Some quick thoughts as ECAC Hockey nears the end of the first half

With the exception of Dartmouth’s two-game series at Denver next weekend, every ECAC Hockey team has wrapped up its pre-Christmas portion of the schedule. Here is a look back with some quick thoughts from the past weekend.  Check back later in the week for a more detailed breakdown of each team’s first half and a look ahead to the final two months of the regular season.

Clarkson’s dominance continues; Saints continue to trend downwards

The Golden Knights swept a home-and-home series with travel partner St. Lawrence to push their league record to 8-0 and enter the second half of the year on an eleven-game winning streak. Clarkson has outscored its opponents 45-14 during that stretch and posted a shutout three times.

Sophomore Sheldon Rempal scored three times over the weekend and now leads Division I with 16 goals.

For the Saints, the weekend marked the end to a disastrous first half, one that was filled with injuries and inconsistent play. This was a program that was on the rise at the end of last year, but several important players graduated and goalie Kyle Hayton transferred to play at Wisconsin with a year of eligibility left.

On top of the injury issues, the school also announced that it was investigating the team for potential NCAA and school violations.

Break coming at a good time for the Bobcats

Offensive consistency was a problem for the Bobcats last season, but Quinnipiac has really floundered in all aspects of the game the last few weekends. The Bobcats were swept at home by Maine over the weekend, extending their winless streak to four games and dropping their overall record to 6-10-2.

Quinnipiac led Maine 3-0 on Friday, but lost 7-4 despite outshooting the Black Bears 54-30. On Friday, the Bobcats lead 1-0 early, but trailed Maine 3-1 after two. QU rallied to tie it, but Maine scored the game winner with less than a minute left in the third period.

“It continues to be frustrating because we can’t seem to do anything right,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said after Friday’s game.

Colgate’s Vaughan stuck on 399 career wins

One of the bigger surprises during the opening months of the season, Colgate enters the break having lost three of its last four games, including a 4-2 defeat at Connecticut Friday. That loss left coach Don Vaughan stuck on 399 wins for his career.

The Raiders are a young team, so some inconsistent stretches are to be expected. Still, Colgate has an excellent goalie in Colton Point, and a talented defensive group that should keep it in contention throughout the second half of the season.

Point was one of four goalies named to Canada’s initial roster for the World Junior Championships. The selection camp will run from Dec. 12-15.

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