Cornell Tops ECACHL’s Preseason Picks

The same name was atop both the coaches’ and the media’s preseason poll — the Cornell Big Red, defending league champions, are the consensus favorite heading into the 2005-2006 ECAC season.

The Big Red (27-5-3 overall, 18-2-2 ECACHL) picked up all 21 first-place votes in the media poll and scored 11 votes in the coaches poll; those 11 votes are a de facto unanimous decision, given that coaches will generally not select their own team as the preseason favorite.

Despite the preseason pronouncements that his team is at the top of the conference, Cornell coach Mike Schafer says that his team can’t count on last season’s success continuing for 2005-06.

“You kind of have to start all over again; we found out after ’02-’03 — there’s no carryover; there really isn’t any carryover from team to team,” Schafer said.

“We just expect the same kind of effort [as last year] to try and win hockey games, and to keep it that simple.”

Despite Schafer’s insistence, Harvard coach Ted Donato felt that Cornell returns a very strong squad.

“I expect them to be a Top 5 team in the country,” he said. “They’re a benchmark [in our league] for everyone coming back this year.”

Following Cornell, the coaches’ poll had Dartmouth (20-13-2, 14-8-0) slotted at No. 2 and the Harvard Crimson (21-10-3, 15-5-2), last season’s runner-up to the Big Red, one point behind the Big Green. St. Lawrence, Colgate and Brown rounded out the top half of the coaches’ poll.

The media poll placed the Raiders from Colgate at No. 2 instead of No. 5, and then followed with Dartmouth and Harvard at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. St. Lawrence and Brown round out the media’s top six predicted finishers.

Union coach Nate Leaman, noting the jumble of teams following the consensus pick of Cornell, said that he is looking forward to “another very tight year.”

“Cornell is picked to head our league this year, but anything can happen,” he said. “Anything can happen in this league — history has proven it. This is a league that anyone can win; it’s extremely competitive.”

The Golden Knights of Clarkson, Leaman’s Flying Dutchmen, Rensselaer, Princeton, Yale, and Quinnipiac were slotted from 7 to 12 in the coaches’ poll; the only difference in the media poll was Union’s placement in a tie for eighth with Rensselaer.

ECACHL Preseason Coaches Poll

Rk Team (1st) Points
1. Cornell (11) 121
2. Dartmouth (1) 94
3. Harvard 93
4. St. Lawrence 89
5. Colgate 86
6. Brown 80
7. Clarkson 64
8. Union 51
9. Rensselaer 39
10. Princeton 32
11. Yale 28
12. Quinnipiac 15

ECACHL Preseason Media Poll

Rk Team (1st) Points
1. Cornell (21) 252
2. Colgate 197
3. Dartmouth 191
4. Harvard 187
5. St. Lawrence 167
6. Brown 159
7. Clarkson 134
8. Rensselaer 89
8. Union 89
10. Princeton 73
11. Yale 60
12. Quinnipiac 36

Preseason All-ECACHL Teams

In addition to the polls, the league also announced the results of the voting by coaches and media on the preseason All-League team.

Cornell sported the two unanimous selections on both ballots, in the form of stellar netminder David McKee and senior captain Matt Moulson. McKee, who posted a 27-5-3 record with a 1.24 goals against average and a .947 save percentage, was one of three finalists for the 2005 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. And Moulson helped anchor the Big Red’s offensive efforts, scoring 42 points on the year, including 12 power-play goals and four game-winning goals.

The media unanimously voted for St. Lawrence forward T.J. Trevelyan, and he was included as a forward on the coaches’ ballot as well. Both the media and coaches named Colgate forward Jon Smyth, and the media also added Big Green forward Mike Ouellette.

Dartmouth junior Grant Lewis and St. Lawrence senior Mike Madill were the two blueliners named on both the coaches and the media preseason teams.

Coaches Preseason All-League Team

F – Matt Moulson * Cornell
F – Jon Smyth Colgate
F – T.J. Trevelyan St. Lawrence
D – Grant Lewis Dartmouth
D – Mike Madill St. Lawrence
G – David McKee * Cornell

Media Preseason All-League Team

F – Matt Moulson * Cornell
F – Mike Ouellette Dartmouth
F – Jon Smyth Colgate
F – T.J. Trevelyan * St. Lawrence
D – Grant Lewis Dartmouth
D – Mike Madill St. Lawrence
G – David McKee * Cornell

* — unanimous selection.

CSTV Games

As part of Media Day, the ECAC Hockey League announced that College Sports Television (CSTV) will televise seven ECAC games this season, including a January 30th clash in Hanover, N.H., between the Harvard and Dartmouth women’s teams.

Of the six men’s games on the CSTV schedule, three will come during the championship tournament, March 17 and 18 when both semifinals and the league championship will be broadcast nationally.

The remaining three regular-season games that will air on CSTV include an October 7 date when ECAC newcomer Quinnipiac enters the hostile confines of Yost Ice Arena to face off against the Michigan Wolverines. The other two contests will feature the Harvard Crimson traveling north to face Dartmouth on December 16 and a rematch of the 2005 ECAC championship game on February 18 as the Crimson skate into historic Lynah Rink to challenge Cornell.