Another week and more movement at the top. Clarkson continues its struggle in the second half and plummets in the rankings this week, while RPI, Dartmouth, Princeton and St. Lawrence are really close at the bottom of the rankings. Quinnipiac defeated Union on Friday night in Hamden, in a game that saw the two top teams in the ECAC faceoff. Quinnipiac took back the lead in the league with the win by a measly point, with teams behind them having a ton of games. See this week’s Three Things I Think for that storyline. Without further ado here are my rankings for the week. Feel free to send your opinion by twitter and follow me @JoshSeguin24
1. Union (13-4-3, 9-2-0 ECAC) – Last Week 1
Like I didn’t penalize Quinnipiac for its road loss to Union in the first half, I won’t penalize Union for its road loss to Quinnpiac. At this point, there is no doubt that Union and Quinnipiac are interchangeable at the top of these rankings. The Dutchmen’s loss to the Bobcats on Friday, was its first blemish in ten games. This weekend gets no easier for Union, as it travels to the Olympic Sheet of Lake Whitt on the University of New Hampshire for a pair. Both games will have huge implications for Union in the Pairwise Rankings., which it currently sits sixth.
2. Quinnipiac (17-3-5, 8-2-3) – Last Week 3
Quinnipiac clearly belongs in the top two, but will it stay there is the question that I brought up in this week’s Three Things I Think. The teams behind it have an average of three games on it, which makes its margin of error in its last nine conference games very slim. Union, which it leads by one point, has two games in hand on it with teams having as many as five more than the Bobcats. That said Quinnipiac is the best all-around team in the league, there is no doubt in my mind of that, but then again the lack of finishing ability (this puzzles me) is something that may haunt it going forward.
3. Colgate (9-9-3, 5-3-0) – Last Week 4
Colgate’s rise up the Power Rankings continues this week, as it defeated another solid team in Vermont. The Raiders are 4-7-0 at home on the year but have been much better on the road this year, with a mark of 4-2-2. It is also 5-4-2 against teams that are in the top 16 of the Pairwise, which is quite the impressive mark. Since the start of the second half, the Raiders are 2-0-1, all of those games against quality opponents.
4. Cornell (8-4-3, 4-3-2) – Last Week 5
Cornell was supposed to play a non-conference game against UMass on Friday, but it was cancelled because of a compressor failure at the famed Lynah Rink. The game will not be made up. Cornell hasn’t played since December 29. They will play again on Friday at Harvard, a game that I will be at.
5. Yale (8-3-4, 3-2-3) – Last Week 6
The Elis are back at last year’s form and were a pleasure to watch go about their business on Saturday in the Rivalry on Ice against Harvard. Yale dominated Harvard in nearly every aspect and Alex Lyon was solid. For Yale fans, I almost think the goaltending is more consistent now than it was at this time last year. Alex Lyon is easily the most consistent, solid freshman goaltender I have seen this year other than Michigan’s Zach Nagelvoort. Scary thought.. Yale may have consistent goaltending to go with its explosive offense. They will continue its march to the top.
6. Brown (6-6-3, 3-4-1) – Last Week 7
Brown is another team that has quietly put together a solid second half, so far. On Saturday night, the Bears had the opportunity to host the mighty Boston College Eagles. Not only did Brown find itself in the game but it had an opportunity to win the game and held the lead for 12 minutes in the third period. Brown held on for the tie and proved it belonged in the top half of these rankings. The Bears are unbeaten in five games, with ties against powers Boston College and Denver.
7. Clarkson (13-7-2, 6-2-0) – Last Week 2
Clarkson is the biggest moves this week and plummets to the sixth spot. A loss to Merrimack at home two years ago wouldn’t sting, but this year Merrimack is 5-10-3 overall and has struggled this season to win. Clarkson is 1-4-1 since the puck dropped on the second half and has struggled to score goals consistently, the problem we thought it would have to begin the season. The ship needs to be righted soon or everything it did in the first half will be forgotten. It is almost as though, most of us predicted the regression to the median for this team.
8. Harvard (5-8-3, 2-6-3) – Last Week 8
Harvard is better than its record. At this point, I have no feel of what direction it is going. It didn’t respond well to adversity on Saturday against Yale. Yes it is young, but it is also one of the most talented teams in the league. At some point that talent has to bring wins. It seems like another year of much the same. Could Adam Wodon be correct in his Midseason piece? He mentions Harvard, if you want to know exactly what read it. I would certainly agree with him.
9. Dartmouth (3-12-2, 2-8-0) – Last Week 9
Some could argue that Dartmouth should be lower because of its overall record, but I will argue against that because it is playing better hockey than the three teams below it. Dartmouth lost to UNH on Saturday night in the Battle for the Riverstone Cup. Before that, the Green were unbeaten in three and had played top teams tough in its losses before that It may just be starting to turn it around.
10. St. Lawrence (8-10-2, 2-4-2) – Last Week 11
The Saints have played just one game in the past 27 days, a loss to Vermont on January 7th. I really can’t move them up or down, because it hasn’t played so they move a spot because RPI is struggling. Saints get back to action this weekend, hosting Brown and Yale in two ECAC games.
11. Rensselaer (8-10-4, 3-5-3) – Last Week 10
Another weekend, another one full of struggles. On Friday night, the Engineers were finally in a close game but it lost to Princeton. On Saturday, the Engineers again got blown out by a 6-2 score. RPI’s struggles in recent weeks are mindboggling but at this point they are becoming chronic. Losses breeds losses like wins breed wins, and for the Engineers that seems to be a case. I flirted with the notion of putting Rensselaer below a team that beat them, I should, but I know it doesn’t even belong in this spot. This team, like Harvard, should be much further up these rankings.
12. Princeton (4-15-0, 3-9-0) – Last Week 12
I should be giving Princeton a better fate after defeating RPI, but it was at home and its struggles have been much deeper than anyone’s in the conference. Before the win, the Tigers had lost six consecutive games. On Saturday night, it lost to Union. It continues to get healthier and its win against QU is still impressive to this day but it isn’t enough to keep it out of the 12th spot again this week.