Raiders rollings; Saints sweep, too
Colgate and St. Lawrence recorded the only four-point weekends this week, boosting each team right back into the hunt for home ice, if not a first-round bye.
Rookie goaltender Spencer Finney was the star for the Raiders, allowing two goals on 69 shots in wins over Brown (2-1) and Yale (4-1). Friday’s game was a fairly wide-open affair with 64 combined shots, but Finney won the goaltending battle against Brown’s Anthony Borelli with 13 third-period saves. Freshmen Tylor Spink and Darcy Murphy each scored their eighth goals of the season to pace the ‘Gate. Yale brought the heat with 36 shots on Saturday evening, fresh off their thrilling 3-2 OT win at Cornell the previous night, but Finney was up to the task. Kenny Agostino scored six minutes in for the Bulldogs, but Finney fended of the foes and Colgate scored four goals in the last 25 minutes to secure the victory. Tylor Spink scored again, as did twin Tyson and classmate Kevin Lough, and sophomore John Lidgett.
St. Lawrence has rediscovered its offense of late, scoring four goals in each of its two games this weekend. The Saints were strong from the back out, as senior Matt Weninger stopped 31 of 33 Dartmouth shots in Hanover on Friday and 27 of 30 Crimson rips in Boston the following night, and junior Jeremy Wick struck thrice up front to pace the attack. Top scorers Greg Carey (junior) and Kyle Flanagan (senior) also scored for the Saints this weekend, as SLU extended its unbeaten streak to four game (3-0-1).
The Raiders and Saints are tied for sixth place in the standings with 11 points in 12 games, and – hey, look at that – they play in Canton next Saturday.
Rough week for the Ivies
The six Ivies combined for a 4-8 record this week, including Tuesday’s 4-1 Union win over Harvard. Ignoring Ivy-on-Ivy crime, the esteemed sextet wen 2-5 against non-Ivy opponents.
The Crimson definitely took the worst of it, going 0-3 against Union, Clarkson, and St. Lawrence. The team is mired chest-deep in a six-game losing streak, and has just one win in its last 13 games (1-11-1). Cornell didn’t fare much better in their first home games in two months, getting swept at Lynah by Yale and Brown. The defeats extended the Big Red’s losing streak to three, and they only have one win in their last seven games, as well (1-6-0).
Dartmouth opened the weekend with its fifth loss in seven games (2-5-0) in a 4-2 loss to SLU, but rebounded with a 5-1 victory over Clarkson the following evening. After losing just twice in their first dozen games, Dartmouth now seems to be struggling to regain its footing. Princeton wrapped up a non-conference W in its only game of the weekend, a 5-2 Sunday win over hapless Sacred Heart.
Finally, Brown and Yale each split the weekend at Colgate and Cornell: The Bulldogs and Bears each upended the Big Red, but fell in Hamilton to the Raiders. The Bulldogs have to feel a bit frustrated with the Saturday result, as it ended a six-game unbeaten run (5-0-1) and dropped the Blue two points further from front-running Quinnipiac.
The countdown commences
With five weeks of regular-season hockey remaining, let’s check out some of the basic facts going forward.
Quinnipiac can secure the top seed and Cleary Cup as regular-season champ with as few as 13 points in 10 games. True, Yale can only hope to get to 35, and QU already has 23… but these neighbors play twice before the playoffs, and the first tiebreaker is head-to-head results.
The second- through fifth-place teams, and even those beyond, are still too tight to break down with an eye toward the first-round bye. However, Yale can secure a home series with 14 points; Dartmouth and Union need 16.
The only placements that we know for sure so far – and let’s be honest, it’s still pretty early to discuss this stuff – is that Harvard can’t finish first, nor QU last. Somehow, everything else is still on the table.
A reminder to poll voters: I can’t think of a single good, logical reason that Quinnipiac should not be your No. 1 vote in this week’s poll. The facts are in the link, the decision is in your hands, and justice – in my humble opinion – is indisputable.