What was shocking about No. 9 Princeton’s 6-5 win over No. 3 St. Lawrence was not the final score, but the pattern of penalties called. Four straight on SLU to open the game, then 13 of the next 15 on Princeton? I’ve never seen anything like that before. The chances of duplicating that pattern of penalties for either team by random chance (think 19 coin-flips) is about 1/2500. Clearly, the officiating had a huge influence on the final score, which was not indicative of how solid these two teams generally are on the defensive end. Ohio State spltting No. 6 Minnesota was no surprise, considering that the Buckeyes achieved the same feat twice last season, and OSU was at home. It’ll be interesting how the polls react to those results. UMD should certainly jump SLU and Minnesota, and Mercyhurst should certainly jump SLU. Harvard and Dartmouth’s results are certainly open to interpretation at this point of the season.
Next weekend’s games, UMD at Minnesota, and Harvard/Dartmouth at St. Lawrence, should settle a lot of questions about whether the teams with the biggest Olympic boosts this offseason (UMD/Harvard/Dartmouth) deserve to be favored over the teams that were stronger through most of the Olympic year (Minnesota/St. Lawrence). The polls have favored the incumbents, though I think Harvard and UMD in particular have been underrated considering that they’re both coming off of NCAA-bid seasons. I expect Dartmouth will take a little longer to get momentum since they started further back, and they still don’t have their full slate of Olympians healthy yet. We’ll see what happens.