Starting Over in the ECACHL
always tough to get an early read on the pecking order in
the ECAC Hockey League. Since the Ivy League teams begin
practices after the other six member schools have already
played several games, there is no single starting point
to judge the teams from. The varying strength of opposition
that each team faces makes comparisons difficult. Is Vermont's
sub-.500 record against top competition more impressive
than Cornell's blowouts of Army and Sacred Heart?
so we arrive at this weekend, the start of ECACHL play,
where those aforementioned problems are a thing of the past.
Brown and Harvard began the conference schedule last week
with a 2-2 tie, and this week sees all 12 member teams going
against other conference opposition. The 22 ECACHL games
that make up a team's schedule are particularly important
for playoff positioning, and the best chance to win the
conference tournament and earn an automatic spot in the
ECACHL season hits full stride this weekend, we do know
that four teams enter the league season with more optimism
and momentum than others, while five others have seen both
positives and negatives, and three more can use a fresh
start within the league to erase the memories of a difficult
Up: Four teams can feel particularly good about
how things have gone thus far, beginning with Vermont, as
the Catamounts proved they can play with anyone in the nation
by getting a win and a tie on the road against then top-ranked
Minnesota-Duluth. We'll take a closer look at the Catamounts
results at UMD were a huge surprise, and the early-season
emergence of St. Lawrence is also a bit of a surprise. The
Saints have gone up against the toughest schedule of any
team in the entire country and have come out of it with
a 4-3-1 record. They capped their great stretch of early-season
play by sweeping Miami at Appleton Arena last weekend.
is perfect in two games thus far after blasting Army and
Sacred Heart by identical 7-1 scored. The Big Red scored
what would usually be considered a month's worth of goals
by their recent standard in just a single weekend.
Rensselaer has found plenty of offense (30 goals in seven
games) and stands at 4-2-1 after beating Mercyhurst on Saturday.
Out: As mentioned earlier, Brown and Harvard played
a 2-2 tie to start the year. Brown's good news comes in
the fact that a pair of freshmen (Paul Baier and Sean Hurley)
scored the goals in that game. Harvard's optimism comes
from a seven-goal surge against the U.S. Under-18 team and
a four-point weekend from freshman Dave Watters.
rattled off a four-game winning streak to start the year
and appeared ready to strongly defend its ECACHL regular-season
championship of 2003-04 but the Raiders are just 1-2-0 since
that time, including a 3-2 loss to Army on home ice.
joins Colgate among the favorites for the title this year
and the Big Green had mixed results in its opening weekend
of play. Dartmouth fell 2-1 to Quinnipiac and goaltender
Jamie Holden. Dartmouth had a 43-11 shot advantage in the
week's notebook took a look at Princeton and the Tigers
are continuing to show some offensive improvement after
getting five in a tie against Alabama-Huntsville on Saturday.
Slate: Big things were expected from Clarkson this
year and the Golden Knights haven't lived up to those expectations
with two wins in six games. The Knights did get a boost
when highly-touted freshman Shawn Weller joined the lineup
for the most recent pair of games after being cleared to
participate by the NCAA Clearinghouse. He missed the first
four Clarkson games and two exhibition games due to uncertainty
regarding a high school mathematics course he took in ninth
got its first win of the year but finds itself searching
for offense again this year. The Dutchmen have just four
even-strength goals in six games, and 10 total goals. That's
a big reason for a 1-5-0 start.
started its season with losses to Alabama-Huntsville and
St. Cloud State, and allowed 15 goals in those games, while
scoring just twice.
AND HEARD IN THE ECACHL
Learned – After earning a win and tie at
Minnesota-Duluth, Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon wanted to
talk about two losses to Niagara. One week before knocking
off the top-ranked team in the country, the Catamounts were
swept by Niagara.
think the most valuable lesson we learned was last weekend
against Niagara. They are an excellent hockey club, and
I think our guys took them a little lightly and we didn't
execute our game plan. That was probably the most important
weekend," Sneddon said.
you look at strength of schedule, with Maine and BU and
the Bulldogs, our guys should feel confident that we can
play with anyone in the country right now. But I think we
learned a lot of lessons last weekend about ourselves, and
that has helped us."
said that the team applied lessons learned during those
losses to the Purple Eagles and became a more composed,
dedicated, complete hockey team. Players accepted roles
and it paid off.
alright and Saturday's good, too – St. Lawrence's
success over ranked opponents on Fridays (win at Michigan
State, win at Maine, win vs. Miami) hasn't led to Saturday
prosperity until this past weekend the Saints maintained
Friday's momentum and completed the weekend sweep of the
RedHawks. Prior to this week's Saturday win, the Saints
were 0-3-1 in games played on Saturdays and Sundays.
T.J. Trevelyan (10 points in eight games) and John Zeiler
pace the offense, and senior goaltender Mike McKenna has
stopped 92 percent of the shots he's faced. Trevelyan had
six points in the sweep of Miami and was the ECACHL Player
of the Week.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Great Weekend Getaway
at Rensselaer (Fri.);
St. Lawrence at Rensselaer (Sat.)
only does it include a game against a hated rival,
but RPI fans will celebrate Adam Oates Night and Black
Friday when Clarkson visits. Saturday's game matches
two of the surprise teams in the league thus far and
both are playing well heading into the weekend.
You're There: What college hockey fan doesn't love
picking up a rare jersey? If you're headed to Friday's
game, bring along some extra cash or that trusty credit
card as the team's special black jerseys (including
one worn by Oates during the ceremony) will be auctioned
off during the game and presented to winning bidders
to Joe Fallon, a Bemidji, Minn. native who was a big
reason for Vermont's success against Minnesota-Duluth.
Fallon, a freshman goaltender, returned to his home
state and stopped 69 shots from the Bulldogs while
allowing just four goals during the weekend.
think that a 10-0 loss is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,
but for Yale it's becoming an annual event. For the
second straight season, the Bulldogs were beaten 10-0
by a WCHA opponent. One year ago, it was a road game
at North Dakota. This past weekend, St. Cloud State
rolled over Yale in New Haven.
Congratulations to RPI coach Dan Fridgen for becoming the
all-time winningest coach in the program's illustrious hockey
history. When the Engineers defeated Mercyhurst 5-0, Fridgen
earned his 187th win behind the bench and passed Mike Adessa
atop the coaching wins list.
By tying Brown in his first official game behind the Harvard
bench, Ted Donato kept up a Harvard tradition. None of the
last 10 Harvard coaches has lost his coaching debut.
Donato will lead his team into Cornell's Lynah Rink this
weekend. The normally hostile environment for visiting teams
becomes downright raucous when hated Harvard comes to town.
This marks the second straight year that Cornell administration
is asking fans not to throw fish on the ice prior to the
start of the game, instead recommending that fans shower
the ice with stuffed toys. The toys will be collected and
donated to the "Cops, Kids, and Toys" program.
Princeton junior captain Patrick Neundorfer had a hat trick
in the 5-5 tie against Alabama-Huntsville, and freshmen
Landis Stankievech and Erik Pridham had points in both games
last weekend, their first two games as Tigers.
It's the annual Silver Puck Weekend at Colgate, and that
means that Saturday's game against Harvard will start at
4 p.m. The Silver Puck banquet will begin at 8 p.m. Colgate
is celebrating its 75th year of varsity hockey.
Harvard goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris stopped Brown's Brian
Ihnacak on a penalty shot in last weekend's tie.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this