Points for everybody (well, except for Rensselaer)

So, who’s the best in ECAC Hockey conference play after one weekend? Tough to tell.

Perhaps we could call it a draw between Union and Dartmouth. After all, those were the only two teams to emerge unscathed from the first league weekend.

It was a wild and woolly weekend, as 11 of the 12 league teams earned a point in conference play. What can we learn from this? That ECAC Hockey could very well be the most entertaining of the leagues this year.

To sum it up, Brown, St. Lawrence and Yale all started out with losses on Friday, but rebounded nicely to earn their first ECAC wins on Saturday.

Conversely, Colgate, Cornell, Clarkson and Princeton went the other way, winning Friday but losing Saturday.

Union had two convincing road wins, outscoring their opponents 5-1 over the weekend, with reigning goalie of the week Troy Grosenick blanking the Saints. The next night, they picked up a 3-1 win over another true contender in the league, the Golden Knights, both wins coming on the road.

Thanks to being the host of the Ivy Shootout at Thompson Arena a week earlier, Dartmouth was able to get a fire going, put some tea on and get a little bit comfortable at home. The Big Green eked out a firewagon 5-4 win over Quinnipiac, and then sent Princeton home with frowns all around in a 5-3 Dartmouth triumph.

The Big Green won’t have to hold their mail anytime soon, either. They’re right back at Thompson Arena for their third straight weekend next Friday and Saturday and won’t have to start up the bus until Friday, Nov. 18.

Harvard and Quinnipiac lost Friday and then bumped into each other Saturday night in a 2-2 tie. They also walked away with at least something.

So, why, RPI? What is going on in Engineertown? Well, not offense. They were able to sneak one past Clarkson’s Paul Karpowich on Friday, but came up empty-handed against St. Lawrence a day later. They have a good talent in net in Bryce Merriam, but his efforts are being overshadowed by the underwhelming point production. Back to the drafting board, Engineers.

 

St. Lawrence: Not so Saintly?

The Saints were no doubt very eager to get back to work after three weeks off, but their eagerness ended up going over the edge a few too many times this weekend.

Heck, even before they hit the ice to start Friday, the Saints were in the sin bin, due to a “protocol violation” penalty. That’s a new one for this writer.

It turned out the referees slapped them for two minutes for being late to come out for the start of the game. Hmm, after three weeks of not playing, I’m surprised they didn’t have tents set up on the ice surface. “Occupy Appleton.”

To be fair to most of the team, 12 of their 24 minutes of penalties Friday against Union came from a slashing minor and 10-minute misconduct against Jacob Drewiske. That was conduct certainly unbecoming of a Saint. On Saturday, Gunnar Hughes chalked up 15 minutes of a major and game misconduct for 15 of the Saints’ 25 minutes there. That was his second game misconduct this season.

Going back to a game misconduct in the team’s 4-0 playoff loss to Yale last year, that’s four such calls in the last seven total games for the program. Not a positive trend.

Penalties are proving very costly for the league’s two least successful teams right now, as RPI leads in conference PIM (57) and is 1-8-0 overall and 0-2 in the conference.

St. Lawrence is second (49) and is 1-5 overall and 1-1 in the conference.

Rensselaer has been far more successful in killing its penalties (46-for-52, 88.5, 12th nationally) than the Saints (23-for-31, 74.2, 52nd nationally).

 

Who will be “Mr. November”?

Granted, Quinnipiac junior Jeremy Langlois’ goal against Harvard on Saturday night could be the start of another long streak. However, he may have some catching up to do in the player of the month race, already, after going scoreless in two straight games last Tuesday and Friday.

Players to watch to go on hot streaks include Dartmouth’s Dustin Walsh (five points in his two games this weekend), Langlois’ teammate and reigning rookie of the month Matthew Peca (point streak now at 11 points in 10 games), Brown’s Jack MacLellan or Massimo Lamacchia (four points in three games apiece) and, of course, Union’s Mat Bodie, who really deserves a weekly or monthly award sometime soon.

Out of the gate, he’s scored 10 points in every one of his nine games.

Heck, it could be a defenseman like Clarkson’s Kevin Tansey (plus or even in each one of 10 games so far) or a goalie like Union’s Troy Grosenick. He’s given up just five goals in his last five games, including a shutout this weekend against St. Lawrence and only one goal against a potent Clarkson team (3.30 goals per game).

Of course, I will agree that the real race is which team is on top at the end, but it’s fun to watch the individuals try to outwork each other for team glory.

126 COMMENTS

  1. Bad loss by Cornell to Brown on Sunday following a great win. They had a chance to  give themselves an early advantage in the league. Hopefully they sweep next weekend (or at least pull out 3 points because Dartmouth has been a tough trip recently for the Red.

  2. Minnesota will win the WCHA! UMD’s schedule down the stretch is tougher then Minnesota’s. The overall opponents record vs the Bulldogs is not as good as the Gophers opponents record but the teams UMD will face are playing better hockey. UMD has home series with North Dakota & Colorado College, they also play at Mankato & St. Cloud. The Gophers play at Denver & Omaha, they play host to Bemidji and Wisconsin. I like the Gophers position headed down the stretch vs Duluths. I will predict the Bulldogs will get 10pts out of 14. Even if the Gophers split all of their remaining series the Bulldogs wouldn’t catch them. The Bulldogs would need to sweep 2 of those series if the Gophers played 500 the rest of the way. The Gophers will sweep either Bemidji or Wisconsin and split with Omaha and Denver. No matter what it would be tough for the Bulldogs to catch the Gophers.

    • i think UND and CC will both get 2 points out of duluth, for some reason they are slumping.  and going to St. Cloud this year has not been easy, and as we can see this weekend, MSU-M isn’t going to go down easily either. I can’t see the bulldogs even getting 8 out of the 14 the way they are playing right now.  They need a big weekend against the no namers

      • This is very doubtfull, the Bulldogs are in a slump, but when their game is on their great. If you look back to past games the Bulldogs have showed dominate traits throughout most of their games that make it hard for oppoents. Their going to be excited to the challenge of UND and CC and wouldn’t doubt if they won 3/4 of those games.

  3. Problem with your logic Mr Hockey is that UMD has 8 games remaining with 16 points available, not 14. 
    However, after all is said and done, I do agree that the Gophers will win the WCHA crown.  I predict that UMD will take 12 points during the remainder of the schedule and that Minnesota will match that total.

    • Yes my math was off a little, the morning red bull hadn’t kicked in yet…lol. However that being said I was figuring the Gophers points as the same 14 not 16. So either way it will be tough for the Bulldogs to catch them.

    • Gogophs I do! The Gophers, Bulldogs, & BU have proven that they’re the top teams this year. No matter which team you cheer for, you have to admitt that they’re. Boston U has been through the most adversity with kids leaving and getting suspended. BU fans were saying it was time for Jack Parker to leave. I’d guess those fans have resinded those comments now. The Gophers have been playing great lately. Yes, they had a little slump, every team does. My hope is when the selection committee meets they realize this and put Gophers and Bulldogs on opposite sides of the bracket. I’d like Boston in the Gophers bracket just to see a good frozen Four match up. Go Gophers. 

  4. CC has been swamped with injuries to multiple players and has lost the net besides. I don’t see them sweeping UNO. I don’t think its impossible its not the other way around. Some of those guys are coming back after being out this weekend are going to make a go of it at less than 100%. Just need to keep the Schwartz’s away form the net. That said, UNO’s biggest weakness this year on a very young team has been on defense. We’ll see.

  5. “Five weeks ago this pair could not have been further apart in the league standings yet the Mavericks are 6-4 in that stretch while UMD is 5-4-1. “Brian, this statement confuses me. So the Mavs are now one point closer to the Dogs in the standings? I’m sure you were trying to show that the Mavs were playing a little better then they had been and the Dogs are finally losing some games… but really… how long did you have to write this? You couldn’t come up with something better?

    • Don’t you know that Brian and Tyler only care about the Gophers?  My question is why do we need both of them?  They seem to write identical “expert” opinions every week, which basically recite box scores and stats that all of us already have access to.  Also, why does the WCHA, the premier league in college hockey (for the time being), get the two USCHO writers who seem to have the least knowledge/interest in the league and college hockey?  Maybe comparing them to Paula from the CCHA isn’t fair.  What do you all think?

      • I think if you hate their writing so much, you should apply for their job citing your superior ability to extrapolate info from games. Its college hockey man, not college football. Be happy a strictly college hockey website exists. However, I do, sometimes, give a B- for editorial effort.

  6. Hopes everyone has a great weekend of hockey.  With the exception of Michigan Tech of course. 

    Go Sioux!!!  (I can still say that right?)

  7. 12-4-1 in the last 17 for the Sioux how are we not number one in the country???  Everybody else has had a chance up there… especially with the obvious bias towards the Sioux from everybody in the country.  Its an outrage!!! Who are these clowns that do the voting.

    • How about because they are in fifth place in their own conference…  How is the fifth place WCHA team the best in the nation?  This is exactly the kind of ignorant comment that promotes the other fans in the league to pick on Sue fans…  UND may be playing better than they did in October, but the season has still been medicore at best.  They will not deserve a number one ranking unless they slide into the NCAA’s and find a way to win it all.  While anything is possible, (See Bowling Green 1984) I think you should forget about any #1’s this season and come back down to the real world the rest of us live in. 

      Way to go future WCHAers Ferris State!

      • wow, I literally had to pick myself up off the floor, I fell out of my chair laughing so hard, I can just picture the outrage and you slamming on your keyboard as you type, throwing out explictives. Sarcasm…Have you heard of it? You might do your blood preasure a favor by learing to recognize it.  Look at my reply to Duluth06Che, which was before you wrote your post.

  8. Bulldog sweep at home, gophers split on the road losing friday night, UND/denver split.  that puts the dogs and gophers tied at 36 and denver at 32 and a tie for 4th at 29. That leaves a final weekend with all 3 places in the conference up for grabs.  Its going to be a great couple fo weeks for WCHA hockey! 

  9. BU actually holds the tie-breaker over BC so they can be the number one seed if they sweep and BC drops one. Alternately, if BC ties twice then BU would take the number one seed by virtue of more league wins (again assuming a sweep).

    • You are correct and I’ve changed the offending language.  The tiebreaker list went:
      BC wins vs. UML, 2-1-0BU wins vs. BC, 2-1-0…
      With the BU-BC tiebreaker coming right after a BC tiebreaker win, I misread it. If I’d just used my memory, I’d have recalled Jack Parker saying after the Beanpot championship game that his team took the tiebreaker but BC owned the bigger win.

      Sorry for the error.  A casuality of being on the West Coast…

  10. UNH hasn’t given up 5 goals since their last game against Maine @ Fenway which was an OT game and DeSmith’s second ever start.  And they’ve only given up 4 goals 3 other times since DeSmith got the nod (vs BC, VT, @ UMass).  All of Maine’s scoring comes from that top line.  If the UNH defense can keep them in check I don’t see Maine scoring 4 or 5 goals (doesn’t mean they won’t win though).  

  11. BC should take the regular season title and hockey east championship. BU and Maine are both capable of winning as well. I would say Maine has the second best chance given how they played BC and that they havn’t lost 3 top players for off ice incidents.

  12. BC would have this in the bag if UVM didn’t gag late last week. Even a tie then would have worked. I’m a bit leery of the Cats playing at least one good game this weekend….

    •  I have to agree… I was enjoying seeing Merrimack ranked highly, but the second half of the season has been unimpressive.

  13. Lowell is in and Merrimack has an outside chance to get in

    And the Bronx Blowhard should stay in his mom’s basement where he belongs

  14. Is Ned Bunyon still around.  Now that would be exciting to bring him back with his boy Jeff.  It could be the first ever 15 hour game full of embellishments, phantom calls and fun for all.

  15. Chris. Can you write a letter to the editor of the Springfield, MA paper saying that you think more people should be aware of the quality hockey being played at the Olympia. I’ve tried it twice, and they don’t want to publish it. You have more creds than me!

  16. Rick Pizzo from the big ten network tweeted today affiliate members will be added soon. Looks like Notre dame and Arizona state.

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