With the non-conference schedule mostly finished (only Harvard, Quinnipiac, RPI and Union have non-conference games remaining), this week I’ll take a look at how the ECAC teams rate in conference play.
From the bottom up
St. Lawrence (1- 6- 1, 3 pts, 12th) can finish with a maximum of 31 points if they can win their remaining 14 games (spoiler: they won’t.) Though SLU found the back of the net nine times last weekend, they still lost both games. It doesn’t matter how many goals you score if you can’t defend. Look at the advanced shot statistics on CollegeHockeyNews — Union had 94 shot attempts on Saturday; SLU had 47. The gap was narrower on Friday against RPI (RPI 76 SA, SLU 59 SA). If not for the Saints’ goaltending…
With a win per weekend, RPI (4- 7- 0, 8pts., T-9th) could finish with home ice for the first weekend of the ECAC tournament. There are at least four “winnable” games remaining for the Engineers, and if they get a few bounces, who knows…
Colgate (3- 3- 2, 8 pts., T-9th) somehow knocked off Quinnipiac and has two wins against Princeton. The Raiders have a couple quality wins, but I’d be surprised if they rose in the standings.
Brown (2- 4- 3, 7 pts., 11th), who several writers picked to finish 12th, is better than its record. They’re a half a goal underwater per 60 minutes playing five-on-five, but should challenge for 8th place down the stretch.
Dartmouth (5- 3- 1, 11 pts., T-3rd) has allowed 12 power play goals in nine ECAC games so far. The Big Green should be able to add six to 10 more points, with games remaining against SLU, RPI twice, Colgate and Brown , but if the PK doesn’t improve…
Princeton (4- 7- 1, 9pts., T-7th) has given up 10 five-on-five goals in its last four games — the Tigers allowed 14 total goals in that span, scoring nine.
Union (4- 5- 1, 9 pts., T-7th) should have laid the boots to SLU and only scored one goal at Clarkson last weekend. Hard to say where the Dutchmen are going. They were an easy pick for a first round by before the season began, and will probably get home ice in the first round.
Cornell (5- 2- 1, 11 pts., T-3rd) continues to score one more than their opposition, as they long have under Mike Schafer. The bulk of the conference schedule (14 games) is ahead of the Big Red, and they’ve put themselves in good position to earn a first round bye.
Harvard (4- 4- 2, 10 pts., 4th) has five games remaining against the bottom four in the ratings.
Quinnipiac (7- 4- 1, 15 pts., 1st) is, for now, the class of the league, though their overall rating is skewed by their fantastically weak non-conference schedule. Someone has to play AIC and Maine twice each, I guess. The Bobcats should finish with a bye.
Yale (6- 2- 1, 13 pts., 2nd) has just two league losses to Cornell and Dartmouth so far. There’s a good chance of the Cleary Cup (regular season championship) residing in the greater New Haven area.
Clarkson (5- 3- 0, 10 pts., 5th) is the ECAC’s best five-on-five team, with a +10 goal differential and a +1.5 differential per 60 minutes playing five-on-five. They’ve beat up on some of the lesser teams, scoring five 5×5 goals in a 6-0 win at RPI and four in a 5-4 win at home against Brown, so the number may be a bit skewed. And hey, they also gave St. Lawrence its only conference win this season… so there’s that, I guess.
This week’s picks (in Bold) – (Moneyline odds via 5dimes.eu for my Friday picks in parenthesis)
St. Lawrence (+257) at Brown, 7 p.m.
Dartmouth (-195) at Colgate, 7 p.m.
Harvard at Cornell (-165), 7 p.m.
Clarkson (-195) at Yale, 7 p.m.
Harvard at Colgate, 7 p.m.
St. Lawrence at Yale, 7 p.m.
Clarkson at Brown, 7 p.m.
Dartmouth at Cornell, 7 p.m.
RPI vs. Union at Times Union Center, 7 p.m.
Quinnipiac at Boston University, 7 p.m.
Holy Cross at Quinnipiac, 7 p.m.
Last week’s scores (my pick in bold):
Clarkson 5, Union 1
Princeton 4, Harvard 2
Quinnipiac 5, Dartmouth 1
RPI 6, St. Lawrence 5
Cornell 6, Arizona State 1
UMass-Lowell 3, Colgate 0
Clarkson 5, RPI 2
Dartmouth 5, Princeton 0
Harvard 2, Quinnipiac 1
Union 4, St. Lawrence 3
Cornell 3, Arizona State 2
Yale 3, Sacred Heart 1
UMass-Lowell 4, Colgate 1
Providence 5, Brown 1
RPI 5, UConn 2 (No Pick)