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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 sent two more squads into battle against old enemies from Hockey East on Saturday night. In Troy, RPI spotted #9 Boston University two early goals, but pulled out a 4-3 victory deep into overtime. Danny Riva scored the game-tying and -winning goals for the Engineers, for which he was named ECAC Player of the Week. Rensselaer's freshman phenom Matt Murley gained Rookie of the Week honors, scoring RPI's first goal and assisting on the third-period equalizer, while Joel Laing's 35 saves earned him the ECAC Goaltender of the Week, and RPI a clean sweep in this week's honor roll.
150 miles north in Burlington, the Vermont Catamounts got out to a rougher start against New Hampshire, as Sophomore Andrew Allen surrendered a goal in the first minute and was pulled after nine and a half with only three saves to his credit. Backup Marty Phillips fared little better, surrendering a power-play tally 41 seconds later, and UVM found themselves trailing 4-1 after two periods. But the Cats came to life in the third, outshooting the Wildcats 13-5 on the period, and drawing to within a goal on Eric Lundin's second score of the night with 4:32 to play. The sellout crowd at Gutterson Arena would go home dissapointed, though, as UNH withstood a late power play opportunity to hang on for the 4-3 win.
With four non-conference games played, the ECAC is off to a good start, even better than the .500 record would indicate. The two losses pitted teams which barely made the ECAC playoffs last year with NCAA semifinalists, and each was by a single goal.[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Team HE WCHA Total NC RPI 1-0 1-0 St. Lawrence 0-1 1-0 1-1 Vermont 0-1 0-1 HE WCHA Total NC Totals 1-2 1-0 2-2
Not surprisingly, given that they have yet to begin play, Clarkson remain at number seven in the US College Hockey Online Poll, although they do drop to eighth in the but USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll, displaced by 5-0 Notre Dame. RPI's win over BU garnered them a few votes in each poll, along with Harvard in the USA Today poll and Princeton, St. Lawrence and Yale in USCHO's.
The entire non-Ivy half of the ECAC will be see action outside of the conference this weekend: Union take the ice for the first time under Kevin Sneddon for the [Department Store] Classic in Orono, Maine, facing Division I independents Niagara in the first round, and either Moncton or hosts Maine in the second. Clarkson host Northern Michigan of the CCHA for a two-game series, while St. Lawrence play a pair at Hockey East's Merrimack. Single games against Hockey East opponents, all on the road, are Colgate-Northeastern Friday, plus RPI-Lowell and Vermont-BU Saturday.
In addition, four of the six Ivies begin their exhibition slates: Saturday afternoon in Princeton, the defending ECAC champions play a scrimmage with Cornell, who won the title the two previous seasons, in a rematch of the 4/5 play-in game which began the ECAC's first-ever Final Five and ended the Big Red's season. And ECAC hockey makes its only scheduled appearance on the island of Manhattan this season (now that the ECAC-HE Holiday Doubleheader has been moved to Hartford) as Yale and Brown meet in their second annual scrimmage at Chelsea Piers.