Archive for the 'ECAC' Category

Ledyard Bank Classic: Day 1 Notes

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Union and Dartmouth both picked up wins, over Merrimack and Robert Morris respectively on Saturday night. Because the Ledyard Bank Classic has predetermined matchups, the format is setup with a point system (2 points for a regulation/ot win, 1 point for a shootout win) with goal differential being the tiebreaker if one or more teams are tied. Dartmouth and Union do not play on Sunday night in a de facto championship game, so we will be relying heavily on the system put in place.Union defeated Merrimack 3-2, while Dartmouth defeated Robert Morris, 5-1.

Union received goals from Matt Wilkins, Nick Cruice and Brett Supinski, which included two power-play tallies. Merrimack took the momentum in the third period but were never able to recover from being down two goals entering the third. Dartmouth took a scoreless game after a period and ran away with it late. It outshot the Colonials 37-18 and recieved goals from five different skaters. Hypothetically Dartmouth has the advantage going into Sunday night’s matchups, after winning by four. The Big Green face Merrimack, while the Dutchmen face Robert Morris. (more…)

ECAC First Half Review

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

As always, the ECAC is not where we thought it would at this point in the season. Yale isn’t the dominant defensive team we thought it would be, Harvard’s offense is second to Quinnipiac, Cornell (I picked them 11th in preseason dumb ehh?) looks like a team to be reckoned with come March and well who thought RPI would ever have a nine game unbeaten streak?

The ECAC standings are extremely tight heading into the second half, with Quinnipiac having 14 points and Cornell close on its heels at 13. Cornell’s only ECAC league loss came to Quinnipiac, in a game it had a three goal lead and couldn’t hold on. Harvard and RPI are tied for third at 11 points, while St. Lawrence and Yale round out the top six with nine and eights points respectively. Any of those six teams are contenders at this point, because the bottom half have been less than stellar, or as I would like to say there is a step down in quality.

One of the biggest ECAC storylines of the first half is the quality of hockey being played throughout the league. The inter-conference record has been sparkling, although it has come down a bit in recent weeks. The .632 winning percentage in non-conference play has the league setup well in terms of the pairwise, as currently five teams are in NCAA tournament positioning. Quinnipiac sits first in the all important Pairwise rankings, while Harvard, Cornell, St. Lawrence and Yale sit sixth, seventh, 11th and 13th in those rankings. Even RPI sits in good positioning, as it is 17th in those rankings. Last year, the NCHC had a .652 inter-conference record and it had six teams in the tournament. Even more important for the ECAC as a league, it has a 24-16-3 against the two best conferences in the country, the NCHC and Hockey East. Maybe the ECAC is the best right now? Ya, lets see how the non-league games go in the next few weeks.

Well and to finish off I would like to say Happy Holidays to all. Hope all of you have an enjoyable holiday, no matter what you celebrate. See you in a week or so for my annual trip to Hanover’s Ledyard Bank Classic. (more…)

ECAC Weekend Preview: 12/3

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Another full slate of league games awaits us this weekend, as the schedule is a tad more manageable this weekend in comparison to last week’s full slate of non-conference games. Yale hosts Quinnipiac in the game of the week, as the two New Haven area rivals renew their acquaintances at the Whale. Last season, the matchup was as close as possible with two ties in its two meetings. Quinnipiac is still undefeated at 13-0-2, which the best start since Colorado College started 15-0-2 in 1995-1996. St. Lawrence at Cornell is another highlight of Friday night, while RPI and Harvard will play for the second straight week after the Crimson took home the Shillelagh Tournament title back to Cambridge, with a 4-0 win, on Saturday.

Each weekend is crucial within conference play. RPI and Quinnipiac remain tied at the top of the standings with 10 points. The top 7 are separated by just four points, with Brown rounding out the bunch at seven. The conference still has six teams in the top 16 of the Pairwise and wins within league play are so important, because there isn’t a bad loss within the league because of a .648 win pct. in inter-conference play. There are many great matchups this weekend. as always I urge you to hit a rink to see your favorite team play. Also see this week’s Three Things I Think, for more of my thoughts. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC 12/1

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Another successful weekend in non-conference play has the conference in pretty good shape going forward. In terms of strength of schedule according to Krach, league teams have been pretty successful and have played some of the more difficult schedules in college hockey. The ECAC owns 10 of the top 18 schedules nationally, which is a direct consequence of the league’s non-conference winning percentage. The inter-conference record dropped a tad over the weekend, but still sits at a national best of .648. This all means good things, as the ECAC currently has seven of the top 16 teams in the Pairwise. It probably won’t stay at that, but its fun to look at because there still is good chance the league will have four, maybe five teams. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC 11/24

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

As each week moves along, we learn more about all the teams in the conference. Over the weekend, RPI continued its seven game unbeaten streak, Quinnipiac remained undefeated and SLU made inroads and proved that maybe they belong in the conversation as well. Clarkson provided QU with its first blemish on the season, in a 1-1 tie in Hamden but were unable to back it up, dropping a 3-0 game to a much improved Princeton team that I will talk about in more depth below.

Rensselaer and Quinnipiac are tied at the top of standings, as the Bobcats squandered their chances to take an outright lead with two ties. Both teams are now 4-0-2 and have 10 points already in the bank. Harvard and Cornell are nipping on their heels, as the Big Red picked up a win at Brown and an impressive tie at Yale, but every team in the top six remain within three points of the lead. The Pairwise continues to be bloated, but this weekend will prove to us just how many teams are capable of being in the tournament. There are big games up and down the schedule this weekend. Harvard and RPI participate with Notre Dame and Western Michigan in the Shillelagh Tournament in South Bend. Dartmouth travels for a pair against Michigan, while Colgate and Brown participate in the Friendship Four. All told, the ECAC has six teams in the top 15 of the Pairwise, thanks mainly to a .667 win percentage in non-conference contests.

If you haven’t read the wonderful piece by CHN editor, Adam Wodon, on the Big Ten’s attempt to put an age limit in college hockey, I highly suggest you read it in the next couple of days. Also, as is normall customary for me, I would like wish all my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope everyone enjoys their families and falls asleep because of all the Triptofan. Oh and don’t forget there are great college hockey games on Friday morning, from Belfast when Colgate and Brown open the Friendship Four on NESN and TSN at 11am eastern time. (more…)

Weekend Preview: ECAC 11/19

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Most teams will be in conference action this weekend, while Union, Dartmouth and Harvard all have the weekend off. RPI plays a lone non-conference game on the road against Bentley. One has to wonder how long Quinnipiac’s winning streak will go on, as it approaches the absurd at this point. The 11 game winning streak to start the season is the longest such streak to start a year, since Air Force won 12 to begin the 2008-09 season. The Bobcats will host the North Country teams this weekend, after a 6-2 triumph on Tuesday against a struggling Uconn squad. Cornell-Yale looks to be the best game on the docket, but either Quinnipiac games should  also be entertaining.

With RPI playing a lone non-conference game, its lead on Quinnipiac sits at two and the Bobcats will take the lead in the Standings this weekend playing two conference games. The Pairwise also looks good, but I caution one in taking too large of a look, but as a whole the league is in good position. Also check out my Three Things I Think from earlier in the week and a feature on RPI’s Cam Hackett. (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC 11/17

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Another weekend in conference action, again there were surprises. Brown left the weekend with three points, and almost four as it had an overtime goal disallowed that probably shouldn’t have been. RPI picked up three points and picked up a win against Yale on Friday, in arguably the biggest upset of the weekend. Quinnipiac continued to roll with wins over Harvard, Dartmouth and UConn. They have looked good and this Quinnipiac team is scary offensively, which I will talk about below. It is still much too early to look at the league standings but RPI is the surprise early leader by two points over QU, which has two games in hand.

The CHN pairwise is up, but I will caution against looking too deeply at it as the sample size is much to small. But the good trend is the number of ECAC teams that are in the top 20 and in the tournament spots today. QU sits at the top with their undefeated record, Cornell, Harvard, St. Lawrence ,Yale and Clarkson join it in the top 15. Rensselaer also sits on the outside looking in at number 23. But again it is much too early, what the league needs to do is continue its dominance in non-conference play that is has shown early in the season. Also be sure to check out my feature on Rensselaer’s Cam Hackett, who is a former Cornell commit and excelling in the absence of Jason Kasdorf


Weekend Preview: ECAC 11/13

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Another full weekend of conference games will again help us to sort out the contenders from the pretenders. The highlight of the weekend will indeed be Quinnipiac and Harvard in Hamden on Friday night. The two heavyweights will battle in what could ultimately be a title match preview. The other highlight of the weekend, pits the North Country rivals, SLU and Clarkson, against each other. In all honesty, it is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, rivalry in the league.  Those are just two of the premier matchups that dot the schedule this week, without further ado here are some thoughts for the upcoming weekend.


Harvard at Quinnipiac

We should learn a lot about these two in this game. Harvard has looked good in its minimal action so far and it will take on an unblemished Quinnipiac team that is now 8-0-0 on the season. For Harvard, this will probably be the toughest test for them to date because unlike Yale, QU has a dangerous offense that sends a ton of great chances toward the net. We all know that Harvard has the offense, but whether or not its defense will hold up against a team like QU, is something that we have no idea about yet. It looked good against Yale, but there wasn’t much in the way of dangerous up and down play in that game. This will also be the Crimson’s first big road test, against a good team. For Quinnipiac, it still needs a tough road test to quell the juries. This home game, however, could go a long way in telling us if they belong in the tier as Yale and Harvard.

Prediction: 5-2 Harvard (more…)

Three Things I Think: ECAC 11/11

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

The first full weekend of the conference slate always tells us a lot, but it also tells us that we shouldn’t overreact to some of the results. Rensselaer took three out of four points in the North Country, while Union took a pair of points against SLU. The results were the most surprising in the league last weekend, as I really like both St. Lawrence and Clarkson. Both are going to be strong teams in the league this year. The three points, gives RPI seven out of eight possible points in ECAC play. It is an impressive start for a team that I put seventh in preseason but has struggled , save a win against Boston College. But lets not forget that last year, RPI raced out of the gates to lead for a while then dropped off. This year it seems more sustainable because of the lack of injury bug that it found last season.

The three elite teams, in Harvard, Yale and Quinnipiac all had come from behind victories over the weekend to Brown, Dartmouth and Cornell respectively. I was flying cross country that night and left Chicago knowing that Cornell had a 3-0 lead when I took off, while Yale trailed Dartmouth 2-0. QU and Yale both scored four unanswered to take home the wins. It seems as though both Yale and Harvard took a bit to come out of the emotional high that was the game at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center on Friday night. I will talk about that more below, but without further ado here are some thoughts.

I would also like to take this time, seeing it is Veterans day, to thank all my readers that have served in the armed forces. It is much appreciated what you have done and I hope you hear this a bunch today or this week.


Three Things I Think: ECAC 11/4

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

The opening of ECAC league play, came with bangs as both Rensselaer and Harvard picked up sweeps. Harvard was probably not a surprise,  but RPI certainly was. The Engineers have gotten off to a weird start to its season, at 1-4 but its win came against a strong Boston College team that has since gone 5-0-0. The weekend was certainly what the doctor ordered and I will talk about it more in depth below.

The ECAC again had a solid weekend in non-conference action, as it went 5-3-1 on the weekend. St. Lawrence picked up a win and a tie on the road against Penn State, Cornell swept Niagara, Brown lost a long game to Holy Cross and Colgate was swept by Providence. For all intensive purposes, the week was a success mainly because Princeton and Yale swept their respective Hockey East opponents at the Capital City Classic. Yale thrashed a previously unbeaten UMass team and Princeton defeated struggling Maine. The league still holds a .651 win percentage in non-league tilts, but are only 15-11-3 against the league’s other than the Atlantic. (more…)