Players of the Week

Player of the Week: Joe Devin, Cornell

The Scituate, Mass. senior earns Player of the Week honors this time around for his three-goal, five-point contribution to Cornell’s four-point weekend. He led off with Friday’s power-play game-winner over Clarkson, but finished even stronger with two goals – including the equalizing extra-attacker strike with 15 seconds left – in Saturday’s overtime win over St. Lawrence. A +2 on the weekend, Joe Devin also took over the Big Red lead in goal-scoring (11) and game-winners (three).

Honorable mention: Greg Miller, Cornell (1-3-4, +2); Mike Devin, Cornell (1-3-4); Tyler Helfrich, Rensselaer (1-3-4, +1 at Princeton); Kelly Zajac, Union (1-3-4, +2 at Princeton); Mike Kramer, Princeton (1-3-4, +1 vs. Union and RPI)

Rookie of the Week: To tell you the truth, nobody really stood out this week. Sorry, try harder next time.

Goalie of the Week: Ryan Rondeau, Yale

Out of many qualifying candidates, Rondeau gets the nod with a 34-save shutout over Harvard on Friday, followed by a two-goal, 25-save win over Dartmouth on Saturday. The senior now has three career shutouts – all earned this season – with a .929 save percentage and 1.92 goals-against average.

Honorable mention: Bryce Merriam, Rensselaer (3 goals against on 55 shots at QU and Princeton); Mike Garman, Cornell (2 goals against on 25 shots vs. Clarkson); James Mello, Dartmouth (39-save shutout at Brown; 4 goals against on 81 shots at Brown and Yale); Eric Hartzell, Quinnipiac (6 goals against on 69 shots vs. RPI and Union); Robby Moss, St. Lawrence (24-save shutout at Colgate; 4 goals against on 59 shots at Colgate and Cornell); Ryan Carroll, Harvard (4 goals against on 58 shots at Yale, vs. Northeastern)

February failure

Last year around this time, I dedicated the lead of my weekly column to Harvard’s annual embarrassment: the Beanpot.

Well, I may as well copy-paste, because it’s that time again. If Cambridge borrowed a groundhog to make annual Beanpot prognostications, he’d be called Punxsutawney Fail. Fortunately, much of the second half of that column has been rendered inapplicable to ECAC Hockey this year, but the Harvard bit still works… it’s like a Rodney Dangerfield joke: I don’t think it’ll ever go out of style.

The Crimson have the worst offense in the nation, averaging 1.77 goals per game. Next up from the bottom is Bowling Green, at 1.93. That 0.16-goal difference is the largest gap between consecutive teams until you get to the very top, where Yale (4.35) leads Boston College (3.81) by .54 goals per game. That means that not only can Harvard not score, but it’s way better at not scoring than anybody else in the country.

If only it were golf season.

The Crimson opened the Beanpot semifinal slowly, but fortunately Northeastern took the same trepidacious tack and the game evolved lethargically. Once the poking and prodding, 5-o’clock feelings ended, the action picked up again and Harvard generated some very good chances.

But as has been the case all season long, the Crimson looked for finish, but what they got was a shellacking. Once the Huskies took a 2-0 lead, the game looked all but over for many of the Ivy icers.

I know that Harvard isn’t having a good year, and that one team is not representative of an entire league… not Yale, not Cornell, not Colgate, not Harvard. This isn’t unique to the current regime or class of players, and Northeastern is only arguably in a better place. But when the dust settles after ECAC Hockey’s Beanpot representative continually, consistently, confoundingly and – recently – cataclysmically disappoints, year after year, it tarnishes the conference, too.

The Crimson players are a team, not standard-bearers or a literal representatives of anything greater than Harvard Hockey; as such, it’s not really fair to expect them to succeed on behalf of anybody but themselves.

If only they’d do that much.

My top 20

This was compiled prior to the Beanpot, FYI.

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