Archive for the 'ECAC' Category

SCSU/QU Highlights Big Non-Conference Weekend in the ECAC

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

About three seasons ago, to have league teams playing the likes of Miami, St. Cloud State, Michigan and UNH all on the same weekend would have probably been a stretch. This week four of the top programs will visit league rinks. St. Lawrence will host Miami at Appelton, Michigan will travel to Union and RPI, UNH visits Messa rink to play Union and finally two undefeated teams will faceoff in Hamden, as Quinipiac plays host to St. Cloud. The visit from Michigan will mark its first trip to an ECAC rink since, January 3rd 1988.

The highlight of the weekend will be St. Cloud and Quinnipiac. Both teams enter the weekend undefeated, at 4-0. Quinnipiac is in dire need of a team to challenge them in non-conference play, which the Huskies certainly will. While Quinnipiac has played the likes of Holy Cross, Arizona State and Maine, its opponent is coming off a weekend sweep of Minnesota State. Quinnipiac looked the part as a good team on Tuesday against Maine, dominating its opponent on the scoreboard and in shots, but a real challenge is something they have yet to receive.

The Bobcats will need to find a way to beat Charlie Lindgren, who has three shutouts in his three starts. Last weekend against Minnesota State, he sent aside all 54 of the shots that he saw.The two teams split a weekend series last season, with Quinnipiac picking up a 4-1 win against Lindgren in the finale of that series. If anything, Quinnipiac has the confidence that it cant beat the Huskies. Based on how Quinnipiac played against Maine on Tuesday, I feel as though they may again be highly underrated. They have a huge chance to prove me right this weekend. (more…)

Game Notes: QU Stays Undefeated With 4-0 Win Over Maine

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Hamden, CT. - Maine was no match for the Bobcats on a rare Tuesday night game. The Black Bears got off to a good start, holding Quinnipiac’s high powered corsi machine but it was a shortlived, as a power-play midway through the first period changed the game. Quinnipiac generated five shots on goal, and many other chances on the power-play. Its momentum grew even more, when Chase Priskie retrieved a puck in the neutral zone and went in all alone to score on Maine’s Matt Morris. The Bobcats took the one goal lead to the dressing room, but its possession took over as it sent puck after puck at the Maine net in the latter stages of the period. All told QU sent 33 shots, 17 right in front of Morris and 19 of them found its way on the net.

The onslaught continued in the second, but Quinnipiac was able to use its chances to generate scoring. Tommy Schutt slapped a shot off the post at 5:08 of the period, Devon Toews retrieved a puck off a Maine defender and shot it five-hole and KJ Tiefenworth received his own rebound to put the Bobcats up by a lofty four goals after two periods. It was much of the same in the third period, as both teams had chances but neither found the back of the net. QU improved to 4-0-0 on the season with the 4-0 win, while Maine is still winless at 0-2-3. Garteig picked his 13th career shutout for Quinnipiac and his second in a row. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC 10/19

Monday, October 19th, 2015

It was an up and down weekend for league teams. St. Lawrence and Clarkson swept UNH, but struggled against Merrimack. RPI dropped two non-conference games to the Alaska teams and Union went 1-0-1 against Maine. Overall, the conference is 13-7-2 against non- league opponents and more importantly in the comparison with Hockey East the two premier eastern conferences are 4-4-1 against each other. Quinnipiac will play a game against Maine on Tuesday night, a game I am looking forward to catching in Hamden.

Next weekend brings about many great non-conference matchups at league rinks.Clarkson hosts Western Michigan for a pair, SLU has Miami for a weekend series, Quinnipiac gets St. Cloud State and Michigan hits the capital region, with games at RPI and Union. This could be a make or break weekend in terms of pairwise and I look forward to seeing where the ECAC is in comparison to the NCHC and BIG. The NCHC has been dominant the last couple of years and it will prove to be a challenge. I feel more confident going into this weekend than I have in the past. I am convinced the league will pick up a few big wins. (more…)

Three Things I Think ECAC: October 14, 2015

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

In what very could go down as one of the most important weeks of the season for ECAC teams, league teams went 9-2-1 in non-conference play. Union and RPI had the most impressive wins of the week with victories over Boston University and Boston College, respectively. Those wins will be huge for the pairwise boost in the future, as both will probably be near the top come the end of the season. The league schedule will kick off in two weeks, as Harvard and Dartmouth will kickoff the slate with a pair on Halloween weekend. I wasn’t going to write this week, but there is a point I wanted to get across that is hardly league related but it is. Without much ado, here are my thoughts of the week. (more…)

PairWise Possibilities

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

With the conference tournaments approaching, I’ve been running a lot of scenarios through CHN’s PairWise calculator. It started with my interest in Minnesota’s chances (since I cover Big Ten hockey) but has expanded since then.

According to the Pairwise Probability Matrix, there are about nine teams that are locked into the NCAA tournament, and two others (Providence and Quinnipiac) that have very high chances of making it. North Dakota, Minnesota State, Boston University, Denver, Michigan Tech, Minnesota-Duluth, Miami, Nebraska-Omaha and Boston College are all most likely making the NCAA tournament.

Regardless of the results this weekend, the NCHC will have five teams make the NCAA tournament -North Dakota, Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, Miami and Nebraska-Omaha. Very few scenarios have Nebraska-Omaha – the lowest-ranked NCHC team – moving to ninth on the PWR list. I’ve encountered none that have the Mavericks dropping below ninth.

So below I ran through some points of interest, different scenarios, the likelihood of certain teams making it and what they need for that to happen. I will periodically add to this as I calculate more scenarios.  (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC 2/25

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Another week in the books and we have hit the last weekend of the regular season. Quinnipiac locked up at least a share of the Cleary Cup last weekend with two ties, while St. Lawrence will be the second seed in the ECAC tournament and still could gain a share if it wins twice, while the Bobcats drop both on the weekend. But that probably won’t happen so don’t think that it will even be a thing. The home ice teams seem to be a lock, but two byes are going to go to the wire. Yale should end up the third seed, but is up just two points on Colgate who it plays on Friday night and Harvard who has the spot. Dartmouth is a point behind both Harvard and Colgate in fifth. Cornell and Clarkson seem to be locks to host first round series’ in two weeks.

The pairwise situation is still marginal at best, as Quinnipiac sits in 11th, while Yale is the only other team in and on the bubble, in 15. Harvard wrecked its chances with an overtime loss to Boston College on Monday, but St. Lawrence would be interesting and close if it continued to win hockey games at the pace it has. The Ivy league is also up for grabs this weekend as Yale would clinch it with a win on Saturday against Cornell, but Dartmouth also has a chance at it if Yale were to fall to the Big Red. Without further ado, here are my thoughts of the week: (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC 2/18

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Quinnipiac has all but locked up the Cleary Cup. It can do so at home against its rival, Yale, on Friday night. Hypothetically it would only clinch a share, but nonetheless to do so in front of your biggest rival is always something special. St. Lawrence is in second place in the standings and in pretty good shape, as it is clear of third place Yale by three points. At that point it gets interesting, as four points separate positions 3-8. Harvard holds the fourth and final bye, which in all honesty it needs to make a run. Dartmouth however is just a point back, while Colgate is two points back of that all important bye. It seems as though, Union and RPI are all but eliminated from contention for the final first round home series. The Engineers are four behind eighth, while its capital region counterpart is five points back.

The national picture is again looking ok for the league, as three teams currently sit in the top 15 of the Pairwise. Quinnipiac is the highest ranked league team, in tenth place. Yale and Harvard are in 14th and 15th respectively, hardly comfortable positioning going forward. Yale could really help itself with a win against Quinnipiac on Friday, ditto Harvard picking up some road wins in the North Country. (more…)

ECAC Weekend Preview Feb. 13-14

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

The standings are so close that with three weeks remaining any of the teams in the top ten could get a bye in the first round. Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence have run away with the league, as the Bobcats have a three point lead on the Saints and SLU has five points clear of the mess of teams in third place. Behind the two front-runners it is a mess, as four teams are tied for third with two others just a point behind in the standings. The battle for the byes and home ice will come down to the last game of the season in three weekends.

Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence meet on Friday, with the league in balance. St. Lawrence has quietly won seven games in a row, all in ECAC play, while QU is riding an overall four game unbeaten streak and eight in league play. Realistically, SLU is playing the best hockey in the league right now and its 7-1 trouncing of Union shows it but QU is playing some awesome hockey as well, mainly led by its defense. With a win on Friday, Quinnipiac can practically wrap up the league barring a meltdown with two weeks left in the season, while the Saints can make it a battle for the league title in the coming weeks. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC 2/9

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Clarkson Has Visibly Improved in Attack, Hence the Results Are Changing

Clarkson has seen its struggles this year on offense. It was visible why that was the case throughout much of the early part of the season. The attack lacked any sort of confidence and the possession game were hardly present in many of its games. In a series against Merrimack, Tech faltered and didn’t move the puck. At times it looked inept and without structure in that series, it could hardly get through the neutral zone. In all fairness, Merrimack does that to a lot of teams but Clarkson just looked lost at times.

Despite scoring a lone goal against Union, the attack just looked more dangerous. If not for the Union goaltender playing well, Clarkson deserved a better fate than playing to a 4-1 loss. The power play had its opportunities and at even strength Clarkson dominated the metrics of the game. Stevens made the better saves of the game and the Knights shot themselves in the foot with uncharacteristic mistakes and a lack of discipline. Change the lack of discipline and the dreadful start to the contest, it would have looked down the eyes of a weekend sweep. On Saturday, Clarkson scored five goals in a win against Rensselaer.

The improvement on offense is not only passing the eye test, but also has showed up on the scoresheet. In its last five wins, it has scored  21 goals for an average of 4.20 per game. Since the dawn of the second half, Clarkson has scored at a clip of 2.70 goals per game. The 2.70 is near 3/4’s of a goal higher than what they were in the first half, just over 2 goals per game. The problem for Clarkson is to improve consistency and to be dangerous like they looked at times.

Sitting at .500 in the half is hardly what Clarkson fans like, but seeing improvement is something I really enjoyed. Kevin Tansey, before he took the game disqualification, was  the best player on the ice against Union. The disqualification was a sad ending to what I thought was a great game by a very underrated player. His presense in the rush and pinching on offense was something that Clarkson needs more of because it is what it lacks the most in its attack. Clarkson still has the best hard nose, defenders in the league so the improved offense has led to better results. Clarkson has much of a chance of anyone to get a bye and to hold fort as a home ice team. Now with the increased confidence in attack I can see it competing for one of those spots. (more…)

ECAC Weekend Preview Feb. 6-7

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

From here on out, each league team will play two games a weekend. With only four weekends remaining in the regular season, every game seems to be huge. St. Lawrence is hard charging, having won five league games in a row. Quinnipiac is on a six game unbeaten streak and leads the league by three over the Saints. But the league as a whole continues to be close, as positions 3-9 in the league are separated by a mere four points and 4-9 just two points. Tenth place Union sits just three points behind Home byes, home advantage and the illustrious Cleary Cup all seem to be in play in the coming weeks.

Quinipiac and St. Lawrence have looked like the best teams this half. Those two teams look to be the favorites for the Cleary but I am sure some of the teams below them could compete for the title. Harvard got Alex Kerfoot back in the Beanpot semi, which quite frankly they should be proud of as a group. Sean Malone was also back in the lineup, but wasn’t on the bench for the thrilling end. Yale, Clarkson and Cornell all have struggled to find scoring this season, which makes me speculate whether or not any of those teams can make a run. An interesting one to me is Dartmouth, who swept the Capital Region teams at home last weekend. (more…)