ECAC Hockey Report, 1996 March 4

The Vermont Catamounts finished the ECAC regular season right where everyone expected them: at the top of the standings. They extended their unbeaten streak to nine games with a home sweep, shellacking Brown 8-0 and downing Harvard 3-1. The Crimson and Bears continued their respective nosedives by losing to Dartmouth as well, Harvard falling 5-4 and Brown losing 3-2, as the Big Green became only the second team this year to finish their Ivy League schedule above .500. Meanwhile in the North Country, the ECAC's second through fifth place teams faced off in what promised to be a weekend of nail-biting hockey, and did not dissapoint, with three of the four games going to overtime and a combined margin of victory for all four of only two goals. Saturday the Golden Knights of Clarkson had the upper hand, eking out a 2-1 overtime victory over Cornell while Colgate and St. Lawrence skated to a 2-2 tie down the road in Canton. On Saturday it was the Big Red sticking it to the Saints with three third period goals for a 5-4 comeback win at SLU, while Colgate tied Clarkson at 4. Meanwhile in the Capital District, Union and Yale made their exits from the ECAC playoff race Friday, with the Elis falling 7-3 to RPI while the Dutchmen lost to Princeton by a 4-3 margin; on Saturday Rensselaer completed their weekend sweep with a 4-1 victory over Princeton at the Big Red Freakout, while Union defeated Yale 4-2 to stay out of the cellar.

So, after 132 games, we come to the final standings for the ECAC regular season. Vermont lead the honor roll with 37 points, and have earned an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. Coming in second with 34 were last year's regular season champions Clarkson, followed by a couple of surprise teams in St. Lawrence with 33 points and Cornell with 32. Colgate hold the fifth spot with 30 points. Harvard managed to finish in sixth place with 19 points despite not having won since February 3rd. Brown and RPI each finished the season with 16 points, but the Bears are awarded seventh place based on their head-to-head sweep of the Engineers. In ninth place we find Dartmouth with 14 points, followed by Princeton in tenth with 13. Union finish eleventh with 11 points to miss the playoffs, and the ECAC booby prize goes to the Yale Elis, who finish the season with a mere 9 points.

Now it's on to the playoffs. Tomorrow, that is Tuesday, night, we have a couple of one-off preliminary games, as RPI host Dartmouth and, in a rematch of last year's most thrilling quarterfinal series, Princeton visit Brown. The winners of those two games will advance to this weekend's quarterfinals; Vermont will host the low seed, be it Princeton, RPI or Dartmouth, and Clarkson will take on the higher, Brown, Dartmouth or Rensselaer. In the other two series, Harvard visit the Saints in St. Lawrence and Cornell welcome Colgate to Lynah rink. Each series features regulation games Friday and Saturday with 5-minute overtimes if neccessary. The series goes to the first team to register two wins or a win and a tie; if the teams split or tie the first two games, they play a winner-take-all, play-till-you-drop game three on Sunday. At stake for the four winners of the quarterfinal series: a trip to Lake Placid for the ECAC tournament.

But that's not all for the ECAC hockey report, as the first round of the ECAC Women's league playoffs was also held this weekend, with all the favorites emerging victorious. Regular season champions Brown dominated eighth place Colby 7-2, New Hampshire beat Princeton by an identical 7-2 score, Dartmouth edged out Northeastern 3-2 in double overtime, and defending champions Providence defeated Ivy League champs Cornell 5-2. The ECAC women's Frozen Four will be held this weekend at the University of New Hampshire, with Saturday's contests pitting Brown against crosstown rivals Providence and Dartmouth against the host school. The two winners will meet Sunday for all the marbles.

With the ECAC men's and women's hockey report, this is Joe P------k, Mr. Squishy sports.

Last Modified: 1996 March 4
Joe Schlobotnik /