With Quinnipiac miles away from everyone else at the top, it has come time to focus on the great race that has developed behind them. Six points separate second place Yale and tenth place Colgate in the standings, while third to ninth are separated by a mere two points. The parity within ECAC has turned out to be awesome, it will make for a great few weeks of conference action, as most teams have just six games remaining in the regular season. If the season ended today Quinnipiac and Yale would be in the NCAA tournament, while Dartmouth would join them per the Pairwise Rankings.
1. Quinnipiac (21-3-4, 14-0-2) – Last Week 1
The unbeaten streak is up to 21 games now after a pair of win on the road against Cornell and Colgate. I guess we should start expecting nothing less from the Bobcats, as they have been number one in both Pairwise and Krach for some time now. But the time will come to prove said rankings when it actually matters. For now though, the Bobcats hang onto the number one position in these rankings. They are balanced and play the best defensive game in the country. The Only question left to be answered is whether an ECAC can find it in them to defeat them. With Yale’s defeat at the hands of Brown the Bobcats need just one tie to clinch at least a share of the Cleary Cup or a win to clinch it outright. It will probably happen this week.
2. Rensselaer (12-11-5, 7-6-3) – Last Week 4
I have continued to move up the Engineers and they have continued to win. RPI has won four games in a row and they have won six of their past seven games. Last weekend, Rensselaer completed the North Country sweep by defeating St. Lawrence 3-2 in overtime and Clarkson 6-2. Everything seems to be clicking from offense, to defense and goaltending for the Engineers and only time will tell how far they can move up in the standings. RPI now sits in a three way tie for third.
3. Yale (13-7-3, 9-6-1) – Last Week 2
The Bulldogs were defeated 1-0 by Brown on Tuesday night and hardly looked good. It was their second loss in a row, which was the first time all season they had lost consecutive games.
4. St. Lawrence (13-11-4, 6-6-4) – Last Week 7
Right now St. Lawrence is the third hottest team in the ECAC behind QU and RPI.The Saints are 6-3-2 in the second half and took Rensselaer to overtime last Friday night, only to fall 4-3. SLU responded on Saturday to defeat Union 4-2. Greg Carey and Kyle Flanagan continue to lead the ECAC in points and are among the national leaders in both goals in points.The Saints now sit in a tie for sixth in the standings.
5. Union (13-10-5, 6-6-4) – Last Week 3
This on really confuses me because in my eyes Union has as much talent that anyone has in this league, but I suppose that is why the teams play the games. Union was swept in the North Country by Clarkson and St. Lawrence, ending a run of positive results that saw the Dutchmen go unbeaten in four games. On Friday, star goalie Troy Grosenick was pulled after allowing two goals in 26 minutes. He was also yanked on Saturday with minutes to go after allowing three. These moves were a message sent and recieved to the goalie that led the team to the Frozen Four last season. Only thing left to wonder is if the statement by Rick Bennett will actually work.
6. Brown (9-9-5, 5-6-5) – Last Week 8
I guess this a reward for a stretch that has seen Brown 4-1-1 in their last six contests. On Tuesday night, the Bears defeated Yale 1-0 and goaltender Anthony Borelli made 44 saves in the shutout. Borelli has allowed just two goals in his last four games, and he has single handily led Brown to a tie of Quinnipiac and Tuesday’s win over Yale. Brown is deserving of this position, as they have been winning consistently of late. The same cant be said for most the schools below them.
7. Princeton (9-10-4, 7-6-3) – Last Week 9
Another four point weekend for the Tigers and they move up two positions. Last Weekend, Princeton swept Cornell and Colgate on the road. They have gone 6-3-0 in their last nine games.
8. Colgate (13-11-4, 5-8-3)- Last Week 5
As of late, the Red Raiders have not been getting it done, and last weekend was no different. On Friday night, they were defeated 4-2 by Princeton and on Saturday they were defeated by Quinnipiac. With just two wins in their last eight games a once promising looking resurgence has turned to dust. Gate has some talent, but whether they put it together is the question.
9. Dartmouth (11-8-4, 7-6-3) – Last Week 6
The steady fall for Dartmouth continues this week as they fall all the way to ninth in these Power Rankings. Dartmouth sat at the top of these rankings early in the season when they started 6-0-1, but have gone just 5-8-3 since that point. Since a win against New Hampshire, the Big Green have gone 3-6-2 and have struggled to gain any consistency. What once was a promising season has gone a bit south, but in the end they still sit in a tie for third place just two points behind second in the standings; they could still go on a run. Until then I will ask what have they done lately? A tie against Harvard will do nothing for them in that regards and that was the result on Sunday afternoon.
10. Clarkson (7-14-7, 6-7-3) – Last Week 10
Clarkson had actually been playing some good hockey before a 6-2 loss to Rensselaer on Saturday night. On Friday, the Golden Knights defeated a good Union team. Before Saturday Clarkson was unbeaten in five of six contests. Greg Lewis just laid an egg on Saturday, as he made just five saves on the ten shots that he faced. Clarkson sits in a tie for eight place with Brown.
11. Harvard (6-15-2, 3-12-1) – Last Week 12
Harvard has two wins since November and both have been against cross-town rival Boston University. Monday night a spirited Crimson team hit the TD Garden ice in the consolation game of the Beanpot and the Crimson played their most consistent game in some time defeating BU 7-4. The night before, Harvard played a strong 1-1 tie with ECAC foe Dartmouth. The point earned against Dartmouth was their first point in ten ECAC games, with their last being on November 16th.
12. Cornell (8-13-2, 4-10-2) – Last Week 11
Cornell’s struggles in recent weeks have hit the level that are quite concerning, as they now fall all the way to the last position in these power rankings. The Big Red have lost seven games in a row and nine out of ten. Their struggles may not have hit the levels that Harvard did this weekend, but in the end wins move you up in power rankings. Thus Cornell moves below Harvard.