Last weekend was another interesting weekend throughout the ECAC. The last undefeated team, Dartmouth, fell but does this mean we have a new number one? Quinnipiac is red hot and a perfect 4-0-0 in conference play, while Cornell continues to falter going 0-1-1 on the weekend. Dartmouth leads the conference outright with nine points, but parity throughout the conference is reigning supreme as every team except for RPI has points on the year and seven teams have five or more. With all the parity throughout, fans should be getting excited because there will be some great games at all the ECAC rinks his winter. In the mean time, enjoy the weekly Power Rankings.
1. Dartmouth (5-1-2, 4-1-1) – Last Week 1
The Big Green lost their first game of the season on Friday night against Colgate, but I am going to keep them in this position because I feel as though Dartmouth and Union were far enough ahead of the pack after last weekend to keep them one and two. Getting one of four points isn’t great but in the end I am taking into account they were on the road. In the loss, Dartmouth took a 4-1 lead one minute, 11 seconds into the third period but proceeded to give up the lead up by spotting Colgate four third period goals. This could be an early sign of a weakness or could be nothing more than an anomaly. On Saturday night, the Big Green used a late tying goal from Mike Keenan with 52 seconds remaining to earn a road tie against Cornell, not the easiest place to play. Dartmouth will play a huge game on Saturday, travelling to Boston College in a non-conference game to take on the Eagles.
2. Union (6-2-1, 3-1-0) – Last Week 2
As I said above, Union and Dartmouth were far enough ahead of the pack to stay in their positions this week. The Dutchmen were idle last weekend.
3. Quinnipiac (7-3-1, 4-0-0) – Last Week 3
Quinnipiac is within mere inches of jumping ahead of both Union and Dartmouth. They would be very deserving of the number one ranking but I want to see one more week before I move them there. If it is anything like the weekend that was for the Bobcats, they will own that first position running away. Quinnipiac is the only unblemished team in conference action and has looked impressive in doing so. Outscoring their opponents 11-4 last weekend was one thing, but Sunday was more impressive in one stat, shots allowed. The Bobcats allowed just nine shots in three periods against St. Lawrence. They have won five games in a row, the last three on the road. They play at UMass on Saturday.
4. Colgate (6-6-1, 2-3-1) – Last Week 10
What a difference a weekend makes for Colgate. Last weekend they were ranked 10th in these rankings and lost both conference games. This weekend they were one of two teams to take four points out the weekend. On Friday night they defeated Dartmouth, who were the last remaining undefeated team in the country and on Saturday they defeated Harvard. No easy task to take down those two on consecutive nights so they are the biggest mover this week.
5. Harvard (4-3-0, 3-3-0) -Last Week 6
The Crimson have been extremely inconsistent so far this season, winning just one game per weekend. After leaving Lynah rink with a 4-1 defeat of Cornell Friday night, the Crimson took a 1-0 loss against Colgate on Saturday night. If there is one positive out of this weekend for the Crimson, it is they allowed a total of two goals on the weekend. Consistency in all aspects will be key going forward for Harvard.
6. Yale (3-2-1, 2-2-0) – Last Week 7
The Bulldogs split two games on the weekend, winning against St. Lawrence 4-2 on Saturday and losing a nail-biting 1-0 contest against Clarkson on Friday. Yale is another team that has been highly inconsistent on the season, winning one game a weekend.Jeff Malcolm has become the everyday starter for Yale and he has excelled in the role going 3-2-0 in those games, while giving up 1.5 goals a game.
7. Clarkson (2-5-4, 2-1-1) – Last Week 11
Clarkson struggled mightily in non-conference play, but are currently playing some great hockey against conference foes. The Golden Knights sit tied for fifth place in the conference and have gone 2-1-1 against conference foes. This is night and day compared to non-conference action, where they went 0-4-3. Last weekend, the Golden Knights went 1-1-0 losing to Quinnipiac on Friday but winning on Saturday night in a 7-2 contest against Princeton. Depth was the key in the victory as seven different skaters had a goal in that game.
8. Princeton (2-3-1, 2-1-1) – Last Week 4
After a really impressive weekend last week, Princeton struggled in a tie and a loss over the weekend. On Friday night they tied St Lawrence 3-3 and held national scoring leader, Kyle Flanagan to just one point. On Saturday the Tigers struggled in a 7-2 loss to Clarkson, where goaltender Mike Condon was pulled after allowing six goals.
9. Cornell (3-3-2, 1-3-2) – Last Week 5
The Big Red continue their fall down these rankings as they are now winless in five games. Few experts would have predicted a stretch like this at any point of the season for Cornell, but this is the reality that we are presented with. The major difference between the first two weeks and the three losses in the past two weeks has been defense and goaltending. In their losses, Cornell gives up 4.66 per game, while in their wins they give up 1.2 per game. It has become clear that Cornell will rely heavily on Andy Iles. If he struggles so will Cornell, but if he is good so they will be. In recent weeks, it has been the latter.
10. Brown (2-3-2, 0-2-2)- Last Week 9
Brown came away from the weekend with a lone non-conference victory over Army. The Bears continue to be winless in conference but have two ties keeping away from the 12th spot in these rankings.
11. St. Lawrence (5-3-2, 0-2-2)- Last Week 8
St. Lawrence is another team that has steadily moved down these rankings. On Saturday, the Saints looked dreadful and porous in a 7-2 loss to Quinnipiac. Usually would refrain from using those words in these rankings, but in the end it tells the whole story as the Saints were held to just nine shots in a 60 minute hockey game. They are winless in four consecutive games, all league games and are one of three teams without a conference win in the conference. Kyle Flanagan continues to lead the nation in scoring, with his 19 points on the season.
12. RPI (3-5-2, 0-4-0) – Last Week 12
The Engineers finally broke their seven game winless streak, but it was in two non-conference tilts against Mercyhurst. While the rest of the ECAC beat up on each other save Union, they were gaining confidence and winning. This confidence could go far in the next few weeks, but it has been proven ECAC is quite strong top to bottom this year. They hang onto last place in ECAC standings and to 12th in these rankings, I need to see wins against conference foes.