Half the conference has still not played a game yet, so the Power Rankings are still a work in progress. We should have a better idea next week of who the strongest teams are in the conference. Quinnipiac looked impressive over the weekend against UMass-Lowell, while teams like Union, Colgate and St. Lawrence looked the opposite. Make sure to check out the ECAC Three Things I Think, as it will give you even more insight on what I think is happening in the conference.
1. Yale (0-0-0, 0-0-0) – Last Week 1
Yale will continue to hold the top spot this week, again without playing a game. The Bulldogs on paper look as stacked as last season, especially up front. Unlike some teams, whom we have seen, we have no idea how its goaltending will stack up. Only time will tell just how good the Bulldogs will be this season.
2. Quinnipiac (4-1-0, 0-0-0) – Last Week 7
Of the teams that I have seen this season, either on television or in person, the Bobcats have been the most impressive. The question marks that surrounded the Bobcats in the preseason, goaltending and defense, have largely become its strengths in the early going. It may be breaking in four new defensemen and a new goaltender but Quinnipiac has not missed a beat.
Michael Garteig has been impressive in goal and the Bobcats held a potent UMass-Lowell offense to 46 shots in two games, a sweep of a weekend home and home series. Friday night the Bobcats played an impressive road game and on Saturday night it stood its ground despite going down 1-0 early in the contest. Quinnipiac also picked up a win on Tuesday night against Bentley, 4-3.
3. Rensselaer (3-1-0, 0-0-0) – Last Week 2
Rensselaer got back on the right footing over the weekend with wins against Boston University and Sacred Heart. Its move down has nothing to with its record but it has all to do with its body of work against Quinnipiac’s body of work. Two of the Engineers three wins have come against Sacred Heart, a team that had just two wins last season. A win against BU on the road, though is mightily impressive. Rensselaer has another chance to prove itself this weekend as it hosts UNH, another team that figures to be near the top comes season’s end.
4. Cornell (0-0-0, 0-0-0) – Last Week 3
Cornell will begin its season this weekend against Nebraska-Omaha, on the road. The Big Red should be near the top of these rankings for the long haul.
5. Dartmouth (0-0-0, 0-0-0) – Last Week 4
Dartmouth will open its season at the Liberty Hockey Classic, this weekend. The Big Green will be looking for big contributions from star players, Tyler Sikura and Eric Robinson, this season but should be poised to take a step forward with support players that can also chip in with contributions.
6. Clarkson (4-1-1, 0-0-0) – Last Week 6
Clarkson’s strength of schedule may ultimately be low at the end of the season with four wins against the top of the Atlantic, but the Golden Knights have sure looked impressive so far this season. For a team that had just nine wins last season, having four this season before November is something that has to be promising. Last weekend, Clarkson defeated RIT 4-1 on Friday and had to settle for a tie on Saturday.
Winning is never a bad thing, and the fact Clarkson held with UNH at the Ice Breaker in its second week should bode well once it gets to ECAC play. Winning is never a bad thing, and Clarkson looks ever confident heading into the ECAC schedule. The Knights will get tested this weekend as it hosts Colorado College for a pair.
7. Harvard (0-0-0, 0-0-0) – Last Week 7
Harvard is loaded with top end, young talent and it could be plausible that it could end up much higher than where I have them now. Harvard will begin its season against Bentley on Saturday night.
8. Brown (0-0-0, 0-0-0) – Last Week 11
Brown is back where I had them in the preseason and in all reality it never should have moved. Matt Lorito will dominate the ECAC headlines this year and he should be poised to have more help this season. Brown will begin its season with a pair at the Liberty Hockey Classic this weekend.
9. St. Lawrence (3-1-0, 0-0-0) -Last Week 5
St. Lawrence didn’t look bad over the weekend picking up a win on Friday, while losing on Saturday but the season is still young and large sways are bound to happen. A split is a pretty good weekend for any team on the road.
St. Lawrence began the season at ten in these rankings and actually had a promising weekend, considering Greg Carey only found the scoresheet once on an assist. One of its biggest knocks in preseason was whether it would be able to find other contributors this season. It may just be one week but it seems like they may have.
10. Princeton (0-0-0, 0-0-0) – Last Week 12
Princeton sees the advantage of not playing this week, as it moves up two. I can’t justify keeping them below the two teams that are below them, mainly because they haven’t had the opportunity to show me otherwise. Princeton will be the fourth participant in the Liberty Hockey Classic this weekend.
11. Colgate (2-2-0, 0-0-0) – Last Week 10
Colgate has been the ECAC’s Jeckyll and Hyde in five games this season. In its two wins and a tie, it has allowed just three goals but in its two losses it has allowed 14. Last Weekend, the Red Raiders tied Bowling Green 1-1 on Friday and fell 7-0 on Saturday to BGSU, both on the road.
Colgate is supposed to be scoring goals, but last weekend they were only able to find the back of the net once in two games. This has to be concerning considering the talent the Red Raiders have up front. The defensive inconsistency was all but expected in the preseason but the struggle to score is concerning. I have more on Colgate in my Three Things I Think.
12. Union (1-2-1, 0-0-0) – Last Week 9
It pains me to do this but Union has some serious holes at the moment. Injuries have decimated the Dutchmen in the early going and it has just one win in four home games. Last weekend Union was swept by Lake Superior State, 4-3 and 6-5 in a weekend series.
As the only team below .500 in the ECAC , Union’s struggles can be pointed on just one position, goaltending. The goaltending has gone south, despite Union’s offense doing things that many didn’t think was possible, as tt has impressed and has carried play in most of its games but then again when teams struggle in net they struggle to get wins. Goaltending is the most important position in hockey and without quality goaltending losses tend to mount. Until injured goaltender Colin Stevens comes back I assume the struggles will continue. Union has been pretty hush on when he is coming back, which one would think could mean he is out a while.
Union has allowed 3.41 goals per game, which is 38th nationally and last in the early ECAC action. The 3.41 goals allowed per game are 1.41 goals per game more than all of last season for the Dutchmen. The offense is compensating but are they overachieving in trying to pick up the slack? That is sometimes the case in hockey and if the offensive woes, predicted in the preseason, rear its head with the struggling goaltending the problems could only mount.