The winter vacation break in ECAC Hockey action often offers a chance for players and fans alike to gain perspective after a busy first semester.
For those who are vowing to give more to others in the new year, Colgate captain Kevin McNamara has a solution. The senior defenseman started a league-wide nonprofit, Goals For Good, last spring, bringing all of the ECAC players and coaches together in a competitive fundraising effort.
Each ECAC team selected a charity of its choice, and fans and players can go on the website, goalsforgood.org, and make a donation for every goal or win their school of choice registers this season. As of Christmas Day, the total fundraising efforts had eclipsed $2,000.
"We launched the site and spread the word, and we're raising money for really good charities," McNamara said. "Each school chooses a charity, and people can decide where they want their money to go — even if they're not pulling for a particular team. We're athletes, so we figured we'd make it competitive."
McNamara has been the leader of Colgate's charitable efforts since the graduation of former captain Ethan Cox in 2010. Last winter, McNamara ran the team's annual holiday and food drive for the Hamilton Interfaith Coalition and the Hamilton Food Cupboard. This year, he has designated the team's charity of choice as The Brendan Borek High Tides Memorial Fund, in memory of Vic Krivitski, a former Colgate student who died of cancer.
"We chose a charity that focuses on young adults and helps kids with cancer," McNamara said. "I spoke to Vic's mother, and they hadn't established a fund in his name, but they thought we should partner with Brendan's Fund since they helped the Krivitskis throughout Vic's battle with cancer."
Many people will spend the next few days resolving to be more charitable in 2012. McNamara and a few others in the ECAC have organized means for charitable donations at goalsforgood.org.
Game of the Week
Union (9-3-5) at Colorado College (11-5-0), Saturday
This New Year's Eve showdown pits two top-10 teams in the country against each other.
When Union last took the ice, the Dutchmen finished off the first semester with a 3-1 victory at Merrimack Dec. 17. Union is 7-1-3 on the road this season, and this contest against Colorado College will come as the second game of a back-to-back road set, which starts with Denver on Friday.
ECAC Hockey power rankings
1. Union (9-3-5, 3-2-2): The Dutchmen have two more chances to boost their RPI ranking this week with road games at Denver and Colorado College before finishing the season with a strictly ECAC schedule.
2. Colgate (11-4-2, 6-2-0 ECAC): Colgate has a tune-up with Canisius this weekend before an RPI-boosting set with Ferris State the following weekend.
3. Cornell (7-3-1, 6-1-1): Bad news for the Big Red: They've scored a total of one goal in all of December. Saving grace: They've played only two games.
4. Harvard (4-3-3, 3-3-2): Let's see what the Crimson have this weekend in their road set at North Dakota.
5. Yale (6-5-1, 4-2-0): The Elis have four winnable ECAC games scheduled before a home meeting with Union Jan. 20.
6. Quinnipiac (11-6-3, 3-4-3): The Bobcats are 8-1-2 at home, 3-5-1 on the road. Their next four games are on the road.
7. Dartmouth (5-5-1, 3-3-1): Depending on how the Big Green fare in the Ledyard National Bank Classic this weekend, five of their next seven games could be against the likes of Merrimack, Union, New Hampshire, Colgate and Cornell.
8. St. Lawrence (7-10, 4-5): Tough draw against Merrimack in the opener of the Ledyard National Bank Classic this weekend.
9. Clarkson (9-7-4, 3-4-2): The fact that Clarkson has nine first-semester wins might be the surprise of the ECAC season thus far.
10. Brown (4-6-1, 3-3-0): The Jekyll and Hyde squad of the ECAC had first-semester wins over Cornell, Union and Yale, and losses against RPI and AIC.
11. Princeton (4-9-2, 3-7-1): The Tigers could certainly be in better shape with four one-goal losses and two ties.
12. RPI (3-13-0, 1-6-0): It's difficult to find another three victories on RPI's schedule in the second half.
Dan Guttenplan can be reached at email@example.com.