Archive for the 'ECAC' Category

ECAC Power Rankings: Nov. 13

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Lots of love on here should be a breath of fresh air in comparison to what happened in Hamden, Connecticut last weekend. I was on vacation in the great west but the hockey did not stop, poor vacation planning on my part. Harvard made a statement against Boston College, Quinnipiac has come out of nowhere to be the team we thought they could be, St. Lawrence is just killing teams right now and others are just playing that line that doesn’t see them mentioned at the top. Lots of trends began to take shape last weekend, hence there will be a plethora of movement throughout the rankings this week

Some of the top teams just a few weeks ago, have struggled in recent weeks. Colgate will still be good but dropped a game at Quinnipiac on Friday. Cornell is winless on the year, have struggled to score and are looking like they aren’t the team we thought they would be. Union is winless in five, who would have ever thunk that possible? That proves that preseason can be arbitrary but then again it is still early. As will be evident throughout, the less games played the more movement in these rankings. Without further ado here we go.

1. Colgate (7-3-0, 1-1-0 ECAC) – Last Week 1

I am going to get hell from all of Quinnipiac and probably everyone in the league on this one. I still think Colgate is really good and the best team in the league, hence I keep them here. The Bank is a tough place to play and it showed. Colgate had these games last year and I think we would be remiss to think they were just going to disappear this season. Good luck finding me a deeper team, lets not dwell on one blowout loss. Those things happen to all teams. Gate has lost to Mercyhurst, St. Cloud and Quinnipiac. Those teams are all good squads. The loss of Mike Borkowski will prove to be a big one, however. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC, Nov. 13

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Three Things is very late this week, I will blame myself for being on vacation. The hockey did not stop and I was able to watch some games on Friday before I left for the west, where there is a serious lack of hockey I must say (I did see a Coyotes games against the Stars). Harvard had a huge statement win against Boston College, winning 6-3, in a game they dominated for much of the contest. Harvard will be one of the topics this week because it is the last undefeated in the ECAC entering this weekend, where it has two winnable games at home. With the win against BC, the ECAC is 10-5-1 against Hockey East on the season. There are many key games in that series in the coming weeks, which feature top teams UMass-Lowell and Boston University, against three of the ECAC’s best in Colgate, Harvard and Dartmouth.

It is too early to be talking about the NCAA picture and standings, but some trends have taken hold. RPI has played two more games than any other ECAC school but are 3-1-0 and lead the standings. Its wins in the league are against Union and Dartmouth,which should both find themselves near the bye spots at the end of the season. Its loss was against a Harvard team which looks as good as a any right now in the league. So it appears that RPI may be around to stay at the top. The Pairwise rankings are not being nice, but again it is too early to care. The highest ranked is Harvard at 14th, followed by SLU at 15 and Colgate 17. For now though, lets just look at trends and thoughts because it is much too soon to look at anything. Things will change. (more…)

ECAC Power Rankings, Nov. 5

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Well last week was just dandy. A week removed from being put in the dungeon, after a sweep at the hands of Bentley, I am sure everyone predicted (I stupidly did not) that Rensselaer would sweep Union. Anybody that predicted that put your hands down, because you did not. On Friday, the Engineers came out flying in a 6-1 win over the Dutchmen at home. On Saturday, Spencer Foo got the Dutch fans a little excited early only for them to find it was just FOOOOS gold. The Engineers received an overtime goal from Viktor Liljegren to propel them to a sweep, well now where did that come from? Tons of great results that involved league teams. St. Lawrence won and tied Clarkson in a non-league pair, while Dartmouth and Harvard played to an entertaining tie, well based on what I saw anyway. I guess we should move on to the rankings…

1. Colgate (6-2-0, 0-0-0 ECAC) – Last Week 1

Some of you will give the whole, Colgate lost to an Atlantic Team. Ya, ya, ya and I don’t want to hear it. Mercyhurst is not your typical Atlantic squad and I explain it in this blog. Losing to an Atlantic team used to be a big deal, but not anymore. In other news, sophomore goaltender Charlie Finn is pretty damn good. He was also the national player of the month. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC, Nov. 3

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

The Ivy League schools finally saw their first action over the weekend and the results were mixed. The six prestigious schools went 2-2-5 in the first weekend of play. The results are always scattered for these schools and I will explain below. The weekend was a mix of results for league teams in non-conference. Quinnipiac picked up two wins against hapless, winless Northeastern, Brown picked up a win against Army, Yale defeated UConn to take home the Liberty Invitation, while Colgate split with Mercyhurst. All told, the league went 5-3-1 in true non-conference games over the weekend and hold the third best mark of all the conferences on the season at 22-18-3.

League teams played each-other in three games over the weekend. St. Lawrence picked up a win and a tie against arch-rival Clarkson. Kyle Hayton again stood on his head over the weekend, stopping 64 of the 66 shots he saw on the weekend. Yale and Princeton tied at the Liberty Invitational in the other matchup that featured two ECAC teams.

With the league season beginning in earnest last weekend, who would have thought that Rensselaer would come out of the weekend flying? Not me, but the Engineers surprisingly came out of nowhere to sweep Union to pick up two conference wins. Dartmouth and Harvard also skated to a 3-3 tie in an entertaining, exciting game of hockey at Harvard’s renovated Bright-Landry Hockey Center. This weekend will feature the first weekend of a full conference slate., as Yale, Quinnipiac, Brown, Princeton, Union and Rensselaer will all host games. We should get a better idea of which teams will be the ones to beat in the early going after this weekend. (more…)

The Takeaway: NU Remains Winless in 4-3 Loss at Quinnipiac

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Hamden, Ct. - Northeastern has struggled to this point scoring goals but tonight was a different story, as it ran into a team that has been struggling to keep pucks out of the net. The game was marred with penalties, including 34 PIMS in the second period combined. Northeastern opened the scoring at seven minutes, 45 seconds of the first period, when Mike Szmatula collected his own rebound in the slot putting it over the glove of Michael Garteig.Szmatula would follow that goal up with a power-play tally four minutes later to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead after a period.

The floodgates opened in second period but so did the penalty box, as the teams combined for 34 penalty minutes in the stanza. Landon Smith would open the scoring 23 seconds into the period and follow it up 10:29 to tie the game at two. NU would respond 31 seconds later to retake the lead on a Ryan Rosenthal goal. Andrew Taverner finished off the wild four goal period at 18:53 to send the game into the third tied at three.

The third period saw the teams trade chances, but Quinnipiac was the only to team to find the net. Sorren Jonzzon scored to make the game 4-3, which held for the Bobcat victory. Quinnipiac improves its record to 3-2-1 on the season, while Northeastern’s troubles continue at 0-6-0. Both teams will play conference games next weekend.Inline image 1

What I Saw

  • Northeastern and Quinnipiac struggled to find rhythm, mainly caused by the amount of penalties that were called on both teams. All told 80 penalty minutes were called in the game and 10 power-plays were handed out. At five on five the game was played at a standstill, mainly because of the lack of flow.
  • Quinnipiac outchanced Northeastern, but when NU had glorious chances it finished. This game had few nice saves, as the goalies stopped everything that should have been stopped and the defenses just struggled to cover the men left open in the slots. Whereas Quinipiac is struggling, NU is more so. The Bobcat defense still has holes and it showed tonight. as none of the goals were bad goals given up by its goalie. Michael Garteig still doesn’t bail his team out in goal, which has been problematic for QU.
  • Northeastern has struggled to score, which has been mainly caused by possession problems. Tonight it was much of the same, but it wasn’t dominated by any means. The shots on goal were close but the amount of possession time was still controlled by QU. For them to get wins in the tough Hockey East, this will need to improve but it is not a new problem as it has been ongoing.

What I Thought

  • Landon Smith was in the right places at the right time. To begin the second period, Rand Pecknold put him on the first line with Sam Anas and Matt Peca. It paid immediate dividends as the line scored on its first shift, 23 seconds into the period. Smith and Macmaster are both talented freshman forwards, but Smith proved he deserved a shot on the top line with his play tonight. His second goal, was a rebound goal in front of the net. His presence immediately turned the tide for the Bobcats.
  • Northeastern is snake-bitten but isn’t doing itself any favors. After the a successful first period, the Huskies fell apart by taking penalties and just making small mistakes that caused the game to get away. They had chances to win the game and score but those chances are going by the wayside. For them to get off the schneid, their game will need to be simplified. Right now, it seems to be a case of holding the sticks tight and not getting the bounces in their favor.
  • Mike Szmatula found the scoresheet twice in the game and Kevin Roy chipped in with two assists. The guys that Northeastern need to get scoring have begun to do so, which can only mean good things for NU. Entering the weekend, NU had scored a mere four goals in its four contests. This weekend the Huskies saw its first line come alive. Kevin Roy registered a goal and three assists to go along with the pair of genos scored by Szmatula tonight. It is a step in the right direction, but it wasn’t able to register the win.

What They Said 

Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said,

“Congratulations to Quinnipiac. They are a team that plays hard, is well coached and well balanced. In the third we felt good but they scored a goal. This is not where we want to be our how we drew it up, our record is our record. We need to get the monkey off our back.”

“When you’re not winning you need to do all the little things well. I thought we did more of that tonight with an emphasis on it but discipline is part of it.”

Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said,

“We are ecstatic with the win tonight and the sweep on the weekend. It wasn’t our best hockey but to be down 2-0 and battle back, I liked our energy. We really showed a lot of compete.”

“We were flat in the first period, so we juggled a couple of lines. It works once in a while and it worked well tonight. Landon had started there at the beginning of the year. Landon gave us some jump on that line and that kind of energized Sam and Matt.”

Quinnipiac forward Landon Smith said,

They are two very good hockey players and I felt fortunate to be out there with them. I have really good chemistry with them, so hopefully we can continue that.” (In response to his move to the top line before the second period)

Quinnipiac forward Sam Anas said,

“The three of us worked well together, but I think the team needed a change. We needed to shake things up and try to get some momentum on our side. There was no way better to do that then a goal on the first shift.”

What Else You Should Know

Qunnipiac will host the two headed monsters of Colgate and Cornell next weekend. The confidence of this weekend should prove large heading into its first conference weekend, but it won’t be easy. Cornell is entering the weekend off a loss and a tie to Nebraska-Omaha, but should be pretty good with all the returning skaters in its roster. Colgate fell to 6-2-0 on the young season on Saturday in a 2-1 loss to Mercyhurst.

Things won’t get any easier for Northeastern as it will play UMass-Lowell in a home and home series next weekend. The Huskies are still winless and just need to get the proverbial monkey off the back.

Jim Madigan gave some injury updates after the game. Clay Witt’s timetable is up in the air, as Madigan said  “They are going day-to-day hopefully week to week.” Madigan also said, “Colton Saucerman is getting close and Snydeman is day-to-day.”

The Takeaway: Harvard and Dartmouth Skate to 3-3 Tie

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Cambridge, MASS - Harvard and Dartmouth entertained a near capacity crowd, 2734, at the newly renovated Bright-Hockey Center on Saturday night. Dartmouth would control the first 11 minutes of the contest and heavily outshoot the Crimson in the early going. The Big Green would score its first goal of the season at ten minutes, 53 seconds of the first period when Rick Pinkston sent a point shot to the net that found its way through. Harvard quickly answered a mere 14 seconds later when Alex Kerfoot retrieved his own rebound and put it past Dartmouth goalie, James Kruger. Dartmouth outshot Harvard 12-3 in the first 14 minutes of the game, then Harvard would go on to outshoot the Green 13-2 in the next 10 minutes

The Big Green and the Crimson would trade goals in the second period, as Patrick McNally would score early for Harvard followed by Eric Robinson and Brandon McNally for Dartmouth. The Crimson trailed 3-2 after two periods of play. Patrick McNally would add his second of the night at 9:50 of the third period on the game tying goal, which stood as the decision. The Crimson outshot the Green 37-32 in the game, which signified the flow of the game. Harvard goes to 0-0-1 on the season, 0-0-1 in ECAC play. Dartmouth also goes to 0-0-1, 0-0-1. The game marked the first game of the season for both Dartmouth and Harvard. (more…)

ECAC Game of the Week: Clarkson vs St. Lawrence (NC)

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

There are a plethora of great games this weekend and the conference season gets underway this weekend with three games. Harvard hosts Dartmouth in both of those teams’ openers, while RPI and Union will play a home and home series. St. Lawrence and Clarkson will play a pair of non-league games, renewing their rivalry. All ECAC teams are in action this week and the schedule will be filled with exciting matchups.

Everyone will be writing about Union and RPI, rightfully so. The stakes are high, but the matchup features two teams that are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Clarkson and SLU are closer together in the early season and are as big of a rivalry than the two Albany schools. This matchup is the forgotten rivalry  thus Clarkson and St. Lawrence is this week’s ECAC game of the week. (more…)

ECAC Power Rankings: Oct. 28

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

I was going to wait until the Ivies started, but I decided that it was time to premiere the inaugural edition a week earlier. There have been some noteworthy trends, of course. Quinnipiac has fallen off the map (A loss to UConn does that), Union is still Union and Colgate is good like we expected. St. Lawrence has arguably the two most impressive wins, defeating Miami and  Ferris, while Clarkson and RPI are struggling mightily. I will try not to move the Ivies too much from their preseason position but RPI and Quinnipiac warrant movement down.

Just as a reminder road wins and home losses count more to me than home wins and road losses. I guess I am like the pairwise in that those things matter to me. Whereas St. Cloud’s home win at Union was impressive, Colgate’s road win at St. Cloud will  be equally impressive. Without further ado here we go. I will apologize in advance for my lame sense of humor, I figured I would make everyone laugh to begin the year.  (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC, Oct. 27

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Last weekend was a tough weekend all around for the conference. In all honesty it was disappointing at 4-5-1. St. Lawrence’s win against Miami and Union’s win against St. Cloud will go down as the highlights of the weekend. The lowlight’s will go to RPI, which was swept in a weekend series at home against Bentley. Union’s long streaks came to an end on Saturday, as a tough St. Cloud team defeated them in Schenectady. Union won 16 consecutive games, were unbeaten in 22 games and hadn’t lost a home game in nearly a year. All of those streaks should be a source of pride for the small school, because there have been very few teams that have attained streaks of those size in college hockey history.

The Ivies will begin play this weekend and conference play will get underway this weekend with three games. As always, it is a long road to get to this point of the season for the six Ivy league schools and its fans. I living closest to three Ivy league schools myself, Harvard, Dartmouth and Brown always look forward to this time of year as well because it means the pool of games to see is always bigger.

This weekend should be dubbed a rivalry weekend, as RPI and Union will renew their rivalry at the same time Clarkson and St. Lawrence renew theirs. RPI and Union will play back to back nights in conference games while the Clarkson and St. Lawrence weekend will be a non-conference pair. (more…)

ECAC Game of the Week: St. Cloud State at Union

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

I figured I would start a pre-weekend blog to go along with the Three Things I Think and the Power Rankings, which will commence with the Ivy League season. I figured a preview format would be pretty boring, I have tried it before. It was always long and tedious. Instead, each week I will pick a game on the ECAC calendar to call the game of the week. I will also provide my predictions for the weekend for all the games, while also providing a blurb  into my thought process.Without further ado, here’s to the inaugural edition.

St. Cloud State (1-1-0, 0-0-0 NCHC)

at Union (4-0-0, 0-0-0 ECAC)

All time series: 2-1-2 St. Cloud

Fri and Sat 7pm (more…)