release? Can you score? As a Defensemen, can your shot get to the net with some velocity or are you always hitting shin pads?  

Play away from the puck… Can you defend in all 3 zones? Are you disciplined or running around? Do you take good angles when attacking the puck carrier?

COMPETE level… If you don’t consistently compete and work hard in all situations, it will be hard to get consistent ice time. What does it mean to compete? It means how hard are you working to accomplish the task at hand. How hard do you work to get the puck back? How hard do you work to keep the puck and keep the play going? Do you work hard every shift or do you take shifts or entire games off? Do you get beat easily and give up on a play or on a 1 on 1? How tough are you to play against?

Last one… can you play within a structure? This is a skill but it takes a bit more to uncover than just watching a few games. The college game at either the D-I or D-III level is a structured game with many systems coaches use in many different situations. It’s really important coaches answer this question before making someone a part of the program. Can you learn systems and be disciplined enough to execute it? If you just play by what ‘feels’ right and drift to wherever on the ice because you ‘felt’ you should be there or if you are positionally undisciplined, it will be tough to play in a structured program. Coaches have systems for all three zones with and without the puck, and they need players who are willing to be disciplined and buy into the learning process of ‘the why behind the what’ and be able to execute it.

As coaches watch players, they try and answer these questions and in doing so, coaches will even put players into categories or groups. Groups like, the offensive skilled forward who creates offense or is a pure goal scorer as well as responsible defensively enough to play in your top-9 somewhere. Then there are the ‘grinders’ who are more like a 3rd, 4th, or 5th line type player who are more defensive in nature or great forecheckers, can kill penalties but not a real threat to score. Defensemen might be those who coaches see in their top two pairs who can play a regular shift, match up vs. their opponent’s top line, manage a power play, kill penalties – the type who can do it all. There are also those who are purely defensive minded, can move the puck well, make good decisions, can kill penalties, but ay lack some offensive ability.

Bottom line, coaches look a the game in different ways and value certain skills more than others. Above are just some examples to know what coaches look for and how they think when evaluating.

Now through our evaluations, we’ll identify the players who make our list.

Player Identification

Girls/women’s hockey is kind of like NASCAR. You know certain events take place every year at the same time and place with generally the same teams. Unless its 2020 and there’s a world-wide pandemic. Then things change. More on that in a future post.

Most coaches identify players they think can fit certain team needs. They develop a really good comfort level through multiple evaluations over time. Some coaches wind up working a bit of a backwards process. Most D-I coaches are very specific in what they are looking for in terms of skills and how many players they are recruiting. This may be less true on the D-III side of things. A lot of D-III schools are enrollment driven – meaning they need to recruit a number of students each year to make the finances work out. Athletic Directors will tell coaches they have to recruit a certain number of players per year. This isn’t always the case at D-III, but certainly more common.

A lot of coaches will assess their program from a 30,000-foot view, a state-of-the-program-look if you will. They’ll ask questions like, based on our competitive goals, did we take a step(s) forward or backward this season? Second, they’ll define what their positional numbers and intangible needs are. How many G, D, and F’s do we want to bring in and what types of intangibles factors do we want—2 forwards, 3 defensemen, 1 goalie with leadership potential, who have high character and are absolute hockey junkies. Answering these types of questions tells coaches who they need to IDENTIFY.

Coaching staffs have certain goals for specific recruiting events/games they attend. Some are super organized with binders, folders, color coded groups – it can get pretty intricate. Coaches will usually have a plan for what they want to get out of an event. Some tournaments and showcases are great because they’ll get to see a handful of players they’re really interested in play against excellent competition. Others, they’ll see a large number of players in a particular age group for the very first time. No matter what the goal, coaches always have an eye out for who plays well and impacts the game.

So, how does someone get identified?

The easiest way to get identified and on a coaches list—find a way to positively impact the game. That doesn’t mean be a puck-hog and do everything on your own. That will get you identified alright… as a player coaches may not have any interest in. Honestly, just keep it simple. Make a play when you should make one. Pass and shoot when you should, defend well without the puck. Play the game the way it should be played. It sounds easy but, playing well at your position and showcasing the fundamental skill areas mentioned above in the player evaluation section goes a long way. Do that consistently over time, and you just went from being ‘identified’ to a player coaches are going to have a lot of interest in.

NCAA/Team COVID Update…

-The NCAA’s Division I Council announced last week student-athletes who compete in a 20-21 Winter sport will receive both an extra year of competition and an additional year in which to complete it. You can read the announcement HERE. Essentially winter sport athletes are getting a free year in 20-21 to compete and not have it count against their NCAA eligibility. How that will exactly impact Winter sport athletes in various conferences and divisions is unknown at this time.

-Division I and III coaches had their monthly Town Hall Zoom meeting earlier last week. There was a lot of talk about the recruiting dead period and looming January 1 expiry date. Sounds like the NCAA is eager to hear from coaches’ associations about what they want recruiting to look like after Jan. 1. Go back to normal or create a modified model. Each women’s DI hockey conference was asked to make recommendations which will be forwarded to the NCAA. Interestingly, DII and DIII schools have been allowed to recruit this whole time since the pandemic began.

Last week the Division III New England Small School Athletic Conference announced it was cancelling the winter sport season. You can read the announcement HERE. With the rise in positive cases and hospitalizations rising over the past few weeks, it will be interesting to see how DI schools and conferences handle start dates. As as a staff we have been watching a lot of video lately. There are some hockey events coming up with the MN NIT this past weekend and US/Canada Cup in Detroit the next weekend. The rumor out of Minnesota is the high school season will begin Nov. 30th.

Until next time everyone, enjoy your weekend…

Post #2 — 10/15/20 — understanding the recruiting process 4-part series, ncaa covid update

IN THIS POST…

  • Understanding The Process
  • NCAA COVID Update

Understanding The Recruiting Process…

Getting to play college hockey isn’t easy. You need to 1) meet the NCAA Eligibility Center academic standards, 2) be admitted by the school you apply to, and 3) receive an offer from a coaching staff to join their hockey program. These are just a few of the things players will need to even be considered to play college hockey. But there is so much more to the process as a player and since recruiting is not an exact science, trying to understand all of its nuances can be confusing. So, to help shed some light and understand how the recruiting process works, we’ve identified a few ‘key’ pieces, in somewhat of an order, we think you should pay attention to. We’ll expand on each one in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. You won’t want to miss this 4-part series.

     1) Player Identification/Evaluation–Player Identification/Evaluation is number one because honestly, it’s what happens first and is probably the most important. Schools want to win and you can’t win without getting great players.
     2) Academics–Coaches care about your academics. Who’s a great fit hockey-wise? That’s the easiest to answer. Can you get admitted to the school you want to go to? That is quite a bit trickier for some schools and easier for others, there is definitely a range.
     3) Affordability/Financial aid/Scholarships–Know the difference between how scholarships and financial aid packages work. Know how an Ivy education can be affordable without being a millionaire. If you can’t afford where your daughter wants to go – it doesn’t matter how good of a player you may be. Know what to be prepared for.
     4) Want The School and Let Them Know It.–Coaches want players who want to be at their institution and a part of their program. Telling them matters!

We’ll tackle Player Identification/Evaluation next week… stay tuned!

NCAA COVID Update…

-Yale University will have a direct impact on NCAA sports, such as Basketball and Hockey, potentially having their respective seasons.
-Hockey conference commissioners are watching as the NCAA announced an update to its ‘Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Basketball document — read it HERE

The Yale University Medical School teamed up with the NBA earlier this summer and developed a low-cost, quick turnaround time, saliva based COVID test called SalivaDirect. Each test cost are somewhere between $5-$30 and results are known in a matter of hours. In its resocialization updated document, the NCAA recommended SalivaDirect was one of the tests sport programs could use as they develop safe and effective testing protocols.

Hockey people are paying close attention to what happens with Basketball. We’re similar sports in that we play indoors, have indoor locker rooms, and have close personal contact with many groups of individuals–coaches, players, officials, school administrators, medical people, etc. The NCAA has recommended Basketball tests ‘Tier I’ individuals–players, coaches, trainers, and essential staff etc., 3 times per week once the season begins. Figure each DI Basketball program between players, coaches, and essential staff could be around 20-25 personnel. The math gets pretty pricey without a SalivaDirect option. Other tests on the market could be used but cost as much as $150. Put into hockey terms… teams with an average group of 28 players coaches, staff etc. and testing three times per week within a shortened 10 week season… could cost programs anywhere from $4,200 to $25,000 for SalivaDirect tests.

Until next time everyone… Enjoy your weekend and be well!