ECAC Hockey Report, 1998 Pre-Holiday Edition

© 1998, Joe Schlobotnik (archives)

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Joe's back on-line after a nice week in Paris, having flown stateside just in time to be at Masidon Square Garden for--d'oh! Anyway, on to the report...

Recent Action

(scores are linked to boxes on ECAC HockeyNet, which is not affiliated with The Big Red What? or Joe Schlobotnik)

The last two weeks of ECAC non-conference play got off to a good start, but went a bit downhill from there. ECAC teams were undefeated the weekend of December 11-12: Colgate pulled off a road sweep of Minnesota-Duluth, 5-4 and 2-1, with Shep Harder stopping 74 shots in the two games and being named ECAC Goaltender of the Week; Dartmouth edged Providence 6-5 thanks to an overtime goal by Rookie of the Week Chris Baldwin; Nationally ranked Ferris State were handed their lumps in the North Country, as St. Lawrence blanked them 2-0 and ECAC Player of the Week Don Smith's two goals were the difference in a 5-4 Clarkson win the following night; and a clean sweep was averted only by the waving off of a Clarkson goal in overtime as the Golden Knights tied Niagara 2-2.

This past weekend was a different story: Harvard doubled their overall win total with a sweep at Nebraska-Omaha, 4-1 and 4-3, but Dartmouth took one on the chin from national #4 Maine, 7-1 Friday night, and on Sunday Princeton proved that they can still lose to a last-place team from Hockey East as their eight-game unbeaten streak was brought to an end by a 4-3 upset at the hands of Northeastern.

That ominous note led into the first ever ECAC-Hockey East Doubleheader, held Monday night at the Hartford Civic Center. The games pitted the top two teams in Hockey East, #4 New Hampshire and #5 Maine, against ECAC second-place Colgate and middle-of-the pack RPI. A small Hartford crowd watched the Black Bears of Maine pull out to a 3-0 lead over Colgate, but the Red Raiders used a 15-8 second period shot advantage to tally three goals in the stanza and tie the score. The game would stay tied for the final period and a five-minute overtime and go into the books as a 3-3 draw. The ECAC would not have long to savor that moral victory, however, as the late game was all New Hampshire, who dismantled Rensselaer 9-3.

Non-Conference Records

The ECAC's winning record over Hockey East evaporated after the first weekend, but they now stand at .500 against the CCHA and above that mark versus the WCHA despite having played all seven games against that conference on the road.

Meanwhile, Harvard, winless in ECAC play, retains its perfect record outside of the conference.

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            Non-Conference Records
    Team     ECAC   HE  CCHA WCHA D1 Indy Total NC
Clarkson           2-0   1-2  0-2           3-4-1
Colgate      1-1   0-1        2-0   1-0     4-2-1
Cornell      0-1   1-0              1-0      2-1   
Dartmouth          1-1              2-1      3-2
Harvard            2-0              2-0      4-0
Princeton          2-2                       2-2
RPI          1-0   1-2              1-1      3-3
St. Lawrence 1-0   2-3  1-0   1-0            5-3
Union        0-1   0-3             1-0-1    1-4-1   
Vermont            2-1        1-1            3-2
Yale         0-2                             0-2
             ECAC   HE  CCHA WCHA D1 Indy Total NC
Totals      [3-3]14-16-1 2-2  4-3  8-2-2   31-26-3

Dartmouth's win and loss, and Harvard's two wins, against Nebraska-Omaha are included in the above table, but will not be considered for NCAA tournament selection.

The National Scene

Princeton retained their #8 ranking in the most recent version of both of the national polls, which came out before the Tigers' loss to Northeastern. St. Lawrence knocked Ferris State out of the US College Hockey Online Poll to grab the tenth spot, while Colgate were the ones to replace Ferris in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll, and this was also before the Red Raiders tied #4 Maine. Cornell also received votes in both polls, and Vermont showed up on one USCHO ballot.

Statistically speaking, the ECAC also lays claim to the #8 and #10 spots in the Ratings Percentage Index, but in this case it's SLU at .580 and UVM at .575. The Pairwise Rankings show just how much parity there is atop the ECAC: of the seven teams with between 17 and 13 pairwise comparisons won (the 8th to 14th-ranked teams), five of them are from the ECAC.

Upcoming Games

Each team's name is linked to information on RealAudio transmissions of its radio broadcasts. A summary of ECAC webcasts can be found on Joe Schlobotnik's Sports Machine, while a page with direct links to each of the weekend's webcasts is made available by Eric Carlson.

There's just about enough time to digest the Xmas goose before embarking on a slew of Holiday Tournaments. Except for the RPI Invitational, all of these involve semifinals Sunday, consolation and championship games Monday.

Syracuse Invitational (Syracuse, NY)

Once again this tournament involves three teams from New York State, with the early semi pitting St. Lawrence against Division I independent Niagara in a battle of surprise teams, and the late one pairing host Colgate with CCHA representative Miami University. The second round could feature yet another Colgate-SLU non-conference game, a rematch of the 3-1 Saints win Halloween night in Buffalo.

Auld Lang Syne Tournament (Hanover, NH)

More D1 independents appear in this tournament, as hosts Dartmouth entertain Air Force in the early game at Thompson Arena, followed by Vermont against a surprisingly strong Minnesota State-Mankato team.

Badger Classic (Milwaukee, WI)

This tournament also features two ECAC teams, with Cornell battling the CCHA's Bowling Green State University, followed by Yale against host school Wisconsin. The the Badgers-Bulldogs battle will be the first this season between ECAC and WCHA teams not to take place in the Western school's home arena, although the Bradley Center is certainly a lot closer to Madison than to New Haven.

Mariucci Classic (Minneapolis, MN)

The one tournament this weekend with exactly one ECAC team will also give the ECAC a little national TV coverage, as Sunday's Princeton-Minnesota game will be carried live at 8pm Eastern (7 Pacific, 2am Central European Time) on Midwest Sports Channel. MSC is also slated to carry the title game between the Gophers or Tigers and the winner of the Ohio State-Boston University semifinal, but that may change if Minnesota is not a finalist.

Rensselaer Invitational (Troy, NY)

This tournament starts a day later, with Union taking on Minnesota-Duluth Monday afternoon, followed by host school RPI and Merrimack in what may be the only ECAC-Hockey East game of the weekend. The four games of this tournament should be well represented on the internet; in addition to all four teams having their own online broadcasts, WRPI is carrying the whole thing live.

One final note: if UMD plays RPI in the consolation or championship Tuesday, it'll be the first time an ECAC team has hosted one from the WCHA all year.

Last Modified: 2011 October 9

Joe Schlobotnik /

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