Last week may have been one of the strangest weeks that the ECAC could ever have because few expected to win did so. In some ways it should just be a wash because of the strange results, but we did learn some valuable lessons from the weekend. These realizations have changed the rankings immensely.
I am convinced after their win against Union that Dartmouth is a contender and have thus moved them up to the top spot. Harvard is better than their recent results and so is Cornell. But Power Rankings are based more on a what are you doing for me now than what we think of the particular teams. Conference wins and losses also have much more weight than non-conference wins because it is easier to compare teams when they play each other. These concepts leave us with a lot of movement this week.
1. Dartmouth (5-0-1, 4-0-0)- Last Week 4
The Big Green are the final undefeated team remaining in the country and have proven to most casual observers that they may in fact be for real. With a big win against Union under their belt, Dartmouth will hit the road to take on Colgate and Cornell this weekend. They have won five games in a row led by a balanced attack on both offense and defense. The defense is ranked second in the country, allowing a meager 1.50 goals per game. The scary thing about Dartmouth is that their diamond in the rough, Dustin Walsh, has been gaining strength and has seen his playing time increase. Last weekend he was moved up to the second line with proven scorer Eric Robinson. This could be an indication they could be in this position for a while as Walsh will only get better and so will Dartmouth.
2. Union (6-2-1, 3-1-0)- Last Week 2
Union looked good on Friday night against Harvard, but yet the mood in the locker room was it wasn’t their best performance. The Dutchmen won that game, 6-2. They have not missed a step since last year and the loss Saturday night against Dartmouth was their first since an opening night loss against Merrimack College, a stretch where they went 6-0-1. Union lost goaltender Troy Grosenick to an apparent leg injury but when the dust settled on Monday, the Dutchmen learned that it wasn’t as bad as feared. The All-American is listed week to week and may have only missed the one game against Dartmouth, as Union doesn’t play again until the 24th.
3. Quinnipiac (5-3-1, 2-0-0)- Last Week 8
Maybe I am overreacting on this one, but in the end Quinnipiac had the most impressive weekend of any ECAC team last weekend with wins over Colgate and Cornell. The Bobcats have been relying heavily on goaltender Eric Hartzell, but in most cases he has been money. I am rewarding the Bobcats for their weekend, and the fact they are one of three undefeated, in ECAC, teams.
4. Princeton (2-2-0, 2-0-0)- Last Week 11
Princeton had a huge weekend as well sweeping the same teams that Quinnipiac did, winning against Cornell and Colgate. If not for their position before this weekend they would be in the position that Quinnipiac is. Not only did Princeton win their contests, but they heavily out-shot both of their opponents on the weekend. On Saturday, Mike Condon shutout Colgate and on Friday the Tigers went three of five on the power-play leading them to a 5-3 win over Cornell.
5. Cornell (3-2-1, 2-2-0)- Last Week 1
The same can be said for the next two teams on this list. They are both better than what they have been showing in the last two weeks. Cornell struggled over the weekend, losing to Quinnipiac and Princeton on the road. The Big Red are winless in three games and have dropped to eighth in the ECAC standings, behind three teams that have played two less games. The defense and goaltending was the issue on this weekend, as they allowed nine goals.
6. Harvard (3-2-0, 2-2-0)- Last Week 3
As I said above for Cornell, Harvard should be better than they are playing. Friday’s loss against Union was their second straight struggle but Saturday was a step in the right direction against RPI, a 4-0 win. Freshman, Jimmy Vesey, continues to stand out as he was named the ECAC rookie of the week by the league on Tuesday.
7. Yale (3-2-1, 2-2-0)- Last Week 6
Yale has continued its trend of struggling on Friday but having good results on Saturdays, as they lost to Clarkson and defeated St. Lawrence. This trend seems to coincide with their top scoring line of Kenny Agostino, Andrew Miller and Jesse Root. When they are playing well and scoring, the Bulldogs win. When they are shutout, like on Friday night they are defeated. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues throughout the year, but a loss against a team (Clarkson) that was winless on the season could have dropped them lower in these rankings.
8. St. Lawrence (5-2-1, 0-1-1)- Last Week 5
St. Lawrence is a victim of what was happening around them this week and they drop three spots to number eight after a tie with Brown and a loss to Yale. Kyle Flanagan was held off the scoresheet for the first time this year on Saturday night by Yale. He leads the nation in points and is third in goals scored on the season.
9. Brown (1-3-2, 0-2-2)- Last Week 9
The Bears are the only team this week to stay in the same position as last week, which just shows the interesting weekend that was. Over the weekend, Brown picked up two ties against St. Lawrence and Clarkson. Despite being winless in their last five, the Bears have had some good performances. Two out of four points is not a bad weekend.
10. Colgate (4-6-1, 0-3-1)- Last Week 7
Gate struggled on the weekend losing to both Quinnipiac and Princeton on the road. They have just one point in four ECAC tilts and are 0-3-1 in their last four games.
11. Clarkson (1-4-4, 1-0-1)- Last Week 12
I felt as though Clarkson was a lock on the last spot coming into this weekend, but with a 1-0 win over Yale on Friday night and tie with Brown, they move up a spot to 11.
12 RPI (1-5-2, 0-4-0)- Last Week 10
The Engineers have gone 0-5-2 since an opening night win against Ferris State and have been downright struggling in the process. They remain the only ECAC without a point on the season and have been outscored 19-5 in four ECAC conference games, their last four games. This will be their first week ranked 12th in these rankings.