Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Tommies to face NCAA's Northeastern, Sacred Heart in preseason action

For the first time since 2006, the St. Thomas Tommies will venture to New England for a pair of preseason tilts against NCAA Division 1 competition October 3rd and 4th.

First up for the Tommies on Saturday, October 3rd (8pm AST) will be a matchup that the hockey historians among us will enjoy, as the Green and Gold venture into Boston's venerable Matthews Arena for a game against the Northeastern University Huskies. The Huskies are coming off a strong 2008 campaign which saw them compile an impressive 18-6-3 record, good for a 2nd place finish in the always tough Hockey East conference behind eventual NCAA champion Boston University. The Huskies were tossed from tournament play by the Cornell Big Red.

Matthews Arena is a hockey traditionalists' dream. It stands as the world's oldest hockey arena - a week after the Tommies' trip, the ol' barn will celebrate 100 years since construction began. Matthews is the original home to the Boston Bruins, as well as the WHA's New England Whalers and the NBA's Boston Celtics, and has hosted such legendary sports figures as Gene Tunney, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis and Babe Ruth. The "Babe" was even known to strap on the blades for an occasional game of shinny while pitching for the Red Sox. Much more on the Matthews Arena's history can be found here.

After tangling with the Huskies, the Tommies will head to Fairfield, Connecticut to faceoff against the Sacred Heart University Pioneers of the Atlantic Hockey Association on Sunday, October 4th (3pm AST). The game will mark the 60th anniversary of a game between St. Thomas University - still located in Chatham - and Sacred Heart that ended in a 4-4 tie during the 1949-50 season. (Ed. Note: It has been brought to our attention that Sacred Heart University of Fairfield, Conn. has not been in existence long enough to have participated in the previously mentioned game. We have no reason to question the veracity of the original source, but the reference was obviously to a different Sacred Heart. We apologize for the error, and welcome any enlightment of the Sacred Heart of 1949-50). The Pioneers finished a challenging 2008 - 09 season with a 11-23-4 record and were eliminated in the Atlantic Hockey Association quarterfinals by Air Force. Sacred Heart is the second largest Catholic university in New England.

This trip should prove to be more than just another couple of hockey games for STU players. This is a team-building opportunity as the Tommies test themselves against a different brand of competition and the potential opportunity to showcase their talents to New England area pro scouts. The players should also enjoy the attractions and history of Boston, and the beauty of the New England region.


  1. fan bus????

    ~Tommies Video Guy~

  2. If somebody is so inclined to take the lead to organize such a thing, then we'd be more than willing to help promote it

  3. A nice idea playing a couple of teams in the NCAA..........a good test for what is hoped will be an improved on ice product...I am reserving judgement on that matter utill the other 1/2 dozen recruits are announced,hopefully announced.

    Head to head competirion can do nothing but improve how AUS hockey is perceived and pave the waqy for more interleague competition........Go Tommies GO

    A fan bus would be a great idea and should be promoted.



    The Titanic Disaster is about to go international.......still awaiting further recruitment announcements (previous contributer suggests 1/2 to come) ie twice as many as been proclaimed already,I'LL BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT!
    The Memorial Cup is over........the need for upgrades is still there and no more looks like the continuation of failed recruiting strategies lives.

    As previously suggested by me the number of recruits so far(3)is very misleading as 1 was a walk-on/transfer.2 is a leftover heard about from last year and 3,the coaches tell me,WHAT KIND OF MASSIVE RECRUITING ACTIVITY has gone on to have produced so little results.

    Last years results surly was enough notice for improved outcomes,don't you think? STRIVING TO STAY OUT OF LAST PLACE is hardly a mentality to drive a once proud hockey program.

    I am becoming increasingly concerned that A/D Coach is not being held responsable for these results.......WHY IS THIS?

    It can't be that complex a problem and surly solutions must be apparent for even Mike up grade of the caliber is immediately neccessary for the Tommies to be back in the thick of things; I believe the coaching to be excellant BUT House League players cannot advance the program..GET WITH IT MAN!!!


  5. (to the guy above me who is probably STU FAN alter ego)

    have you heard of any other schools getting recruits right now?

    and when you call guys who played OHL, QMJHL, some form of pro or junior "houseleagers", give your head a shake. What level of hockey did you ever get too so you can call AUS players houseleaguers?

    i think you wasted 10 minutes of your life with your post that had ZERO to do with a trip to the USA and more because you think you sound smart calling out people behind a keyboard and not face to face

    ~Tommies Video Guy~

  6. Right on, Tommies Video Guy. It's still May, for goodness sakes. Mike Eagles knows as well as the next guy he's got to upgrade the talent level. He might not be the most personable guy in the world, but the man has hockey credibility as a player and as somebody who knows the biz. I know there are several guys behind the scenes working the phones, etc. to get players to STU. The school has to do a better job of selling itself. You hear negatives about the size of the school, and what it offers academically, etc. Suffice to say, there's not much difference between Acadia and STU and St. FX and STU size-wise, etc. You don't hear those negatives in Wolfville or Antigonish. Even the most ardent UNB fan would luv to see the Tommies become relevant again and bring back the buzz to the rivalry. For us who love the AUS, nothing would be better. Furthermore, the idea of STU going to the U.S. is a great idea. Teams bond, teams build character with those kinds of trips.

  7. lets hope the toothless tommies keep it under 10 vs the NCAA teams.

  8. The NCAA trip will be a great treat for the guys. A friend of mine mentioned that setting up a fan bus will be difficult because everyone would need passports, not to mention the itinerary for a trip of that magnitude would have to be very precise and I'm sure it wouldn't be cheap. I know the UNB fan bus guys very well and there is plenty of work to do.

    Of course Mike isn't done recruiting, he's just started. It is still early, and other than Dalhousie, none of the other teams have announced players. After last year Mike knows what he needs to get and he will do it! I know it.

  9. Mike Eagles knows what he is doing.The team will be fine.This is great news getting to play these teams.

  10. For those who are being realistic about the current teams talent pool:

    The losses of such players as Seymour, Bowers,Bell,Butera Gillianardo Bateman ,Turner have been mostly replaced with MJHL are you trying to tell me that those replacement parts are equal to those lost.........I would NOT want you recruiting for my hockey team..........there are many differences as to why individuals don't and can't make it to the Major Junior ranks and even some of those who do cannot play in the,I suppose you will want to mention Bowers? he is one of a handful who can make the jump but most cannot and we have too many of that variety.........let's hope the job gets done but I am fearfull that it won't and am raising these issues in the hope that recruitng efforts of the right players are intensified and that STU can get back on track .
    The above list of former Tommies was meant to be examples only of what has happened with recruiting at STU..........STU is drawing water from the wrong well.

    STU FAN (Not CRazy Horse)

  11. Would be nice to see how the Lady Tommies would fair against some of those american teams.

  12. This is actually scary...northeastern is a top NCAA team..STU is a low end CIS team (really, one CIS Nationals appearance in recent memory)'s going to take more then a few good recruits to make that game even close.

  13. STU FAN....yes, players like those hurt when we lose them, but yet, its not everyday when we get players of that caliber.

    But we have those guys. You tend to forget we were the youngest and inexperienced team last season but we turned it on at the end of the year when the team was meshing. We have guys who can put the puck in the net. Batemen and Turner had pro experience coming down to STU, but so does Andricopolus and Tremblay.

    plus, raising your issues arent going to work. Its not like anyone from the organization actually goes on this site and gets tips and ideas from people like us. So your mindless complaints are all for not. We all want the team to get better, and they will be better. Besides, we didnt lose anyone so its not like we have to recruits every available guy.

    ~Tommies Video Guy~

  14. All fear Tommies video guy he is the enforcer of this site.

  15. Ever seen him in person? He's imposing.

    STU FAN - Other than Giallanardo and Butera all the guys you listed were from Jr A. We replaced them with Wynn (OHL), Chamberland (QMJHL), Welcher (QMJHL), Cassidy (OHL), Tremblay (QMJHL), Andricopoulos (QMJHL/ECHL) and Praught (QMJHL). Yea, so Rinzler, Price and Banfield are MJHL grads, but they were also good support scorers too. Just because the team didn't gel as well as recent years means the players then were so much better due to pedigree. Remember, Aaron Lobb was a NHL fourth round pick and didn't do too much here.

    Remember, NCAA is 18-22 and CIS is 20+. We might not do as bad as you think. Northeastern is good, but not BC or BU. It will be a very interesting matchup.

    And yes, FAN BUS. WHEWWW.

  16. To the comment that they're not BC or BU...They beat BC in the beanpot last year and tied BU in two straight games. NCAA teams overall are better then CIS....Lets think of this overall as the NCAA is NHL and CIS is AHL..This is like the Detroit Red Wings playing a AHL team that didn't make the playoffs. You also can't trap against a quick team in a large building...interesting matchup indeed!!

  17. Yes, I've seen NCAA. I'm not a person who is speaking solely out of their butt all the time.

    I would agree that the NCAA is better than CIS. Of course it is. NCAA is the BEST 18-22 league for USA hockey players in the United States, where CIS is the second or third best option, at best, for Canadian players. It would only make sense that the NCAA would be better.

    However, your comparison to the Red Wings playing a bad AHL team is unfounded. If UNB and BC are around the same talent level, which last year's exhibitions proved they are close, then STU and Northeastern must be closer than Detroit and an AHL team.