CANTON, NY-The trip to North Country is never easy for the Harvard men's hockey team. Clarkson (7-9-3, 2-4-3 ECAC), the pre-season favorite to win its third-consecutive ECAC championship, and St. Lawrence (11-6-2, 6-2-1 ECAC), another strong ECAC finalist, are usually the most difficult teams to face in the conference--especially when squaring off on their home turf.
However, this past weekend gave the Crimson (7-10-1, 6-6-1 ECAC) its best opportunity to sweep the Golden Knights and the Saints on the road for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
Before this match-up, Clarkson occupied last place in the ECAC, while St. Lawrence shared the fifth spot with Rensselaer (13-6-1, 5-4-1 ECAC) and Dartmouth (4-7-4,3-2-3 ECAC). For Harvard, which entered the weekend in first place, the standings foretold a pair of relatively easy games.
But one can never underestimate the strength of these two upstate New York teams, especially with the absences of junior winger Steve Moore due to a wrist injury, and freshman winger Brett Nowak with a dislocated shoulder in Saturday's game.
Taking advantage of the Crimson's weaknesses, Clarkson stole its first league win with a 5-2 victory over the Crimson at Cheel Arena on Friday, while St. Lawrence defeated Harvard 6-4 at Appleton Arena the following night.
The pair of losses, Harvard should've left the weekend in a first place tie with the Saints, albeit giving up four games in hand. However, on Monday the ECAC announced that it would rank teams this season based on winning percentages, not points, in response to the cancellation of Vermont's season over its hazing scandal.
The decision immediately rectified the extra games, and the Crimson--at .500 in conference--fell all the way to a seventh place tie with Cornell. St. Lawrence sits in sole possession of first.
St. Lawrence 6, Harvard 4