It is starting to become clear to me that we may finally have a top team in ECAC hockey, and that team is Quinnipiac. I was reluctant to put them there mainly because of one loss to AIC in early November, but I stand corrected and they have used this loss to propel them into an eight game unbeaten streak. Quinnipiac’s success has put the conference on alert but Yale is also on an impressive four game winning streak. Both teams look strong and have overtaken the supposed top two of just a few weeks ago, Dartmouth and Union. Without further ado, here are this weeks Power Rankings…
1. Quinnipiac (10-3-2, 6-0-0) – Last Week 4
Quinnipiac is one of the hottest teams in the country going 7-0-1 in their last eight games and are unblemished against fellow conference foes. They are also this week’s CHN Team of the Week. The Bobcats now sit three points clear in the ECAC standings of Dartmouth and have more than proven themselves for this ranking. Last weekend they swept a pair of games on the road against Union and RPI. The former was last weeks number one team in these rankings and the Q held them to a paltry 20 shots on goal. Eric Hartzell was named ECAC goaltender of the week as he stopped 41 of 42 shots sent his way, on the weekend.
2. Yale (6-2-1, 3-2-0) – Last Week 2
Yale stays in check this weekend after they took a win from Brown in their only game of the weekend. The Bulldogs are on a four game winning streak and have received lots of scoring in those games. Yale sits in third place in the conference in scoring and have been led by Kenny Agostino, Antoine Lageniere, Andrew Miller and Jess Root offensively. With a solid core of scorers last weeks CHN team of the week, Yale, could have their eyes on the top spot in these rankings.
3. Dartmouth (6-2-2, 4-1-1) – Last Week 3
Dartmouth again holds the third spot in these rankings after a win against Bentley, 5-2. The Big Green, who were winless in three games, got a big game from Matt Linblad. Linblad had three points on two goals and an assist. Tyler Sikura leads the Big Green in points, with 15, and the Big Green rank second in the ECAC in scoring, averaging 3.5 goals per game
4. Union (8-3-2, 3-2-1) – Last Week 4
The Dutchmen have struggled mightily against two of the three teams that stand above them in these rankings. Last Friday Union hosted Quinnipiac and struggled to send any rubber towards the Bobcat goalie, Eric Hartzell. They were shutout for the first time in a year, as they were last blanked on November 12, 2011 by Yale. Union tied Princeton on Saturday night to salvage a point out of the weekend.
5. Cornell (6-3-2, 3-3-2) – Last Week 7
The Big Red are now unbeaten in four games after they swept a pair of games from Clarkson and St. Lawrence over the weekend. The difference in the previous four games for Cornell has been defense and goaltending, as they have held opponents to a goal in each of their past four games, which was not the case during the middle stretch where they lost three of four games. Cornell allowed just 36 shots in two games over the weekend and Andy Iles was solid for them stopping 34 of the 36 shots sent at him.John Espositio led the Big Red with three goals on the weekend.
6. Harvard (4-3-0, 3-3-0) – Last Week 6
The Crimson were idle again last weekend and will play two non-conference games this weekend against Hockey East foes.
7. Colgate (7-7-2, 3-4-1) – Last Week 5
The Raiders lost a 4-2 game to St. Lawrence on Friday night and bounced back for a 5-4 win against Clarkson on Saturday. Friday’s loss was the first for Colgate in four games and they have continually played good hockey this season. Gate allowed just 17 shots to St. Lawrence and Spencer Finney allowed four goals. The Raiders were unable to shut Kyle Flanagan and Greg Carey down as the two combined for 4 points and a goal. They seem to be living and dying by their offensive production, this was easily the case last weekend.
8. Princeton (3-4-3, 2-1-3) – Last week 9
The Tigers are one of five teams with a winning record in ECAC play, but they have more ties than wins and losses combined with three. Over the weekend Princeton tied both games. On Friday they tied RPI 2-2 and on Saturday they tied with Union 4-4. Against the Dutchmen, Mike Condon stopped 38 of 42 shots sent his way and against the Engineers he stopped 37 of 39 shots. He was the single reason why the Tigers came out of the weekend with two points.
9. St. Lawrence (7-5-2, 1-3-2) – Last Week 10
If St Lawrence could transfer their Friday night performances to Saturday night, they would probably be near the top of these rankings but again this week the Saints struggled on the second night of the weekend. Kyle Flanagan and Greg Carey combined for four points and a goal on Friday but were held to just a goal and an assist in a loss to Cornell. The Big Red held the Saints to just 14 shots on goal and the latter struggled to get anything going against a potent lineup. St Lawrence needs to gain consistency or they will be in the bottom fourth of these rankings for a while. A total of 31 shots in two games won’t win a team very many games in college hockey.
10. Clarkson (2-7-5, 2-3-1) – Last Week 8
Clarkson dropped a pair of games over the weekend to Cornell and Colgate. The Golden Knights have just two wins on the season and are winless in their last three games. Clarkson is another team that has struggled to send rubber towards the net and this weekend was no different. On Friday night, they sent a total of 23 shots and on Saturday they sent 20 towards their respective opponents’ net.
11. Brown (3-5-2, 0-3-2) – Last Week 11
Brown continues their rein of the 11th spot this week as they had a 4-3 loss to Yale over the weekend. A 4-3 loss against the number two ranked team in these rankings is a good result for the Bears, but Brown needs to win a few as they continue to sit in 11th place in the standings without a win against a conference foe. Brown has a chance to stay in this position or move up a little with two home games against Union and RPI, the latter being the team that follows them in these rankings.
12. Rensselaer (3-6-3, 0-5-1) – Last Week 12
RPI continues their hold on the 12th and final spot in these rankings after a loss and a tie last weekend. The tie was their first point in conference this season and RPI will be looking to move up in these rankings this weekend as they play the team directly above them. The Engineers have struggled this year against league foes and are winless two months into the season. The tie was a positive for RPI, but they need wins and they need them fast. With the break approaching, one would think that getting a win is their utmost goal before the time off commences.