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This Week in the ECAC

College Hockey:
This Week In The ECAC: March 1, 2001

Here it is, the final weekend, and as usual, there is a jumble in the ECAC. Take a look at the standings.

 1 SLU 29
2 Clk 28
3 Cor 23
Har 23
5 Dar 22
6 RPI 20
Yal 20
8 Pri 19
9 Uni 18
10 Ver 16
11 Col 15
12 Brn 7

Here are the definites:

  • St. Lawrence, Clarkson, Cornell, Harvard, Dartmouth, Rensselaer and Yale have clinched playoff berths.
  • St. Lawrence and Clarkson will finish 1-2 in some order and are the only teams to have clinched home ice.
  • Vermont and Colgate cannot gain home ice.
  • Brown has been eliminated.
  • You need to be crazy to figure out all the possibilities.
  • Now, let’s list the tiebreakers.

  • 1. Head-to-head
  • 2. Record versus Top 5
  • 3. Record versus Top 10
  • 4. Head-to-head goal differential
  • 5. Goal differential versus Top 5
  • 6. Goal differential versus Top 10
  • Our advice to figure this all out? Just wait until 10:30 on Saturday night.

    How High Can You Go, How Low Can You Go?

    Let’s keep it brief once again. What we’ll do is give you a best case scenario, a worst-case scenario, and a little handicapping from our point of view (take that with a grain of salt, as Normand Chouinard will tell you).

    Remember, all scenarios that we paint are just one way of getting to the result. There are different combinations. We just give you one or two examples.

    St. Lawrence

    Best Case — 1st
    How? — Two wins and the Saints are the champs. Or, two Clarkson losses.
    Worst Case — 2nd
    How? — Two losses and one Clarkson win. Or, only one win and two Clarkson wins.
    Handicapping — The Saints have to travel to two tough places to play, the Gut and Thompson. It won’t be easy for the Saints to pull off two wins.

    Clarkson

    Best Case — 1st
    How? — Two wins and one St. Lawrence loss. Or, one win and two St. Lawrence losses.
    Worst Case — 2nd
    How? — Two St. Lawrence wins, or two losses by the Knights.
    Handicapping — See above in reference to St. Lawrence. The Knights are in the same boat.

    Cornell

    Best Case — 3rd
    How? — Two wins. The Big Red win the tiebreaker over Harvard by virtue of a win and a tie. Or, one win and a loss, plus at least one loss by Rensselaer and Yale, one loss and a win by Harvard, and no more than two points by Dartmouth.
    Worst Case — 8th
    How? — The Big Red lose two, Rensselaer sweeps, Dartmouth wins one game, Yale and Harvard tie their game, Yale defeats Brown, Harvard loses to Princeton and Princeton defeats Brown. Cornell loses a three-way tiebreaker to Yale and Princeton.
    Handicapping — The Big Red face two teams in the lower half of the league right now, but that doesn’t really matter. At home, and after losing two on the road, the Big Red should come away with at least one win.

    Harvard

    Best Case — 3rd
    How? — The Crimson win two and Cornell takes less than four points.
    Worst Case — 8th
    How? — The key is that Rensselaer is not in the top five, so Harvard loses two, Cornell takes at least one point, Princeton sweeps, Dartmouth sweeps, Yale sweeps and Rensselaer sweeps. The Crimson then lose a top five tiebreaker to Princeton.
    Handicapping — The Crimson should be able to knock of Yale on Friday night, but finishing the sweep against Princeton may be tough. The Crimson has only completed a weekend sweep once this year, and that was against RPI and Union back in early January.

    Dartmouth

    Best Case — 3rd
    How? — Dartmouth sweeps and Cornell and Harvard do not take more than three points each. A three way tie between Dartmouth, Cornell and Harvard goes to Dartmouth.
    Worst Case — 9th
    How? — Dartmouth loses two, Rensselaer sweeps, Yale sweeps, Princeton sweeps, Union sweeps. The Big Green then lose a top five tiebreaker to Union.
    Handicapping — The good news is that Dartmouth plays much better in front of its home crowd (9–4–0 at home versus a 3–7–4 away record). The bad news is that Big Green will be taking on the North Country duo — St. Lawrence and Clarkson — vying for the league crown.

    Rensselaer

    Best Case — 3rd
    How? — Yale takes no more than three points, Dartmouth, Harvard and Cornell are swept and the Engineers sweep.
    Worst Case — 9th
    How? — Rensselaer is swept, Union wins one game and Princeton takes two points. Rensselaer loses a head-to-head tiebreaker to Union.
    Handicapping — On the road at Cornell will be tough. A game at Colgate is winnable for the Engineers, but a sweep may be too much to ask.

    Yale

    Best Case — 3rd
    How? — The Bulldogs sweep and Harvard, Cornell and Dartmouth get swept. Even if Rensselaer sweeps, the Bulldogs win a top ten tiebreaker.
    Worst Case — 10th
    How? — Yale loses twice, Rensselaer, Union, Vermont, Princeton sweep. The Bulldogs then lose a top five tiebreaker to Vermont.
    Handicapping — Yale picked a good time to go on a three-game winning streak, scoring 19 goals in its last three games. The Bulldogs offense should have no troubles against Brown’s defense, but the team has notoriously struggled at Bright.

    Princeton

    Best Case — 3rd
    How? — Princeton sweeps, Harvard is swept, Yale and Rensselaer each loses one game, Cornell is swept, Dartmouth gets only one point. The Tigers then win a head-to-head tiebreaker over Dartmouth, Cornell and Harvard.
    Worst Case — 11th
    How? — Princeton is swept, Vermont gets three points, Colgate sweeps, Union beats Cornell. The Tigers lose a three-way head to head tiebreaker with Colgate and Vermont to Colgate, then lose a top five tiebreaker to Vermont.
    Handicapping — The Tigers shouldn’t have a problem splitting this weekend’s series — they’ve done that plenty of times this year — but a sweep may be too much to ask for.

    Union

    Best Case — 5th
    How? — Union sweeps, Rensselaer, Dartmouth and Yale are swept, and Princeton only takes two points. Union then wins a top five tiebreaker over Dartmouth.
    Worst Case — 11th
    How? — Union is swept. Colgate sweeps and Vermont takes at least three points. Union is then alone in eleventh.
    Handicapping — The Skating Dutchmen played one of their best games of the year last weekend against Harvard. Union beat both Colgate and Cornell athome earlier this year, but taking on these two teams on the road may prove to be a tougher challenge. A split is possible, a sweep unlikely.

    Vermont

    Best Case — 7th
    How? — Vermont sweeps, Rensselaer sweeps, Yale is swept, Union is swept, Princeton is swept and Dartmouth is swept. Vermont then wins a top five tiebreaker over Yale.
    Worst Case — 11th
    How? — Vermont is swept and Colgate gets one point. Colgate wins the head-to-head tiebreaker.
    Handicapping — The prognosis for the Cats doesn’t look very good. With its very playoff life at stake this weekend, the team must host the two best teams in the league. The only sliver of hope is the fact that the home crowd will be on Vermont’s side. This will be a test to see just how powerful the Catamount faithful really is.

    Colgate

    Best Case — 8th
    How? — Colgate sweeps, Vermont takes three points exactly and Princeton is swept. Colgate wins a three-way head-to-head tiebreaker for eighth.
    Worst Case — 11th
    How? — Colgate loses two.
    Handicapping — The Red Raiders are in the midst of a three–game slide and will need to keep the score down in both contests to have a chance. With its playoff life at stake, Colgate should manage at least one win this weekend.

    Brown

    Best Case — 12th
    How? — Doesn’t matter what happens.
    Worst Case — 12th
    How? — Doesn’t matter what happens.
    Handicapping — Play spoiler, that’s the plan. The Bears are looking to the future and hoping to mess up Princeton and Yale’s chances of home ice and positioning.

    Let’s Have Some Fun

    Say this happens:

    Rensselaer d. Cornell
    Yale d. Harvard
    Princeton d. Brown
    Clarkson d. Vermont
    St. Lawrence d. Dartmouth
    Colgate d. Union
    Rensselaer t. Colgate
    Yale t. Brown
    Union d. Cornell
    Princeton d. Harvard
    Clarkson t. Dartmouth
    St. Lawrence d. Vermont

    Your standings become:

     1 SLU 33
    2 Clk 31
    3 Cor 23
    Dar 23
    Har 23
    Pri 23
    RPI 23
    Yal 23
    9 Uni 20
    10 Col 18
    11 Ver 16
    12 Brn 7

    That’s a six–way tie for third place. What happens?

  • Yale takes third due to head-to-head among the six teams.
  • Harvard takes fourth via head-to-head among the remaining five teams.
  • Rensselaer takes fifth by virtue of head-to-head among the remaining four teams.
  • Princeton takes sixth after head-to-head among the remaining three teams.
  • Dartmouth takes seventh because of defeating Cornell head-to-head this season.
  • Your playoff matchups:

  • Colgate at St. Lawrence
  • Union at Clarkson
  • Cornell at Yale
  • Dartmouth at Harvard
  • Princeton at Rensselaer
  • How about a five–way tie for fifth place?

    For that to happen:

    Cornell d. Rensselaer
    Harvard d. Yale
    Union d. Colgate
    Princeton d. Brown
    Clarkson d. Vermont
    St. Lawrence d. Dartmouth
    Rensselaer d. Colgate
    Yale d. Brown
    Union d. Cornell
    Princeton t. Harvard
    Clarkson d. Dartmouth
    Vermont d. St. Lawrence

    Your standings:

     1 Clk 32
    2 SLU 31
    3 Har 26
    4 Cor 25
    5 Dar 22
    Pri 22
    RPI 22
    Uni 22
    Yal 22
    10 Ver 16
    11 Col 15
    12 Brn 7

    So what happens?

  • Yale takes fifth, looking at head-to-head among the five teams.
  • Princeton and Rensselaer are tied for sixth by virtue of head-to-head among the remaining four teams.
  • Rensselaer takes sixth thanks to head-to-head over Princeton.
  • Princeton would be seventh.
  • Union and Dartmouth are then tied for eighth place by virtue of the head-to-head among the four teams.
  • Union takes eighth with a better record against the top five teams.
  • Dartmouth would be ninth.
  • Your playoff pairings:

  • Vermont at Clarkson
  • Dartmouth at St. Lawrence
  • Union at Harvard
  • Princeton at Cornell
  • Rensselaer at Yale
  • How about a four–way tie for eighth place? Which team loses out in the tiebreaker and stays home?

    For that to happen:

    Cornell d. Rensselaer
    Harvard d. Yale
    Colgate d. Union
    Brown d. Princeton
    Clarkson t. Vermont
    St. Lawrence d. Dartmouth
    Colgate d. Rensselaer
    Yale d. Brown
    Union t. Cornell
    Harvard d. Princeton
    Clarkson d. Dartmouth
    Vermont d. St. Lawrence

    The standings then become:

     1 Clk 31
    SLU 31
    3 Har 27
    4 Cor 26
    5 Dar 22
    Yal 22
    7 RPI 20
    8 Col 19
    Pri 19
    Uni 19
    Ver 19
    12 Brn 9

    How does that break down?

    To decide, we have to break the tie for fifth place first.

  • Yale is fifth by virtue of a 2–0 record against Dartmouth this season.
  • Dartmouth is sixth.
  • Now we can break the four–way tie.

  • Colgate and Princeton are tied for eighth place because of head-to-head records against the four teams.
  • Princeton is eighth due to a better record versus the top five teams.
  • Colgate is ninth.
  • Union and Vermont are now tied for tenth place after the head-to-head tiebreaker against the four teams.
  • Union is tenth by virtue of a better record against the top ten teams.
  • Vermont is eleventh and stays home.
  • One more tiebreaker to apply before we give you the playoff scenarios.

  • St. Lawrence is first by virtue of a better record versus the top five teams.
  • Clarkson is second
  • Now, the playoff matchups:

  • Union at St. Lawrence
  • Colgate at Clarkson
  • Princeton at Harvard
  • Rensselaer at Cornell
  • Dartmouth at Yale
  • One more for you, folks. We know this would shock people, but what if there were no need for tiebreakers?

    Here’s what has to happen.

    Rensselaer d. Cornell
    Harvard d. Yale
    Colgate d. Union
    Princeton d. Brown
    Clarkson d. Vermont
    St. Lawrence d. Dartmouth
    Rensselaer d. Colgate
    Brown d. Yale
    Cornell d. Union
    Harvard d. Princeton
    Clarkson d. Dartmouth
    St. Lawrence d. Vermont

    Our new standings:

     1 SLU 33
    2 Clk 32
    3 Har 27
    4 Cor 25
    5 RPI 24
    6 Dar 22
    7 Pri 21
    8 Yal 20
    9 Uni 18
    10 Col 17
    11 Ver 16
    12 Brn 9

    Wow, no ties to break!

    The playoff matchups:

  • Colgate at St. Lawrence
  • Union at Clarkson
  • Yale at Harvard
  • Princeton at Cornell
  • Dartmouth at Rensselaer
  • Yeah, we know, no tiebreakers in the ECAC, there’s a better chance of someone beating the Iron Columnists four weeks in a row.

    There is one thing that cannot happen. We cannot get the same five matchups as last season’s playoffs. That is impossible no matter how you slice it. The main reason — it’s impossible to match up Yale and Colgate.

    Play along with all the possibilities. Just head to Joe Schlobotnik’s ECAC Playoff Possibilities Script.

    If It’s So Easy, You Try It

    It may be time to commit hara-kiri. Three in a row. The Iron Columnists have lost three in a row to Normand Chouinard. Congratulations to Normand! Chairman Brule is ready to supply us with the necessary tools.

    The contest thus far:

    Becky and Jayson d. Vic Brzozowski — (10–2–2) — (8–5–1)
    Becky and Jayson d. Tayt Brooks — (7–7–1) — (5–9–1)
    Becky and Jayson d. Michele Kelley — (5–4–3) — (2–7–3)
    Becky and Jayson d. C.J. Poux — (9– 4–2) — (6–7–2)
    Becky and Jayson d. Shawn Natole — (5–8–0) — (3–10–0)
    Becky and Jayson t. Julian Saltman — (7–4–2) — (7–4–2)
    Becky and Jayson d. Julian Saltman — (9–2–0) — (6–5–0)
    Becky and Jayson d. Steve Lombardo — (8–4–1) — (6–6–1)
    Normand Chouinard d. Becky and Jayson — (8–4–0) — (4–8–0)
    Normand Chouinard d. Becky and Jayson — (7–4–1) — (6–5–1)
    Normand Chouinard d. Becky and Jayson — (9–1–2) — (5–5–2)

    If memory serves us right, Normand Chouinard took the Iron Columnists down for the third week in a row. This week, he goes for four in a row. Chairman Brule has prepared a very extra special theme ingredient this week, so, Norman Chouinard, bring your skills into USCHO Stadium and try to take down the Iron Columnists once again. Whose picks will reign supreme?

    The Picks

    Friday, March 2

    St. Lawrence at Dartmouth
    Normand’s Pick — If Anderson plays, this probably reverses. Dartmouth 4, St. Lawrence 3
    Becky and JaysonDartmouth 4, Vermont 1

    Clarkson at Vermont
    Normand’s PickClarkson 3, Vermont 1
    Becky and JaysonClarkson 4, Vermont 2

    Rensselaer at Cornell
    Normand’s PickCornell 3, Rensselaer 1
    Becky and JaysonCornell 2, Rensselaer 0

    Union at Colgate
    Normand’s PickColgate 4, Union 2
    Becky and JaysonColgate 4, Union 3

    Yale at Harvard
    Normand’s PickYale 3, Harvard 2
    Becky and JaysonHarvard 3, Yale 2

    Princeton at Brown
    Normand’s PickPrinceton 4, Brown 2
    Becky and JaysonPrinceton 6, Brown 2

    Saturday, March 3

    St. Lawrence at Vermont
    Normand’s PickSt. Lawrence 3, Vermont 2
    Becky and JaysonSt. Lawrence 2, Vermont 1

    Clarkson at Dartmouth
    Normand’s PickClarkson 4, Dartmouth 3
    Becky and JaysonDartmouth 3, Clarkson 2

    Rensselaer at Colgate
    Normand’s PickColgate 4, Rensselaer 2
    Becky and JaysonColgate 3, Rensselaer 2

    Union at Cornell
    Normand’s PickCornell 3, Union 1
    Becky and JaysonCornell 3, Union 2

    Yale at Brown
    Normand’s PickYale 3, Brown 2
    Becky and JaysonYale 4, Brown 1

    Princeton at Harvard
    Normand’s PickHarvard 4, Princeton 3
    Becky and JaysonHarvard 5, Princeton 4

    This is it — the final installment of the Iron Columnists. Thanks to everyone who put their name in the hat and next year, we’ll be back to give everyone another shot.

    Some More Fun

    Since Normand has thrice bested the Iron Columnists, let’s take a look at how both think the standings will go and what the playoffs will look like.

    Normand’s Picks

     1 Clk 32
    2 SLU 31
    3 Cor 27
    4 Har 25
    5 Dar 24
    Yal 24
    7 Pri 21
    8 RPI 20
    9 Col 19
    10 Uni 18
    11 Ver 16
    12 Brn 7
  • Yale wins a head-to-head tiebreaker with Dartmouth, taking fifth place
  • Normand’s Playoffs:

  • Union at Clarkson
  • Colgate at St. Lawrence
  • Rensselaer at Cornell
  • Princeton at Harvard
  • Dartmouth at Yale
  • The Iron Columnists’ Picks

    With our predictions, this is how we believe the ECAC will finish. Which means it won’t be this way.

     1 SLU 31
    2 Clk 30
    3 Cor 27
    Har 27
    5 Dar 26
    6 Yal 22
    7 Pri 21
    8 RPI 20
    9 Col 19
    10 Uni 18
    11 Ver 16
    12 Brn 7
  • Cornell wins a head-to-head tiebreaker with Harvard, taking third place
  • Our playoffs:

  • Union at St. Lawrence
  • Colgate at Clarkson
  • Rensselaer at Cornell
  • Princeton at Harvard
  • Yale at Dartmouth
  • See you somewhere next weekend!

    USCHO covers the ECAC all week long on the ECAC Blog, with weekend recaps on Monday, picks on Friday, and updates during the week.


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