To all my devoted readers (and heck, to the reluctant ones, too), I sincerely apologize for not posting pre-game predictions yesterday as usual. I was (and still am) away from home, and couldn’t get an internet connection until it was too late. I’m hoping to make it up to you with a little bonus blog today instead.
Cornell, Union hold serve at home
The home-standing Big Red and Dutchmen dispatched of visiting Quinnipiac and Colgate, respectively, with strong defensive performances Friday night.
In Ithaca, the resurgent Red held the Bobcats scoreless on seven power plays in a 2-1 squeaker, including a full two-minute five-on-three early in the second period. Junior Mike Garman stopped 36 of 37 shots, and 19 of 20 in a 1-1 first period in which the hosts were out-shot 20-5. Fittingly, the game-winning goal was not only scored by Cornell’s leading goal-getter – senior Joe Devin – but it was also earned on the power-play, where the hosts went 1/5.
Meanwhile in the Capital District, Union required only 19 saves from sophomore Keith Kinkaid en route to a 4-1 victory over Colgate. The Dutchmen scored twice on four power plays, blanked the Raiders on their only advantage, and kept visiting freshman Eric Mihalik quite occupied with 22 first-period shots and 42 by the final horn.
Road warriors St. Lawrence and Harvard on fire
After looking up at the rest of the league all season long, the Crimson and Saints suddenly seem to have the world at their feet.
Junior Alex Killorn’s power-play goal in the game’s sixth minute got Harvard out to the right start, and the Cambridge club battled out of a 1-1 first-period draw to stun third-seeded Dartmouth. Senior Ryan Carroll stopped 27 of 29 Big Green bids as the Crimson won its sixth in a row, doubling what had been its win total for the season up to that point.
Finally in New Haven, SLU pulled off the shocker of the weekend so far, downing Yale 4-3 in overtime despite allowing the Bulldogs three power-play goals in five advantages and a game-high 11 shots on net in OT. While the Saints scored first, Yale jumped out to a 3-1 lead early in the second frame and maintained the two-goal advantage early in the third period. Senior Aaron Bogosian and rookie Greg Carey scored seven minutes apart, however, forcing extra hockey with the top team in the PairWise rankings. The Canton crew fought off a George Hughes hooking minor nine minutes into the fourth period, and Carey came through again with his conference-leading 23rd goal in the game’s 77th minute.
All four series resume tonight at 7:00 as the Game 1 victors seek to punch their tickets to Atlantic City.
News and notes
‘Cats cooking in the postseason
Lost in the shuffle this week was the impressive fact that since joining the league six years ago, Quinnipiac has been the only program to win at least one playoff series each year. Add that to the Bobcats’ series wins in six of the seven preceding years in the MAAC, and you’ve got yourself a much more seasoned program than many give them credit for.
Borowiecki bolts for Sens
Clarkson junior defenseman Mark Borowiecki signed with the Ottawa Senators on Friday, forgoing his senior year in Potsdam. The 6’1″, 206-lb native of Kanata, Ont. – the suburb of Ottawa in which the Senators play – scored 12 goals and 32 points in 99 career games with the Golden Knights, including three goals this year… all on the power play.
Among NHL deals, the Philadelphia Flyers inked the multi-talented senior Harry Zolnierczyk from Brown, and the Edmonton Oilers signed Princeton senior Taylor Fedun following each player’s first-round exits last week.
The league has continued its excellent series of ECAC Hockey’s all-time top 50 players. I’d try to summarize it, but it’s just so much better digested piece by piece, and in its entirety. I couldn’t possibly do justice to this who’s-who of historic hockey in the space I allot for a blog entry.
Award finalists announced
Coach of the year: Keith Allain, Yale; Guy Gadowsky, Princeton; Bob Gaudet, Dartmouth; Nate Leaman, Union
Best defensive forward: Aaron Bogosian, St. Lawrence; Adam Presizniuk, Union; Kelly Zajac, Union
Best defensive defenseman: Taylor Fedun, Princeton; Jimmy Martin, Yale; Brock Matheson, Union
Rookie of the year: Mat Bodie, Union; Andrew Calof, Princeton; Greg Carey, St. Lawrence
Ken Dryden (goalie of the year): Keith Kinkaid, Union; James Mello, Dartmouth; Allen York, Rensselaer