I don’t know about you, but I think that college hockey and Syracuse are a match made in heaven. Given the amount of snow (and ice) that gets dumped annually on The Hill, it seems natural that people take advantage of that.
While there is a woman’s team at Syracuse that started during the 2008-09 season, SU only has a men’s team that competes at the ACHA Division I level in the Northeast Collegiate Hockey League.
On Saturday, I was out watching the University of Minnesota-Duluth capture its first ever national championship by downing Michigan 3-2 in overtime. It got me thinking of who on Syracuse would be in my starting lineup. Here’s what I came up with:
Coach – John Desko: He’s the only lacrosse guy I put in here because out of SU’s main three sports because lacrosse is most like hockey (so the analogies wouldn’t be as fun). I figured the smoothest transition would be to have Desko at the helm.
Goalie – Rick Jackson: This was almost too easy. The big man is the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year while leading the league in blocks with 86. Very little got by Jackson when he manned the middle of the zone. Imagine what would happen if he had the big hockey pads!
Defenseman – Doug Hogue: To me, Hogue would be in the same category as Brian Leetch — a rugged defenseman with offensive instincts. Sure, Hogue averaged 7.4 tackles a game and was ninth on Syracuse’s career tackles for a loss, but Hogue also played on the offensive side of the ball for his first two years at Syracuse.
Defenseman – Baye Moussa Keita: Whereas Hogue is more of an offensive-minded defenseman, Keita would be all about shutting down the other team’s top offensive winger. Keita isn’t going to give you a lot of flash in the box score but he’ll pay dividends in the plus-minus rating.
Center – Ryan Nassib: Bottom line is centers pass the puck more than anyone else on the ice. If you want the puck to be in the right place, then Nassib is your guy.
Left wing – CJ Fair: There are two reasons why I have CJ here. First, quite honestly, I don’t know any other athletes at Syracuse who are left-handed. Second, every hockey team needs a scrapper who is going to hang around the goal and go after rebounds or deflections. CJ may not get many plays called for him, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to score a lot of goals.
Right wing – Van Chew: If you’re going to have any kind of success on the ice, you need a guy like a Corey Perry or a Jarome Iginla. You need a guy who is going to be your top dog, your go-to scorer, your best threat on the ice. Van Chew is that guy after leading SU in receiving yards (611), yards per catch (14.9) and receiving touchdowns (5).
That’s all for this week, folks. See you at the same time, same place next week.
Editor in Chief
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