2006-07 ECACHL Mid-Season Report
The ECAC Hockey League's travel-partner scheduling
is one of the things that makes it special and unique. In
keeping with that, we'll name travel partners Brown
and Yale as our first-half surprise teams. They've
gone about things differently this season, but both have
notched impressive wins and are far ahead of where most
people expected them to finish.
Yale started out on fire, winning six of its
first seven games and earning victories at New Hampshire
and Dartmouth. Since then, Yale is 0-4-1, but still has
a winning record through its first dozen games.
Brown had an opposite pattern, starting 0-2-2
before winning six of its last eight games. The only Bruno
losses in that stretch of prosperity were at Dartmouth and
against Clarkson, leaving the Bears with a 6-4-2 overall
mark after 12 games.
When Adam D'Alba announced that he wouldn't
return to Brown this season, it must have caused a bit of
a concern, especially since D'Alba's last two games of his
collegiate career were spectacular goaltending performaces
at St. Lawrence in the ECACHL playoffs. Mark Sibbald was
given the first opportunity to claim the job, but Brown
failed to win in his four starts. Freshman Dan Rosen
relieved Sibbald in that fourth game, and then went 5-2-0
in his seven starts, with numbers that would make Ryan Miller
jealous. Rosen's goals-against average is 1.44, and he has
stopped 95.7 percent of the shots fired on his net.
BEST NEW FACE
Quinnipiac has never lacked for scoring depth,
and adding Brandon Wong helped the offense
even more. The First Team BCHL All-Star, and two-time team
MVP came to Hamden with a reputation for scoring (128 points
in 2005-06) and has lived up to those expectations. He has
12 goals and 19 points in 16 games, and has spent most of
the year centering a line with classmate Jean-Marc Beaudoin
and junior Dan Travis, a Florida Panthers draft pick.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ...
Harvard? The Crimson returned
most of their key players from an Ivy League championship
and NCAA Tournament team in 2005-06. Goalie John Daigneau
might have been the biggest name of the group that left,
but you can't blame goals against for Harvard's struggles
thus far. The Crimson has scored four goals in four of their
12 games, and has a 3-1-0 record in those. In the other
eight games, Harvard has scored one goal three times and
two goals five times. All eight of those are losses.
Yale's win at New Hampshire on Oct.
28 is the clear choice in this category (with apologies
to Harvard's 4-0 win over Boston College). The Bulldogs
went up to Durham in just their second NCAA game of the
year and pulled out an overtime victory. Yale led 1-0 and
2-1 in the game, but UNH took a 3-2 lead late in the second
period. Chris Cahill scored with 3:15 left to tie the game
for Yale, and then assisted on Greg Beller's OT-winner at
|Senior captain Kyle Rank and
the St. Lawrence Saints faced a tough schedule, and
it doesn't get any easier as the calendar turns to 2007.
TOUGHEST ROAD OUT
St. Lawrence's first-half schedule
included a five-game road trip that covered four states.
The Saints also faced seven teams currently ranked in the
INCH Power Rankings, and has a 2-5-0 record in those games.
That means they've taken care of business in their other
games, with an impressive 6-2-1 mark. The Saints will stay
on that tough road, as its next four games will come against
teams in the rankings, and the potential opponent not currently
ranked is North Dakota.
TOUGHEST ROAD IN
Cornell begins its second
half with a game against New Hampshire, and then potentially
meets Maine in the second round of the Florida College Classic.
A home date with Sacred Heart can't be taken lightly. Once
conference play resumes for the Big Red, the second half
features four games against Clarkson and St. Lawrence, a
home-and-home with Colgate, and road trips to Union and
Rensselaer and Dartmouth and Harvard.
The game at Harvard, or "Lynah East"
as Big Red fans affectionately call it, is on the last day
of the season. Only Lynah Rink itself would be a better
place for Cornell to clinch an ECAC Hockey League or Ivy
League title, especially after Harvard's Ivy League-clinching
win at Lynah last February.
It's the last weekend of the year, because
history tells us that playoff seeding will be at stake,
as well as the regular-season title. Cornell and Colgate
play at Dartmouth and Harvard, but if we had our choice,
we'll pick a pair of seats in Quinnipiac's new TD
BankNorth Sports Center on Feb. 23-24. The Bobcats
host St. Lawrence on Friday night, and then play the final
game of the ECAC Hockey League regular season against Clarkson.
It's an 8 p.m. start because it's televised on ESPNU, and
with both teams residing in the top four of the league standings,
will likely impact a number of teams looking to find out
who and where they'll play in the postseason.
BIGGEST QUESTION ANSWERED
How will Cornell's goaltending be
without Dave McKee? Troy Davenport claimed the
starting job and has been reliable for most of the year.
His poise in net is noteworthy, as he minimizes the acrobatic
and spectacular saves. He's content to play his angle and
react to the shooter. An leg bruise in a 3-3 tie against
RPI had Davenport on the bench, but freshman goalie Ben
Scrivens has also proved to be capable. They may not put
up numbers like LeNeveu or McKee, but the current Big Red
tandem will almost always give Cornell a chance to win.
BIGGEST QUESTION REMAINING
Which team will produce a lengthy
second-half winning streak? Colgate and Dartmouth
are lurking in the middle of the pack. Dartmouth closed
its league campaign by going 8-1-1 in its final 10 games
last year. Could the same be in store this year?
First Half All-ECACHL Team
||The only goalie with
better numbers than Leggio (2.28 GAA, .929%) is Brown's
Dan Rosen, and Leggio won the head-to-head matchup between
||Rosen can't get all
of the credit for Brown's stellar defense. The junior
defenseman contributes at both ends and is showing that
his All-Rookie selection as a freshman two years ago
was no fluke.
||He leads Cornell's defensemen
in points, picking up the slack for the departed Ryan
O'Byrne and Sasha Pokulok. He's also been steady in
his own zone in guiding a green defense corps for the
||Among many forwards
under consideration, Jones gets the nod for his production
in the important conference games. He has 13 points
in nine ECACHL encounters.
||The junior forward has
found his scoring touch and is a threat to finish plays
from anywhere in the offensive zone. His 12 goals and
20 points leads the way for a high-scoring, balanced,
Golden Knights team.
|As mentioned above, his impact on the
Bobcats has been significant. Wong is tied for seventh
nationally in rookie scoring and plays in all situations