Chaos Reigns Supreme in ECAC Playoff Picture
With one weekend remaining in the Harvard men's hockey regular season, the ECAC playoff hunt ought to be renamed the seventh wonder of the world.
With none of the 10 playoff spots solidified and only 12 total games left to play, the Crimson has as good a chance as any to secure a home-ice playoff berth the weekend of March 10-11.
Right now Harvard holds sole possession of third place, but depending on the outcome of this weekend's ECAC games, the Crimson can place as high as second and as low as eighth.
As with most teams, Harvard holds its fate in its own hands. A win Friday night against St. Lawrence, coupled with a Vermont win over Princeton would solidify home-ice for the first round of the playoffs.
By defeating both St. Lawrence and Clarkson this weekend, Harvard would also garner home-ice. Otherwise, the playoff spots will be determined by the outcomes of the games involving the top eight teams.
As for last week's action, a multitude of upsets led to this week's confusion. Union's 5-3 win over Harvard Saturday was the Skating Dutchmen's first win ever in eight meetings against the Crimson. Union's freshman goaltender Trevor Koenig took home this week's ECAC/USAir Rookie of the Week award for his .924 save percentage on the weekend.
Koenig had 61 saves against Brown and Harvard while allowing only five goals.
Despite the loss on Saturday night, Harvard rolled over RPI on Friday, 5-3. Steve Martins was the Gatorade Player of the Game in Prime Network's national telecast of the RPI game, as the senior had two goals and two assists. Martins added a goal against Union as well to make this week's honor roll.
RPI rebounded on Saturday night, though, crushing a struggling Brown squad, 6-1, on the Engineers' Big-Red Freakout night. Brown still holds on to second place in the league, however.
Engineers' captain Adam Bartell had two goals and an assist against the Bears, earning him honor roll status.
St. Lawrence is the hottest team in the league, having won its last five league games. The Saints swept Vermont and Dartmouth last weekend, as Burke Murphy had three goals and three assists on the weekend. For his efforts, Murphy earned this week's ECAC/USAir Player of the Week Award.
The Saints had another bright star last weekend, as Paul DiFrancesco set a St. Lawrence freshman record for season assists, earning four on the weekend for a total of 28.
Despite the loss to St. Lawrence, Vermont came up with a huge win on Friday, knocking off first-place Clarkson 3-2. Vermont goaltender Tim Thomas had another huge weekend, turning away 78 shots, including 41 against the Golden Knights.
Princeton put themselves in prime position for a playoff spot with two wins on the weekend. The Tigers assured themselves of a winning season for the first time in 27 years after defeating Cornell, 4-3, in overtime, and Colgate, 7-3.
Despite the loss to Princeton, Cornell rebounded the following night with a 4-2 victory over Yale. Jake Karam had a hat trick for the Big Red, earning the senior a spot on the ECAC Honor Roll.
ECAC STANDINGS OVERALL ECAC Team W L T W L T Clarkson 18 8 4 12 5 3 Brown 13 9 3 12 6 2 Harvard 13 12 1 11 8 1< /B> RPI 16 12 2 10 8 2 Colgate 16 13 1 10 9 1 Princeton 14 9 4 9 8 3 Vermont 12 9 4 7 8 3 St. Lawrence 15 14 1 10 10 0 Cornell 9 13 3 7 10 3 Union 9 13 4 6 10 4 Yale 8 15 3 6 11 3 Dartmouth 7 16 2 5 13 2