League leaders Clarkson and Brown could manage just three points between them, as the Bears were tied by Union 2-2, and lost 6-1 to the freaked-out Engineers of RPI, while Clarkson fell 3-2 to Vermont before recovering to beat Dartmouth by the score of 6-1.
Harvard also split, knocking off Renssalaer 5-3 on national television before falling to Union by the same score. Clarkson's travel partner St. Lawrence managed a home sweep, felling Dartmouth and Vermont by identical 5-4 scores.
In a wild game Friday night, Princeton trailed Cornell 3-1 at the second intermission, but came back to prevail 4-3 in overtime. The Red bounced back to hold off Yale 4-2 the following night, while Princeton rolled to a 7-3 victory over Colgate. In other action, Colgate defeated Yale on Friday by a 6-3 score.
In the standings going into the last weekend of the season, the important numbers are one, four, six and ten. The regular-season champion of the ECAC earns an automatic berth in the NCAA division I hockey tournament. The top ten teams out of twelve make the ECAC playoffs, with the top six earning a bye in the first round and the top four home ice in the second round.
Assured of home ice, Clarkson with 27 points and Brown with 26 still battle for the top spot. Six more teams have clinched a playoff spot and are looking to secure something more: Harvard in third with 27 points, RPI in fourth with 26, Princeton and Colgate tied for fifth with 25 and St. Lawrence and Vermont sharing seventh with 20 points. The remaining four teams are each trying to land one of the last two playoff spots: Cornell in ninth with 17, Union in tenth with 16, Yale in eleventh with 15, and lowly Dartmouth in last with 12 points. All the Big Green need to win is to win their last two games, have Union and Yale lose their last two, and have Colgate finish in the top four.
So there are lots of big games this weekend. For the regular season title, the action to watch is Clarkson and St. Lawrence at Brown and Harvard. Elsewhere, Princeton and Yale visit Vermont and Dartmouth, while RPI and Union are in Central New York to take on Cornell and Colgate.
This is Joe P------k, KJUC sports.