Dutchmen, Crimson falling; Big Green, Saints and Bobcats rising

With three weeks left in the regular season, one point separates third place through eighth place in ECAC hockey. There’s still a lot to be determined, but last weekend helped give an indication of where several teams might end up.

Trending up: Dartmouth, St. Lawrence, Quinnipiac

A five-game winning streak has pushed Dartmouth into the picture for a first-round bye. The Big Green have averaged 4.6 goals a game during that stretch, and are tied  with Clarkson, Harvard, and Yale in the standings.  Dartmouth seemed poised for better things following a disappointing season last year; now that looks to be coming together.

As for Quinnipiac, the Bobcats quietly continued its dominance in league play, pushing its conference record to 13-2-1 with two wins over the weekend.  That sets up a big matchup Friday night when second-place St. Lawrence takes its seven-game winning streak to Hamden.  A few more wins could push the Saints into the top-16 in the Pairwise; St. Lawrence is currently sitting at 17th.

Trending down: Harvard, Union

What a second-half tumble its been for the Crimson. First in the PairWise not long ago, Harvard is currently 16th and out of the NCAA tournament, thanks to the auto-bid from Atlantic Hockey. The Crimson lost to Yale Friday, and then fell 2-1  Saturday to  a Brown team that is currently 54th in the PairWise.

Harvard is 2-7 in 2015, and starts a tough stretch to end the year with Boston College Monday in the Beanpot consolation, a game that could have PairWise implications for both teams. From there, the Crimson host Cornell and Colgate, travel to St. Lawrence and Clarkson, and then host Quinnipiac and Princeton to conclude the regular season. The good news for Harvard is that forwards Sean Malone and Alexander Kerfoot have played in each of the last three games after missing time with injuries.

As for Union, the past weekend seemed to be a death blow in what has been an inconsistent season for the defending national champions. The Dutchmen beat Clarkson 4-1 Friday, but were blown out by St. Lawrence 7-1 on Saturday. That loss makes it likely that Union will be on the road for the opening round of the playoffs, while a bye seems virtually impossible at this point.

Following Saturday’s loss, Union coach Rick Bennett told Ken Schott of The Daily Gazette that the Dutchmen “are a part-time team and our record shows it.” The Dutchmen haven’t put together a four-point weekend in ECAC play, thanks in part to a defense that ranks41st in the country.

An unexpected return

Colgate forward Mike Borkowski was expected to be out for the regular season following a knee injury in November. But the Raiders junior returned Friday night against Princeton, contributing an assist in a 2-0 win over the Tigers. His return helps deepen the Colgate lineup, and gives the Raiders its top forwards playing together for the first time this season.

At 7-6-3, Colgate is in the thick of teams stuck together in the middle of the standings. The Raiders are still missing defenseman Spiro Goulakos, but Borkowski’s return show help down the stretch.

 

20 COMMENTS

  1. Union lost 7-1…don’t underestimate the significance of NOT getting shut out! Colgate is also trending down. So much for preseason polls and a promising season following a trip to the NCAA tournament for the Raiders. ECAC an unpredictable, jumbled mess as usual.

    • i thought this wknd was union’s last chance to start some kind of run towards the playoffs – i do not see much if any hope of winning there – year to year transition was never an issue for this team – maybe though its not so unbelievable how all facets of their game were offset by the the loss of so many championship caliber players – such a bummer either way

  2. Union lost 7-1…don’t underestimate the significance of NOT getting shut out! Colgate is also trending down. So much for preseason polls and a promising season following a trip to the NCAA tournament for the Raiders. ECAC an unpredictable, jumbled mess as usual.

    • i thought this wknd was union’s last chance to start some kind of run towards the playoffs – i do not see much if any hope of winning there – year to year transition was never an issue for this team – maybe though its not so unbelievable how all facets of their game were offset by the the loss of so many championship caliber players – such a bummer either way

  3. Ugly to look at the Pairwise and see only 1 ECAC team in position. Seems the teams that had decent out-of -conference starts to the year bombed in the ECAC play, and those that are doing well have weak non-conference records. If St. L loses to QU in the ECAC final, I’m not sure 2 teams make the NCAA, let alone 3.

  4. Ugly to look at the Pairwise and see only 1 ECAC team in position. Seems the teams that had decent out-of -conference starts to the year bombed in the ECAC play, and those that are doing well have weak non-conference records. If St. L loses to QU in the ECAC final, I’m not sure 2 teams make the NCAA, let alone 3.

  5. I still think the ECAC is underrated. I’m a Dartmouth season ticket holder and they have played everyone tough. Tied Denver, beat BU with a full roster, lost to BC with three minutes to go. Lost to the Saints while outshooting them 39-22. Lost to QU in Hamden in OT. I can’t imagine only one team in the tourney. If Dartmouth is in the middle of the pack, then the whole league is pretty good.

  6. I still think the ECAC is underrated. I’m a Dartmouth season ticket holder and they have played everyone tough. Tied Denver, beat BU with a full roster, lost to BC with three minutes to go. Lost to the Saints while outshooting them 39-22. Lost to QU in Hamden in OT. I can’t imagine only one team in the tourney. If Dartmouth is in the middle of the pack, then the whole league is pretty good.

  7. Ted: The league (ECAC) is not underrated. The league has a terrible non-conference record and is deserving of its pairwise ratings. They are forth in non-conference matchups and have a losing record against every other league except the AHA. RPI lost 8 of 10 non-conference matchups. Dartmouth was 0-4-3 from Jan2 – Jan17 lost BC, VT, tied NH and tied Denver. You want a prize for that? Q dropped two to Merrimack. The list goes on. The very sad part to this is that the F4 is in Boston this year and its going to be a huge dissappointment if we don’t have at least one ECAC team at the party. PS – Dartmouth has never ever even won the ECAC Tournament. ECAC teams have to go out and schedule tough out of conference teams and win some. Scheduling non-conference games against conference opponents buys you nothing. Its tough on the IVY’s because they only have 7 non-conference games. The only ECAC team that did everything right this year was Harvard but they were decimated by injuries. I am just hoping that one ECAC teams makes it to Boston. I don’t care which one. My fear is that only one will make the NCAA playoff and that team will get eliminated long before that. Then we will be back to the EZAC.

  8. Ted: The league (ECAC) is not underrated. The league has a terrible non-conference record and is deserving of its pairwise ratings. They are forth in non-conference matchups and have a losing record against every other league except the AHA. RPI lost 8 of 10 non-conference matchups. Dartmouth was 0-4-3 from Jan2 – Jan17 lost BC, VT, tied NH and tied Denver. You want a prize for that? Q dropped two to Merrimack. The list goes on. The very sad part to this is that the F4 is in Boston this year and its going to be a huge disappointment if we don’t have at least one ECAC team at the party. PS – Dartmouth has never ever even won the ECAC Tournament. ECAC teams have to go out and schedule tough out of conference teams and win some. Scheduling non-conference games against conference opponents buys you nothing. Its tough on the IVY’s because they only have 7 non-conference games. The only ECAC team that did everything right this year was Harvard but they were decimated by injuries. I am just hoping that one ECAC teams makes it to Boston. I don’t care which one. My fear is that only one will make the NCAA playoff and that team will get eliminated long before that. Then we will be back to the EZAC.

  9. The Pairwise is as rigged as the Grammys. ECAC, winner of last two National Championships get 2 low seeds. A joke. The hockey “establishment” working its magic… ND Fighting Sues and BCs of the world get every break based on reputation and (self-fulfilling) strength of schedule. The conference should be furious. ECAC penalized for relative parity. No respect.

    • The Pairwise is NOT rigged and is very objective. However, once the teams are picked, where they get placed, ie. in what region and against what competition, is subjective and one could claim with a lot of validity, that BC and HE always get preferential treatment, over the ECAC :)

  10. The Pairwise is as rigged as the Grammys. ECAC, winner of last two National Championships get 2 low seeds. A joke. The hockey “establishment” working its magic… ND Fighting Sues and BCs of the world get every break based on reputation and (self-fulfilling) strength of schedule. The conference should be furious. ECAC penalized for relative parity. No respect.

    • The Pairwise is NOT rigged and is very objective. However, once the teams are picked, where they get placed, ie. in what region and against what competition, is subjective and one could claim with a lot of validity, that BC and HE always get preferential treatment, over the ECAC :)

  11. I thought for sure this would be a rebuilding year for QU, because this is a very young team. But, true to form with Pecknold’s squads, this team continues to exceed expectations. I think they have what it takes to fill in for the loss of Barron, Federico and Peca after this year, and next year could be an even better year.

  12. I thought for sure this would be a rebuilding year for QU, because this is a very young team. But, true to form with Pecknold’s squads, this team continues to exceed expectations. I think they have what it takes to fill in for the loss of Barron, Federico and Peca after this year, and next year could be an even better year.

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