College Hockey:
Angst to grind: ECAC yet to earn rankings

Players of the Week*

*These are my selections; ECAC Hockeys can be found here.

Player of the Week: Denny Kearney, Yale

A short-handed assist, a natural hat-trick, a +4 rating and a game-winner all in one outing? Yeah, that’s PotW material.

But tag on another goal, three helpers and a +3 the following night, and Kearney may have his honor carried over into next week, too. The senior sniper – who is now two points shy of 100 for his career – totaled four goals, four assists and a +7 in his first weekend of action against Brown and Dartmouth. Last year, he finished with 12 goals and 25 assists, so he might have to set the bar a bit higher this season.

Honorable mention: Broc Little, Yale (3-3–6, +6); Brian O’Neill, Yale (3-2–5, +3); Corbin McPherson, Colgate (2-1–3, +2 vs. Sacred Heart); Jeremy Welsh, Union (1-2–3, +2 vs. UConn and RPI)

Rookie of the Week: Dustin Mowrey, Cornell

The Burnaby, B.C. native scored two power-play goals ten and a half minutes apart in the third period against New Hampshire, drawing the Big Red to within two goals late in the game. Cornell may have lost the game, but Mowrey should offer promise of a decent power play finisher on a team that is looking to replace exactly those kinds of players.

Side note: an astute (albeit impolite) reader pointed out a major oversight last week, in that St. Lawrence’s Greg Carey deserved RotW recognition as well: he scored all three goals in SLU’s 3-3 tie with Western Michigan, and if that’s not of note, nothing is.

Honorable mention: Daniel Carr, Union (1-1–2, with a PPG against UConn); Dennis Robertson, Brown (2-0-2 at Yale); Matt Zarbo, Clarkson (1-0-1, GWG in OT against SLU)

Goalie of the Week: Paul Karpowich, Clarkson

The third-year St. Louis Blues draft pick earns this week’s ‘netminder honor for stopping 34 of 35 desperate St. Lawrence shots in Clarkson’s 2-1 OT victory at Lake Placid. Karpowich stopped all 10 first-period shots, 13 of 14 in the second period, and all 11 in the third to keep Clarkson in it, and lowered his goals-against average to 2.07 with a .935 save rate so far this year.

Honorable mention: Alex Evin, Colgate (first career shutout with 21 saves vs. SHU); Marco DeFilippo, Brown (28 saves on 29 shots vs. Princeton in first NCAA game); Sean Bonar, Princeton (27 saves, 29 shots in first NCAA game against Dartmouth)

Respect on hold

ECAC Hockey doesn’t tend to make big waves, nationally speaking: no state schools, few “major market” teams, more than half of the programs don’t even offer scholarships, not to mention the long title drought… so it’s little surprise when teams like St. Cloud sneak into the rankings at 3-4-1, or Denver sits way up at No. 13 with a 3-3-2 record. All the while, No. 18 Rensselaer (3-1-3) and unranked Clarkson (4-2-1) and Quinnipiac (4-2-0) hold winning percentages at .643 or better. Where’s the love?

Not so fast.

As much as I love ECAC Hockey – and those who have paid attention should know that I sincerely do – I have to point out that perhaps we’re not quite ready for world-beater status just yet.

You see, despite solid results, RPI’s opponents are only 13-19-9 this year. Clarkson’s are 12-17-5, and the Bobcats’, 9-15-2.

Now this clearly isn’t a comprehensive run-down of the poll (which is irrelevant anyhow, of course) or the teams that comprise it; I really don’t have the inclination to do all that. It’s just a small reality check before heading into the meat-grinder that is the ECAC regular season.

I’d love nothing more than to be able to vote ECAC teams numbers 1-12 on my ballot, but that pleasure will have to wait.

My Top 20

1. Boston University
2. Miami
3. New Hampshire
4. Michigan State
5. Nebraska-Omaha
6. Minnesota-Duluth
7. Yale
8. Michigan
9. Notre Dame
10. Boston College
11. Maine
12. Wisconsin
13. Michigan Tech
14. Colorado College
15. Union
16. North Dakota
17. Denver
18. Alaska
19. Minnesota
20. Clarkson

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  • Bulldog07

    I get your argument with RPI and Union regarding rankings, but then you throw Yale down to 7th (two spots under what the rest of the country agreed upon this week)? Seems to me that a booster for the ECAC would be salivating at the chance to hype a legit national title contender who proved that they can score just as easily and only has one real hole (goal, where Ryan Rondeau looked decent on Saturday). 14 goals scored in their first two games of the season, and NOT against Atlantic Hockey teams? What else do the Bulldogs have to do to earn this “ECAC lover”‘s respect?

    • ECACWriter

      Until Yale can exhibit national-caliber goaltending, the Bulldogs will struggle to remain in national contention. It killed them last year, and they have to prove that it won’t kill them again this year.

      • Henry

        It killed them? they lost in the quarter finals to the national champions. Seems they got pretty far

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QD7KSGIYMAEFXG7Z3S6CBUEAOM John Smith

        Mr. ECAC writer how come you leave Colgate out of the national polls every year, yet they continually do well in the ECAC, and we’ll see if Colgate is worthy when the play Clarkson your #20 this weekend

  • 4Hockeyeast

    “Other than their first two wins over ND and UW, in the first two games of the season on neutral ice and both by one goal, they haven’t beaten anyone either. Providence, UMass, and Lowell have a combined two wins, against each other by the way.”

    Other than 40% of their opponents they haven’t played anyone at all right?

  • Anonymous

    ecac is completely overrated and should think about dropping to D3…yeah they have an occasional decent win but overall a very inferior league to say the least…bunch of yuppies that play each other and think that they are the best but are NOT

  • hellz_cowbellz

    Hold on now, “Fire Sullivan,” Clarkson has been playing a good game when they want to. Even the national polls have them creeping into their top 20. They are number two in the country when defending power-plays, and have been putting up good numbers on offense.
    As for BU, I agree that maybe they are not first, but they do have a good record (4-0-1) and they beat ND who beat BC.
    I’m with Bulldog07, Yale should have been kept in the five spot and if the goal-tending improves they should definitely move up.

    Whats more, take some of the non-stars of the ECAC who have faced other leagues. Clarkson and Quinnipiac beat St. Cloud and RPI tied CC. Even SLU, (the worst ECAC team) tied Minnesota and WM. Teams like Yale and Union would but up a damn good fight against the top team of any other division.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QD7KSGIYMAEFXG7Z3S6CBUEAOM John Smith

      true BU beat ND who beat BC but Merrimack also beat BC so lets not get ahead of ourselves

  • Downtown71

    As someone with a backgorund as a working journalist, I believe Mr. Sullivan shuld be going the extra mile to show a non-bias against the ECACHL, given his Big East / BU ties. Instead, he slips in a shot at Cornell regarding their uniforms, injecting his own BU bias into the discussion.

    USCHO should post an apology to readers for this juvenile behavior by one of its writers.

  • Mvalenstein

    Writing in from New Haven here,

    Yale has been a great 2nd and 3rd period team. Through the first four games they have a GD of 0 in the 1st (7-7), but a GD of +13 (17-4) in the 2nd and 3rd.

  • 4Hockeyeast

    Actually if you’d note that i said “opponents” in no way does that refer to “games played” they have played 5 opponents, 2 of which the poster above me thought were respectable. In my world 2/5= 40% not sure which world you’re living in though. Nice try though calling out my math skills. You should check your reading comprehension first.

    Summary: BU has played 5 teams total. 2/5 of them considered respectable teams. 2/5= 40%.

  • 4Hockeyeast

    Ok let’s compare meaningful opponents relative to the number of times BU has played them. When your post was made, BU had played 7 games. 2 of those 7 were considered to be against meaningful opponents. So then 2/7 games can be considered to be meaningful. That would mean that 28.57% of their games were against meaningful opponents. I’ll round to the nearest hundredth’s place, like you attempted (poorly), to do. The number above rounds to 28.6% for those of us who can’t do simple rounding in our heads. Bad reporter is bad at math AND reading comprehension. Too bad BU will probably be #1 in the national poll after this weekend. Looks like my post is now inconsequential seeing as the ECAC writer of this blog really did end up picking the #1 team as #1.

  • T. Benedetto

    Roving Reporter,

    How’s your face?

    -Tim Benedetto

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