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…)