What a fall we had, as the number of surprises within the ECAC seemingly outnumbered the number of things that seem normal. The most interesting surprise of course has been Clarkson but in a sense the top three in these rankings weren’t expected to be at the top during any point of the season but here they are at the end of the first half. Quinnipiac has spent the better half of the first two months in the top spot, but that reign ends this week with a loss to Union. Although Union defeated the Bobcats, its weekend work to me was not as great as the team that will sit at the top to end the semester. Read this week’s Three Things I Think for more in-depth coverage of the conference this week. In a weird twist this week I am going to post last week”s ranking along with my preseason ranking of the team, as it always interesting to look back and see just how terrible I was at predicting the teams. Read the rest of this entry »
Last weekend was interesting to say the least, as two teams made huge statements, two teams took a step back and another ECAC goaltender was credited with a goal. Both Clarkson and Union swept over the weekend, as the Golden Knights picked up an impressive sweep over its longtime rival St. Lawrence while Union picked up a home win against the once seemingly unbeatable Quinnipiac Bobcats. Yale was the team that took the biggest step back over the weekend as it picked up a mesely point against both Harvard and Dartmouth, two teams that had combined for just two conference wins coming into the weekend. Quinnipiac has just one win in its last four contests with its lone victory against UMass, while Union holds the conference’s longest current winning streak at seven games.
The top of the standings are really close within the conference, as five points separate the top seven teams. Quinnipiac and Union are tied at the top,, after Union’s 6-4 win over the Bobcats on Saturday night. Clarkson sits within two points of the top and Colgate is three points back, after tying Cornell in Hamilton. With that said, here are my thoughts for the week. Read the rest of this entry »
Another weekend, and another weekend that was full of surprises. Last Week, Harvard defeated UNH in non-conference action but turned around and lost to Dartmouth just nights later. Quinnipiac will continue its reign as the top team in this poll, as it has been for over a month now, but the back of the poll has now become quite close. Princeton is decimated, Harvard has been relatively inconsistent, Dartmouth just picked up its first win and Brown has just one win in its past eight games after beginning the season 2-0.
Union and Colgate are tied for second in the ECAC standings, while Cornell, Clarkson and Yale are all within are all within two points of that position. It’s still early to be looking at the standings, but trends and surprises are beginning to brew especially with Colgate and Clarkson sitting near the top. This weekend features big matchups in Schenectady and in the North Country, as Quinnipiac travels to Union (top two teams in the ECAC standings) and the battle of the North Country will feature two of the biggest surprises in the conference. I speak of the Battle of the North Country, Dartmouth’s first win and Princeton’s injuries in this week’s edition of Three Things I Think. Read the rest of this entry »
Dartmouth finally got its first win of the season on Saturday night, as it downed Harvard in the only league game of the weekend. ECAC teams went 5-5-0 in non-league games, which was mediocre but the non-conference slate has to date been successful with a 36-21-5 record. With the good non-league record comes good positioning in the Krach and Pairwise rankings where five league teams sit pretty heading into the break. The latter is most important in figuring out the NCAA tournament rankings, and the ECAC has five within the top 16.
This weekend features the last full conference game slate until next month as teams will head on holiday and exam breaks. There are a plethora of great games this weekend, as the Battle of the North Country will take center stage when Clarkson and St. Lawrence play a home and home series between two of the biggest surprises within the conference this so far. Also there is just a little matchup that features Quinnipiac and Union at Messa on Saturday. Those teams are currently first and in a tie for second within the conference so it should be quite the matchup in Schenectady. Without further ado there a bunch of story-lines and thoughts to be brought up. Read the rest of this entry »
After weeks of waiting for it, Big Ten Conference play finally happened last weekend. Minnesota and Wisconsin played a pair of games at Mariucci Arena. Ohio State and Michigan battled Friday in Ann Arbor complete with “beat Ohio” chants (the two teams also play tonight in Columbus).
With all apologies to Michigan State’s power play exploding in a sweep of Princeton and Penn State taking the Badgers’ crown Sunday night for the worst last second loss of the weekend, this week’s 3 Things solely focuses on conference games.
Don’t worry Spartans and Nittany Lions. There’s always next week. That’s when the two teams begin its 20 game conference schedule.
(After the jump, Minnesota’s third line impresses in a sweep, Andrew Copp plays for more than 60 and Mike Eaves explains Wisconsin’s inconsistency) Read the rest of this entry »
Hanover, NH - Harvard and Dartmouth met for the 198th time in their illustrious histories on Saturday night in front of 3114 at Thompson Arena, and the early play did not disappoint. The teams played an uptempo scoreless first period that saw few chances for either team. The Crimson scored the game’s first goal at ten minutes, 13 seconds of the second period as Jimmy Vesey backhanded a shot high above Charles Grant to give the Crimson a 1-0 lead. The lead was shortlived, however, as the Big Green answered three minutes and 20 seconds later, when Grant Opperman found a loose puck and put it behind Raphael Girard. The game went to the third period tied at one apiece.
Dartmouth came out in the third period firing everything and anything at Harvard goaltender, Raphael Girard. It outshot the Crimson 10-7 in the period and dominated the play. The Big Green would score the only goal of the third period, as Brandon McNally sent a puck cross-crease to Eric Neiley who was wide open and the latter found the back of the net to give Dartmouth the lead with 2:41 remaining. The Big Green stifiled the Crimson for the remainder of the period and it held on to the 2-1 win over Ivy League rival Harvard. The win was Dartmouth’s first of the season and improved its record to 1-8-0, and 1-6-0 in the ECAC. The loss dropped Harvard to 4-6-1, and 2-5-1 in the ECAC. Read the rest of this entry »
Durham, NH - After a scoreless first period that saw UNH dominate territorially but not in quality chances, the teams exploded in an entertaining second period. Harvard got on the board first at three minutes, 36 seconds of the period when Luke Esposito sent a weak backhander towards UNH goalie, Jeff Wyer. The shot trickled through the five-hole and Harvard took the lead. Harvard added to that lead nearly six minutes later, as Kyle Criscuolo cut to the net and tipped it past Wyer on the fly. UNH would quickly tie it up with two quick goals of its own. The first one Dan Correale deked Harvard defender, Desmond Bergin, and beat Harvard goalie Rapheal Girard. Grayson Downing scored to tie the game at two a minute and a half later. But Harvard came back with a goal by Alexander Kerfoot with 1:20 remaining in the period to give the Crimson the 3-2 second intermission lead.
Harvard would go on to outscore UNH 3-1 in the final stanza, on goals by Kyle Criscuolo, Tommy O’Regan and Patrick McNally. Kyle Criscuolo finished with two goals and an assist, while Patrick McNally finished with a goal and two assists. Harvard cruised to the 6-3 win against UNH. With the win Harvard improved to 4-5-1 overall and with the loss UNH fell to 7-7-1 on the season. Read the rest of this entry »
One of my favorite parts of each new college hockey season is the emergence of players around the country. It happens for every team in every conference. Obviously, some outshine others, and the reasons for these breakouts are very different. The first two months of college hockey season have given us all a few new names to keep an eye on as the year progresses.
Northeastern’s Dalen Hedges is just one of those players who has quickly become a player people around Hockey East want to see. Kevin Roy and Mike Szmatula figured to score a lot of points for the Huskies this season. Third on the roster, though, isn’t Braden Pimm or Cody Ferriero. The 5-foot-7 Hedges has four goals and eight assists through the first 13 games of his young career. He hasn’t been a dominant player, but he’s the most prevalent of several young forwards giving Northeastern a newfound depth up front.
Similarly, the re-emergence of players once forgotten is just as interesting. For Northeastern, that distinction belongs to Clay Witt. Husky coach Jim Madigan will still likely give Bryan Mountain and Derick Roy a look every so often to keep them sharp and Witt fresh, but Witt is clearly the guy for Madigan. In nine starts this year, Witt has a .936 save percentage and 2.22 goals-against average. As conference play heats up, especially once the second half begins, it’ll be interesting to see how sustainable this start is for Witt.
(After the jump: Notre Dame’s lesson learned, Maine’s home performance and Mark Jankowski’s status as a top six forward.)
What an interesting weekend around the conference as every team near the top of last week’s rankings took home a loss. Only Cornell took home two wins on the wacky weekend. RPI and St Lawrence had head-shaking losses to Atlantic teams on the weekend, which should have dropped them in the rankings but Harvard, Brown and Dartmouth have done nothing to prove to me they should move up. Make sure to read this week’s edition of Three Things I Think, which Turns out to be Three Things To be Thankful For this week, in celebration of Thanksgiving.
One of the biggest changes this weekend is that I have begun to take into account strength of schedule within the conference schedule as one of the biggest criteria. This week there were some honest changes that occurred because of it, mainly Yale moving down despite losing to a tough Cornell team; I will explain why when we get there. I am a couple off days early in my posts this week mainly because I will have two midweek games, Harvard at UNH on Tuesday and Providence at QU on Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »
Finally, conference play is on the horizon. And it couldn’t have come any sooner.
The week of Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect and be thankful. That’s the case with this week’s Three Things, which looks at the odd scheduling quirk with half the conference idle and asks all six Big Ten teams one question.
Okay maybe this week only features two things. Or is it seven? I’m not sure. Either way read more after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »