A change at the top

Union’s 6-4 win over Quinnipiac on Dec. 7 helped ensure the Dutchmen would end the first half in sole possession of first place in the ECAC.

But on Friday, the Bobcats reclaimed the top spot with a 2-1 win over Union in Hamden. Quinnipiac held the Dutchmen scoreless for the first two periods, the first time that’s happened all season. The loss also snapped Union’s ten-game unbeaten streak.

The Bobcats ended the weekend with a convincing 6-2 win over Rensselaer Saturday, extending their unbeaten streak to six. Freshman Sam Anas had a goal and two assists against the Engineers, giving him 30 points in 25 games.

Quinnipiac has played two more conference games than Union, and the Dutchmen have the better winning percentage in league play, so don’t expect the Bobcats to run away with the Cleary Cup like they did last season.

Skidding Engineers

A stellar second-half last season appeared to put RPI in a good position entering this year. But one win in their last eight games has dropped the Engineers to 8-10-4.

Junior goalie Scott Diebold has started every game since Jason Kasdorf was lost to an injury early in the year. Diebold was solid in the early going, but has allowed five goals in three of the last four games.

It’s possible the Engineers are in the same situation as Harvard was last year after Steve Michalek left the team in December. Michalek’s departure  meant the Crimson had few options behind Raphael Girard in net, asHarvard (and Girard) struggled in the second half. The same could be happening with Diebold and the Engineers. Freshman Jake Soffer made his collegiate debut in the third period at Quinnipiac Saturday, stopping 11-of-12 shots.

RPI mixed up its lines in both games this weekend. It will be interesting to see how things look in goal and the rest of the lineup when the Engineers resume play Jan. 24 against Dartmouth.

Yale wins on the big stage

The first Rivalry On Ice matchup went to Yale, with the Bulldogs beating Harvard 5-1 Saturday in a non-conference game at Madison Square Garden.  The game, which had been promoted throughout the year, had an announced attendance of 15,525.  The opening puck drop featured current New York Ranger and former Harvard forward Dominic Moore, former Rangers Mike Richter (Yale) and Mark Messier and Secretary of State John Kerry (Yale).

Cody Learned had two goals for Yale, and was named the game’s MVP.