The first weekend of conference action is in the books and if we didn’t know already Quinnipiac is really good. It didn’t take long for it to end up right at the top, as only it and Union closed the weekend with a max four points. It seemed only fitting that those two teams would end up at the top after a tough non-conference stretch as they were the regular season and tournament champions, respectively, last season.
I have been saying this for a few weeks now, but the ECAC is going to be a blast this season. Nearly every game was close over the weekend, minus the debacle that occurred for Dartmouth at home, as it lost by an aggregate 14-3 in two games. If one thing is for certain fans will see tons of up and down hockey in conference action this season. There was tons of offense generated over the weekend and one should expect that to continue. Nonetheless there were some major trends over the weekend and here is what I think.
Yale and St. Lawrence put on one heck of a show Friday night; It was the epitome of a College Hockey game
It was Yale’s banner raising night and early on it was all St. Lawrence. St. Lawrence scored the first two goals of the game to take a 2-1 lead, it upped said lead to 3-1 only to see the Bulldogs come roaring back late in the second period, including a goal with one second left in the second to tie it. But the show had just began in all honesty, what ensued in the third and overtime felt like a tournament game.
Usually the first conference games’ are in a sense a little on the rough side but both Yale and St. Lawrence looked like they were in mid-season form. Not sure how many whistles dotted the third period, but it seemed like it was one every five minutes or so, if that. The play was clean and crisp, there were hard hits and it was a fast brand of hockey only few teams in College Hockey can play on a given night. For Yale, it is expected but St. Lawrence looked mighty impressive in matching it.
Throughout the third period the teams traded chances much to the crowd’s delight, all 3500 were on its feet by the end. The atmosphere of “the Whale” was phenomenal and only added to the game. It was probably one of the better 25 minutes of hockey I have seen in three years of covering College Hockey. If it isn’t at the top it would be in the top three, just strange that it occurred so early in the season.
I walked out of the famed Ingalls rink on Friday night thinking both the teams were tournament teams. It is a weird assumption so early but it was such a great game. Many agreed it was as crisp of a game, as they have seen so early in some time and all I could do is agree. Despite ending in a tie it should have been a fulfilling tie for the fans. It ended the way a hockey game should, a hard fought tie. The game is archived on WatchESPN. If you get a chance you should probably watch it, at least the third period.
Here is the link: http://espn.go.com/watchespn/player/_/id/1265510/size/condensed/
Dartmouth Had a Bad Weekend
Dartmouth is not as bad as it looked this weekend but wow the Big Green started conference play with a bang, hardly a good one because the bang everyone heard was an implosion. On Friday night, a struggling Union team entered Thompson Arena and it left with a 7-2 victory. Union scored four goals in the second period on Cab Morris and everyone thought it was one bad game but the Green struggled again the next night.
On Saturday night Rensselaer, who lost to Harvard on Friday night, entered Hanover and one upped its capital region rival by outscoring the Big Green 7-1. It scored three in the first, two in the second and two in the third. All seven of which were on Cab Morris, who had an awful weekend in the Big Green net. Dartmouth gave up 14 goals on the weekend and 11 of them were given up by Morris.
In the preseason, Bob Gaudet mentioned that he was confident in all three of his goaltenders but one has to wonder now what the goaltending situation is in Hanover. Dartmouth is better than the 7-1 and 7-2 scores by a long shot but many adjustments will be needed in the coming weeks. Two games against the two revitalized North Country Teams await it this weekend. Both will be true tests for the Green but it needs a solid rebound.
Sam Anas is having quite the semester for Quinnipiac
The Bobcats have quite the presence up and down its forward lines. With names such as Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Matthew Peca and the Jones twins it probably had all the offense it needed this year to be successful. Despite all of those names the one that sits closest to the top nationally is freshman forward, Sam Anas.
Anas, a freshman from the hockey hotbed of Potomac Maryland, sits third nationally in points with 13. He also sits third in goals with seven and has done nothing but score big goals for the Bobcats. Among the seven goals that Anas has scored in the early going, three of them have been game winners. The three GWG’s puts him in a three way tie for the lead in that category, nationally. The two players he is tied with, Stephan Vigier of Northern Michigan and Nic Dowd of SCSU, are both seniors. It is rare to find a freshman with such a knack at scoring the big goal but it seems as though Anas has it.
Last weekend was Anas’ best weekend as a collegian. On Friday night the youngster had four points on a goal and three assists. On Saturday he added another assist. Not bad for a freshman who lives in the shadow of four of the best forwards in the country. If anything QU has another weapon at its disposal, which is umm scary for its opponents.