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.