Raiders revel; Tigers in the Great Northwest; and a Northeast no-decision

Colgate claims Mariucci Classic

It’s old news by now, but it’s nonetheless the weekend’s top headline:

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The Raiders tied top-ranked Minnesota – on the Gophers’ home ice – and downed the hosts in the shootout on Friday; the Hamilton upstarts then dispatched of No. 2 Ferris State, 3-0, to take the title on Saturday. The Raiders are now 2-1 this season against former No. 1 FSU and are shaping up as a team to watch out for: The team has already beaten Union once, swept the North Country on the road, and are 5-2-3 away from Starr Rink.

Princeton on the Pacific

Most of us don’t look twice at exhibition contests, but Princeton did something a little different this year. Much as Quinnipiac and Dartmouth traveled to Europe last summer for some preseason action, the Tigers (along with the University of North Dakota) left American soil last week in order to take part in the Great Northwest Showcase in Burnaby, British Columbia. The Tigers took down Simon Fraser 8-1 on Friday, but fell 1-0 to the champion University of British Columbia on Saturday. (North Dakota lost to UBC 3-2, and beat SFU 4-3.)

Exhibition events like this used to be commonplace among all sports at all levels – even major-league baseball teams used to play mid-season exhibition tournaments – but for any number of reasons, they are obviously rare today. Despite the logistical challenges and physical risks, this was an experience that many Princeton and North Dakota players (especially the combined seven from the BC province) will cherish for a long time.

Hockey East-ECAC Hockey decide little

Hockey East (.637) and the Big 10 (.604) have overtaken the ECAC (.560) in interconference winning percentage, but the EC’ got a modicum of respect back last weekend, going 2-1-3 against regional foes from the the breakaway league. Quinnipiac (2-1 winners over Maine) and Harvard (downing Boston University, 7-4) registered ECAC Hockey’s two victories; meanwhile, UMass-Lowell hosted, tied, and beat Clarkson while both Dartmouth and Yale tied Vermont in Burlington.

Elsewhere, Brown took a win and tie in Colorado with a draw at Denver and a win against lowly Colorado College. As much as we laud Colgate for its achievement in the Twin Cities, we must also acknowledge Rensselaer’s twin 6-2 losses to the same Gophers and Bulldogs in that tournament.

There are still 16 more non-conference games on the ECAC’s regular-season docket, including two intra-conference bouts (Yale-Harvard at Madison Square Garden next weeekend, and Union-RPI in the Mayor’s Cup on January 25th).