A happy holiday season to all. We hope that everyone enjoyed their break, but it’s time to get back to hockey action.
The holiday season means that most teams have gone through half of their seasons, so it’s time to assess the first half and evaluate chances for the rest of the year.
5-5-1, 5-5-1 ECAC 3rd
High Points — The season started off with a bang: three straight wins for the Bears, including two shutouts to start the season. Yann Danis was on fire and the Bears were outscoring their opponents 13-2 in starting 3-0.
Low Points — The Bears endured an 0-4-1 stretch that started with two shutouts at Colgate and Cornell. The Bears broke out of the slump with a win over Princeton, but the break came at a good time for them.
What the Future Holds — A lot. They still have 18 games left on the schedule, including some nonconference action. They start off against North Dakota, but the rest of the nonconference slate is less than stellar, a place for Brown to work out some kinks before heading back into the ECAC action. Seven of the next nine are out of conference and the Bears have to find that consistency.
5-8-1, 2-2-1 ECAC T-7th
High Points — Two points in particular stand out for the Golden Knights. The first win of the season immediately after the Mark Morris incident occurred when the Knights went into Rensselaer and took a tight game; then a 4-0 shutout over Providence at home.
Low Points — Morris’ firing. No matter what happened or the could-haves, should-haves, or would-haves that may or may not happen, it’s a downer for the entire Clarkson program.
What the Future Holds — Only good things for the Knights. With 17 games left on the ECAC schedule, the Knights have games in hand and can move up with a strong second half. That will depend on how everyone reacts to the first half.
7-8-1, 2-4-0 ECAC T-9th
High Points — The highest point for the Raiders is the fact that with a young team, they are one game under the .500 mark. Granted, they are 5-0 against the MAAC and the CHA, but the Raiders are coming together and have been competitive in games.
Low Points — An overtime loss to Connecticut.
What the Future Holds — The Raiders can make a mark with 16 ECAC games left. After the Badger Showdown, it’s time to get cracking in the league.
10-1-0, 5-1-0 ECAC 4th
High Points — The whole season, but two things come to mind. A weekend sweep of Boston University at Lynah, and a comeback win in overtime at Western Michigan. The Big Red took it to the Terriers and then overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Broncos on the road.
Low Points — The only loss has to be a low point. Dartmouth has something on the Big Red — don’t know what, but it happens.
What the Future Holds — The Big Red are setting themselves up for a run. Sixteen games are left in the ECAC schedule, plus a matchup against Maine in the Everblades Classic. The Big Red are on target for the ECAC championship game and a run in the NCAA tournament.
6-4-0, 4-2-0 ECAC 5th
High Points — The Big Green has knocked off the two ranked opponents: Cornell and then-No. 1 Boston College.
Low Points — Can the Big Green win on the road? 0-4 on the season thus far.
What the Future Holds — The Big Green have a ways to go, and have to find a way to win away from Thompson. The Big Green have nine of 16 ECAC games left on the road.
9-4-1, 9-2-0 ECAC 1st
High Points — After a 9-2-0 first half in the ECAC, the Crimson are in great position. The others are playing catchup to the numbers that the Crimson have put up.
Low Points — 0-2-1 out of conference. The Crimson have four more nonconference games to go, but the opponents are no walkovers. To succeed down the line, the Crimson have to win those.
What the Future Holds — Four games out of conference to get ready for the NCAA tournament, and consistency to put up the same numbers in the second half of the ECAC season.
1-13-0, 1-9-0 ECAC T-11th
High Points — Just one. The win over Rensselaer that took the goose egg out of the win column for the Tigers.
Low Points — The rest of the season. It’s been a tough go.
What the Future Holds — The only place the Tigers can go is up. But that could be tough as they haven’t shown that they can put it all together for more than a game or two at a time. The Tigers need to get up: the good news — they’ll make the playoffs.
7-9-1, 2-4-1 ECAC T-7th
High Points — Two great nonconference wins — at Wisconsin to open the season and at St. Cloud. The Engineers showed they can put it together. They got a much-needed win over Union in the ECAC in the last league game before the break.
Low Points — A road trip to Yale and Princeton yielded zero points and showed Rensselaer’s weaknesses.
What the Future Holds — The future could be bright. After four nonconference games, it’s a 15-game ECAC sprint to the finish. It won’t be easy, but a young Engineer team has started to grow up already.
4-11-2, 1-4-0 ECAC T-11th
High Points — A 4-2 comeback win over New Hampshire and a 2-1 win over Clarkson highlight the Saint slate. A sign of things to come?
Low Points — Five more one-goal losses for the Saints. It’s like the movie Groundhog Day sometimes for St. Lawrence.
What the Future Holds — The Saints headed into the break with a 2-0-1 finish, including that win over New Hampshire. If the Saints can keep that up, they will be in good shape, especially with 17 ECAC games left (only eight at home).
7-7-3, 3-3-1 ECAC 6th
High Points — An ECAC-opening three-point weekend, and the appearance of some scoring threats. A win over St. Lawrence and tie with Clarkson, along with the emergence of Joel Beal and Jordan Webb on offense.
Low Points — A loss to Holy Cross on the road and a loss to Northeastern to end the first half. Holy Cross, at home, was a game the Dutchmen were never in and all went wrong. Then Union gave up a lead to Northeastern to lose that game.
What the Future Holds — The Dutchmen have to get consistent and then have the good things go their way. When all together, the Dutchmen can get it done.
5-7-2, 2-4-0 ECAC T-9th
High Points — Aside from two ECAC wins, ties versus Northeastern and Boston University are the high points. Against BU, Shawn Conschafter showed that he can do some damage between the pipes.
Low Points — An 8-0 loss to Cornell.
What the Future Holds — Can the Cats get consistent? Which team will show up each night? It’s hard to tell. The pieces look like they are starting to get there.
7-4-0, 7-3-0 ECAC 2nd
High Points — It’s been a nice start for the Bulldogs. The fast start in the ECAC is a boon as they get ready for the second half.
Low Points — Not many, but the brawl against North Dakota ranks up there. Not a good sight.
What the Future Holds — The Bulldogs have six nonconference games to tune up; if they can play well there, then carry it back into ECAC play, the Bulldogs may be in line for an NCAA bid.
It’s holiday tourney time. Let’s quickly handicap the ECAC teams.
Dodge Holiday Classic, Minneapolis, Minn.
Fri.-Sat., Dec. 27-28
Bowling Green vs. Boston College
Yale at Minnesota
The Bulldogs draw the hosts. It will be tough for the Bulldogs to get by Minnesota, and if they do, Boston College waits in the wings. On paper, the Bulldogs should play Bowling Green for third place.
Denver Cup, Denver, Colo.
Fri.-Sat., Dec. 27-28
New Hampshire vs. Clarkson
Miami at Denver
Clarkson has already lost to New Hampshire this season. If Clarkson does get by UNH, Denver or Miami looms. The odds say it’s two losses for the Golden Knights.
Northern Lights Classic, Grand Forks, N.D.
Fri.-Sat., Dec. 27-28
Manitoba vs. Bemidji State
Brown at North Dakota
Brown has done well against nationally-ranked opponents. The Bears knocked off St. Cloud earlier this year, and as No. 1, North Dakota could go down. Well, maybe. On paper, the Bears get another exhibition game as they probably will face Manitoba.
Auld Lang Syne Classic, Hanover, N.H.
Sat.-Sun., Dec. 28-29
Mass.-Lowell vs. Vermont
Notre Dame at Dartmouth
The winner of the Dartmouth-Notre Dame game should win this tournament. And Dartmouth is at home. That would mean the Big Green takes home the hardware.
Everblades College Classic, Estero, Fla.
Sat.-Sun., Dec. 28-29
Maine vs. Cornell
Massachusetts vs. Ohio State
Wow, talk about a marquee matchup: Maine and Cornell. The Big Red hasn’t done well as the unofficial hosts of this tournament, but have come close. In theory, the Big Red could go either way here.
Rensselaer/HSBC Holiday Hockey Tournament, Troy, N.Y.
Sat.-Sun., Dec. 28-29
Wayne State vs. Princeton
Merrimack at Rensselaer
What an ugly-looking tournament. The four teams are a combined 18-38-4 — hardly stellar. The winner of the Merrimack-Rensselaer game should take home the trophy.
Badger Showdown, Milwaukee, Wis.
Sun.-Mon., Dec. 29-30
Northern Michigan vs. Harvard
Colgate vs. Wisconsin
Colgate can knock off host Wisconsin, as the Badgers are not on their game as they have been in the past. The Crimson-Wildcats game is a great matchup. Expect the winner Harvard-Northern Michigan to take the Showdown, but Colgate could get second place.