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Dog days of Quinnipiac’s season seem a distant memory

With Quinnipiac winners of the 2016 Whitelaw Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., last weekend, it’s time to look back at the ECAC Hockey championship that was. Here’s what we learned:

Quinnipiac has ‘it’ factor

No matter the test, it seems that this season was the Bobcats’ to lose. That turned out to be the case on Saturday, as No. 2 Quinnipiac outlasted Harvard for its first Whitelaw Cup in program history. The Bobcats exploded in the second period with three power-play goals from Tim Clifton, Bo Pieper and K.J. Tiefenwerth within 6:09 of each other. Michael Garteig stayed stellar and made 24 saves in the victory.

It’s going to be hard to knock off Quinnipiac this season and, perhaps more importantly, it appears the dog days of mid-January for the Bobcats are now a far distant memory.

Harvard gets late-game heroics

While the Crimson’s offense failed to keep up with Quinnipiac in the championship game, it was the Harvard forward core that powered it to get that far. Friday’s semifinal game against St. Lawrence came down to the wire, as Kyle Criscuolo’s overtime game-winner was reviewed three times and took a while to go over on the monitor.

Harvard got goals from Jimmy Vesey, Criscuolo and Ryan Donato last weekend, a triple threat that has powered the Crimson into the NCAA tournament. But Harvard will need Merrick Madsen to get hot and its defensive corps to keep things in check in order to make a deep tournament run.

Vesey, Lyon win postseason awards

While Yale was forced to watch this weekend’s conference semifinals and final from the sidelines, it did receive some recognition. Junior goaltender Alex Lyon was honored with the Ken Dryden Award for the league’s top goaltender. Lyon registered a 1.50 GAA and a .943 save percentage over 22 games this season. While Dartmouth seemed to solve the Bulldogs in its two-game quarterfinal series, Yale will need every iota of Lyon’s brilliance as it looks to play catch-up in the NCAA tournament.

Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey was honored as the league’s player of the year for the second consecutive season, while Yale’s Joe Snively won rookie of the year and Yale’s Carson Cooper was named the best defensive forward. Yale’s Rob O’Gara was also named the best defensive defenseman and Harvard’s Criscuolo was named student-athlete of the year.

Saturday’s championship pick

I went 1-1 in Friday’s ECAC Hockey semifinals, as I had St. Lawrence beating Harvard. Instead, the Crimson will face Quinnipiac tonight for the chance to win the program’s second straight Whitelaw Cup. The Bobcats are in the championship game for the second time in program history after losing in the semifinals for three straight seasons. Quinnipiac lost to Clarkson in the 2007 title game.

Regardless of what happens tonight, QU will be playing the NCAA tournament next weekend, as the Bobcats are currently the No. 1 seed in the country. Harvard is a virtual certainty as well, as the Crimson are currently sitting at eleventh.

As for today’s game: Harvard and goalie Merrick Madsen played very well against a tough St. Lawrence team last night. The Bobcats beat Dartmouth 3-1, but it wasn’t their best game of the season. I could see Quinnipiac taking advantage of Harvard’s inexperienced defensemen, but if the Crimson play with speed and get the same effort from Madsen tonight, they’ll be tough to beat. Harvard wins

Semifinal picks

It’s down to the final four in ECAC Hockey. Colleague Josh Weinreb broke down the weekend here, so I’ll keep this brief. Be sure to check back this weekend, as St. Lawrence arena reporter Jack Lyons and myself will be in Lake Placid. Here are the picks for Friday’s games:

No. 7 Dartmouth vs. No. 1 Quinnipiac, 4:06 p.m.

Season series: 2-0 Quinnpiac

It’s been 36 years since the Big Green have made the NCAA tournament and Dartmouth is in search of the program’s first Whitelaw Cup. Quinnipiac is a lock for its fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance, but are also looking for its first Whitelaw Cup as well. While goalie Charles Grant was outstanding last week and Dartmouth’s offense has picked up in the second half, I think Quinnipiac has the depth to advance to the league title game on Saturday However, this comes with the caveat that I expected Yale to sweep Dartmouth last weekend – so we’ll how this turns out. Quinnipiac wins

No. 4 St. Lawrence vs. No. 3 Harvard, 7:36 p.m.

Season series: 2-0 Harvard

There should be plenty of speed in this game, as both teams can really move up and down the ice.  St. Lawrence gets a lot of attention for its defense, while Harvard is known for its offense, but both teams have been strong on the opposite ends of the ice as well. The Saints average nearly three goals per game and have a lot of depth in the lineup, while the Crimson allow 2.29 goals per game thanks to a strong season by goalie Merrick Madsen. One thing to keep an eye on will be offense generated by St. Lawrence’s defense. The Saints’ top three shot leaders are all defensemen, meaning Harvard’s forwards will need to be alert in their own zone. I expect this to be close, but the Saints should have plenty of crowd support in the stands and I’ve think they will pull out the win. St. Lawrence wins

And then there were four

A relatively quick quarterfinal weekend in ECAC Hockey ended with three teams returning to Lake Placid for the second season in a row. The lone newcomer is Dartmouth, who swept second-seeded Yale to return to conference semifinals for the first time since 2011. Only one series – Cornell and Quinnipiac  – went to three games, although two of the three remaining series had at least one overtime game.

Here are the matchups Friday at the 1980 Rink – Herbs Brook Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y.

No. 1 Quinnipiac vs. No. 7 Dartmouth, 4:06 p.m.

No. 3 Harvard vs. No. 4 St. Lawrence, 7:36 p.m.

Big Green with the big upset

While there were some tight games in the opening round of the ECAC playoffs, every series ended with the higher seeded team advancing. That wasn’t the case in the quarterfinals, as No. 7 Dartmouth swept No. 2 Yale.

The Big Green won Friday’s game in overtime, and then held on for a 2-1 win on Saturday despite getting outshot 47-15. Senior Charles Grant was outstanding in goal for Dartmouth.

“I’ve been in hockey a long time, and I’ve never seen a team dominate another team like that and not come out on top,” said Yale coach Keith Allain. “We played a great game for 60 minutes. Our guys played the way we asked them to all night. I will take that game every night.”

Despite the loss, the Bulldogs are a virtual lock for an NCAA tournament bid for the third time in four seasons.  Dartmouth will likely need to win the Whitelaw Cup in Lake Placid to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1980.

Cornell and Quinnipiac go the distance

After losing the opener on Friday, the eighth-seeded Big Red rallied for a 5-4 win Saturday to force a Game 3 Sunday, which the Bobcats won 6-3.

Sunday’s game saw a combined nine penalties between the teams, six against Cornell.  That resulted in two Bobcats power-play goals, and helped QU advance to the league semifinals for the fourth straight season.

Despite that streak, the Bobcats are still looking for its first Whitelaw Cup. Quinnipiac has only one win in the league’s championship weekend during that stretch, a 3-0 victory over Yale in the 2013 consolation game. The league has since eliminated that game.

As for Cornell, it currently sits at 16th in the PairWise and will need some help to keep its slim NCAA hopes alive.

St. Lawrence needs extra time to dispatch its rival

St. Lawrence swept Clarkson to advance to Lake Placid for the second straight season, but it wasn’t easy. The Golden Knights played their rivals tight, as the Saints won both games 3-2 in overtime.

On Friday, Brian Ward’s goal at 8:12 into the extra period gave St. Lawrence the win, while Gavin Bayreuther sent the Saints to the semifinals with a goal 3:14 into the second overtime on Saturday.

Like Dartmouth, the Saints will likely need to win the league championship in order to advance to the NCAA Tournament. St. Lawrence ended the weekend tied for 18th in the PairWise.

ECAC Hockey quarterfinal picks: March 11-13

Here’s a look at the ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series:

No. 1 Quinnipiac vs. Cornell

A matchup that had a lot of potential in January now seems to have lost a little bit of its luster. Cornell struggled down the stretch, finishing with a 15-9-7 regular season record before defeating Union in two games in the ECAC’s first round. What hurt the Big Red was a seven-game winless stretch in late January that put them back down in the middle of the pack. Quinnipiac, however, has kept its top position in college hockey since just after the new year. With a weekend off, the Bobcats should come into this weekend’s series well rested and hungry to start playing games that matter — as long as they live up to all the hype. Quinnipiac is 1-0-1 against Cornell this season, with a 5-4 victory on Nov. 7 and a 2-2 tie on Feb. 5.

Picks: Quinnipiac 4, Cornell 3
Cornell 2, Quinnipiac 1, OT
Quinnipiac 3, Cornell 0

No. 4 St. Lawrence vs. Clarkson

For a team that has been a model of inconsistency this season, Clarkson has certainly turned it around at the right time. The Golden Knights finished their season with impressive wins over Harvard and Dartmouth, carrying that momentum over into the playoffs with two decisive wins over Princeton. As much success as St. Lawrence has had this season, the Saints might be the easiest target out of the four ECAC teams that have yet to play a playoff series this season. St. Lawrence has gone 1-2-1 in its last four games, including losses to Yale and Harvard. With Clarkson coming in with momentum, the Saints will need to take control of this series and early. Either way, this may turn into a dog fight.

Picks: Clarkson 4, St. Lawrence 2
St. Lawrence 5, Clarkson 2
St. Lawrence 2, Clarkson 1, OT

No. 2 Yale vs. Dartmouth

Yale will open its postseason against a team that seemingly came out of nowhere in the second half of the regular season. Dartmouth was down and out before storming back into the playoff conversation. That momentum was solidified with an opening-round thriller against Colgate in double overtime, sending the Big Green into the second round. Unfortunately for the comeback kids, this season hasn’t been kind against Yale in the season series. The Bulldogs have beaten up on Dartmouth twice this season — once on Nov. 7, a 4-2 win, and once on Feb. 5, a 5-1 win. But as the story lines usually go, pressure is on the higher seeded team to finish its business.

Picks: Yale 5, Dartmouth 3
Yale 3, Dartmouth 1

No. 3 Harvard vs. Rensselaer

These two teams have met fairly recently, a 2-1 win for RPI on Feb. 12. Given Harvard’s finish to the regular season, it’s hard to imagine this series turning into anything other than a wire-to-wire race. The Crimson enter the postseason winners of three of their last five, which followed a tough three-game losing streak against Yale, Northeastern and RPI, all in which Harvard scored one goal each. Offensively, Harvard has had its question marks: Some nights it’ll score one goal, the next it’ll score seven. With that kind of offensive inconsistency, RPI might be able to give Jimmy Vesey and the Crimson a run for their money.

Picks: Harvard 2, RPI 1
RPI 3, Harvard 2 OT
Harvard 4, RPI 3

On to the quarterfinals

Finally.

Rensselaer swept Brown at Houston Field House over the weekend, giving the Engineers a home playoff series win for the first time since 2004.

RPI trailed the Bears 3-0 in Game 2, but a pair of goals by Milos Bubela made it 3-2 before Riley Bourbonnais and Jared Wilson scored to complete the comeback. Wilson’s game-winning goal came at 18:18 in the third period.

Brown had given the Engineers trouble in the playoffs before, knocking off RPI at home in 2010 and 2013. The Bears made it to the league semifinals in both of those seasons.

While much was made of the Engineers’ playoff struggles at home, RPI did win first-round series at Clarkson last year as well as in 2012.

Rensselaer will travel to face third-seeded Harvard this weekend, while Brown ends the year at 5-19-7, the worst record under  seventh year coach Brendan Whittet.

Saturday was also the final game for Brown senior forwards Nick Lappin and Mark Naclerio. Both players should get plenty of interest as NHL free agents.

Here are the rest of the matchups for next weekend’s best-of-three quarterfinal series.

No. 9 Cornell at No. 1 Quinnipiac

No. 7 Dartmouth at No. 2 Yale

No. 5 Clarkson at No. 4 St. Lawrence

Dartmouth and Colgate go the distance

The lone series of the weekend that went to three games didn’t disappoint, as Tim O’Brien’s goal at 4:37 in the second overtime gave Dartmouth a 4-3 win over Colgate.

It was the first time in program history that Dartmouth played two overtimes in one postseason series, as the Big Green won the series opener in overtime on Friday. It was also the first time Dartmouth had played in a Game 3 that needed overtime.

Like Naclerio and Lappin, Colgate seniors Darcy Murphy, Mike Borkowski, and Tylor and Tyson Spink should attract attention from NHL teams. Those four were part of a big senior class that was missing two players this year, as defenseman Ryan Johnston and forward Kyle Baun signed professional contracts last offseason.

Union swept

For the second time in as many seasons following the program’s national title in 2014, Union won’t make the NCAA tournament.

The ninth-seeded Dutchmen’s season came to an end with a sweep at No. 8 Cornell. Union beat the Big Red 5-1 last weekend at Lynah Rink and knocked Cornell out in last year’s ECAC quarterfinals, but lost a pair of one-goal games this weekend. The Big Red won 2-1 in overtime Saturday, with junior Matt Buckles scoring the game-winning goal after not playing  in the series opener.

Union finished the season with a record of 13-14-9, the first time since the 2006-07 season the Dutchmen finished with a losing record.

Previewing the opening round of the playoffs

Overall: 55-27-16

Last time: 9-1-2

If this year’s ECAC Hockey tournament plays out the same as last year’s, then the eventual league champion is one of the eight teams in action this weekend.

Sixth-seeded Harvard won last year’s Whitelaw Cup, beating Brown in the first round before winning at Yale in the quarterfinals. However, that was the first time a team outside of the top four in the league won the championship since the 2003-04 season, when the sixth-seeded Crimson also accomplished the feat.

Check out this week’s notebook for an overview of the weekend along with viewing information. All records are for conference play only, and all start times are 7 p.m., with the exception of a potential Game 3 between Dartmouth and Colgate, which would start at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

No. 12 Princeton (3-16-3) at No. 5 Clarkson (10-9-3)

Season series: 1-1

It might not have shown in terms of wins, but Princeton was a better team this season. Coach Ron Fogarty has stressed the importance of building as the season goes along and then peaking in the postseason. The Tigers might not advance past this weekend, but don’t be surprised if they steal a game in this series thanks to goalie Colton Phinney (.923).  As for Clarkson, the Golden Knights finished the regular season with home wins over Harvard and Dartmouth, pushing its record at Cheel Arena to 13-2-2 this season.

What Princeton needs to do to win: Possess the puck. Clarkson outshot its opponents by 63 during league play, and its struggles on the road two weekends ago were mainly because the Golden Knights spent too much time in their own zone.

What Clarkson needs to do to win: Don’t let Colton Phinney get comfortable. Clarkson has a nice mix of speed and physicality, and using that to win the battles down low could make it a long night for the Tigers defense.

Prediction: Clarkson in three games

No. 11 Brown  (3-13-6) at No. 6 Rensselaer (8-7-7)

Season series: RPI 1-0-1

The season series was closer than it looked, as the Bears led 3-1 at Houston Field House in November and then lost what appeared to be a game-winning goal after the replay system failed.

And in January, Brown led the Engineers 3-0 in Providence before RPI scored four unanswered goals for the win. The Engineers struggled a bit in the season’s final month, and haven’t won a home playoff series since Seth Appert became head coach in 2006. Still, the Bears only one two games in the second half (albeit against Providence and Clarkson), so this weekend marks as good as chance as any for RPI to end that skid.

What Brown needs to do to win: Continue its clean play. Brown isn’t afraid to be physical, but  that rarely results in infractions, as the Bears average the least penalty minutes per game in Division I. Although with RPI’s struggles on the power play, (see below) maybe taking a few penalties to prevent some clean looks wouldn’t be the worst thing.

What Rensselaer needs to do to win: Shut down the top line of Mark Naclerio, Nick Lappin, and Tommy Marchin. The Bears don’t have much scoring depth behind that trio. A few power-play goals would help; RPI is 11-for-98 on the man advantage this season.

Prediction: Rensselaer  sweeps

No. 10 Colgate (6-14-2) at No. 7 Dartmouth (11-11)

Season series: Dartmouth, 2-0

Both these teams play with speed; it should be an entertaining series to watch. Despite giving up a combined nine goals on the final weekend of the regular season,  Dartmouth has been better defensively in the second half. Colgate just can’t seem to get any luck, as the Raiders have been on the wrong end of a number of close games this year.

What Colgate needs to do to win: Continue its strong defensive play from last weekend. The Raiders allowed only one goal in wins against Rensselaer and Union after struggling on defense for much of the season.

What Dartmouth needs to do to win: Don’t get into a shootout. The Raiders overall defensive struggles and group of top forwards might be conducive to that, but the Big Green need to stay committed in its own zone and use its speed to keep Colgate to the outside.

Prediction: Dartmouth sweeps

No. 9 Union (6-10-6) at No. 8 Cornell (8-8-6)

Season series: Union, 1-0-1

The Dutchmen and Big Red each had lengthy stretches of finishing atop the league standings. Now, both teams are playing in the first round of the playoffs for the second year in a row. Union beat Cornell 5-1 at Lynah Rink last weekend, never an easy task.  The Big Red are the highest ranked ECAC team in the PairWise in action this weekend, but at a tie for 19th as of Thursday, Cornell will likely need to make it to at least the final weekend to have a chance at an at-large bid.

What Union needs to do to win: Stay committed. It sounds simple, but Dutchmen coach Rick Bennett has been frustrated with some inopportune penalties and lack of cohesion at times this season. Union’s win on Friday showed that it can drown out the crowd noise at Lynah.

What Cornell needs to do to win: Get an early lead. With goalie Mitch Gillam (.929) in net and a suffocating, physical presence throughout its lineup, Cornell can simply wear down an opponent once it has the lead. The Big Red haven’t score much in the second half of the season, meaning that mounting a comeback could be difficult.

Prediction: Cornell in three

On to the playoffs

The ECAC Hockey season came to a close in a relatively non-dramatic fashion, as there wasn’t much at stake on Saturday. Quinnipiac’s 4-1 win over Brown Friday secured the program’s third Cleary Cup in the last four seasons. Now the Bobcats will try to win the program’s first Whitelaw Cup. Yale, Harvard, St. Lawrence round out the top four in the standings. Here are the matchups for the best-of-three opening round next weekend.

No.12 Princeton at No. 5 Clarkson

No. 12 Princeton at No. 5 Clarkson

No. 11 Brown at No. 6 Rensselaer

No. 10 Colgate at No. 7 Dartmouth

No. 9 Union at No. 8 Cornell

Raiders close Starr Rink in style

It was a disappointing regular season for Colgate, as the Raiders finished in tenth place after earning a first-round bye last year. The 22 losses for the Raiders are the second-most in coach Don Vaughan’s 23-year tenure with the team.  The only year Colgate lost more games under Vaughan was in the 2010-11 season, when the Raiders finished 11-28, but made the league semifinals as the No. 12 seed.

Colgate did that after playing better during the final month of the regular season. If the Raiders are going to make a run in the league tournament, they could point to last weekend as a starting point. Colgate played its final games at Starr Rink, allowing one goal in a sweep of Rensselaer and Union.

Junior Jake Kulevich’s second-period goal on Saturday was the game winner against the Dutchmen, and will go down as the final goal scored by the men’s team at Starr Rink. The Raiders will begin play next season at the new Class of 1965 arena.

Clarkson rallies

It was a tough road trip for the Golden Knights last weekend. Losses at Brown and Yale essentially knocked Clarkson out of consideration for a first-round bye. But give the Golden Knights credit, as they bounced back with home wins against Harvard and Dartmouth.

Those wins moved Clarkson up the No. 5 seed, meaning a series win over Princeton would send the Golden Knights to face St. Lawrence in the second round.

Last regular season home game for long-time St. Lawrence sports information director

Saturday not only marked the final game at Starr Rink for Colgate, but the last regular season home game for St. Lawrence sports information director Wally Johnson, who is retiring after 41 years at the school.  The school honored Johnson during Saturday’s game against Harvard.

wally

Photo Courtesy of Saints Athletics

ECAC Hockey picks: Feb. 26-27

Here’s a look at the final regular season weekend in ECAC Hockey:

Friday, Feb. 26

No. 12 Harvard at Clarkson
The Crimson look to end the season on a high note after pulling out of its late-season tail dive. Harvard is 2-3-1 in its last six games, with a 7-4 victory over Colgate and a 2-2 tie with Cornell this past weekend. With two games in the North Country, it’s a chance to gain some ground in the standings. Clarkson, on the other hand, has lost its last three to Quinnipiac, Yale and, perhaps most notably, Brown by three goals.
Harvard 4, Clarkson 1

No. 17 Rensselaer at Colgate
RPI has also hit a late-season skid. The Engineers have gone 2-4 in their last six, with a close loss to Quinnipiac this past weekend and a 2-1 win against Princeton. But RPI needs some wins to get its confidence back. Colgate, losers of its last four, all in dramatic fashion, might be just what the doctor ordered.
RPI 5, Colgate 3

Union at No. 16 Cornell
Three of Cornell’s last six games have ended in ties, including a 2-2 tie to Harvard this past weekend and a 3-3 tie with Brown two weeks ago. It stands to show that the Big Red seem to have lost their scoring magic from the first half, but this team is still dangerous and full of scoring potential. Union, sitting just above .500 heading into the final regular season weekend, still has some figuring out to do.
Cornell 3, Union 2 OT

No. 7 Yale at Princeton
The Bulldogs have been college hockey’s hottest team since the end of January, making up some much needed ground with a seven-game winning streak dating to Jan. 30. It’s hard not to admire the numbers, particularly offensively. For Princeton, which is just starting to find its competitive edge, a matchup against the Bulldogs should prove to be too much.
Yale 5, Princeton 2

Brown at No. 1 Quinnipiac
Two teams on two very different sides of the conference spectrum. Quinnipiac remains college hockey’s No. 1 team despite two ties and a loss in their last six games. Brown, on the other hand, won only its fifth game this past weekend. The Bobcats can wrap up the ECAC Hockey regular season title to themselves with at least a tie.
Quinnipiac 3, Brown 0

Dartmouth at No. 19 St. Lawrence
St. Lawrence followed up a weekend with a major victory against No. 1 Quinnipiac with a 2-2 tie to Brown and a 4-3 loss to Yale. While St. Lawrence’s spot is securely placed in the ECAC standings, a matchup against Dartmouth should prove challenging. The Big Green split last weekend with a 5-2 win over Colgate and a 1-0 loss to Cornell.
Dartmouth 4, St. Lawrence 3

Saturday, Feb. 27

Dartmouth at Clarkson
Clarkson finishes its regular season at home against the Big Green, a team that beat it 5-2 on Jan. 15. Clarkson is on a three-game losing streak coming into this weekend, and with the playoffs just around the corner the Knights are in need of some confidence — especially with a tough Harvard team coming in on Friday.
Dartmouth 3, Clarkson 3

Union at Colgate
A battle of two bottom-feeder teams in the ECAC standings in the Raiders’ final game at Starr Rink, their home since 1959. Colgate, with 10 points this season, at least has a chance this weekend to jump Brown in the standings; the Bears hold 11 points and face off against Princeton and No. 1 Quinnipiac. Union is 2-2-2 in its last six.
Colgate 4, Union 2

No. 17 Rensselaer at No. 16 Cornell
Neither RPI nor Cornell comes into this matchup with a lot of momentum, but it could prove as a playoff appetizer for two teams seemingly destined for some postseason action. Cornell’s Anthony Angello is still hot with nine goals and nine assists.
Cornell 3, RPI 2

Brown at Princeton
If Brown has one chance at a victory in its final regular season weekend, it might be Saturday against the Tigers. Princeton has slipped into the ECAC’s bottom seed with a 3-15-2 conference record, losing eight in a row down the stretch. Brown’s Nick Lappin and company should be able to handle those kind of odds.
Brown 2, Princeton 0

No. 7 Yale at No. 1 Quinnipiac
Game of the weekend, and it’s not even debatable. Yale enters this matchup with all the momentum, winning its last seven games. Although Quinnipiac holds the No. 1 ranking nationally, the Bulldogs are gunning for it down the stretch. And if that wasn’t enough, maybe Yale’s 3-0 loss to the Bobcats on Dec. 4 is still in the back of their minds — a chance to prove that this, now, is a different team.
Yale 5, Quinnipiac 4 OT

No. 12 Harvard at No. 19 St. Lawrence
Another matchup with tons of playoff potential. Both teams are still looking to get back on track heading into the final regular season weekend. St. Lawrence is 3-1-2 in its last six and has suffered both ties to teams that, on paper, it perhaps should have beaten against Brown and Union. But, as always, Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey is the X-factor.
Harvard 3, St. Lawrence 3

A step back for Clarkson, while Brown turns a corner

Here are three things learned from ECAC Hockey play over the weekend:

Clarkson takes big step back

With two losses this past weekend, both decisive, it’s hard to imagine Clarkson remaining in the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll. And so it goes for the Golden Knights, who have treaded the line between disappointment and mediocrity throughout the year. A three-game winning streak has now been replaced by a three-game losing streak, most recently in dramatic fashion to Brown (5-2 on Friday) and Yale (3-1 on Saturday). Clarkson is 16-13-3 heading into the final regular season weekend.

Yale, Quinnipiac keep on rolling

Yale extended its winning streak to seven games with victories over St. Lawrence (4-3 on Friday) and Clarkson (3-1 on Saturday), though it took some drama against the Saints. Ryan Obuchowski’s third-period goal came with just 1:03 remaining to give Yale the advantage. Joe Snively added two assists. Quinnipiac, however, seems to be getting its opponents’ best games of the season. The Bobcats defeated Rensselaer 5-4 in overtime and tied Union 3-3. Guess that comes with the label of No. 1.

Brown turning a corner

It’s been an abysmal season for the Bears, particularly for talented seniors Nick Lappin and Mark Naclerio, who finish up their final seasons of college hockey in the next few weeks. But Brown finished its final home weekend with a 5-2 victory over Clarkson and a 2-2 tie with St. Lawrence. Lappin scored his 50th career goal in the first period against the Knights, a game in which Brown scored four unanswered goals.

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