Round One complete

The opening weekend of the ECAC playoffs is in the books.  Here’s  a look at the matchups in the best-of-three quarterfinals next weekend:

No. 10 Rensselaer at No. 1 Union

No. 9 Dartmouth at No. 2 Cornell

No. 6 Yale at No. 3 Harvard

No.5 Quinnipiac at No. 4 Colgate

Extra time needed

Three of the four series this weekend went to three games…and then some. RPI and Clarkson went to triple overtime Saturday night before Ben Sexton’s goal at 113:48 into the contest gave the Golden Knights the win in the sixth-longest game in NCAA history.

It was a little less dramatic Sunday, as the Engineers used three three period goals to take a 4-1 win and move on to face Capital Region rival Union this weekend.

Saturday’s Princeton and Yale matchup was the only other overtime game this weekend. This one was slightly less dramatic, as the Tigers’ Andrew Calof scored his second of the night just 33 seconds into the extra time.

Calof added two more  Sunday, but a short-handed Princeton squad couldn’t overcome a hat trick by Antoine Laganiere, who finished with five goals in the series.

Give credit to a young Tigers team, who only skated 11 forwards and five defenseman all weekend.  Two late goals by Yale, including a beautiful  empty-netter by Brian O’Neill, made the final score of 7-3 seem more lopsided than it really was. There were a combined twenty two penalties between the teams.

“We were a couple guys short and had a couple forwards on ‘D,’ but at the end of the days it’s hockey,” Tigers head coach Bob Prier said. “It’s not an excuse in any way. I’m proud of the way our guys played. They were out of their comfort zone a little bit, but they did a good job.”

Quinnipiac rebounds

Bobcats head coach Rand Pecknold was in shock of how poorly his team played in 4-1 loss to Brown Friday night in Hamden.

The win was the first in five tries in the playoffs against Quinnipiac for the Bears, who closed the season with a ten game winless streak.  It certainly didn’t look it Friday night, as  Brown protected the puck and simply outworked the Bobcats most of the game.

But Quinnipiac came back with a 3-0 win Saturday, and held off a third period rally to advance to the quarterfinals with a 4-2 win Sunday. Leading goal-scorer Jeremy Langlois returned for the Bobcats Saturday after being out since Feb. 17.

Just one sweep

Darmouth scored ten goals and Jody O’Neill turned away 68 shots in two games as the Big Green recorded the only sweep of the weekend on the road against St. Lawrence.  Darmouth joined RPI as the two lower-seeded teams to advance  this weekend.

The Big Green were among several team that entered the postseason with goalie time-shares. However, the only change in net in the opening round was Sunday at Yale, where Bulldogs head coach Keith Allain opted to start Jeff Malcolm for the first time since Feb. 11

Allain,  who is stranger to rotating goaltenders,  said postgame it was a tall task playing three games in one weekend, and that he has faith in either Malcolm or Nick Marcic to get the job done.