ECAC Hockey’s opportunists and squanderers

First-round matchups

•12 Princeton at 5 Dartmouth: Dartmouth swept the series, 2-0-0, by a 7-3 aggregate score.
•11 Brown at 6 Harvard: The teams split the series, 1-1-0, with each team winning at home; Harvard out-scored Brown by a 7-3 aggregate.
•10 Union at 7 Cornell: Cornell swept the series, 2-0-0, by a 7-2 aggregate score.
•9 Rensselaer at 8 Clarkson: Clarkson won the series, 1-0-1, by an 8-5 aggregate score.
•Byes: 1 Quinnipiac, 2 St. Lawrence, 3 Yale, 4 Colgate

Made their move

Every team had something to play for this weekend, whether that incentive be a visible improvement in their postseason seed, playoff readiness, or pure pride… but some teams had a bit more at stake than others.

Yale earned three tough home points against Colgate (2-2 tie Friday) and Cornell (4-0 win Saturday) to lock up the third-place spot and secure that ever-important week off. The Bulldogs roll into the playoffs on a six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2) and are 6-1-3 in their last 10.

Colgate, as mentioned, matched Yale on Friday before downing Brown in Providence Saturday afternoon. The win took a lot of the drama out of Saturday’s scoreboard watching, it must be said, as it secured the final bye for the Raiders before any would-be competitors had even dropped the puck. The Raiders are 4-0-1 in their last five with two shutouts and six total goals against.

Dartmouth may have seen its week off disappear in the chilly Rhode Island night, but you can’t fault the Big Green for putting forth their best effort. Dartmouth swept Princeton and Cleary Cup-winner Quinnipiac in Hanover by twin 3-1 scores, running the Big Green’s record to 9-2-1 in their last dozen games.

Fated and deflated

Meanwhile, some teams fell flat in the face of opportunity.

Cornell only mustered one point at Brown and Yale this weekend, and while another couple points wouldn’t have mattered in the end, it was not an optimistic conclusion to the Big Red’s regular season. Cornell ends regulation with a 1-2-3 record in its last six; 2-3-3 in eight.

Clarkson, like Cornell, will not be happy with the Weekend That Was. Also like Cornell, the points surrendered wouldn’t have mattered in the end, but taking just one point from the Capital District should not be considered forgivable circumstances for a team with higher aspirations. The Golden Knights are 0-5-1 in their last six and have just one win in their last nine (1-7-1).

Harvard may have smoked Princeton 5-0 on Saturday, but that 5-2 home loss to Quinnipiac on Friday sure does smart. In the end, those two points would have vaulted the Crimson past Dartmouth and Colgate and into the final bye position. But then, 2015 has been anything but friendly to Harvard (5-10-1 this year).



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