Players of the Week*

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

Player of the Week: Adam Presizniuk, Union

The league’s leading scorer became such by virtue of three goals and two assists against Niagara and RIT this weekend. The senior’s three goals included both of Union’s game-winners, one on the power play (which was also one of the GWG’s), and quadrupled his season goals-to-date. Both of “Prez”‘s assists were on the man-advantage as well, and he finished the weekend a plus-one.

Honorable mention: Brian Day, Colgate (3-1–4, +1 at Lake State); Francois Brisebois, Colgate (0-4–4, +2)

Rookie of the Week: Brock Higgs, Rensselaer

Higgs entered the weekend with one assist – his only point – through four games. All of a sudden, he’s sporting a 3-2–5 line, thanks to an immense weekend against RIT and Niagara. The Kingston, Ont. product scored both of the Engineers’ game-winners, with a power-play goal and an assist as the dual cherries on top of a delicious rookie cupcake.

Honorable mention: Ben Sexton, Clarkson (2-2–4, +4 against Bentley); Matt Zarbo, Clarkson (1-3–4, also +4)

Goalie of the Week: Keith Kinkaid, Union

None of our ‘keepers earned a clean sheet this weekend, but four of the six starters pitched a one-goal game. Sophomore backstop Kinkaid gets the nod for having the best save percentage (.939, stopping 46 of 49 shots) of all two-start contestants this week, edging out RPI’s Allen York (.935) against the same opposition. The funny thing is, Kinkaid’s save rate actually dropped this week, down to .942. Bummer.

Honorable mention: Dan Clarke, Quinnipiac (one goal on 23 shots versus Holy Cross); York (58 saves on 62 shots); Paul Karpowich, Clarkson (54 saves of 58 shots, .931 save percentage)

Problems PP’ing

ECAC Hockey is doing a lot of things well. (Union is doing just about everything well.) We’re blessed with some top-flight scorers, some electric rookies, and – as always – some of the best collegiate goalies in the world.

What we’re missing right now, though, is the killer instinct: you’ve got ’em down, but can you wipe ’em out? For many of the active ECAC squads so far, the answer has been no.

Union leads the nation in power-play lethality so far, positively blow-torching through foes at a jaw-dropping 41.9 percent rate.

After that though, the conference’s numbers fall off pretty quickly.

Rensselaer is the only other league member holding a better-than-average power-play rate… and only just barely, beating the 18.7 percent national average by 0.2 points. Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence are even with 16.7 percent success rates, just inside D-I’s top 30.

Colgate has really struggled, scoring just twice in 15 man-advantages, but that’s nothing compared to Clarkson’s astonishing impotence: the Golden Knights are the only remaining program in Division I without a power-play goal, failing in each of 27 opportunities. By comparison, Michigan Tech’s second-ranked PP unit converted on 10 of 27 chances.

With that in mind, it’s remarkable that Tech has kept its head above water, at 3-2-1. The Knights are scoring three goals a game, and the power-play woes can literally only get better.

It’s an horrific micro-situation for the Knights right now, no doubt about it… but if they can get their special teams straightened out, they have the potential to be quite the tough customer.

My Top 20

I noticed this week that, with a few exceptions, each team has about a four-spot “zone” in which they could reasonably fit. In other words – and this is a news flash, I know – the polls aren’t incredibly scientific.

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