ECAC Hockey Report, 1996 November 27

Seven Days in the ECAC

A brief rundown for Mr. Squishy Show listeners by Joe Schlobotnik

Monday, November 18
The Around the Rinks/US College Hockey Online poll is released, showing that Cornell's victory over Vermont has moved the 4-0 Big Red, the only undefeated team in the NCAA, into the top ten and dropped the Catamounts from third to fourth. Around the Rinks host Adam Wodon declares that the pollsters are giving the Red "no respect" by tabbing them no higher than tenth.
Tuesday, November 19
Harvard defeats Brown 2-1 to complete the first season sweep in the ECAC. At six games a piece, the Crimson and Bears have participated in more contests than any other teams in the league, but have only eight points between them in those twelve games. This is the same number of points as Cornell has registered in but four outings.
Friday, November 22
In New Haven, league-leading Cornell sleepwalks through 59 minutes against a much-improved Yale team to find itself tied at 3. Vinnie Auger streaks towards the Yale goal on a breakaway, but is hauled down from behind. No penalty is called, and the Elis take a 3-on-2 breakout the other way to score and go up 4-3 with exactly a minute remaining. Cornell's Matt Cooney loses his head during the ensuing celebration and tries to take off that belonging to one of the Bulldogs with a cross-check. He is sent off for a five-minute major. Desparate, Cornell coach Mike Schafer begins to reach into his bag of tricks. He calls his timeout, and sophomore goalie Jean-Marc Pelletier is pulled for junior Jason Elliott to buy extra time. Twelve seconds later, the officials mistakenly call the shorthanded Red for icing, and Schafer digs deeper, calling for a measurement on a Yale player's stick. It is illegal, bringing the teams to four skaters a side. Elliott is pulled for the extra attacker, but Cornell cannot score, falls from the ranks of the unbeaten. Elsewhere in New England, Vermont's league woes continue as they give up four unanswered goals after taking a 1-0 lead at Dartmouth. This is the same Catamount team which defeated Boston University on the road earlier this season. Princeton continues its strong start and Colgate's early slump by defeating the Red Raiders 4-3. In the Capital District, the ECAC's other undefeated squad, RPI, falls 4-0 to Tech rivals Clarkson. Counting two non-conference tilts, the Engineers have been held scoreless in their last three outings. St. Lawrence wins 4-3 at Union and over in Michigan, the Brown Bears suffer a 5-2 non-league loss against the national champion Wolverines.
Saturday, November 23
All eyes are, surprisingly, on Hobey Baker Rink as 4-1 Cornell visits 3-1-1 Princeton in an unlikely early battle for first place. The Red give up the first goal for the sixth time in sixth games, 77 seconds into the contest, but that will be the only tally Elliott surrenders, as Cornell wakes up to score two power play goals in a 16-shot second period en route to a 3-1 win. Over in New Haven, the Elis fall short of another upset as Colgate pulls off a 4-3 overtime win against Yale to pull to 3-3. The upset bug is still alive and well, however, as RPI downs an ailing St. Lawrence squad 6-3 and Union shocks Clarkson with a 2-1 victory. When the dust has settled, all eight teams involved in the weekend series emerge with a split. And in Ann Arbor, Michigan is again too much for Brown, to the tune of 7-2.
Sunday, November 24
This afternoon in Burlington, Vermont defeats Mass-Amherst 4-1 thanks to two goals and an assist from J.C. Ruid. The Cats are now 5-0 in non-conference play but only 2-3 in the ECAC.
Monday, November 25
The new poll brings the puzzling news that Cornell has moved up from tenth to ninth despite losing to Yale; the Big Red have passed North Dakota, who split in Anchorage over the weekend. Meanwhile, it is no big surprise that another weekend split has continued Vermont's plummet from the fourth to the seventh spot in the poll.
Tuesday, November 26
In a preview of this year's first-round Beanpot game, Harvard falls 5-1 to Hockey East powerhouse Boston University, while in conference action Princeton improves to 4-2-1 in the ECAC with a 4-2 win over Yale. Tiger Jason Given scores the gamewinner in the last minute of the second and adds an empty-netter just before the horn.

The current standings show Cornell on top with 10 points in six games, followed closely by Princeton with 9 in seven. Three teams are a bit back with 6 points a piece: 3-1 Rensselaer, 3-2 Clarkson and 3-3 Colgate. Harvard are in sixth with 5 points in their six games, and Yale also have 5 in their seven contests. Union lead the pack of 4-point teams at 2-2, while preseason favorites Vermont find themselves at 2-3 along with Dartmouth and St. Lawrence. Brown is in last place with but 3 points in their five league games.

What will the next seven days bring for the ECAC? With the holiday weekend, there are only three conference games in the next week: on Saturday, Brown, looking to sneak out of the cellar, hosts Yale (and if the Bears win, it will put Vermont into an improbable tie for last place), while Princeton tries to become the first team to go over ten points as they entertain Harvard. On Tuesday, Cornell hosts Colgate in a battle of central New York travel partners. The Red Raiders will be looking for revenge, as the Big Red swept them in two playoff games back in March by a combined score of 16-4. There will also be plenty of non-conference action this weekend, as BU and BC travel to the North Country to face St. Lawrence and Clarkson; Vermont plays host to the Governers' Cup tournament featuring New Hampshire, Mass-Lowell and Maine; Colgate and Cornell play host to eighth-ranked Miami University, second place in the CCHA; RPI visits Northeastern and Merrimack; Dartmouth hosts Merrimack and Harvard welcomes Northeastern; and finally Union plays host to Ottawa.

With a week in the world of ECAC hockey, this has been Joe Schlobotnik, Mr. Squishy Sports.

Last Modified: 1998 August 25

Joe Schlobotnik /

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