Another interesting weekend in the ECAC and again Quinnipiac remained undefeated in conference play. The Bobcats defeated Yale 6-2 on Saturday to further solidify their hold on the standings. It’s not what’s going on at the top that is intriguing, but its what is happening in the middle that is interesting. A mere three points separate positions three to ten. Union and Dartmouth are tied for third place, while five teams sit in a tie for sixth.
Rensselaer, St. Lawrence and Brown are trending upwards, while Dartmouth and Cornell have trended down in recent weeks. If the season ended today, Quinnipiac would be the number one seed in the NCAA tournament according to the Pairwise, while Yale and Dartmouth would join them in the tournament. The latter is right on the bubble, while Colgate and Union sit on the wrong side of that bubble just out of the tournament. All around interesting stuff going on within the conference as so much parity is reigning supreme.
1. Quinnipiac (19-3-4, 12-0-2) – Last Week 1
It’s pretty safe to say this, but if you didn’t know already the Q is pretty good this year. They still have yet to lose since November 6, 2012, which is a span of 19 games. All around they are one of the most balanced teams in the country. Last weekend, the Bobcats tied Brown and defeated Yale. The Bobcats have the second best defense in the country, allowing just 1.58 per contest. Jeremy Langlois is tied for second nationally in plus-minus at +20.
2. Yale (13-6-3, 9-5-1) – Last Week 2
I still believe Yale is one of the top teams in this league, but in the end goaltending might be their biggest undoing. Jeff Malcolm was sidelined with an injury last weekend, and on Saturday night it was quite noticeable, as they Bulldogs raced out to a 2-0 lead only to see it evaporate. Quinnipiac would go on to score the final six goals of the game and Yale fell 6-2 to the team that is right above them in these standings. They stay here based on prior performances, but it didn’t look good for Yale on Saturday night.
3. Union (13-8-5, 6-4-4) – Last Week 3
Union has begun to trend up after months of inconsistency moved them down a bit in these rankings. The Dutchmen are undefeated in four games and on Saturday they tied Dartmouth on national television. They now sit 18th in the Pairwise, just outside a spot in the tournament. My guess is that they will continue to trend upward and make the tournament.
4. Rensselaer (10-11-5, 5-6-3) – Last Week 7
I have been saying it for some time that this Rensselaer team could make a charge in the second half and that is exactly what is happening. They now sit in the mess of teams that are tied for sixth place, one point out of fifth and three points out of third place. The Engineers have won four of their past five contests and are one of the hottest teams in the ECAC. In retrospect they have become one of the most consistent teams in the conference in recent weeks. Last weekend Jason Kasdorf and the Engineers posted a pair of 3-0 shutouts against Dartmouth and Harvard.
5. Colgate (13-9-4, 5-6-3) – Last Week 4
Colgate has seen more ups and downs this year than I think any team has in the conference. Last weekend the Red Raiders played with heavy hearts but managed to pick up two points with ties to both Clarkson and St. Lawrence. They also sit in the mess of teams that are tied for sixth place. Colgate sits eighth place nationally in scoring but allow 2.59 goals per game. Their performances have been inconsistent.
6. Dartmouth (11-8-3, 7-6-2) – Last Week 5
Another week and Dartmouth moves down another spot in these rankings. After a hot start that brought them all the way up to one in these rankings, the Big Green have cooled off in a big way. Last weekend, they picked up a lone point tying Union and falling to RPI. The Green are now 3-6-1 in their last ten games and sit in a tie for third place in the standings with Union.
7. St. Lawrence (12-10-4, 5-5-4) – Last Week 8
The Saints now sit alone in fifth place in the standings and are on a six game unbeaten streak. This was about the time last semester that they began to drop off, but this a new semester and new attitude for St. Lawrence. Greg Carey and Kyle Flanagan continue to lead this team and the conference in scoring. Carey leads the nation with 18 goals and sits in third with 38 points while Flanagan sits in a tie for fourth with 36 points. With those two clicking only the sky could be the limit come the ECAC tournament, only question is whether they can get other scoring to supplement.
8. Brown (8-9-5, 4-6-5) – Last Week 9
Brown moves up a spot after a three point weekend against two really tough teams. On Friday, Brown came up with a surprise one all tie with Quinnipiac, as goaltender Anthony Borelli stopped 38 of 39 Bobcat shots on the night. Saturday, Brown dominated and thrashed Princeton 5-1, outshooting the Tigers 50-23 in the process. If Brown can just get and stay healthy they might be one to surprise people at the end of the year.
9. Princeton (7-10-4, 5-6-3) – Last Week 6
The biggest fall this week goes to Princeton, as they lost to both Yale and Brown on the road. They were heavily outshot and outchanced in both games; they just struggled the whole weekend. Andrew Calof still sit third in the ECAC in points per game, but this weekend will be one that the Tigers will want to forget and put behind them, as they gave up 92 shots on net in two games.
10. Clarkson (6-13-7, 5-6-3) – Last Week 11
Clarkson continued its inconsistent play last weekend as they tied Colgate and defeated Cornell. They move up a spot because they defeated the team directly above them. Five different skaters registered a goal in the 6-3 win over Cornell and Joe Zarbo now has 12 goals on the season, to lead his team in that category. Clarkson also sits in the five-way tie for sixth place in the standings.
11. Cornell (8-11-2, 4-8-2) – Last Week 10
The Big Red have now lost five consecutive games and have assumed the second to last place in these rankings, following a 6-3 loss to Clarkson on Saturday. Cornell now sits in eleventh place, all alone, in the standings three points down on their nearest competition. If there is a silver lining to this, they’re only sit six points out of second and three points out of sixth, but they would have to pass a lot of teams ahead of them. The talent is there, but will it ever come together and be consistent? I guess that will be the question going forward.
12. Harvard (5-15-1, 3-12-0) – Last Week 12
Harvard continues their reign of the final spot in these rankings. They are a rattled bunch that gave one of the top teams in the country a run for their money on Monday in the Beanpot, but as has been the case for some time now the Crimson just faltered late in the second period. The Crimson were also shutout by RPI over the weekend. What the issue is who knows, but it seems to be mostly confidence and belief, or lack thereof.