It is tough to judge so early in the season who is a pretender and who is a contender but we are starting to see some trends as to who might be at the top come season’s end. Dartmouth was one of two teams to secure a four point weekend on the weekend and thus they are rewarded with the biggest jump in the rankings. Union was the other team that left the weekend with a crucial four points in conference play. Last weekend was the first with conference games and it will be interesting to see if the trends stay the same or change, as the season continues because it is still early, we must remember this.
1. Cornell (3-0-1, 1-0-1)- Last Week 1
Cornell had a successful weekend against Colgate, winning on the road Friday and tying at Lynah on Saturday. They will retain the top spot for the third week in a row.
2. Union (5-1-1, 2-0-0)- Last Week 3
It took a few weeks of play, but Union was up to the level many thought they would be at early in the season. On the weekend they outscored the RPI 11-5 and just flat out looked like the better team. Union has a huge tilt against Harvard on Friday night on the road.
3. Harvard (2-1-1, 1-1-0)- Last Week 2
Harvard struggled mightily on Saturday night against Yale, failing to stop the daunted scoring line for the Bulldogs. They lost the game 5-1 but in this instance the score matched the play, as Yale sent 49 shots at Raphael Girard. On Friday night, The Crimson defeated Brown 3-2. A much better performance will be needed against Union on Friday night to keep them in the third position.
4. Dartmouth (3-0-1, 2-0-0)- Last Week 6
Let me state this now, Dartmouth looked really good when I saw them on Friday night. Their top two lines can compete with any top six forwards in the country, but their only downfall might be speed. They won’t kill you with their speed but they will with puck handling and shooting. Eric Robinson is a force, while Matt Linblad and Tyler Sikura also scored two goals for the Big Green that night. Robinson was named ECAC player of the week with his three goals on the weekend, two of which being game winning tallies.
5. St. Lawrence (5-1-0, 0-0-0)- Last Week 4
The Saints have yet to play a conference game, but they have gone 5-1 in non-conference play, which will help them in the future if they want to get in the tournament at the end of the season. Last weekend, St. Lawrence was expected to sweep and they did, against independent Alabama-Huntsville. This sweep won’t move them up but keeps them ahead of Yale in these rankings. Only because I rewarded Dartmouth’s strong early season play the Saints move down a position.
6. Yale (2-1-1, 1-1-0)- Last Week 5
Yale moves down a spot not for their performance against Harvard, but their performance on Friday night against Dartmouth. The Bulldogs earned a much needed split on the weekend, which in some ways shocked us after their performance on Friday night. The difference was night and day from Friday night to Saturday night. Defense and goaltending improved markedly against Harvard, and they carried long stretches of play in the game.
7. Colgate (4-4-1, 0-1-1)- Last Week 7
Gate had a tough home and home series against Cornell in which they were able to salvage a point against the Big Red. Cornell is ranked number one in these rankings and managing a point out of the weekend will not drop them in the rankings.
8. Quinnipiac (3-3-1, 0-0-0)- Last Week 8
Quinnipiac stays in this position by default, but a loss against AIC does not look good for a team in the top eight of these rankings. AIC has struggled this year but so have the Bobcats in recent weeks. QU has lost two games in a row and has gone 1-3-1 in their past five games.
9. Brown (1-3-0, 0-2-0)- Last Week 10
Some may wonder why I have Brown moving up this week, but in two losses the Bears actually played quite well. On Friday night, Brown gave Harvard a run for their money losing 3-2 to a team that was picked in the top echelon of the ECAC in the preseason. On Saturday night, they also played Dartmouth to a 2-1 score. They competed in both games and kept them close throughout, which is why I move them up a spot this week. Scoring goals may be the biggest question mark for Brown as they have scored just four in four games.
10. RPI (1-3-2, 0-2-0)- Last Week 9
The Engineers struggled against rival, Union, both Saturday and Sunday. The aggregate score for the weekend was 11-5 and RPI still has just one win in six games on the season. They move down a spot from last week.
11. Princeton (0-2-0)- Last Week 11
The Tigers were idle last weekend and will play Cornell and Colgate at home this weekend. The retain the 11th position this week.
12. Clarkson (0-4-3, 0-0-0)- Last Week 12
Clarkson is still winless in seven games but over the weekend they managed two ties against Cansius. They are 0-4-2 against Atlantic Hockey on the season and the only team in the ECAC with a losing record in non-conference games (excluding the Ivy Shootout games).