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It doesn't take Karl Marx to see the sharp division between the "have" and "have-not" teams in the ECAC. The conference's top six teams boast a combined 25-3-6 league record, while the bottom six are 5-27-2 against ECAC competition.
Clarkson (7-3-1, 5-0-0 ECAC) remained the league's only unbeaten and untied team with a pair of home victories over the weekend. The Golden Knights trounced Rensselaer 7-1 Friday, getting goals from seven different skaters and a sparkling performance from goaltender Dan Murphy in the win. Murphy's 2.53 goals against average is second only to Vermont's Tim Thomas among ECAC netminders.
The conference leaders strengthened their grip on first place Saturday, outshooting Union College 50-24 en route to a 4-1 victory. Clarkson will remain at home this weekend, hosting ECAC rivals Brown and Harvard on successive nights.
Hot on the heels of Clarkson are Cornell, Colgate, Vermont, St. Lawrence and Harvard. The Big Red (4-2-2, 4-0-2) skated to a deadlock with Princeton and defeated Yale to move into a tie for first place in the conference, though they remain behind Clarkson, having played one more ECAC game.
Colgate (5-4-2, 4-1-2) beat the same two teams over the weekend due in no small part to center Chris DeProfio, who earned ECAC Player of the Week honors for his outstanding play. The Red Raiders' 10 points put them in a three-way tie atop the conference, though it has taken them seven games to earn those points while Clarkson and Cornell have both played fewer games.
The team with the conference's most prolific scoring line, the Vermont Catamounts (9-2-1, 4-0-1), blanked Dartmouth 5-0 to stay in the conference race. Eric Perrin (nine goals, 17 assists) leads all ECAC scorers, while Martin St. Louis (three goals, 19 assists) and J.C. Ruid (13 goals, nine assists) are second and third on the list.
Harvard (4-1-1 ECAC, 5-3-1 overall) continued its Jekyll and Hyde season, dropping another hard-fought non-conference battle against Boston College Tuesday but rebounding to knock off a conference foe in downing Brown 6-4 Saturday.
The Crimson lost in overtime for the second time in a week, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Golden Eagles, but managed to complete the season sweep of Brown, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to blow away the visitors.
Rounding out the top tier of the conference is St. Lawrence (6-5-0, 4-1-0). The Saints knocked off Union and RPI over the weekend to keep pace with the leaders. St. Lawrence had an easy time of it Friday, ripping Union 6-3 behind two goals from winger Mark McGrath, but it took a power play goal with 16 seconds left to lift the Saints over gritty RPI. There will be no rest for St. Lawrence this weekend, as they entertain conference foes Harvard and Brown in Canton.
Dartmouth, on the other hand, will play a lighter schedule this weekend, as will fellow cellar-dwellers Yale, Princeton, Union and RPI. They will need the time to regroup. With almost one-third of the conference season gone by, these five teams have been dreadful, embarrassing not only themselves, but the entire ECAC.
To this point only Vermont has managed to crack the national rankings, checking in at No. 6 in the country. The ECAC is no longer considered the hockey powerhouse it once was. To be fair, even the top teams have been less than super in non-conference play, but they have been hurt by the low level of competition they have been facing in the conference as well.
Karl Marx might recommend a revolution.
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