Reports As December Approaches
When a chat
participant asked on Thursday afternoon for a grade
to be awarded to Clarkson based on the Golden Knights' performance
this season, I quickly figured that it would be a good time
to look at progress reports for all of the teams in the
league. We won't be assigning letter grades in this report,
but instead identifying an area where progress has been
made and an area where progress is needed over the rest
of the season. Arranged by travel partners, from east to
senior Jamie Bates is tied for the team's scoring
lead with 12 points, and leads the Bobcats with 10
Harvard Progress made: Kyle Richter wasn't bad
at all last year while splitting time with senior Justin
Tobe, but the sophomore has been the best goalie in the
country (statistically) so far this season with a .960 save
percentage and 1.23 goals-against average. It's helped Harvard
to a 5-2-1 start. Progress needed: Four of Harvard's eight
games have ended in 2-1 scores, and the Crimson have two
wins and two losses in those games. Popping a few more goals
would take some of the pressure off of Richter to continually
turn in first-star level performances.
Dartmouth Progress made: J.T. Wyman has emerged as
a strong candidate for all-league honors at the end of the
season and has blossomed as a senior with 12 points through
eight games. He averaged slightly over a half-point per
game in his first three years. Progress needed: There are no easy games,
but Dartmouth can make itself a contender by playing better
against better opponents. On a recent five-game homestand,
Dartmouth's only wins came against Union and Bentley.
Brown Progress made: Brown's 1-4-3 record isn't
as damning as it looks, when you consider that they've played
just two home games so far this season and won't play another
one until after the start of the New Year. Among their four
losses are defeats against top-ten teams New Hampshire and
Clarkson. A more favorable schedule in the second half should
suit the Bears. Progress needed: The Bears scored five
goals against Colgate and four at St. Lawrence, but haven't
scored more than two in any of their other six games.
Yale Progress made: Yale started strong last
season but closed the year with just five wins in its last
24 games. The Bulldogs have shed that losing streak and
are playing at the .500 level this season with a win at
St. Lawrence and good ties against Rensselaer and Dartmouth. Progress needed: The Bulldogs could use
a boost from the power-play units, which have scored just
three goals in 36 opportunities so far. Fortunately, Yale's
penalty-killing has also been superb, allowing just two
PPGs in 36 opponent opportunities.
Quinnipiac Progress made: The Bobcats expected some
growing pains early in the season and have seemingly turned
things for the better with a 3-1-1 record in their last
five games. Quinnipiac has an impressive 4-1-1 record on
home ice. Progress needed: Quinnipiac's power play
is converting at a 16.7 percent rate this year, compared
to almost 20 percent last season, when Reid Cashman quarterbacked
the first unit and helped the Bobcats tally 56 power-play
goals on the year.
Princeton Progress made: Princeton has received goals
from 12 different players on the season, and the top line
of Cam MacIntyre, Lee Jubinville, and Brett Wilson has combined
for 28 points in eight games. Progress needed: The Tigers have been much
better on the road this year than they have at Baker Rink.
Princeton is 0-3-0 at home, with losses to Clarkson, St.
Lawrence, and Quinnipiac. Upcoming games against Rensselaer
and Union and two against Notre Dame would be a good time
to find better form on home ice.
Rensselaer Progress made: RPI's goaltending has been
much better than it was last season. The netminding tandem
of Jordan Alford and Mathias Lange has been outstanding,
as each has a goals-against average under 2.00 and a save
percentage better than .930. Progress needed: All signs are that Rensselaer
is a much better and more consistent team than they were
last year, but they need to turn those performances into
points, as they've won just one of four ECAC Hockey games
Union Progress made: The Dutchmen are playing
more at even-strength than they did last year, with just
11.7 penalty minutes per game, whereas Union had 19.9 PIMs
per game last season. Progress needed: Score goals. Union has
just 15 total goals through nine games on the year, and
has been shutout three times. Union's offense ranks last
nationally in scoring.
Clarkson Progress made: The Golden Knights have
scored fewer goals per game than they did last year, but
have also reduced their goals against. Senior goalie David
Leggio is having another stellar year. Progress needed: For Clarkson to take a
step into the truly elite programs nationally, they're going
to have to find a way to win more games on the road. Three
of Clarkson's four losses have come away from Cheel this
season – at St. Lawrence, Lake Superior State, and
Quinnipiac. The Knights have just two wins on the road.
St. Lawrence Progress made: The Saints have rarely found
themselves in trouble early in games as they've allowed
a total of just six goals in the first period, through 14
games. Progress needed: The close games that went
St. Lawrence's way last year and saw them win the ECAC Hockey
regular season and qualify for the NCAA Tournament aren't
going their way this season. Even though the Saints have
scored 35 goals overall and allowed just 35, they find themselves
with a 4-7-3 record. Five of the Saints' seven losses are
by one goal.
Colgate Progress made: Peter Bogdanich has been
back in the Colgate lineup for the last six games and has
done a nice job on the wing with seniors Tyler Burton and
Jesse Winchester. The only time those three have been kept
off the board Progress needed: The Raiders need to build
momentum. Their longest winning streak of the season is
just two games - RIT/Sacred Heart to start the year and
Harvard/Uconn in mid-November.
Cornell Progress made: Young impact players have
led the way for Cornell, including freshman Riley Nash and
sophomore Colin Greening (9 points each) and freshman defenseman
Mike Devin (5 points). Progress needed: The Big Red need more
offensive production from their veteran players, as the
team's two leading returning scorers, seniors Topher Scott
and Ray Sawada, have combined for just six points through
eight games this season.
SEEN AND HEARD IN ECAC HOCKEY
The Giving Spirit: Many of
the teams in ECAC Hockey have conducted or will participate
in charitable activities around the holiday season. Last
weekend, Colgate collected 350 pounds of food items that
were collected at their games against Connecticut to a local
food pantry. This weekend, Colgate is hosting a toy drive
during their games against Robert Morris.
Cornell will host a teddy bear toss and book
donation event prior to Friday's game against Massachusetts.
Dartmouth hosts Skate With the Big Green on Sunday at Thompson
Arena and will hold a toy drive during that event.
Clarkson's Banged-Up Blueline:
The Golden Knights have managed to maintain first place
in ECAC Hockey and got a respectable split against St. Cloud
State last week despite having a defense corps that has
dealt with several injuries this season. Most notably, Phil
Paquet has played in just three games for Clarkson. Jeremiah
Crowe has missed the last three games for Clarkson. The
only Clarkson defensemen who have dressed in all 14 games
this season are senior Grant Clitsome, and juniors Adam
Bellows and Tyrell Mason.
Great Weekend Getaway
(Saturday, 7 p.m.) These Ivy League rivals and travel partners
will face off at Bright Hockey Center. The Crimson
look to continue their stellar start, as they're 5-1-1
in their last seven games while Dartmouth plays on
the road for just the fourth time all year, and first
time since the first weekend of November.
While You're There: Harvard's men's
basketball team hosts Michigan at 5:30 p.m. a few
doors down from the Bright Hockey Center, and it's
extra-significant because Harvard coach Tommy Amaker
was formerly employed by the Wolverines. Just go for
the first half, though, so you make it to the rink
Despite the result in Boston University's
favor, last week's event pitting BU and Cornell at
a sold-out Madison Square Garden should be deemed
as a success. The opportunity to play in front of
a huge crowd in a famous arena is something that the
student-athletes will always remember.
was not a good one for ECAC Hockey in non-league contests,
as the league's member clubs combined to record a
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE BAG
• Only four of the 12 teams in ECAC
Hockey have overall records that are sub-.500 (Brown, Colgate,
St. Lawrence, and Union).
• Brown's lineup has been consistent
this season, as 15 players (counting goalie Dan Rosen) have
appeared in the lineup in all eight games so far this year.
• Harvard's Michael Biega scored his
first three collegiate goals, recording a hat trick during
a 3-3 tie against Yale earlier this week.
• RPI rookies Tyler Helfrich and Chase
Polacek each have three goals and 11 points so far this
year. Both were named to the all-tournament team at the
Rensselaer Holiday Tournament.
• Dartmouth's Nick Johnson and Clarkson's
David Cayer each have 98 points in their careers and are
nearing the 100-point milestone.
• Clarkson's Nick Dodge played a big
part in the Golden Knights' victory over St. Cloud State
on Saturday with a short-handed goal to tie the score in
the second period, an assist on Clarkson's second, and the
game-winner with 5:28 remaining.
• Union's Josh Coyle was back in the
lineup against UMass, recording his first goal of the season
in the loss. He has played only four games this season due
to an injury suffered in the opening weekend of the season
against Ferris State.
• It's just not a trip to the North
Country without a stop at Sergi's for some grub, and it
never disappoints, as was the case once again last Friday
following Clarkson's game against St. Cloud State.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report. Joe Gladziszewski can be
reached at email@example.com.