Clarkson’s recent struggles have continued a trend of it being a down year for ECAC Hockey. Clarkson is riding a seven-game winless streak (0-4-3) after emerging as a legitimate national championship contender in early January. Since running its record to 18-3-1 overall on the heels of a 13-game winning streak, Clarkson has gone 1-5-2, with its lone win coming against Yale on Jan. 26. Clarkson has dropped from No. 3 to No. 7 in the PairWise and likely will need to snap the winless streak before the end of the season to earn an NCAA tournament berth.
Cornell (22-3-2 overall, 12-2-2 ECAC) seems to be the only lock among ECAC Hockey teams to earn an NCAA tournament berth, as Clarkson is the only other ECAC Hockey team ranked in the top 16 in the PairWise.
Union (20-13-1) and Harvard (13-10-4) are ranked No. 20 and No. 22, respectively, and either team could still potentially earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament with a strong finish.
However, if only two ECAC Hockey teams qualify for the NCAA tournament, it would be the first time since 2012 the conference placed less than three teams in the NCAA tournament. Part of that could be attributed to the performance of ECAC Hockey teams in nonconference play. ECAC Hockey schools posted a record of 39-50-15 in nonconference games, down from 45-49-11 last year and 56-42-10 in 2015-16.
Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold (Bedford, N.H.) pointed to Boston College’s winless nonconference record this season as evidence that those records can be misleading.
“I think it’s cyclical,” Pecknold said. “Look at BC; it’s been a long time since they’ve won a non-conference game, and they have a pretty great program. If you have to choose, you want to play better in league games. That’s what we stress at Quinnipiac. But we all want to be good all the time. I think ECAC Hockey is great, and I don’t think that nonconference record is representative of the talent in the league.”
While Team USA’s performance in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games was a disappointment — with the men’s hockey team falling one game short of qualifying for the medal round — Harvard’s Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass.) impressed with his play. Donato led the team with five goals and an assist.
The Boston Bruins prospect tallied two goals in Team USA’s 5-1 victory over Slovakia in the qualifying round. At the time of Team USA’s elimination loss against the Czech Republic, Donato was tied for the tournament lead in goals. He eclipsed the total of his father, Harvard coach Ted Donato, for Olympic scoring. Ted (Dedham, Mass. had four goals and three assists for the U.S. in 1992. The Harvard coach arrived in PyeongChang, South Korea, just in time to see Ryan net the two goals against Slovakia. …
Cornell (22-3-2, 16-2-2) possesses the highest winning percentage in the nation (.852) — its highest through 27 games since a 1969-70 season that ended with a national title. The Big Red lead the nation in team defense (1.41 goals-against per game), with a national-best nine shutouts. Cornell has been particularly dominant at even strength, leading the country with a team rating of plus-40. The Big Red have surrendered just a paltry 23 even-strength goals so far. For perspective, the next two lowest totals in the nation are Clarkson at 41 and Minnesota State at 47. …
Union senior left wing Ryan Scarfo (Chelmsford, Mass.) leads the team in scoring (18-13-31) and his eight power-play goals are tied for sixth-most in the country. …
With a win over Clarkson on Feb. 16, Bob Gaudet became just the second head coach in program history to reach 300 wins behind the Dartmouth bench. Gaudet joined Eddie Jeremiah — the legendary Dartmouth head coach and 1973 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee — in the 300-win club in Hanover.
In the Spotlight
John Marino, Harvard
The native of North Easton, Mass., had a goal and an assist in Harvard’s 5-2 victory over No. 7 Clarkson on Feb. 17. The sophomore defenseman had a plus-3 rating on the weekend. Harvard swept St. Lawrence and Clarkson as the Crimson continued a late-season surge.
Sam Tucker, Yale
The Wilton, Conn., native and Choate Rosemary Hall alumnus has played in two-thirds of Yale’s games this season and is 8-9-1 with a 2.83 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. He is currently riding a threegame winning streak.
Tyler Bird, Brown
The Andover, Mass., native and St. John’s Prep (Danvers, Mass.) alumnus has been one of Brown’s bright spots during the current eight-game winless streaks. In six starts, Byrd has tallied two goals — the most recent of which came at Cornell Feb. 16.
‘What we emphasize, the players tend to handle well. What we don’t, they don’t.’
— Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold
We hope you enjoyed this free story! For all-access to New York Hockey Journal content, subscribe below.
|All Access: Print AND Digital Subscription (Monthly, Yearly)||$99.99 / year||Modify & complete order below|