We all know who will be on the top of these rankings and at this point it will probably take a lot to dethrone them from the top. Yale has also taken hold of the second position to stay and behind that, as per usual there is a lot of movement. The standings are owned by Quinnipiac as they hold an eight game lead over Yale, with a mess of teams following closely behind the Bulldogs. If the NCAA tournament started today, in accordance with the Pairwise Rankings, Quinnipiac would be the top seed with Dartmouth and Yale joining them in the big dance. Not to be greedy three teams is OK but a couple more would be best. Without further ado here are my rankings for the week.
1. Quinnipiac (18-3-3, 11-0-1) – Last Week 1
The Bobcats were idle in ECAC hockey last weekend, but hosted in-state rival Connecticut on Tuesday night. The Bobcats defeated the Huskies 2-1, but dominated the game outshooting UConn 50-22 in the contest. They will be idle again this weekend in a weird scheduling quirk where they play once in a span of 20 days.
2. Yale (11-4-3, 7-3-1) – Last Week 2
Yale has continued to solidify there position in these rankings with another two wins last weekend. On Friday night the Bulldogs defeated Harvard 4-0 and on Saturday they defeated Dartmouth 4-2. Yale has yet to lose back-to-back games yet this year and they have won four games in a row. The Bulldogs, like Quinnipiac, are quite cozy in their position.
3. Dartmouth (10-6-2, 6-4-1) – Last Week 4
I have stuck with Dartmouth despite losses in three of their last five games, because I truly believe they are still in the top tier of this league. Last weekend, the Big Green defeated Brown on Friday night 4-2 and lost by that same score to a red hot Yale team. Dartmouth had a two game winning streak before the game with Yale. Dartmouth will return to the friendly confines of Thompson Arena, where they are 8-1-0 the season. The Green have struggled mightily on the road going 2-5-2 so far this season.
4. Union (11-8-4, 5-4-3) – Last Week 5
The Dutchmen again blew a second intermission lead on Saturday night, this time to Cornell. They lost to the Big Red 3-2 on Friday night and defeated Colgate 2-1 on Saturday night. The Dutchmen also defeated Harvard 4-1 on Tuesday night. They will play a huge rivalry game on Saturday night at the Times Union Center in Albany against RPI Saturday night.
5. Princeton (6-8-4, 5-4-3) – Last Week 6
The Tigers were idle last week but have won three of their past four games. They will return to action on Sunday in non-conference action against Sacred Heart. They sit in good position in the standings in a three way tie for third place.
6. Rensselaer (8-10-5, 3-6-3) – Last Week 8
When i saw Rensselaer a few weeks back I was left thinking that they would be fine going forward, despite struggling much of the first half. My assumption was correct, as the Engineers have lost just once since. Last weekend they finally put efforts together on two consecutive nights by defeating Colgate and Cornell at home. I get the feeling that this will be the one lower ranked team that the top teams will not want to play come ECAC tournament time. The only issue will be consistency. They have competed with some highly touted teams this season, including a tie against Quinnipiac and an overtime loss to Boston University, both of those on the road.
7. Cornell (8-7-2, 4-4-2) – Last Week 6
The only reason I put RPI above Cornell is because the Big Red lost 3-2 to the Engineers on Saturday night. In that game the Big red lost more than the game they also lost forward Cole Bardreau to a really scary neck fracture. Cornell defeated Union on Friday night but that was hardly the story of the weekend. Cornell has lost four of their past five games and sit in sixth in the ECAC standings.
8. Colgate (11-9-2, 3-6-1) – Last Week 3
Maybe i’m overreacting a bit, if so Colgate will be right back up in the top tier next week but they struggled over the weekend losing a pair to Union and RPI. Both games were 2-1 decisions in which they struggled to put home goals. They entered the weekend on a five game winning streak. A test looms on Saturday, as the Red Raiders will host red hot Yale.
9. Brown (6-8-4, 2-5-4) – Last Week 11
Right Bruno belongs above the teams that sit below them. They were put in quite the predicament this weekend as co-starters Anthony Borelli and Marco De Fillipo both played through injuries. The former had the flu and the latter was bothered by sore knees, but the Bears persevered through defeating Harvard 5-2 on Saturday. They lost to Dartmouth 4-2 on Friday. They are 3-2 in their last five games and Matt Lorito has been leading them up front with 13 goals and 9 assists in 18 games.
10. St. Lawrence (9-10-3, 2-5-3) – Last Week 10
St. Lawrence will stay in the tenth position this week after a tie with Clarkson, who sits right below them in these rankings. After losing five games in a row, the Saints have gone 2-1-1 in their last four games. Consistency still seems to be the biggest issue plaguing their season, as they haven’t won back to back games since the third week of the season. Greg Carey sits atop the ECAC scoring charts with 30 points, as teammate Kyle Flanagan sits in second with his 28.
11. Clarkson (4-12-6, 6)- Last Week 12
Clarkson has begun the second half pretty much the way they started the first half, and that’s with a lot of losses. They are winless in six games and had lost five before last weekend’s tilt with St. Lawrence, in which they tied. This weekend they will play Harvard and Dartmouth on the road.
12. Harvard (5-11-1, 3-9-0) – Last Week 11
I have officially dropped Harvard all the way to the bottom of these rankings, as it has become clear they are not the team that most of the so called experts thought they would be. The Crimson are in the doldrums of doldrums right now and have lost eight of their last nine games, most of which by more than two goals. Last Weekend Harvard lost to Brown 5-2 and Union 4-1. In that eight of nine streak, the Crimson have been outscored 40-16 and have hardly looked good. Harvard belongs in this spot right now, but have a chance to move up as the two teams right above them come to Cambridge this weekend.