ECAC Race Tightening Up Near the Top


Ever heard the phrase "It's lonely at the top?"

Well, these words certainly do not apply to the current ECAC men's hockey standings.

Before last night, three teams shared the top spot, including Harvard (4-3-1, 3-1-1 ECAC). Vermont catapaulted into sole possession of first place with a 5-0 blasting of Dartmouth yesterday. Harvard and Cornell are one game back.

Harvard went 1-2 in its three games against Hockey East rivals, highlighted by Brad Konik's hat trick against Northeastern Friday night--the Crimson's first hat trick this year and only the second in the past two seasons.

This past week essentially provided an opportunity for ECAC teams to explore opponents outside the friendly confines of their own league, with the exception of two games besides last night's. Colgate finally began to get into its much-hyped-about shape, bombing RPI 9-4 at home on Saturday.


The Colgate-RPI game was filled with dozens of penalties and a 10-minute misconduct handed out to Engineer goaltender Mike Tamburro at the game's end. RPI had blown a 2-0 lead just two nights before in tying Merrimack, 2-2.

The Red Raiders went 0-for-9 on the power play, however, dipping their power-play success rate to below 10 percent.

But Earl Cronin certainly held the spotlight on that fateful night, recording a hat trick for Colgate and propelling it to within one point of the league leaders. For his efforts, Cronin takes homes this week's ECAC Player of the Week award.

In the only other contest between two ECAC squads, Yale won its first conference game of the year with a 5-4 overtime win over Princeton. John Emmons had two goals for the Bulldogs, one of them the overtime winner. Princeton would not be shaken, however, and it captured the National Invitational title in Ottawa last weekend. The Tigers advanced to the title game with a 5-1 pasting of Ottawa, then defeated Merrimack in a shootout after a 1-1 tie through regulation and overtime. Goaltender Erasmo Saltarelli had 41 saves for Princeton, which improves its record to 2-5-1.

Freshman forward Jason Given notched two goals and two assists for Princeton at the tournament, earning him this week's ECAC Rookie of the Week award.

Boston University wreaked havoc over the ECAC last week, defeating Cornell last Tuesday night, 7-1, and then trouncing St. Lawrence, 7-2.

But Clarkson was up to the Terrier challenge, scoring with less than 30 seconds left to secure a 4-4 tie, and in the process knocking the defending national champions out of the top spot in most college hockey polls.

(The tie sent enough chills up B.U. coach Jack Parker's spine to cause him to attend Tuesday night's Harvard game against Boston College.)

Todd White had two goals and an assist for the Golden Knights, and goalie Dan Murphy was tremendous, stopping 41 Terrier shots. Both players earned spots on this week's ECAC Honor Roll.

After the huge loss to Boston University, St. Lawrence was subsequently pummeled by Boston College, 10-4.

The highest nationally-ranked ECAC squad--Vermont--finished second in the Governor's Cup in Maine. Goaltender Tim Thomas came up huge in both games, first stopping 32 shots in a 2-1 win over UMass-Lowell, then 24 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss to Maine in the championship game.

In other games involving ECAC teams, Brown captured the Mayor's Cup trophy by defeating its crosstown rival, Providence, 8-5, Defenseman Jimmy Anderson tallied three assists for the Bears. ECAC STANDINGS   OVERALL  ECAC Team  W  L  T  W  L  T Vermont  8  2  1  4  0  1 Cornell  3  2  1  3  0  1 Harvard  4  3  1  3  1  1 Clarkson  5  3  1  3  0  0 Colgate  3  4  2  2  1  2 St. Lawrence  4  5  0  2  1  0 Brown  2  4  1  1  3  1 Union  2  4  1  1  1  0 Rensselaer  3  6  1  1  2  0 Princeton  2  5  1  1  4  0 Yale  3  5  0  1  4  0 Dartmouth  0  6  1  0  5  0