Quantcast
This Week
This Week in the ECAC

College Hockey:
Title, bye, home ice still on the line as ECAC Hockey hits final weekend

There are three standards of achievement at the end of each ECAC Hockey regular season: the league title, a first-round bye and a first-round home series. With two games and four points remaining on each team’s 2011-12 docket, 10 of the league’s 12 programs are still fighting to attain at least one of those three levels … and the other two teams don’t play each other.

In other words, everyone’s in the fight on Friday night.

Bubble trouble

Everybody is still playing for something this weekend — nobody is locked into a seed yet — but seven teams are in especially potent or precarious situations entering the final deuce of the regular season. So, in no particular order …

Bobcats eye the bye

Only two points behind fourth-place Clarkson, Quinnipiac faces Brown and rival Yale in Hamden. Not only are these winnable games (as much as any matchup in this league can be termed “winnable”), but Quinnipiac holds the tiebreaker over Clarkson as well.

The situation looks pretty clear for QU, and to be honest you’d have to like its chances … if it weren’t for Harvard. The Crimson are the potential fly in the fruit cup, sitting a point ahead of and holding the tiebreaker over Quinnipiac, and controlling their own fate against St. Lawrence and Clarkson.

“We definitely want to finish as high as we can,” Bobcats coach Rand Pecknold said. “We’d love to get the bye; if we don’t get it, we’d love to finish five or six instead of seven. I think you always want to finish as high up the ladder as you can, but we haven’t really focused on that as a team — we got Brown Friday night, and we need to play well. They’re a good hockey team; we tied them earlier in the year. We need to focus on Friday, and when we get to Saturday, we’ll need to focus on Saturday. I know it’s a cliché — one game at a time — but that’s really what we need to do.”

Junior forward and leading goal-scorer Jeremy Langlois missed much of last weekend, getting hurt early against Rensselaer and posing a big question for Pecknold and the Q-Cats this week. Despite his potential absence, the coach is confident that a 60-minute effort will pay off for his wards.

“I think it’s been a solid year,” he said. “We’ve definitely let some games slip away from time to time. Whether it was sloppy defense, or a failure to finish our chances … we need to really focus in on playing 60 every night. I think we’re close to that, but we’re certainly not perfect.”

The postseason is still a week off, but only by technicality in the eyes of most coaches and players.

“I think last weekend felt like the start of the playoffs,” Pecknold said. “We’re certainly in that mode. It’s not do-or-die, but I think everybody’s in that mode already. In the last couple weeks of the year, we’re all making a push for the seedings.”

He is happy to finish the regularly scheduled programming in Hamden, where his team is 10-3-2 and eager to host a playoff series for the sixth year running.

“It’s always nice to finish at home the last weekend,” Pecknold said. “I think you always want to be at home, not only for the points, but also from a travel perspective it’s better. You get good rest on Sunday, and you kick off on Monday getting ready for whoever your playoff opponent’s going to be.”

Harvard’s future is Bright

Pardon the pun, but it’s absolutely appropriate given the circumstances: the Crimson host hot St. Lawrence and Clarkson at Boston’s Bright Hockey Center this weekend, with Saturday’s season finale against the Golden Knights looking especially significant. Should the teams remain within two points of each other following Friday’s contests, Saturday’s victor is likely (though not assured) to get a week’s rest in anticipation of a second-round home series.

Harvard split in the North Country earlier this year, edging the Knights 3-2 before falling to the Saints 4-3. The Crimson saw a nine-game league unbeaten streak (4-0-5) come to a clamorous termination on Saturday, as Harvard was effectively terminated at Yale in a 7-1 beatdown. Rookie goalie Steve Michalek got the hook after five goals, 16 shots and just under 30 minutes of brutalization, and Yale went 3-for-11 on the power play in the romp.

The Crimson responded adequately after their last loss — tying RPI, beating Northeastern and tying Brown following a 3-1 Beanpot loss to BU — but St. Lawrence and Clarkson have played much better hockey this year than any of those teams. It’s going to be a wild weekend on the shore of the Charles, that much is assured.

Third point’s the charm

If Clarkson can take three points this weekend, the Golden Knights will hold onto fourth place and earn the week off. One nagging problem: Clarkson hasn’t taken three of four on a league road trip all year.

The Knights are coming off an impressive three-point weekend at Cheel against Cornell (1-1 tie) and Colgate (2-1 win), in which senior goaltender Paul Karpowich had perhaps his best weekend of the year with 55 stops.

Karpowich may need to duplicate that kind of effort for ‘Tech to achieve its three-point goal at Dartmouth and Harvard, as the Knights are averaging fewer than two goals a game in conference road games. The Knights lost to Harvard (as aforementioned) in Potsdam in mid-November, but shut out Dartmouth 4-0 the following night.

Saturday’s trip home will be vastly more comfortable with an extra week to reset and recuperate. That peace of mind is a mere three points away.

Big Green need a big weekend

Harvard and Dartmouth will be best buddies this weekend, as each is wishing only the best for the other in their mutual quests for higher seeds.

The Big Green needs a little more help than the Crimson, however, as the Granite State Ivy sits two full points behind SLU and Yale for the final home-ice spot in the standings. The team snapped a seven-game tumble (0-5-2) with Saturday’s 4-1 win at Brown, and because of that slide the Green will have only themselves to blame should this weekend’s efforts come up short.

The offense has been a critical shortcoming of late, as — despite a veteran roster — Dartmouth sputtered out merely 11 goals in its six matchups prior to Brown. Senior goalies Jody O’Neill and James Mello have shared duties of late, but while O’Neill has better league numbers by far, he has been inconsistent in his last few starts.

Dartmouth beat SLU and lost to Clarkson in its mid-November North Country trip. It’s hard to imagine anything less than three points will be necessary to secure another home game at Thompson this spring.

Bulldogs angling for a move

Don’t make the mistake of presuming that Yale’s goal this weekend is to hang onto a home-ice spot.

“We’re trying to move up to fourth place, not hold onto eighth place,” snapped head coach Keith Allain. “That’s our mind-set.”

Last weekend’s home sweep of Dartmouth (by a 5-3 score) and Harvard (7-1) was only the team’s second four-point weekend of the year, and its first since before Thanksgiving. Yale’s dozen goals matched the combined output of its previous four efforts (in which it went 1-3), and the four goals against were the fewest in a weekend since the first week of January. These cannot be interpreted as bad signs, that’s for sure; whether they bespeak a marked improvement in the squad’s mettle and fortune remains to be seen.

For the umpteenth time, this has been a rebuilding year in New Haven, though perhaps the adjustment period has been a little more wobbly than desired given the Blue’s stellar recent history.

“I think our team’s attitude is that we’re getting better as a group, and we expect to be successful every time we suit up,” said Allain. The team’s play last week, he said, was as good as or better than it had been all year.

One popular concept that Yale does not buy into, however, is the idea that playoff hockey starts well before the playoffs actually begin.

“I don’t think in terms of that,” Allain said. “We want to be as good as we can be every single game we play. This weekend is important, but at the end of the day, we’ll prepare well, we’ll play as hard as we can play, but we’ve got games to play the following weekend regardless of what happens.”

Cleary as day

There’s no two ways about it: Friday’s game between Union and Cornell at Lynah Rink in Ithaca is the biggest game of a weekend chock full of big games, and it will be the biggest game of the regular season for either team as well.

At least until Saturday.

The decision won’t necessarily determine the Cleary Cup champion, but it might. It won’t necessarily decide who will take the No. 1 seed, either … but it might. The onus is on home-standing Cornell to win if the Big Red are to hold out any hope of taking the top seed: A loss or tie eliminates them from that possibility. The Cleary Cup — awarded to the regular-season champion — can be shared should two (or more) teams tie atop the standings, but anything less than a win by the hosts will place Cornell’s destiny in the hands of hated Colgate.

For Union, the task is simple: Beat Cornell, claim Cleary and the No. 1 seed outright. A tie still takes the top seed, but risks a co-championship with Cornell. A loss … well, that unleashes a whole different beast come Saturday night.

“Obviously, it’s the way it goes in sports sometimes. If it just happens to be coming down to the one game, well y’know what, so be it,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “Whether at home, away, or if we’re playing on a pond, it doesn’t matter: It’s gotta be decided, and we’re just happy and fortunate enough to be in it.”

Cornell’s veteran coach, Mike Schafer, struck a more philosophical tone when analyzing his team’s position.

“We controlled our own destiny earlier in the year, but the games we lost — to BU down at Madison Square Garden, we didn’t play great down in Florida and lost a game there — so it’s a … lesson for our players that you control your own destiny by winning games,” he said. “It’s kind of a flip-flop of years: Last year the league was really good nonconference, and this year we haven’t been. It’s definitely hurt [ECAC Hockey] teams; if we’d have had this record last year, we’d have been a lock right now [for the NCAA tournament]. Every year is a new year, so we just concentrate on the things we can control right now, which is Union right in front of us and RPI on Saturday.”

Both coaches said they are approaching this game as they would any other, and expect their charges to do the same. Neither has specifically emphasized (or at least, admitted to emphasizing) the significance of Friday’s tilt to their respective teams, though each is certain that many players from both sides are perfectly up to date on the latest ECAC standings and PairWise Rankings.

“As a team, we haven’t talked about it. We’re not going to bring it up this week, and we haven’t talked about PairWise once outside of a couple things,” said Bennett. “We had a blip … when we went out to Denver and CC — we had a team meeting, talked about how sometimes these games are very important, nationally — and the guys seem to have gotten it since then, so I don’t think there’s a need to bring it back up.”

“I don’t even know where we stand in the PairWise,” Schafer shrugged. “[My players] know that they’ve got to win both games this weekend; we know that we’ve got to win both to be first, but that’s about it. I’m sure they check — some guys check and some guys don’t — but they know that we have to win Friday and Saturday in order to win the league.”

(Note: That’s not necessarily true — beating Union on Friday, and a Union loss at Colgate paired with a Cornell tie against RPI on Saturday would give Cornell the title and top seed outright as well.)

These teams tied 4-4 the last time they met, three weeks ago in Schenectady. It wasn’t the kind of performance that either coach would like to see again on Friday, but the recency and intensity of that game have served the combatants well in this week’s preparations.

As Bennett simply pondered, “I think it helps the psyche of the team, knowing what you’re going to face.”

One pivotal question that faces Union this week is the viability of starting netminder Troy Grosenick. The keeper of the nation’s best save percentage (.942) and goals against average (1.52) missed three games early in the month with an ankle injury, then re-injured it against Quinnipiac on Saturday and couldn’t finish the game.

With a two-point lead on the Big Red, a bye week locked up, and a NCAA berth almost assured, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to imagine Bennett resting Grosenick for as long as necessary.

But that’s not going to happen.

“No, no we’re not,” the coach said, when asked if his staff would be cautious about re-introducing its top goalie. “We’re going to push him as best we possibly can, and hopefully he’s ready to go. We don’t have time to be cautious. If Troy can go, he’s going to play. I think it’s a lot better than people made it out to be.”

On the other bench, Schafer said that junior forward John Esposito is unlikely to return before the playoffs. The reliable contributor has played only twice since early January, and those appearances may have set back his recovery from an ankle injury.

When all is really said and done and we media types have returned to our keyboards, it should be assumed that all bets are off and all forms of gamesmanship are in play for this mega-match. Cornell is in an uncomfortably unfamiliar state, having to fight for a shot at the NCAAs for the first time in years. It’s one game at a time in Ithaca, but these games sure are getting serious, aren’t they?

“It’s been kind of a weird year,” said Schafer. “You look at our record (11-3-6 in league) and how many ties we’ve had, and look how much parity there is in the league — it’ll be another good game, and another good contest to see how much we’ve really grown as a hockey team in the last three weeks since we [last] played them. I think we played solid when we were there, but I think we’ve gotten better each week since then.”

Friday will pit two better teams, each trying to get the better of each other in what by all rights should be one of the better contests we’ve seen in a long time.

Better be ready. It’s by no means guaranteed to be the best game you’ve ever seen …

But it might.

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


The following is a self-policing forum for discussing views on this story. Comments that are derogatory, make personal attacks, are abusive, or contain profanity or racism will be removed at our discretion. USCHO.com is not responsible for comments posted by users. Please report any inappropriate or offensive comments by clicking the “Flag” link next to that comment in order to alert the moderator.

Please also keep “woofing,” taunting, and otherwise unsportsmanlike behavior to a minimum. Your posts will more than likely be deleted, and worse yet, you reflect badly on yourself, your favorite team and your conference.

  • Scott Muirhead

    Version:1.0
    StartHTML:0000000240
    EndHTML:0000017679
    StartFragment:0000002633
    EndFragment:0000017643
    SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/scottmuirhead/Desktop/Documents/MUIRHEAD%20FAMILY%20stuff/UNIONHockeyIsUnappreciated%2024Feb2012.doc

    Finally some ink for Union … and Cornell.  But why is
    essentially the ECAC title game on the last weekend of the season, placed at
    the end of your piece that leads with bubble teams like Quinnipiac, Hah vahd,
    Yale and Dartmouth?

     

    As a Union alum (I’ll cite my bias right up front), it
    is perplexing, annoying, aggravating, and at times infuriating at how Union is
    ALWAYS underestimated and overlooked by you guys in the hockey media. 
    Your 15 “teams of the week” have included only one from the ECAC, and that was
    COLGATE, twice, a team now stuck in third place in the ECAC with nowhere to go
    in the standings but down.  Admittedly, when they beat Cornell twice four
    weeks back, yeah, they deserved it.  Those Cornell loses, coupled with
    Union’s beat downs at home of Clarkson (5-2) and St. Lawrence (6-0)  -
    enabled my fair College to seize an ECAC lead it have never relinquished.

    Team of the Week?  How about Team
    of the Year in 2012 so far?  Since
    Jan. 1, Union has gone 10-1-2.  
    Yet this unequalled success has never  been noted in the hockey media. 2012 surges by Maine,
    Mass-Lowell, Michigan, Ferris State, and others have gotten some
    attention.  All have stumbled after
    their recent successes.  Union is
    the only school to sustain its momentum the entire year-to-date.  [I note that last year as well, Union’s
    post-Jan. 1 regular season record was unprecedented with the team going:
    14-1-1]

     

    But its success this year is no fluke.  It is built on rock solid,
    team-centered defense; a share-the-wealth, unselfish offense; and outstanding
    play in goal and on special teams. 

     

    Union has the #1 ranked defense by a HUGE margin with a 1.75
    goals per game average.  Minn., the
    #2 ranked team, is 0.34 goals/game behind Union at 2.09 GPG.  If you look
    0.34 goals down from Minnesota, to an average of 2.43, there are at least 10
    other teams in the rankings. 

     

    That means the 11th ranked defense in the nation is closer
    to being #2, than Minnesota, the #2 ranked team, is to being number one. When was
    the last time a team defense been that dominate?

    Union also is tied for 4th (with BU) in team offense behind only the mighty
    3M’s (Minnesota-Duluth, our defending national champ, Minnesota, and
    Maine). 

     

    Other noteworthy achievements under first year Head Coach
    Rick Bennett: 

     

    Nation’s best goalie in both GAA and Save % — the
    incomparable sophomore Troy Grosenick.

     

    The nation’s #5 Power Play

    The nation’s #5 Penalty Killing unit

     

    The nation’s fewest losses (at 19-6-7) of all D-I teams.
    (Note: Last year’s team, 26-10-4 overall, won more regular season games than
    all other D-I teams).

     

    I challenge any other team to match those achievements
    across all disciplines in the game.

     

    As an alumnus it also makes me proud that Union:

     

    Is one of the least penalized teams in the nation.

     

    That 8 of its 12 seniors the past two years have been ECAC
    All-Academic award winners, most of them multiple years.

     

    That in the five years that the ECAC has chosen a Player of
    the Year Award –taking into account skill and accomplishments on the ice,
    academics, and community service – there have been three Union winners,
    including Stephane Beaulieu in 2010-11 who is now in medical school in
    Montreal.

     

    Given these documented achievements, let me call attention
    to Union’s first year Head Coach, Rick Bennett, as a strong candidate for, at
    minimum, ECAC Coach of the Year, and a strong candidate for National D-I Coach
    of the Year.

     

    Just to get this off my chest, it is hard for me to grasp
    the success of the my 2,200 enrollment alma mater, a U.S. News top 50 national
    liberal arts college – how it can have success of this magnitude in a sport
    that includes six Ivy League programs, five Big Ten institutions, many Hockey
    East powerhouses with long hockey traditions — at least five whom (by my
    count) have won at least one national title — not to mention Notre Dame, North
    Dakota, defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth, and a number of other
    mid-western behemoths.

     

    I know what the rap on Union is – and on the whole ECAC as
    well.  We don’t do much in the post
    season and our inter-conference record is the weakest of the “Big Four.”  We need to start making news in the
    post season. 

     

    I am hoping this might be the year.  With great team defense and if  #1 goalie gets on an especially hot
    stretch (assuming Grosenick stays healthy), we could pull of some
    surprises.   I note that last
    year we bowed out of the NCAA Championships in the first round, but that was in
    a very credible 2-0 loss to eventual national champ Minn-Duluth, one of their
    toughest games in their road to the top.

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  

     

    And while I am at it, here is something else that irked me
    greatly three weeks ago. The weekend of Feb. 3-4, Cornell (then, as now, #2 in
    the ECAC) and Colgate (then, as now, #3 in the ECAC and at that point twice the
    CHN “Team of the Week”) came to Schenectady to play Union, then, as now, #1 in
    the ECAC. Troy Grosenick, our #1 in the nation goalie, was unable to play
    because of an ankle injury — the first games he had missed since early in the
    season.   Guess what the
    pre-weekend story in CHN was?  The
    upcoming games of two middle-of-the-pack teams – Quinnipiac and Princeton.  Huh?!  Were you guys paying attention, or are you just not able to
    find the love for Union (and Cornell, for that matter.  Since Colgate was your top pick twice,
    I know they have your attention.)

     

    In these two very crucial weekend match-ups, Union’s
    freshman goal tender, Colin Stevens, stepped up and filled in admirably under
    great pressure, backstopping a 3-1 win vs. Colgate (and shutting out Colgate’s
    great scorer, Austin Smith, the nation’s leader in goals), and a 4-4 tie vs.
    Cornell. He followed that the next weekend with an important 5-1 win at
    Dartmouth. Stevens’ GAA average in those three crucial games (2.00) and his
    overall GAA would have placed him in the nation’s top 15, if he had been able
    to qualify in terms of minutes played.

     

    That should come as no surprise to close observers of D-I
    hockey. Last year, Union’s sophomore goaltender, Keith Kincade, was also the
    nation’s top goalie in GAA, and third, I believe, in Save %.  Kincade signed a professional contract
    at the close of last season and is now with the New Jersey Devils Albany, NY
    minor league affiliate.  If there
    were an award for the nations top goalie coach, Union’s Justin Tapp would be a
    shoo-in having produced two consecutive sophomore #1 goalies, and is now
    grooming a first year man, Stevens, as a worthy successor to Kincade and
    Grosenick, in Union’s crease.

     

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

     

    Hey, have you stayed with me so far?  I’d be surprised.  Even I’m surprised I have gone on this
    long.

     

    Here’s something else that I believe is noteworthy that
    could be the basis of a story on Providence College’s first year Head Coach Nate
    Leaman.

     

    Nate Leaman was Union’s coach last season.

     

    In late January 2011, Yale, then ranked #1 in the nation,
    came to Schenectady to take on the Leaman coached Dutchmen at Messa Rink.  Union won that evening with a gripping
    3-2 win in which it was never behind, but never up by more than a goal.  Entering the third period, trailing by
    a goal, Yale out shot Union 17-3, keeping relentless pressure on Union’s #2 in
    the nation defense and its #1 ranked goalie, Keith Kincaid. The tension was
    electric.  When the final horn
    blew, Union had its first (or second***) win ever over a #1 ranked hockey team
    (and perhaps, #1 ranked team in any sport). 

     

    Following the 2010-2011 season, in which Leaman was ECAC
    Coach of the Year, he was hired away by a Providence College team seeking to
    recapture success that had deserted the program for more than a decade. Leaman
    has had good success in his first season at Providence leading it back to
    respectability (12-14-4 at this writing) . 

     

    But here is the really the interesting thing: Providence
    played back-to-back weekend games with Merrimack College Dec. 2-3.  Merrimack had started the season red
    hot and was undefeated through its first 10 games (9-0-1), a streak that shot
    it to the top of the Hockey polls when they took on Providence. The Friars
    prevailed in both games, 2-1 on Friday night and 6-1 the next day.

     

    Those wins gave Nate Leaman three victories over a #1 ranked
    D-I opponent (Yale in 2010-11 at Union and Merrimack twice in 2011-12) in less
    than one calendar year, spanning two hockey seasons and as coach of two
    different teams!!

     

    Has any D-I hockey coach ever achieved such a feat?  I’d really like to know.

     

    Nate was the greatest coach in Union history, but for four
    years, Rick Bennett, now Union’s head coach, managed recruiting and coached the
    defense and was an integral part of Union’s rise to the top of the ECAC and a
    presence among the nation’s top program. 
    We wish nothing but the best for Nate (except if and when Providence
    might play Union).  I am hoping
    that for a dream match-up in the Final at the Frozen Four of Providence and
    Union, each led by one of the finest coaching talents in the nation.

     

    OK.  I’m done!!

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

     

    *** A fan at last weekend’s contests in Schenectady vs. Princeton
    (a 3-1 Union win) and Quinnipiac (a 5-2 win for the home team) told me that in
    1975 or 1976, Union, then the nation’s top D-III team hosted UNH, then the
    nation’s #1 ranked D-I school and pulled off the upset of the decade and one of
    the biggest of all time.  I’d like
    to have that confirmed by someone, somewhere.

     
     

    • http://twitter.com/SullivanHockey Brian Sullivan

       You, sir or madame, seem to have an awful lot of time on your hands… but it would appear that you have addressed a number of your critical points to the wrong site. USCHO is not CHN, nor vice-versa. We don’t pick “teams of the week”, for starters, and complaints about CHN’s coverage mean little to us.

      Your defense and support for Union is certainly admirable, and your points on behalf of the Dutchmen are completely valid. You asked why I put the Game of the Week/Season/Millenium at the end of the column? To keep people like you reading, of course! If I led with the top story, fewer and fewer readers would continue on to my less urgent topics.

      And finally regarding coverage of Union, Cornell, or any other team, Nate and I try to spread the love evenly. That means that we can’t write much about any given team every week, but we try to hit everyone in one way or another at least once a week, and devote part of a column (if not more) to each team on a quasi-regular rotation.

      In any case, thank you for your sufficiently massive and sincere comment; I’m sure you and I alike can’t wait for Friday to come.

      • http://twitter.com/SullivanHockey Brian Sullivan

         (Sorry, “sir.” I just noticed your name as posted.)

        • ThatGuyWhoFollowsBrian

          Good Response Brian. And I will add that, statistically, Union Cornell (and Colgate) have gotten the most attention all year, so give em’ a break and lets talk about some other teams for a change. I could have used a little less talk about the Cleary and more about everyone else actually. Brian, I would have liked to see you thoughts on SLU’s odds of making the top four. They have the same number of points as Yale and if Yale’s odds are mentioned, so should SLU’s. And this coming from a Clarkson fan. Even if Clarkson was able to get the cup this year, I still would have liked to hear about how the other teams are doing.

    • Aaron Griffin

      Scott, you and I have a few disagreements with your perspectives about Union College hockey. I am a Cornell fan and have much respect for Union College. I won’t take the time to outline our disagreements here.

      However, I did take the time to look into if that game between Union and New Hampshire did occur. It did. There is a Cornell-Union connection with the game too because at that time Union College was led by legendary coach Ned Harkness who helped Cornell earn its national titles. If you are still interested, here is the information. You made reference to a Union College hockey game in 1975 or 1976 in
      which Union College defeated a highly ranked team from UNH. I got curious
      and started researching to see if it did occur. It did. The team was
      playing in Division III at that time and led by Ned Harkness
      unsurprisingly but Union managed an upset against UNH. It was in 1976. I
      stumbled upon a Sports Illustrated article that highlights the victory and Harkness’ establishment of a winning college hockey program at Union. The article had this to say about the game:

      “Unable to get Clarkson at Achilles Arena, Union had to settle for the
      University of New Hampshire last Friday night. UNH had displaced
      Clarkson as No. 1 in the East and No. 2 in the nation, and had lost only
      two Division I games all year as it faced off against Harkness’ squad. A
      standing-room-only crowd of 3,400 braved a blizzard and subzero
      temperatures to see the game, and it was never close. In one of the
      most-shocking upsets since RPI’s win in the 1954 NCAA championship,
      Union stunned UNH 8-4 as Forward Don Marshall scored three goals.”

      • Scott Muirhead

        Aaron –

        Thanks for clearing that up for me.  And congratulations on Cornell’s win vs. Union Friday night.  But my special thanks goes to RPI for its Saturday night performance.  And didn’t Ned Harkness also coach RPI?

    • Dbagcarlos

      Please – just a win a tournament game this year. Maybe then the rest of us will take the ECAC serious next year.

      • Enchanted_Tiki_Room

        It’s not much, but Yale beat Air Force last year in the first round. 

        • Dbagcarlos

          Great point – I should have directed the comment more specifically to Union.  Yale, Harvard, and Cornell are respected when the get into the Tournament.  No one fears playing Union outside the ECAC.

          • Oneanddone

            Harvard hasn’t won a tournament game in ages.  Here’s a trivia question I don’t know the answer to: Which is more recent?  Harvard’s last win the NCAA tournament or their last Beanpot title?

          • css228

            Tournament win but not by much. Won the Beanpot in 93 and I know they were in the Frozen Four in 94. I’m sure they have a more recent win, but I’m too lazy to try and find it

          • Oneanddone

            If they have a more recent win I didn’t find it.  In 1994 they had a first round bye and beat New Hampshire 7-1 in the quarterfinals.  They lost to eventual champion Lake Superior in the semifinals, 3-2 in OT.

          • css228

            Huh, what do you know?  I think you’re right. More ammo for the next time they come to Lynah

    • Dbagcarlos

      crickets …………….

    • Union Fan

      Union Fan – best post I’ve read & sums up my frustrations and provides comments in an intelligent, respectable way.  the union education shows through.  I read these other posts and it makes them sound like unintelligible high school drop outs.. “we’ve won more conference championships, more NCAA tournament games… blah blah.”

      The history of a team’s program and conference is irrelevant – Larry Bird isn’t winning Boston a basketball title this year, nor is Magic playing for the lakers..

      Union is the Miami Heat or Oklahoma City (grosenick = labron/wade?)… not much history, but great as of last two years – and that’s all that matters. 

      Good enough to win?  – We’ll see.

      I was at the NCAA regional last year in Bridgeport CT and let’s be honest – that was a real tight game w/UMD losing 2-0.. the next hardest game UMD had was UM for the DI title.

      When you consider history, look no further than the NBA parallel, Union is great as of late and now is 20-7…. again.

      Union Alum Class of 2000

      ps. no one fears union since no one knows union, that’s a plus for union.  ask michigan.

  • Enchanted_Tiki_Room

    “…Cornell… in the hands of hated Colgate.”

    We don’t care about Colgate, much less hate them. 

    • referee

      We don’t “care” about Colgate? How elitist of you. Sounds like another proud Cornell fan. I bet those two losses back to back this year made you “care”.. Hope to see you caring again in the playoffs.

      • css228

        Look its more that you guys arent really our primary rivals. We have good reason to actually root for you once in a while. We could never bring ourselves to do that for Harvard, Clarkson or BU. I think don’t care isn’t the right phrasing, but hate is way too strong. If we “hate” Colgate, then what words are left to describe our feelings toward Harvard and BU? It not that we don’t mildly dislike you, it just feels like the word “rival” doesn’t really apply to you guys. Harvard is our rival. BU is well they’re BU history explains that one (btw we have a very similar relationship with them that Colgate has with us. Beating BU makes our season, them beating us makes their weekend). Let’s just put it this way, unless it keeps us out of the tournament, those losses to Colgate aren’t causing anyone in Ithaca any lost sleep. We were upset because of how the team played, not so much who we lost to. I think what my rambling response is getting at is. It just doesn’t feel like a rivalry on East Hill. The history isn’t there, the important games aren’t there. I mean the coolest memory most of us have from Colgate is that Scrivens had an awesome takedown a few years ago. I don’t want to take the rivalry away from Colgate because one sided rivalries can be a ton of fun (re: Cornell-BU in modern times) but don’t use the word hate to describe Cornell’s feelings toward Colgate. It just seems all sorts of wrong.

        • Dbagcarlos

          In fact, tonight Colgate is my second favorite team.

      • Hsq

        I agree with css228.  Nobody likes losing but losing two to Colgate doesn’t bother us any more than getting swept on a typical weekend would.

      • Dbagcarlos

        It is true – we do not hate or really care about Colgate.  Sorry, but true. Nice school, but dont really care. Actually would not mind at all if their program did well. 

  • ecacfan

    Why dont you write a book called the injustices of Union College jeez…fly under the radar, cuz calling for the spotlight just makes you look arrogant and dumb

  • Give_My_Regards

    Not that anyone cares at this point (or should), but re: your first paragraph, it appears that only 9 teams are capable of earning first-round home ice or higher.  RPI and Brown are out of it, and try as I might, I can’t get Princeton to finish higher than ninth.

    • http://twitter.com/SullivanHockey Brian Sullivan

       Now that you mention it, you’re right: Princeton is locked into a first-round road trip. Good eye.

  • ‘GateFan

    I didn’t get the impression the Big Red didn’t care about the back-to-back losses to ‘Gate when they happened. Maybe you think you have bigger fish to fry but the Raiders exposed some of Cornell’s weaknesses that could come back to bite them vs. Union (and other teams in the NCAAs)

    • NotOurRivals

      You missed the point.  It’s not that we don’t care about the losses.  It’s that we don’t care that they came against Colgate.  We would feel the same if were swept on a road trip to North Country or on a weekend hosting Yale and Brown.  I think most fans would be much more pissed if we lost both games in a season to Harvard even though the two games are played months apart.

    • css228

      Once again you mistake our general passion for our hockey team for passion that is because we’re playing you. All you have to do to see the difference is look at the attendance difference between the average attendance of the last three meetings with BU at MSG and the Cornell-Colgate game at the Pru. Its no that we don’t care, its just that the way we act toward you is no different than how we treat any of our guests in Lynah. If we had as easy a joke (i.e. toothpaste) to throw at any other team in the league as Colgate, we’d do it in an instant. Just because we throw toothpaste boxes at you doesnt make your game any more special than Union or RPI. We always sell out, we’re always loud, and we always care about the games, its just our identity as a fan base.

BNY Mellon Wealth Management