Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Spin Around the ECAC

Well, since we've got the time, let's see how the rest of the league's October is going. This is the one month that sometimes, you miss out on what other teams are doing since there are no league games until the Ivies pick up in November.

Clarkson (0-3-0)
It's not really as bad as it looks. Well, it's pretty bad but it's not terrible. When you go out to Colorado College and score eight goals, that's admirable, even if it comes in a pair of one goal losses. Losing at home to Holy Cross, scoring once on 37 shots, that's a different story. The Knights will be looking for their first win (or two) of the season with a pair of home games this coming weekend against Niagara. Freshman Pat Megannety has a pair of goals and an assist, all of which came out in Colorado. In net, Cody Rosen got his third career start in game one against CC, but was pulled in the 3rd period after giving up 5 goals on 30 shots. Freshman Greg Lewis has played all of the time since but has only been fairly better overall. Clarkson definitely will be looking for a more confident defense going forward.

Colgate (2-3-0)
Remember when we said the Raiders were likely to have trouble scoring? Colgate made that prediction look silly after one game, when they annihilated Niagara 10-2, picking up goals from seven different players in the process for their first double-digit output since 1997-98. Then, however, they only scored two goals in the next three games. Granted, the first two of that set was against #3 Miami, but splitting with Bowling Green at home last weekend probably wasn't what the Raiders had in mind. Kyle Baun looks like an early freshman breakout for Colgate with 3 goals and 2 assists, and classmates Tylor Spink and Darcy Murphy also have a pair of goals each. This weekend, they face a challenging RIT team that went to Michigan and picked up a win, then they make their annual trip to Cape Cod where they'll face Quinnipiac in a non-conference game. The Bobcats should provide a better indication of exactly where Colgate is right now.

Quinnipiac (3-1-1)
If not for one head-scratcher home performance against Robert Morris, the Bobcats would be solidly rolling.  This is certainly an experience laden team and the Q appears to be leaning on that experience heavily - the freshman class has put together a combined game tally of 8 appearances - 5 of which are defenseman Alex Barron and one of which was a 28:27 appearance by goaltender Michael Garteig, who played the second half of a baffling 4-0 loss to Robert Morris on the back side of a two-game set in Hamden (he allowed just one goal on eight shots). In fact, the only non-junior/senior to score points thus far is Matthew Peca (2 goals and 1 assist), who was an ECAC All-Rookie selection last year. The Q started their season off by going up to Maine and returning with a 2-1 victory, last weekend they tied and then beat Ohio State at home. This weekend, their only game is that non-conference on Cape Cod against Colgate.

St. Lawrence (3-1-0)
There aren't many teams that go to Orono, Maine, and skate away with a +9 goal differential in two games no matter how bad the Black Bears might be - but that's what the Saints achieved last weekend as very rude guests in the Pine Tree State (since we've been talking a lot of Maine - they're 1-4-0 thus far, their only win coming in the Icebreaker third place game against Army). There was some debate coming into the season as to whether Kyle Flanagan or Greg Carey was the best player on this team, two weeks later the resounding answer is, who cares? The duo has been ridiculously effective early on, and they're 1-2 in scoring nationally with Flanagan at 5 goals and 6 assists and Carey at 3 goals and 7 assists after just four games. Perhaps the biggest thing, though has been Matt Weninger, who has been equally lights out in net for the most part. Expect the Saints to keep the good times flowing after a bye week this weekend as they host Alabama-Huntsville during the first week of November. There hasn't been a lot of depth past Flanagan and Carey thus far, but that may not matter much if they can keep things up.

Union (2-1-0)
Leave it to Union to ruin banner night - they got a rude return from the Frozen Four in the first game of the season when they lost at home to Merrimack, 4-1. The "what the hell?" motif continued when they went down 2-0 six minutes in at Bowling Green the following week before righting the ship to pick up a pair of wins. Troy Grosenick's numbers in net are, thus far, off a bit from his incredible season last year, but they're still decent - and once they got scoring against the Falcons, Union put up 9 goals, so that aspect is intact as expected. The Dutchmen, interestingly, are providing American International this weekend with their first non-conference home game since January 2008 (which was, in turn, their first since 2005). Pretty quick turnaround to go from the Frozen Four in April to the building that's dead last in attendance in Division I (averaging 171 guests per game in 2011) for the last nine consecutive years. AIC draws so poorly that they got outdrawn by 62 Division III schools as well. Fortunately, Union is used to playing in front of small crowds (small arena that doesn't sell out zing), so they probably won't miss a beat - expect a beatdown, followed by another likely win at UConn before the home-and-home with the Engineers rolls around.

The Ivies get underway this weekend too, here's what they've done thus far in exhibitions:
Cornell 6, US Under-18 Team 2
Cornell 2, Brock 2
Dartmouth 2, McGill 1
Dartmouth 4, Norwich 3
Harvard 5, McGill 1
Guelph 3, Princeton 2 (OT)
Guelph 6, Princeton 5

The Ivy Shootout takes place in Providence this weekend, with Dartmouth facing Yale and Princeton at Brown on Friday, losers and winners to face each other the next night. Harvard hosts local minnow Bentley on Saturday, and with bigger fish to fry, Cornell hosts Colorado College for a pair on Friday and Saturday.

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