ECAC Hockey Report, Week of 1998 February 9

© 1998, Joe Schlobotnik (archives)

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(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)

The ECAC's week started with Harvard's annual appearance in the Beanpot tournament, and the Crimson's third game against Boston College this season. The Eagles took a 4-2 lead with eight minutes to play, but Harvard battled back to tie the score, Ben Storey scoring in the final thirty seconds of regulation. All three BC-Harvard games this year have gone to overtime, and Chris Bala's goal 2:41 minutes into this extra session evened the record at 1-1-1, giving Harvard the 5-4 win and their first Beanpot victory in four years.

There was a full slate of conference games this weekend, and the Yale Elis were the big winners. They demonstrated they belong atop the league standings by smoking Cornell 11-0 and then blanking second-place Colgate 2-0. Bulldog netminder Alex Westlund was named the ECAC's Player of the Week for his two perfect efforts, and his 162:28 shutout streak is within two periods of the league record set last year by Union's Trevor Koenig. Over in Princeton, the Tigers themselves shut out Colgate Friday night to the tune of 4-0, but on Saturday the Big Red managed to rebound with the 4-1 victory. Cornell forward Ryan Moynihan broke a bone in his hand in the Yale game, but still managed an assist against Princeton.

Clarkson also swept at home to keep pace with league-leading Yale, downing Vermont 5-2 and Dartmouth 5-1, while St. Lawrence did not benefit from the unexpected home ice, falling by identical 5-2 scores to Dartmouth and UVM.

The other weekend sweep, also at home, came surprisingly enough in Providence, where Brown shocked RPI 3-2 and used three third-period goals, two of them into the empty net, to triumph 4-1 over Union. Second-string netminder Scott Stirling had 33 saves each night for the Bears and was awarded the ECAC's Goaltender of the Week award. Brown now boasts upset wins over Yale and RPI, and held two-goal leads in losses to Boston College and Cornell and a tie of Rensselaer, not to mention a three-goal first-period margin in a loss to Colgate. Over at the Bright Center, Harvard managed a split on the weekend, downing Union 3-1 before falling 5-1 in a TV game with RPI.


Colgate plummet out of second place while Clarkson keep pace with league-leading Yale. Further down, six teams are within a weekend of third place, which is a crucial playoff position with the Final Five format. Union has been mathematically eliminated from regular season title contention; both Yale and Clarkson can clinch playoff berths this weekend. (For ECAC magic numbers and much more, see "The ECAC Race in a Nutshell".)

The Elis, with a victory over Cornell, also knot up the Ivy League race with the Big Red. Remaining games between those two teams and Harvard should decide the Ancient Six title.

                           ECAC                    Ivy
                   W- L-T  PF-PA   Pct     W-L-T  PF-PA   Pct  
 1 Yale           12- 2-0  24- 4  .857     5-2-0  10- 4  .714
 2 Clarkson        9- 3-2  20- 8  .714
 3 Colgate         8- 5-1  17-11  .607
 4 RPI             6- 5-3  15-13  .536
   Cornell         7- 6-1  15-13  .536     5-2-0  10- 4  .714
   Harvard         7- 6-1  15-13  .536     3-2-1   7- 5  .583
 7 Princeton       5- 6-3  13-15  .464     2-4-1   5- 9  .357
   Brown           6- 7-1  13-15  .464     2-4-0   4- 8  .333
 9 Dartmouth       5- 8-1  11-17  .393     1-4-0   2- 8  .200
10 Vermont         4- 8-2  10-18  .357
11 St. Lawrence    4- 9-1   9-19  .321
12 Union           2-10-2   6-22  .214

The ECAC's interconference schedule is nearly complete, with only the Harvard-BU beanpot contest remaining.

                Hockey              Major Minor non- Total
          ECAC   East   CCHA  WCHA  Indy  Indy  DivI  N/C
Brown            1-3    0-1   0-1                     1-5
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    2-1   0-1         1-0        4-2-1
Dartmouth       4-0-2   1-0   0-1   1-0              4-1-2
Harvard         1-3-1         0-1                    1-4-1
Princeton       3-0-1               1-0   2-0        6-0-1
RPI       1-0    1-2    1-2         2-0   1-0         6-4
SLU              0-2    0-3   0-2               1-0   1-7
Union     0-1    0-4               1-1-1  1-1        2-7-1
Vermont          2-4    1-2   0-1                     3-7
Yale             2-1    0-1         3-0               5-2
          ECAC    HE    CCHA  WCHA  Major Minor Non-I Total
Totals  [1-1-2] 18-21-4 8-12-1 0-9 9-0-1  7-1   1-0  43-45-8

"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.  All of the
ECAC's "minor indy" games this year are against the "emerging programs
of Niagara and Nebraska-Omaha.

The National Scene

Yale's convincing weekend sweep helps them jump from ninth to sixth in the US College Hockey Online Poll. Clarkson and Colgate also received votes this week. Statistically, Yale is also the ECAC's top team in the Ratings Percentage Index and pairwise rankings, based on the NCAA selection criteria:

 Team         RPI  Rk  PWR  Rk
Yale         .578  #7   17  #7
Colgate      .544 #11   13 #10
Clarkson     .537 #14   10 #13
Cornell      .525 #16    8 #15
Princeton    .515 #21    6 #18
Harvard      .493 #25
RPI          .478 #27    2 #21
Brown        .455 #31
Dartmouth    .453 #32    0 #23
Vermont      .427 #36
St Lawrence  .417 #39
Union        .357 #42

If the season ended today, Yale would gain a bye in the NCAA tournament, and Colgate would also qualify and probably compete in the East Regional. Clarkson is just beyond the field of twelve; only their pairwise comparison with Ohio State keeps them out.

Upcoming Games

The final ECAC non-conference game of the year comes Monday night, as Harvard plays Boston University in the Beanpot championship game.

It's a relatively low-key ECAC weekend, in terms of battles among the leaders, but a few members of the pack should get a chance to chip away at the lead. The best series in that respect sees Brown and Harvard visit Yale and Princeton. The series in the Capital District, pitting RPI and Union against Clarkson and St. Lawrence, is a rematch of a series from November in which the North Country teams outscored their opponents 18-0 in one night. Rensselaer fans in exile will get to see their team on TV both nights, as Friday's game is the annual RPI-Clarkson satellite broadcast, and Saturday's Engineers-Saints contest is the latest ECAC Game of the Week, this time on Empire Sports Network. And finally in Central New York Cornell and Colgate play host to sweethearts Vermont and Dartmouth.

Last Modified: 2019 July 24

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