The ECAC men's teams didn't make that kind of history, but they did play some action-packed playoff hockey of their own, starting with last Tuesday's preliminary round games, which saw RPI require only one overtime to edge Dartmouth 5-4 and Brown top Princeton 4-3 in regulation.
The tightest of the four quarterfinals pitted Cinderella team St. Lawrence against perennial Ivy League power Harvard in Canton, NY. The Crimson took game one by a 5-2 margin, but the Saints battled back to knot the series with a 3-2 victory Saturday thanks to Ryan Cassidy's game-winning goal with under five minutes remaining in regulation. Sunday night saw Cinderella's carriage return to the pumkin patch, however, as the Crimson scored early and often in an 8-4 rout of the Saints to advance to the ECAC tournament.
This season's other surprise team, Cornell, had no such difficulties in their semifinal series, demolishing Colgate by 8-3 and 8-1 scores before a noisy Lynah Rink crowd.
Up North in Potsdam, the Golden Knights of Clarkson staved off the Brown Bears, taking Friday's contest 5-2, and winning a controversial 5-3 contest Saturday. Not counting the final empty-netter, the deciding goal was shown on replay to have been kicked in by a Clarkson attacker.
Finally, in Burlington the regular season champion Vermont Catamounts continued their roll with a 5-2, 6-4 sweep over the Engineers of RPI to enter the ECACs as the top seed.
So four more games remain in the ECAC hockey season, and they're all this weekend at Olympic Ice Arena in Lake Placid. The pairings for the ECAC Frozen Four match Harvard with Vermont in the first semifinal at 4:00 Eastern Friday and Cornell with Clarkson in the nitecap. The consolation is at 1pm Eastern Saturday afternoon, followed by the championship at 4. The semifinals will be again televised live by Empire Sports Network of Buffalo and the championship will be seen live on several other Prime Sports affiliates as well. I, Joe P------k, will be in Lake Placid covering the ECACs for Mr. Squishy Sports, and will have a full report on next week's show. But be sure to tune in to KCSB Friday at 4pm when we may have a special report on the results of the Vermont-Harvard semifinal game as part of "Music not for Digital Geeks etc."
With the ECAC hockey report, this is Joe P------k, Mr. Squishy sports.