Some NCAA news and notes to kick off the weekend.... Leading up to the Beanpot opener on Monday, the Boston Herald ran a nice piece on Nathan Gerbe for today's edition. Laced with quotes from the diminutive Eagles forward, the article presents player who has defied odds to get where he is, and quite possibly will do so moving forward.
“When I was younger, I’d get upset when people would say I’m too small, but now I think it’s fun being able to prove people wrong. If you keep working hard, good things will happen. So far, that’s how it’s worked out.” While his reputation is firmly established now, Gerbe tended to catch opponents by surprise during his first two seasons at BC with his feistiness and refusal to back down to much larger opponents. That pugnacious nature developed at a young age in Michigan, where the youngest of Terrie and Joe Gerbe’s six children learned that nothing was ever going to come easy. “I’ve been undersized growing up, so I’ve been used to it since Day 1,” he said. “I’ve always been in the feisty situations, being the youngest kid, whether it was in sports or being picked on in the back yard or even when the food was put on the table. My three sisters and two brothers helped me learn to stand up on my own and reach for what I want and go for it. That’s how it’s always been at our house, everyone having the desire and passion to never give up.” Among the fastest skaters at any level, Gerbe is totally fearless and completely unafraid. “You can’t look at (size) as a negative or you’ll never make it,” said Gerbe, who has tallied 101 points in 103 career games. “I actually think it’s great. I can dodge in and out of people or maybe get in front of the net for a loose puck or spin out of the corner and it’s tough to get a hold of me because I’m so small. You can use it to your advantage.”Elsewhere, #5 Michigan State's Tim Kennedy and Corey Tropp start their battle with Nebraska-Omaha tonight at Munn. Kennedy, the Spartans leading goal-getter with 13, enters play with a two-game pointless streak for the second time this season. His earlier scoring dearth came in the first two games of the season against North Dakota and Colgate, after which he proceded to score a point in eight straight. The Buffalo native, who also leads the team with 7 multiple point games, has been on the ice for nine MSU game winners - scoring five and assisting on two others. Corey Tropp's five goals lead all Spartan freshman, and his point total (12) is second to power play regular, D Jeff Petry. After last Friday's rocky outing against Notre Dame, it's hard to decipher whether Bowling Green will go with 2007 7th rounder Nick Eno, or Flames prospect Jimmy Spratt in net tonight at 11th place Ohio State. Either will have to be sharp as a struggling Falcons offense (0-26 on the power play over the last four games) looks to return the favor after the Buckeyes swept the Falcons last season on home ice. Lastly, D Chris Butler and the #4 Denver Pioneers will return after a weekend off, traveling north to Minnesota State for a two-game set. The Pioneers will look to keep their status as potential #1 NCAA tourney seed without the services of leading scorer Brock Trotter, who is out due to unspecified reasons. In total, sixteen Sabres prospects will see the ice tonight. Keep it here, as we'll offer updates at the close of each game.