Archive for the 'ECAC' Category

Three Things I Think: ECAC Week 18

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Another week down and two more to go in the regular season. Last weekend, Union grew its lead at the top and the bottom teams had a good weekend. Union now has a four point lead at the top of the standings on Quinnipiac, while the Bobcats have a two point lead on the hard charging Colgate Raiders in third. Cornell has fallen a bit in recent weekends, as it has lost three games in a row and now has no chance at the league regular season title. The Big Red have 20 points, which is three points behind third place Colgate, tied with Clarkson for third and it sits one and two points ahead of sixth and seventh place Yale, RPI respectively. The fight for the last bye is possibly going to be the the most entertaining of the battles in the coming weeks.

Another interesting fight is going to occur for the last home ice spot. Brown picked up an impressive home win against Quinnipiac on Saturday night but its followers followed suit. The Bears hold the eighth position by a point on both Harvard and St. Lawrence. Dartmouth picked up a weekend sweep and now sits three points behind Brown. Harvard and Dartmouth both struggled for long stretches of the season, but have come alive in the last week or so. The two travel partners picked up seven of a possible eight points in the North Country.

Trends are growing within the conference that must be noticed. Harvard, Union, and Colgate seem to be on the rise. QU, Clarkson and Brown seem to be trending down at this point. Those trends are big because of what is happening in the standings, as they are so closely packed. Without further ado here are my thoughts this week. (more…)

ECAC Power Rankings Week 17

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Another week in the books and more movement, up and down the rankings last week. Union has become the clear favorite to win the regular season crown, while Quinnipiac is lurking three points back. Colgate, Cornell and Clarkson all sit within three games of the lead but someone please tell me why Union shouldn’t be the favorite, because it is. Union enters the top of the rankings this week, taking over the top spot from Colgate who entered the number one position two weeks ago, when I last got to Power Rankings.

The biggest mover in the past two weeks has been St. Lawrence. The Saints picked up a win against Union two weeks ago, at home, and it picked up an even bigger win on the road against Quinnipiac on Saturday. For ECAC fans, the last few weeks have been special, as it seems any team can beat another on any given night. Another team that has come on in recent weeks, has been Rensselaer. Both of those team have been dangerous but the teams, especially 1-10 are about as close as can be. This should make for an interesting playoff and run to the playoffs, as fights will ensue for the byes and home ice. Without further ado these are my rankings for the week.

1. Union (19-6-3, 13-3-0) – Last Time 2

Union has just gotten to the top and run with it. Since a two game losing streak, the Dutchmen have gone out and won three in a row. It has defeated three solid teams in the process, as it defeated Clarkson on the road and Brown and Yale at home. The Dutch have won consistently no matter where they are playing and its 10-2-2 record on the road is good for the second best mark in the nation. Union has become the clear favorite to win the league and its three point lead seems insurmountable for even QU right behind it. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC Week 17

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Another weekend in the books and for one team it was moving weekend, as Union was the only top team to pick up four points over the weekend. The Dutch not only opened up some breathing room on second place but it also opened up space down the standings. It now leads the conference by three points and has a six point lead over the ever important fourth place in the conference standings.  Quinnipiac has a two point lead for second place,while Colgate, Cornell and Clarkson  are all within one point for positions one through five. The fight for the last bye should go down to the last weekend. All these teams legitimately have shots at the regular season title, but at this point the Dutchmen have to be the favorites to hold onto it. It has yet to prove otherwise that it is willing to relinquish it.

Harvard bowed out of the Beanpot last Monday in the semifinals but together a solid performance against BU in the Consolation game on Monday night. The win marked the second in a row for the Crimson and the first time it had won consecutive games all season. St. Lawrence, had a surprising weekend in that it defeated Princeton and Quinnipiac. The former is hardly surprising, as most of the league has defeated the Tigers, but defeating the Bobcats on the road was a surprise, in some senses of the word. The Saints have quietly defeated both top teams in the league in the last two weeks, Union and Quinnipiac, which is quite the impressive two weeks of work.

The Pairwise finds four teams in the top 15 and six in the top 20, which is a testament to how good the league was this season out of conference. Harvard’s win on Monday finished a successful non-conference slate for the conference that saw the league post the third best winning percentage (51-38-16,.562) and garner the second most wins of any, with 51. No conference ran away with the season series with ECAC teams, and the leagues 20-22-8 record against Hockey East is something of a win in itself, although two games back. The conference has proved it can compete with the best teams in the nation. Quite frankly, I would put any ECAC team up against a team from another conference and think it would win. The talent is right there, top to bottom, if not better than in most conferences. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC Week 16

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Another weekend, and all I have to say is we better buckle up for a fun last four weeks of the season. At the top of the standings, the top five are separated by just four points with Union sitting on top and Quinnipiac in second. Cornell entered the picture over the weekend, as the only team to pick up four points with a weekend road sweep of Yale and Brown. The Big Red are now unbeaten in its last nine games and more importantly unbeaten in ten consecutive conference games, it began the season 1-3-1 in ECAC games. Colgate, was the disappointment of the weekend as it had entered the weekend winners of six in a row but lost both games on the road to Brown and Yale.

Consistency from here will win a team the conference title but the positions below it are ever important as well. With the standings as bunched up as they are from the top to fifth, it also means the fight for the final first round bye could be classic. There should also be a pretty good battle for the home ice spots, as positions six through ten are separated by just six points. All in all the last four weekends should prove to be some of the best hockey of the season, as it should be. There is tons on the line for most of the teams within the conference. Here are my thoughts for the week: (more…)

The Takeaway: Brown Snaps Colgate’s 6 Game Winning Streak

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Providence, RI - Brown and Colgate entered Friday night’s contest, as two teams that were heading in the right direction. Although, Brown lost 6-0 to Yale on Friday night but had been trending in the right direction. Colgate entered the night on a national leading seven game unbeaten streak and six game winning streak. Tonight, though, showed a new level for the Bears , as it scored two late goals in the first period and never looked back.

The Bears opened the scoring at 14 minutes, 54 seconds when Garnet Hathaway took a misplay in the neutral zone by the Colgate defense all the way for the goal. The goal was a preview of things to come for both teams. Moments later, Mark Naclerio would get rebound for his first of two goals on the night. The Bears took the 2-0 lead into the second. The second was much of the same, as Brown would find the back of the net three times. Colgate got two goals by the Spink twins in the period and it was 5-2 after two periods of play.

The third period was a stalemate between the teams, as neither was able to find the back of the net. Brown left with an impressive 5-2 victory over Colgate. The loss was the Raiders first in seven second half tilts and it snapped a six game winning streak, a streak that put it atop this week’s ECAC Power Rankings. With the win Brown improves to 9-8-3 overall, 5-6-1 in the ECAC. Colgate falls to 13-10-3, 9-4-1. The loss sends Colgate back into third place in the standings two points behind first place Quinnipiac, while Brown is in a tie for sixth place just eight points back. (more…)

ECAC Power Rankings: Week 15

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

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. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC Week 15

Monday, January 27th, 2014

The news of the weekend had to be “the Melee,” that occurred at the end of Saturday night’s Union-RPI game at the Times Union Center. A plethora of suspensions were handed out because of the incident. Union probably got the short end of the stick in regards to the players that will miss out, as Matt Bodie, Eli Litchtenwald and Daniel Ciampini will miss two games this weekend, but RPI is also without its star scorer, Ryan Haggerty for its game on Friday. See the full story on the suspensions, here, which also includes other players and a two game suspension to Union coach Rick Bennett by the school. Bennett addressed the media Monday evening.

Don’t get me wrong, I am of the opinion Bodie and Bennett should have gotten more than their two for their respective parts, but the league did a great job in handling the situation in such a timely manner. The decisions that were made, although tough to make, had to be made and the league steered on the conservative side with them. This approach should be applauded but considering the last two games between these team’s have ended up with ridiculousness, as I call it, the league had the opportunity to send a stronger message, which it strayed away from. Will I question this fact? I will refrain, but the message may not have been strong enough to stop these situations from happening again. Lost in the melee was that 7,100 people watched a game in Albany NY, which is always a great for the league and the schools.

As I stated a few weeks ago, the standings were closer than most thought. Colgate again picked up four points in conference, defeating north country teams, Clarkson and St. Lawrence on the weekend. Colgate now sits in a tie for second place with Quinnipiac at 19 points, while Union continues to lead the league with 20 points. Union has a game in hand on the two teams right behind them and Cornell who sits tied in fourth, four points behind the lead. Clarkson has the same number of games remaining as Union and they sit in a tie for fourth with 16 points, four points back. Also check out the Pairwise Rankings, which features four ECAC teams in the top 15 and 6 in the top 18. Without further ado, here is what I think within the conference this week: (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC Week 14

Monday, January 20th, 2014

As I stated last week, the standings were a lot closer than met the eye.  Both Union and Quinnipiac had the weekend off from ECAC play, playing non-conference games instead. Teams right behind them, like Clarkson, Colgate and Cornell played two conference games and the three of them gained on the top two teams. One team, Clarkson will pick up another game this weekend and has a possibility of leading the conference by the end of the weekend. The Golden Knights have two games this weekend sitting three points behind Quinnipiac in third, while Union sits in second place just a point behind Quinnipiac and two ahead of Clarkson. Union has a lone conference game against Harvard this weekend.

In recent weeks, the ECAC conference has excelled in non-conference tilts and this past weekend was no different. Union picked up a big two wins on the road against New Hampshire. Quinnipiac defeated Merrimack College on Friday, but fell to those same Warriors on Saturday. In terms of inter-conference records, the conference sits in third place in winning percentage but if the tournament started today, the league would have five teams in the NCAA tournament. Two teams, Quinnipiac and Union, would have one seeds in the tournament as well as the two sit third and fourth in the Pairwise Rankings. Without further ado here is what I think this week: (more…)

The Takeaway: Union Picks Up Road Sweep of UNH

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Durham, NH - While it was snowing outside, New Hampshire and Union put on a show in front of smallish crowd at the Whittemore Center. Union opened the scoring at 15 minutes, five seconds of the first period when Mark Bennett put in a goal from zero angle on the backhand to give the Dutchmen a 1-0 lead. UNH responded seconds after its star defenseman, Trevor van Riemsdyk, went down with an apparent right leg injury, as Kyle Smith sent a pass to Tyler Kelleher to send the game into the first intermission tied at one.

The second period was a sluggish period of hockey, at best, by both teams. Union scored the only goal of the second period at 17:26 off a beautiful tip from Max Novak. The Dutchmen took the 2-0 lead into the third period, looking for its second win in as many nights against UNH. Union added an empty netter in the third period to cap the 3-1 win, securing the weekend sweep at UNH. Union improves to 15-4-3 on the season, while UNH falls to 13-12-1.

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The Takeaway: Cornell Edges Determined Harvard, 3-2

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Allston, MASS- Cornell came out flying in the first period in front of a rare, packed house at the Bright Landry Hockey Center. The Big Red held the Crimson without a shot for nearly ten minutes of the first period, and were rewarded by a short-handed goal on a breakaway by Madison Dias at the six minute, 22 second mark of the first period. The lead was doubled with just four seconds remaining in the period, as Joakim Ryan picked up his second assist of the night on a beautiful individual effort on a 2 on 1 break by Christian Hilbrich. Cornell held the Crimson to just five first period shots, and the Crimson struggled to possess the puck on the much bigger Big Red.

Harvard played a much better second period and came charging back in the period. Sean Malone brought the Crimson to within one, while getting tripped in the slot on a feed from Jimmy Vesey at 10:17 of the second period. Devin Tringale scored his first collegiate goal to tie the game, short-handed, five minutes later. But Cornell scored another last minute of a period goal, when Brian Ferlin fed a pass to Dustin Mowrey all alone in front of Steve Michalek sending Cornell into the second intermission up 3-2.

Cornell would hold on, literally, in the third period for the win. Harvard arguably gave its best performance of the season, as it outshot the Big Red 11-7 in the third period but it was not to be, as Cornell won the game 3-2. Cornell improved to 9-4-3, 5-3-2 in the ECAC with the win, while Harvard fell to 5-9-3, 2-7-3. Cornell moves within seven points of league leading Quinnipiac, with still three games in hand. (more…)