ECAC Hockey Report, Week of 1997 December 8

© 1997, Joe Schlobotnik (archives)

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Recent Action

(scores are linked to box scores and recaps on US College Hockey Online, which is not affiliated with The Big Red What? or Joe Schlobotnik)

In the ECAC's final weekend of conference play before the New Year, the Colgate Red Raiders stepped to the fore with a sweep in the Capital District. Friday night they took a hard-fought and controversial 4-2 victory at Rensselaer (a third-period goal by RPI was negated by a quick whistle--excluding the empty-netter at the end, this was the margin of victory), and followed it up by blanking Union 3-0. Union's Achilles Rink continued to be the Achilles heel of Colgate's travel partner Cornell. Two seasons ago the Big Red saw an apparent victory vanish as the Dutchmen scored in the final seconds of regulation to force a tie; last year Cornell suffered their worst defeat of the season, 7-1, in Schenectady; and Friday night the Red found a new way to lose to Union, dropping what was effectively a one-goal game, with an empty-netter off the boards capping the 4-2 Union victory. Saturday Cornell came back from a 5-1 second period deficit to pull to within a goal at RPI, but fell 7-5 when Alain St-Hilaire scored another last-second empty net goal. It was the fourth goal for Rensselaer's top line of St. Hilaire, Eric Healey and Matt Garver; the other three were scored by freshman Brad Tapper, his first career hat trick. Cornell is now on its first first two-game losing streak since January of 1996, and the weekend sweep was the first suffered by Mike Schafer in his two-and-a-half year career as a head coach.

The Golden Knights of Clarkson posted the league's other weekend sweep, downing Harvard 4-1 and using two third-period goals to nip Brown 3-2. Since being swept on the opening weekend of ECAC play, the Knights are 4-0-1 in the league. Down the road in Canton, the St. Lawrence Saints were swept at home. Friday night they dropped a 2-1 decision to Brown despite outshooting the Bears 50-17, and Saturday they surrendered three goals in the last ten minutes to fall 3-1 to Harvard.

In the weekend's other game, Yale held onto their share of first place with a 3-2 Saturday night victory over travel partner Princeton.


Colgate's sweep moves them into a tie for the points lead with Yale, but the Elis hold a game in hand. Clarkson, with their four point weekend, leap from the middle of the pack all the way into third place, just three points behind the leaders and with a game in hand on the Red Raiders.
                          ECAC                    Ivy
                   W-L-T  PF-PA   Pct     W-L-T  PF-PA   Pct  
 1  Yale           6-1-0  12-2   .857     3-1-0   6-2   .750
 2  Colgate        6-2-0  12-4   .750
 5  Clarkson       4-2-1   9-5   .643
 4  Cornell        4-3-1   9-7   .563     4-1-0   8-2   .800
 5  Harvard        3-3-1   7-7   .500     1-2-1   3-5   .375
    RPI            3-3-0   6-6   .500
 7  Princeton      2-3-2   6-8   .429     1-2-1   3-5   .375
 8  Union          2-3-1   5-7   .417
 9  St. Lawrence   2-4-1   5-9   .357
10  Dartmouth      1-3-1   3-7   .300     0-1-0   0-2   .000
11  Brown          2-5-0   4-10  .286     1-3-0   2-6   .250
12  Vermont        0-3-2   2-8   .200

The National Scene

In the unforgiving world of the US College Hockey Online Poll, the weekend sweep knocks Cornell from ninth in the nation right off of everyone's ballot. But their departure makes room for Yale to step up and claim some of the respect they deserve. Colgate and RPI also received votes in this week's poll.

Upcoming Games

With exams upon us, ECAC teams are largely leaving the ice and hitting the books until winter break. Harvard and Brown face off Tuesday in Allston in the last conference game until the new year. In non-conference play, Princeton host Mass-Amherst Friday before heading off on their European tour, while Dartmouth travel to Amherst to take on the Minutemen in a Sunday matinee.

Last Modified: 2019 July 24

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