We have made it to the winter break and it has been a roller coaster ride in the ECAC. With most teams off until after the holiday break these rankings will be the ones that bring us into the much anticipated tournaments at the end of the month. The standings are starting to come together with the rankings, but there are still some deviations based on who is playing well. Quinnipiac is standing tall in the league standings with their closest competitor seven points behind and they will head into the break in the top spot in these rankings. Breaking from tradition a bit we will not only look at last weeks rankings but also preseason Power Rankings to see how well we have done. If you could make a guess, it is per usual and never set in stone.
1. Quinnipiac (12-3-2, 8-0-0)- Last Week 1, Preseason 4
The Bobcats keep winning and have entered the break on a ten game unbeaten streak. It was easy to be hesitant to put the Q in this position, they do have losses to AIC and Robert Morris on their resume, but at the end of the day they have been the only ECAC squad to assert themselves within the conference as a contender for the regular season title. They are undefeated, unblemished in conference play at 8-0-0 and stand clear of second place Dartmouth and Union by seven points. If anything the break was the last thing Quinnipiac wanted to see, but continue playing the way they have for past month after the break and we will be talking about the Q in March.
2. Dartmouth (7-2-2, 4-1-1) – Last Week 3, Preseason 7
Dartmouth moves up to position two by default after a win over Vermont last Wednesday and two Union ties. The Big Green have been a huge surprise this season, and have been led by an explosive offense that is led by the likes of Tyler Sikura, Matt Linblad, Eric Robinson and Dustin Walsh. The latter has been an important piece to the Dartmouth and he scored twice in the game against Vermont, to ice the game for Dartmouth. Dartmouth has a huge matchup with in-state rival UNH during their annual Ledyard Bank Tournament at Thompson Arena on the horizon.
3. Union (8-3-4, 3-2-3) – Last Week 4, Preseason 1
The Dutchmen have hardly lived up to expectations after last year’s Frozen Four experience, but they haven’t fallen off the face of the earth either sitting tied for second in the ECAC standings. They are undefeated in three games, but are winless in four and have a trifecta of ties consecutively going into the break. Union had a case of the injury bug over the first semester as Troy Grosenick and captain Mat Bodie both missed time to injury over the first semester, A healthy Union could be posed for a run in the second half.
4. Colgate (9-7-2, 3-4-1) – Last Week 7, Preseason 9
Colgate has some impressive wins on their resume so far, mainly a non-conference victory over Quinnipiac and a win against Dartmouth. The Raiders enter the break in good position winners of three in a row including a road sweep of UMass last weekend. Freshman Taylor Spink is making a big argument for ECAC rookie of the year as he continued his strong first season with a 2 goal, 3 point weekend against the Minutemen. His play and the Colgate explosive offense has been the difference in their results this season.
5. Yale (7-3-2, 3-3-1) -Last Week 2, Preseason 4
Yale defeated UMass on Tuesday night but had a rough weekend within the ECAC before that win. On Friday night, the Bulldogs were embarrassed on home ice by winless in ECAC play RPI by a 6-1 score. The score does not show their recent play and the Bulldogs responded the next night with a home tie against Union. The semester has been a roller coaster for Yale, with an impressive weekend out west and the early season on again, off again results. Yale is led by one of the strongest lines in College Hockey and will look to continue to impress in the second half.
6. Cornell (6-3-2, 3-3-0) – Last Week 5, Preseason 2
Cornell was idle last week and will enter the break in position six of the Power Rankings.
7. Harvard (4-4-1, 3-3-0) – Last Week 6, Preseason 3
The Crimson played two non-conference games against Hockey East foes and escaped with a loss and a tie. On Friday night, Harvard held on for a gritty tie against Merrimack and on Monday the Crimson lost at home to UMass-Lowell, 5-0. On Monday night, Harvard had four players removed from their roster. Their resiliency in the second half will be tested and it will be interesting to see the direction Harvard goes from here.
8. Clarkson (4-7-5, 3-3-1) – Last Week 10, Preseason 10
Clarkson has been extremely inconsistent so far but last weekend against rival St. Lawrence was a step in the right direction. The Golden Knights swept the Saints by 4-1 and 3-1 scores on the weekend. It was their first consecutive wins of the season and it sends them into the break on a positive note. On the weekend, they shut down top scorer Kyle Flanagan and held Greg Carey to just one point. Greg Lewis was named ECAC Goalie of the Week with his performance on the weekend, stopping 59 of 61 shots sent his way. A more consistent second half from Lewis, could mean good things for Clarkson going forward.
9. Princeton (3-6-3, 2-3-3) – Last Week 8, Preseason 11
Princeton lost two against Quinnipiac over the weekend and they joined the ranks of most of the ECAC by losing to the Bobcats. A sweep at the hands of Quinnipiac wont move them too far down, in fact in moves them down only one spot. The Tigers are tied for fifth in the ECAC standings but are winless in five games heading into the break.
10. RPI (4-6-4, 1-5-2) – Last Week 12, Preseason 8
RPI finally got into the winning column in ECAC play on Friday and looked good doing it, toppling then number two in these rankings Yale 6-1. The Engineers backed up their Friday performance with a tie against Brown on Saturday. RPI has struggled in recent weeks and this marks the first time they have been out of the basement of these rankings in over a month. It will be interesting to see how RPI fairs in the second, as they start off with a bang having 5 games in 9 nights against some tough competition.
11. Brown (3-5-4, 0-3-4) – Last Week 11, Preseason 12
I guess there is no surprise that Brendan Whittet’s charges are in eleventh spot in these rankings but the surprise may be that they are winless in seven league games with four ties. The Bears sit tied for last place with both RPI and St. Lawrence They will need wins coming out of the break. They are the only ECAC team without a win in conference on the season.
12 St. Lawrence (7-7-2, 1-4-2) – Last Week 9, Preseason 6
It has become apparent that when Greg Carey and Kyle Flanagan are not present on the score sheet the Saints will struggle to win. They are the catalysts of the team and without their offense the saints as a team struggle to get anything going. Last weekend, St. Lawrence scored just two goals in two games and the two catalysts were held to just one point. The struggles have only gotten worse for St. Lawrence after a rocking start in non-conference play. After a 5-1 start to the season the Saints have struggled to score goals and have just two wins in their last 11 contests. The Saints are on a three game losing streak and heading into the break in the wrong direction; maybe the break is exactly what they need to right the ship.