December 31, 2009

ECAC teams not measuring up

The holiday tournament season has afforded ECAC Hockey teams the opportunity to compete against some of the best programs in the country, but in the 2009 portion of the schedule at least, ECAC Hockey teams have not quite measured up.

Princeton came from behind to top No. 4 Cornell for third place in the Florida College Classic after the Big Red fell 4-2 to No. 3 Colorado College and the Tigers dropped a shootout to Maine in their respective openers.

In its semifinal, the Tigers came back from deficits of 2-0, 4-1 — by scoring three times on a five-minute power play — and 6-4 behind two goals and two assists from senior forward Mark Magnowski, and finished regulation tied 6-6.

Back in New England, Union took third in the Toyota UConn Holiday Classic with a 7-0 victory over the host Huskies, after falling 4-3 to No. 15 UMass. The victory over UConn — in which the Dutchmen outshot the hosts 39-14 — was the 100th in coach Nate Leaman’s career, while the loss to the Minutemen ended Union’s nine-game unbeaten streak.

The Dutchmen scored three special-teams goals — including a power-play marker by senior forward Jason Walters, who extended his scoring streak to a career-best eight games — but UMass tallied three times in the third period to take the win.

Further west, RPI dropped the championship game of the 45th annual Great Lakes Invitational 6-1 to No. 13 Michigan State after beating Michigan on Tuesday night. Junior forward Chase Polacek netted a pair of power-play goals against the Wolverines to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team.

NEHJ Player of the Week

Mike Kramer, jr., Princeton

The forward scored the unassisted shorthanded winner in the Tigers’ upset of the No. 4 Big Red on Wednesday afternoon after assisting three times and scoring in the shootout against Maine the afternoon before.

Looking Ahead

Quinnipiac at Princeton, Monday

The No. 10 Bobcats will be looking to bounce back from a 3-1 loss at Harvard on Tuesday night, while the Tigers are coming off their upset of Cornell.

Quinnipiac beat Princeton 5-1 at home on Nov. 25, scoring all five goals in the second period, including four on the power play and two each by freshmen forward Jeremy Langlois and defenseman Loren Barron, to take its seventh consecutive victory. The Tigers swept the Bobcats in three contests last season.

Around ECAC Hockey

Brown

The Bears are converting an ECAC Hockey-worst 11.1 percent of their power-play opportunities.

Clarkson

The Golden Knights are conceding an average of 3.62 goals per game in ECAC Hockey contests, the worst figure in the conference.

Colgate

Sophomore forward Austin Smith leads ECAC Hockey with 16 assists.

Cornell

The Big Red lead the nation in combined special teams at 60.0 percent.

Dartmouth

The Big Green are the most penalized team in ECAC Hockey in conference games, averaging 17.6 penalty minutes per contest.

Harvard

The Crimson are conceding an ECAC Hockey-worst 3.92 goals per game.

Princeton

The Tigers are the least-penalized team in ECAC Hockey, averaging just 10.5 minutes in the sin bin per contest.

Quinnipiac

Senior forward Brandon Wong’s four game-winning goals tie him for the national lead.

RPI

Polacek leads ECAC Hockey with 14 goals, 28 points and 17 power-play points.

St. Lawrence

The Saints are killing just 71.0 percent of penalties, the worst such figure in ECAC Hockey.

Union

Senior defenseman Mike Schreiber leads ECAC Hockey blueliners with 16 points.

Yale

The Bulldogs combined special teams of 43.8 percent is the worst in ECAC Hockey.

Alan Ginsberg can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com.