While I was in South Carolina last week, I failed to find time to do a Power Rankings blog because I got busy, but the hockey didn’t stop. I will do my best to rank the teams as to where I think they are today. Over the last two weekends a few trends have been seen. Dartmouth has begun to falter far into the doldrums again, Rensselaer has picked up its game, starting to win, and SLU has a winless streak that now dates two months. Union continues to lead the standings, but they are really close with many teams that will be vying for the Cleary at the end of the season. Be sure to read this week’s, Three Things I Think, for an even more in depth coverage of the conference as a whole and the trends of the week.
1. Colgate (13-9-3, 9-3-1 ECAC) – Last Time 3
Few probably would have expected Colgate to be at the top of these rankings, just a month ago. The Raiders were coming off a home sweep at the hands of Massachusetts before the break and were struggling with consistency on both ends of the ice. Fast forward a month, Colgate is in the midst of a six game winning streak and is 6-0-1 since the start of the second half. A shootout win over Minnesota, a 3-0 win over Ferris and a win over Clarkson stand out as the most impressive but Gate is just winning and winning big.
Last weekend, it defeated Clarkson 3-2 and St. Lawrence 7-3. It was another four point weekend and it now sits on the heels of Union at the top of the standings, just one point back. Lets congratulate Colgate on its first appearance at the top since I have been doing this. I am looking forward to finally seeing this team on the ice on Friday at Brown.
2. Union (16-5-3, 10-2-0) – Last Time 1
Union moves down a spot hardly because its recent results. The Dutch have won 13 of its past 16 games and have only lost twice in that time. Union is playing good hockey. On Saturday, the result will be lost but it lost to RPI for the first time in ten tries. Union loses head coach Rick Bennett, forward Eli Lichtenwald, forward Daniel Ciampini and defenseman Mat Bodie for games this weekend. Those losses are all big, fortunately for them it will have St. Lawrence on Friday night, a team that is struggling mightily.
3. Quinnipiac (18-4-5, 8-2-3) – Last Time 2
I hate moving a team down that hasn’t played, but Colgate has just kept winning and I needed to move them where I felt it should be. The Bobcats had last weekend off and will return to conference action on Friday for a lone game on the weekend against Dartmouth. It will do so in a tie for second place in the standings. It led the standings when it last played a conference game.
4. Cornell (10-4-5, 6-3-4) – Last Time 4
I finally got to see Cornell two weeks ago, and I called them a vintage Cornell team because they are big and have some skill. It is unbeaten in six games since the start of the second half with a record of 3-0-3. Last weekend, the Big Red tied St. Lawrence, not exactly a great result as the Saints were on a seven game losing streak, and defeated Clarkson 3-2 on Saturday. The latter result speaks more to what it is capable of than the former. Cornell will play Ivy rivals, Yale and Brown, this weekend.
5. Clarkson (15-9-2, 8-4-0) – Last Time 7
Clarkson has had an interesting couple of weeks. It had a sweep of Yale and Brown two weekends ago. This weekend it was swept by Colgate and Cornell. Both games over the weekend were one goal contests, which it squandered either a lead or tie in both of the tilts. Clarkson has been rather inconsistent this half, but it has easily played the toughest schedule in the ECAC so far. It will only make them stronger going forward. It is one of the few teams that doesn’t have a bad loss within the conference.
6. Yale (10-5-4, 5-4-3) – Last Time 5
The Elis continued its win again, lose inconsistency last weekend. Yale split a weekend with Brown, losing 3-1 on Friday and defeating its opponent 6-0 on Saturday at home. The weekend before that, it split in the North Country, defeating SLU and losing to Clarkson. Inconsistency has marked its season, but it also isn’t easy being the defending champs.
7. Brown (8-8-3, 5-6-1) – Last Time 6
Brown split with Yale over the weekend and is 5-2-2 in its last nine games. Until Saturday, the Bears had found the back of the net in those games unlike early in its season. Brown will host Colgate and Cornell this weekend.
8. Rensselaer (10-10-4, 4-5-3) – Last Time 11
Lost in the fracas that was the melee that occurred on Saturday night, was the fact that Rensselaer snapped a six game winless streak with two wins. Friday night, the Engineers defeated Dartmouth at home and on Saurday night the Engineers defeated the red hot Union Dutchmen, 2-1. The latter win was rather impressive and could propel them into the playoffs strong, which is yet to be seen. Certainly none of us predicted it would be in a tie for seventh at this point in the season.
9. Harvard (5-11-3, 2-9-3) – Last Time 8
I say it every time I do these, but Harvard has too much talent to be in this position. It has a gear that few have seen, next week a big opportunity awaits in the Beanpot that starts on Monday. Until then the one goal losses to good teams prove nothing. At some point those results will flip America. If they don’t then I guess I am wrong about Harvard, as I usually am.
10. Princeton (4-15-0, 3-9-0) – Last Time 12
Princeton moves up mainly because it hasn’t played and lost in a while, like the teams below it. It hasn’t played since a win against Rensselaer and a loss to Union on January 10th and 11th. The Tigers travel to Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend. This will mark the first time Princeton isn’t at the bottom of these rankings since late October, if I remember right. Welcome back into the fold, Tigers.
11. Dartmouth (3-14-3, 2-10-1) – Last Time 9
Dartmouth got better before the end of the second half but it has just one win in its last 10 games. Its season long struggle with injuries and defensive problems have continued into the second half. Dartmouth has had some tough, long seasons in its long history in College Hockey, but this one could go down as one of the worst if wins don’t start to happen soon.
12. St. Lawrence (8-13-3, 2-7-3) – Last Time 10
St. Lawrence was mired in a seven game losing streak, until a tie with Cornell on Friday. But the Saints attrition goes further than that as it has’t won a game on two months now. Its last win was on November 29th at North Dakota. I guess I have no more to say, just read Three Things I Think I suppose because the Saints are marching the wrong way and I wrote about it.