Archive for the 'ECAC' Category

Three Things I Think: ECAC 12/1

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Another weekend, another mixed bag of results in non-conference play for the ECAC. Harvard has taken the nation by storm in recent weeks. Last week was its best yet, as it not only knocked off a red hot Boston University on the road but it followed it up with a roadie against Lowell on Saturday night. Cornell picked up a huge non-conference win on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden against Penn State, which marked the first game between the programs. Clarkson’s offensive woes continued against Merrimack and they were swept accordingly on the road. Dartmouth also defeated Boston University on Sunday at home, another huge win for the league.

ECAC’s dominance this season of Hockey East foes has continued, but not on the level that the early season saw. Last weekend the league went 4-4-0 against the other conference that usually claims supremacy in the east, but on the season the ECAC is still 16-9-2 against Hockey East opponents. Overall, the conference is 35-27-4 in non-conference, which sets it up as the second best record of all the conferences. Only the NCHC has a better record in non-league play. The only alarming prospect of non-conference play so far is that it only has a winning record against Hockey East and Atlantic Hockey. The sample sizes, however, with the western conferences are really small. So take solace in knowing the best teams in the ECAC are actually doing better against top competition in than in previous years. Harvard’s wins against the Hockey East elite are certainly helping, I must say.

Next week will feature the last weekend of conference play before the winter and exam breaks that usually last near three weeks. It has been a fun half of hockey for ECAC fans and I am sure next weekend will be much of the same. Teams will be looking for positioning and there will be a potential first place matchup, featuring Harvard at Quinipiac next Saturday. All in all the league race couldn’t be any closer heading into the break. (more…)

The Takeaway: Leonard and Diebold Lead RPI to 2-1 Non-Conference Win at UNH

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Durham, NH - Rensselaer made the 200 mile trek to UNH for a Tuesday night tilt in which it frustrated the home team to no end. UNH controlled play for a good portion of the game and got the game’s first goal. John Furgele sent in a point shot from the right point, in which RPI starter Jason Kasdorf gave up a rebound. Warren Foegele found the rebound and buried it into the empty net giving UNH the 1-0 lead at eight minutes, nine seconds of the first period. Rensselaer responded six minutes later, as Curtis Leonard sniped a shot from the high slot to the top corner of the net knotting the game. A mere two minutes later, RPI took the lead for good off the stick of Parker Reno. The 2-1 lead held to the third period, as the Engineers frustrated UNH in the period, stifling most quality chances with sticks and bodies.

The third period saw the Engineers hold on with Scott Diebold putting on a show late. Diebold made 6-8 saves in the game’s last two minutes to preserve the win for RPI, which was its fifth in eight games after 1-5-0 start to the season. With the 2-1 win, Rensselaer improves its record to 6-7-1, while UNH’s record fell to 4-8-0 overall on the season. To view highlights visit this link, via the UNH athletics website and youtube channel. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC 11/24

Monday, November 24th, 2014

With some teams having last weekend off while others played conference games, the league got a whole lot closer. Quinnipiac jumped to the lead after a weekend split but second place is a four team log-jam. Clarkson, with a four point weekend was the biggest mover as it jumped into the tie for second, which puts them just two points behind Quinnipiac. RPI, St. Lawrence and Harvard are the other three in that tie with Clarkson. All in all, the top eight are seperated by just four points. It is early, but early parity shows it could be a battle to the end in a wide open league.

Cornell got on track at home last weekend, as it swept Ivy league rivals Brown and Yale. Harvard is the early leader in that race with five points. Brown’s struggles continue, as it is now 0-6-0 ECAC play. The most telling stat of Brown’s struggles comes against its Ivy League rivals, where it has been outscored 16-2 in just three games. The Ivy League race, as much as most of us ignore it, is huge to those schools and thus I am going to try giving it a mention at least once a week. Brown’s struggles, though, probably wont fly for long and won’t be that bad as the season goes on.

St. Lawrence had Quinnpiac on the ropes on Saturday night. With a win the Saints would have left the weekend with the ECAC lead. I talked a couple of weeks back about SLU’s possession and in the last two weeks there has been improvement. SLU is so young that it can only get better. What I saw on Saturday bodes well for it too because the improvement is being seen almost by the minute. Quinnipiac is still the most impressive possession team in the league, but others are catching up to it. SLU and Clarkson both stayed with QU in possession. In all honesty, Clarkson’s performance was a memorable one for me and I mention below as to why. SLU though looked impressive late in that game but couldn’t find a way. The parity in the league is phenomenal right now. As fans of the league, we can do nothing but enjoy it. (more…)

ECAC Weekend Preview: Nov. 20

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

To think we are almost ready to have turkey with our families, is something I can hardly fathom. It also means that we are over a quarter of the way through the season. Where did the time go? Well I have no idea, but to soothe our troubles there are a plethora of games and a mixture of non-conference and conference games to make us happy. Four teams will participate in conference games this weekend, as Quinnipiac looks to take control of the conference. It is the only team that is tied at the top, which plays this weekend. It has two games in hand on both Harvard and RPI, who are also tied for first place.

As Quinnipiac looks for distance in the league, St. Lawrence has a monumental opportunity. The Saints play Princeton on Friday, while Quinnipiac plays at Clarkson. St. Lawrence sits two points behind the mess at the top, which includes Quinnipiac. If Both win on Friday, or both lose for that matter, SLU will be just two points behind the lead and will thus be playing for the league tie with the Bobcats or if both lose on Friday and SLU wins there could be a four way tie at the end of the week. All the possibilities seem pretty fun. I like SLU’s chance on Friday playing Princeton, but QU will be in a battle with Clarkson. Colgate and Yale would also be in the mix at five points, sitting a lone point behind SLU and three behind Quinnipiac. Before I get too carried away, in November, we should actually preview the games I guess. (more…)

ECAC Power Rankings: Nov. 19

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Another interesting week has led to even more movement in the Power Rankings. Yale impressed me in a weekend road trip to Harvard and Dartmouth. Quinnipiac, Rensselaer and Harvard are tied at the top of the ECAC standings, but hypothetically QU is the leader because it has two games in hand against the others. I am reluctantltly keeping Colgate at the top, but QU, Yale and Harvard are nipping at its heels. Without further ado, here is my weekly take.

1. Colgate (8-3-1, 2-1-1 ECAC) – Last Week 1

Colgate continues its reign at the top of the ECAC power rankings, a place it has yet to relinquish this season. The Raiders have been pretty inconsistent over the past few weeks, but they are still in my astute estimation the best team in the conference top to bottom. Injuries are plaguing them, with two of its top scorers out. That billing may change in the coming weeks, if the results continue to be inconsistent. Last weekend it beat SLU and tied Clarkson, at home. It hangs on to the top spot by a small margin.

2. Quinnipiac (7-2-1, 4-0-0) – Last Week 4

Maybe I should jump back on the Quinnipiac bandwagon? Well I am not fully ready to do so because I do not fully trust a few weeks of good goaltending and defensive play. I need a week more to think there is any more improvement. There seems to be on the surface, which is a good sign. With it the Bobcats could just be the best team in the conference. Regardless, they will still light up the possession stats but I say use caution. (more…)

The Takeaway: Harvard Blanks Dartmouth in Hanover for the First Time Since 1953

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Hanover, NH - Harvard and Dartmouth played one of those Tuesday night games no one shows up for, but on the cold night in Northern New Hampshire the two squads put on quite the show. Dartmouth controlled play throughout the contest and the attempts showed, but it was Harvard that would strike first. Patrick McNally carried the puck over the blue-line with no Dartmouth skaters in sight and took a snap shot over the glove of James Kruger, giving the Crimson a 1-0 lead at nine minutes, 26 seconds of the first period. The lead stuck until the third period.

Harvard held onto the to 1-0 throughout and added a an empty-net goal off the stick of Jim Vesey to defeat Dartmouth, 2-0. The shutout marked the first time Harvard had shutout Dartmouth in Hanover since January 10, 1953, in a 5-0 Harvard win. Harvard improves to 4-1-2 on the season, and 3-1-2 in the ECAC. Dartmouth falls to 2-3-1, and 2-3-1 in league play. Harvard with the win moves into a three-way tie for first place in the ECAC conference. Dartmouth out-attempted Harvard 90-49 in the game but only out-shot the Crimson 29-24 in the game. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC Nov. 17

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Another interesting weekend in ECAC league play, brought another weekend that teams made statements. Quinnipiac continues to win, it has now won six games in a row. Yale swept Harvard and Dartmouth over the weekend on the road. Brown, Cornell and Princeton continue to struggle. Rensselaer continues to sit atop the ECAC standings, but it is now tied with Quinnipiac for the top spot. Again it is still early to really pay attention, but now into the second week we are starting to see some trends.

As an ECAC fan, we don’t want to look at the Pairwise yet because they are hardly being kind in the early going. Despite having three teams in the top 15, all three of those teams are on the bubble from positions 12-15. Yale looked good over the weekend, I was able to see them twice thanks to a last minute change in my schedule on Saturday. It was the smarter team and it looked the part of being a team that is just a year removed from being a national champion. I will speak more to this below, but also expect a feature in the coming days on why they were so consistent. But for now here are the three things I think after the second full week of conference games. (more…)

The Takeaway: Yale Grits Out 2-1 Win at Harvard

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Cambridge, Mass. -Another chapter in the storied rivalry of Yale and Harvard was written on Saturday night as 2575 watched an entertaining contest between two good teams. Alex Lyon and Steve Michalek put on a show for much of the game. The teams went into the third period scoreless, but the period would see three goals. Ryan Obuchowski opened the scoring on a weird play from the side wall that found its way into the net at six minutes, 48 seconds of the third period. Yale would add an empty netter late in the third, but Harvard responded with 17 seconds to go in the game to make for an entertaining final moments. Despite a chance to tie, Alex Lyon and his Bulldogs held on for the 2-1 road win, which finished the weekend sweep of Dartmouth and Harvard.

With the win, Yale improves to 3-1-2 overall, and 2-1-1 in the ECAC. Harvard was handed its first loss of the season and its record drops to 3-1-2, 2-1-2. Harvard drops to third place in the ECAC, while Yale moves up to fifth in the conference. (more…)

The Takeaway: Yale Runs Away From Dartmouth, Wins 4-1

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Hanover, NH - A good crowd of 3,121 showed up to Dartmouth’s Thompson Arena to watch two Ivy League rivals play for the 151st time. Dartmouth came out flying in the early going, registering the first four shots on goal. Yale. though, would pick up the first goal at six minutes, 17 seconds of the first period when Charles Orzetti sent a point shot that bounced in front of the net and hit the leg of Mike Doherty to give the Elis a 1-0 lead. It was Yale that came out flying in the second period and Frankie DiChiara scored three minutes in to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. ┬áDartmouth came on midway through the period, when Mosey found the back of the net. But Brandon Kirk took a dumb boarding call seconds later, which Yale capitalized on to kill the momentum.

Yale scored the only goal of the third period, off the stick of Ryan Hitchcock to seal the game and give them a 4-1 win over Dartmouth. The win improves Yale to 2-1-2 on the season and 1-1-1 in ECAC play. Dartmouth falls to 1-2-1 and 1-2-1 in league play. (more…)

ECAC Weekend Preview, Nov. 15-16

Friday, November 14th, 2014

After two weeks, Rensselaer has the ECAC lead but several other upstarts have begun the conference slate with success. Harvard and St. Lawrence have also begun their slates undefeated, while Quinnipiac has as well. All three of those teams have four points, while the resurgent Engineers have six points. Cornell has struggled to begin the year. It is one of two teams that have zero points heading into this weekend, joining Brown who also lost a pair last weekend.

It is much too early to look at the conference but one can see trends. Harvard looks as good as any team in the league. Union is struggling with just a lone point in four conference games. Yale has begun quiet and Princeton picked up a win against Cornell last week to give coach Ron Fogarty his first win as a head coach. It is tough to prognosticate so early in the season and the early results have proven that. There is always that mantra, some teams play better in conference. That team may just be RPI. I have seen team’s struggle in non-conference play but win the conference title, it happens. For this week though I will attempt to preview the games, briefly to give you a better idea what to expect. (more…)