Another week of hockey, and another week that saw Quinnipiac go undefeated. If this seems like the same old song and dance it is, as the Bobcats are undefeated in their last 16 contests and their last loss was to a team they probably shouldn’t have lost to, AIC, over three months ago. As for the other teams they will continue to chase the Bobcats in these rankings. QU holds a ten point advantage on Princeton at the top of the league standings and sits in a virtual tie at the top of the Pairwise with UNH and Boston College. Yale and Dartmouth sit in ninth and 11th respectively in those rankings, while Colgate sits on the bubble in position 16.
1. Quinnipiac (17-3-3, 11-0-1) – Last Week 1
At this point kudos to the Bobcats. Last weekend they continued the streak that has now carried them from November 6 until today by tying RPI and defeating Union. On Saturday against the Dutchmen, the Q entered the third period down 2-0. They would go on to score three unanswered goals to secure a win that was in doubt for much of the tilt. Led by a goaltender that is one of the best in the nation and the nation’s best defense Quinnipiac should be in this position to stay until the end of the year.
2. Yale (9-4-3, 5-3-1) – Last Week 4
Something that was shocking to me was the fact that Yale has not lost back to back games yet this season. Considering the up and down season that they have had this is quite the accomplishment, but in retrospect there have been many more ups than downs. Over the weekend Yale accomplished the North Country sweep of Clarkson and St. Lawrence, something that is not an easy accomplishment. At this point the Bulldogs are the second best team in the ECAC conference, interestingly enough the top two in my estimation call Connecticut home.
3. Colgate (11-7-2, 3-4-1) – Last Week 2
I normally try and keep idle teams in the same position but Colgate has played just twice since the break and two games against Sacred Heart hardly prove they are worthy of the second spot in these rankings. There is still plenty of time to prove the fact they may indeed be second. This weekend they will return to action on the road against RPI and Union.
4. Dartmouth (9-5-2, 5-3-1) – Last Week 3
Dartmouth has seen a steady drop in these rankings since peaking at number one but showed signs of life last weekend defeating Harvard at home. One thing that has to be cause for concern is their road record. So far this season the Big Green are 8-1-0 on home ice but a meager, unimpressive 1-4-2 away from the friendly confines of Thompson Arena. Sophomore Tyler Sikura has an eight game point streak going and leads the Green with 22 points in 16 games. Dartmouth still sits in good position in the Pairwise rankings, where they hold down the 12th spot.
5. Union (10-7-4, 3-2-3) – Last Week 6
I feel like I say this every week, but the Dutchmen are underachieving. The talent is there again this season and they even had the number one team in the conference, Quinnipiac, on the ropes for much of their contest on Saturday but couldn’t finish it.. On Friday night the Dutchmen defeated a good Princeton team and on Saturday they took a 2-0 lead into the third period against the Bobcats but would proceed to allow three goals in the final 15 minutes. The fact that they were leading Quinnipiac is not shocking, I still believe the same I did when I wrote Unions New Expectations, but when will they live up to the expectations from the beginning of the year, or at this point will they? Maybe expectations did indeed get to them, who knows I suppose.
6. Princeton (6-8-4, 5-4-3) – Last Week 5
Princeton moves down a position as they lost to Union on Friday. The Tigers responded well by defeating RPI 4-1 on Saturday night, a team that gave the top ranked Quinnipiac a run for their streak in a tie. They have three wins in their last four games and their goaltending has led them to the second spot in the ECAC standings.
7. Cornell (7-6-2, 3-3-2) – Last Week 7
The Big Red were idle last weekend and will stay in the seventh position. This weekend they return to action on the road against Union and RPI.
8. Rensselaer (6-10-5, 1-6-3) – Last Week 8
Rensselaer has come to life in recent weeks and last weekend was no different, as they tied Quinnipiac on Friday night. Saturday night was a letdown as they lost to Princeton, but the weekend had to be viewed as another positive. The weekend prior, RPI had Boston University on the ropes before losing in overtime.
9. Harvard (5-8-1, 3-6-0) – Last Week 11
After giving up an early third period goal last Wednesday against Boston University, the Crimson were down 5-2 with just under 19 minutes remaining in the game. But the Crimson would rally and pull off the memorable comeback against their Beanpot rivals, beating the Terriers 6-5. The celebration was short-lived however as they fell to Dartmouth on Saturday night. Harvard has gone 1-6-1 in their last eight games and have struggled to just put solid efforts together. Considering they showed life on Wednesday, they have proved they belong in front of the bottom three in these rankings.
10. St. Lawrence (9-10-2, 2-5-2) – Last Week 11
The bottom three teams in these rankings made it very easy, because Brown played both St. Lawrence and Clarkson with mixed results. Considering St. Lawrence defeated Brown and Brown defeated Clarkson that means by process of elimination the Saints stand ahead of the three based on the results. St. Lawrence lost to Yale 5-2 on Friday night, along with defeating Brown 3-2.
11. Brown (5-7-4, 1-4-4)- Last Week 12
Brown moves out of the basement by defeating Clarkson 3-2 on Friday night on the road. Brown has moved out of last place in the ECAC standings ahead of both Harvard and RPI.
12. Clarkson (4-12-5, 3-5-1)- Last Week 10
Clarkson got swept over the weekend by Yale and Brown. They have now lost five straight contests and have scored two or less goals in all five of those games. This is Clarkson’s second stint in the basement of these rankings, as they were here early in the first semester after an 0-4-3 start.