URL for this frameset: http://www.elynah.com/tbrw/tbrw.cgi?1998/ecac.980114.shtml
(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)
There was plenty of ice in the world of the ECAC this weekend, and not all of it in the rinks. As luck would have it, a tremendous ice storm hit the US/Canadian border with Clarkson, St. Lawrence and Vermont all scheduled for home series. The North Country nonconference tilts with New Hampshire and UMass-Lowell were scrapped because of the weather, giving the Saints and Knights the weekend off, while the Friday's Vermont-Yale game had to be postponed a day, disrupting the weekend schedule for the Northern New England travel partnership. Dartmouth did manage to get in their game, a 6-4 loss to Princeton in which Jeff Halpern completed a hat trick with an empty-netter. Over in the Capital District, in a battle of the walking wounded, RPI used three third-period goals to pull out a 6-4 victory over Harvard, with Jeremiah McCarthy netting the first three Crimson goals in a losing effort. And in Schenectady, Brown let a 2-goal lead slip away against Union, but managed to pull out the 3-2 victory on Paul Giblin's game-winner with 2:20 left in regulation.
Saturday afternoon saw the makeup of the Vermont-Yale game, with the Elis winning their seventh straight ECAC tilt by the score of 4-2. This pushed the Vermont-Princeton and Dartmouth-Yale contests to Sunday, and every other game involving ECAC teams went into overtime Saturday. Harvard salvaged a split by handing Union their fifth straight ECAC loss, to the tune of 3-2, while RPI and Brown each completed a 3-point weekend with a 4-4 tie, in which the Bruins once again let a two-goal lead slip away. And in a non-conference warmup for their two upcoming league battles, Cornell and Colgate skated to a 2-2 tie at the Nassau Coliseum. Defenseman Larry Pierce had the two Big Red goals, the first of his career.
Sunday's makeup games saw both home teams pull off upsets, with Vermont downing Princeton 6-3 while Dartmouth used four third-period goals to stop Yale's streak with a 4-3 decision. And in a non-conference tilt, Colgate outscored Merrimack 10-7.
There was a lot of hoopla this week as the ECAC and Hockey East announced that the first-ever ECAC/Hockey East Holiday Doubleheader will take place December 22, 1998 at Madison Square Garden, and will involve Colgate and Rensselaer from the ECAC and the Universities of Maine and New Hampshire from Hockey East. Cornell and Colgate drew 3000 fans at the Nassau Coliseum this weekend, so it remains to be seen how big a draw these matchups will be in Manhattan.
With the other leaders idle, Yale opens up a six-point lead on Colgate, although that's deceptive since the Red Raiders have three games in hand. Vermont continue the climb towards respectability with the weekend split, while Union get swept into last place. Over in the Ivies, Dartmouth garner their first points of the season while Yale fail to convert their game in hand on Cornell.
ECAC Ivy W-L-T PF-PA Pct W-L-T PF-PA Pct 1 Yale 9-2-0 18-4 .818 3-2-0 6-4 .600 2 Colgate 6-2-0 12-4 .750 3 Clarkson 4-2-1 9-5 .643 4 Cornell 4-3-1 9-7 .563 4-1-0 8-2 .800 5 Harvard 6-5-1 13-11 .542 3-2-1 7-5 .583 6 Princeton 4-4-3 11-11 .500 2-2-1 5-5 .500 7 RPI 4-4-2 10-10 .500 8 Vermont 3-4-2 8-10 .444 9 Brown 4-7-1 9-15 .375 2-4-0 4-8 .333 10 St. Lawrence 2-4-1 5-9 .357 11 Dartmouth 2-6-1 5-13 .278 1-4-0 2-8 .200 12 Union 2-7-1 5-15 .250
Only one true interconference game this weekend, although the Cornell-Colgate game does go in the non-conference column. Note that we've moved UNO from the "Major" to "Minor" column since they seem not to be eligible for the NCAAs in their first varisty season, despite having 29 Division I games on their schedule.
Hockey Major Minor non- Total ECAC East CCHA WHCA Indy Indy DivI N/C Brown 0-2 0-1 0-1 0-4 Clarkson 1-1 2-1-1 0-1 1-0 4-3-1 Colgate 0-0-1 3-1 1-1 0-1 1-0 1-0 6-3-1 Cornell 0-0-1 1-0 1-0 0-1 1-0 3-1-1 Dartmouth 1-0-2 1-0 1-0 3-0-2 Harvard 0-3-1 0-1 0-4-1 Princeton 3-0-1 1-0 2-0 6-0-1 RPI 1-0 1-2 0-1 2-0 1-0 5-3 SLU 0-2 0-3 0-2 1-0 1-7 Union 0-1 0-4 0-1-1 1-1 1-7-1 Vermont 2-4 1-2 3-6 Yale 1-1 0-1 2-0 3-2 ECAC HE CCHA WHCA Major Minor Non-I Total Totals [1-1-2] 13-20-4 6-10-1 0-7 7-1-1 7-1 1-0 35-40-8 "Major Indy" refers to Division I Independents who are eligible for the NCAA tournament, namely Air Force, Army and Mankato State. "Minor Indy" teams are the remaining D1 independents, games against whom do not count towards NCAA tournament selection criteria.
Yale continue to cling to ninth place in the US College Hockey Online Poll, with Colgate, Clarkson and Princeton also receiving votes. For once, the Elis' poll rating is overvalued relative to their statistical rankings, although the Red Raiders are undervalued in the poll. Here's how the twelve ECAC teams stand in the Ratings Percentage Index (note that the current RPI kept by USCHO is slightly different, as it includes games involving Nebraska-Omaha), and also how those with overall winning records fare in the pairwise rankings, based on the criteria used in the NCAA selection process:
Team RPI Rk PWR Rk Colgate .564 #8 16 #8 Yale .551 #11 16 #10 Cornell .528 #17 7 #17 Princeton .514 #21 6 #19 Clarkson .495 #24 2 #22 RPI .492 #25 1 #23 Harvard .475 #28 Vermont .463 #29 Dartmouth .441 #35 Brown .415 #38 St Lawrence .413 #39 Union .357 #41
If the season ended today, both Colgate and Yale would make the both would make the NCAA field of twelve, and probably play in the East Regional in Albany.
The weather continues to play a role in the ECAC schedule this weekend; the weekend series between the Clarkson-St. Lawrence and Dartmouth-Vermont travel partnerships have been moved to Northern New England as the North Country of New York continues to recover from the ice storms. The games of February 6 and 7 will be swapped back to Canton and Potsdam to compensate. The other four New York teams will square off in travel-partner games Saturday night, as Union hosts RPI and Colgate visits Cornell. The Big Red-Red Raiders game, starting at 7pm Eastern, will be televised live on Empire Sports Network as the Buffalo cable channel carries its first game of the ECAC Game of the Week package. Also on Saturday night, Yale visits Hockey East's UMass-Lowell.