In the last weekend before many ECAC squads break for the holidays, only two teams—Cornell and Quinnipiac—really got in the holiday spirit. But the biggest gainer in this week’s edition of the power rankings? That would be Colgate, who rode an eight-goal outburst all the way to...a weekend split. Such is life in ECAC Hockey. Let’s see who’s moving towards the top of Santa’s list and who’s doomed to get coal in their stockings.
1. Cornell (13-1-0, 8-0-0 ECAC, 1st in conference)
The Big Red held onto its No. 1 spot in the national polls after beating Syracuse, St. Lawrence, and Clarkson by an aggregate 10-2 count last week. Cornell hasn’t allowed more than a goal in a game since a Nov. 2 overtime loss to Mercyhurst.
2. Quinnipiac (13-6-1, 6-5, 2nd)
The Bobcats vaulted into second place in the ECAC with a pair of dominant wins over Yale and Brown. Freshman Kelly Babstock set the single-season program goals record last weekend (yes, that’s right, in the first weekend of December) when she netted her 16th tally of the season, earning her conference player of the week honors.
3. St. Lawrence (8-7-2, 4-3-0, 7th)
The Saints got a puck past Cornell goaltender Amanda Mazzotta last weekend, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. St. Lawrence’s 5-3 win over Colgate on Saturday gives it some momentum heading into a tough series with No. 3 Mercyhurst this weekend.
4. Dartmouth (6-4-0, 5-3-0, t-3rd)
Dartmouth had the weekend off, but in a conference where pretty much nobody is playing particularly well, the Big Green actually moves up a spot from last week. Dartmouth jumps back in on Saturday for a date with its in-state rival, New Hampshire, which is having an uncharacteristically down year.
5. Harvard (4-5-2, 4-2-2, t-3rd)
No. 6 Boston College’s pair of Olympians, Kelli Stack and Molly Schaus, dominated the Crimson in a 6-2 beatdown on Sunday, proving Harvard’s young defense still has a long way to go. Things don’t get any easier this weekend, with No. 5 Boston University coming to Bright on Friday night.
6. Yale (4-8-2, 3-4-1, t-8th)
The Bulldogs may have dropped their rematch with in-state rival Quinnipiac, but a 2-1 win over Ivy foe Princeton moves ever-improving Yale up into a tie with Clarkson for the crucial eighth spot in the conference standings. Netminder Jackee Snikeris is coming into her own, now second in the ECAC behind Mazzotta in save percentage.
7. Colgate (6-12-0, 3-5-0, 10th)
The Raiders scored more goals last weekend—eight—than any other team in the ECAC, led by Rachel Walsh’s three-score performance. But Colgate will have to be more consistent in 2011 if it wants to move up into playoff contention.
8. Princeton (4-10-1, 4-6-1, t-5th)
A date with lowly Brown was just what the doctor ordered for the Tigers, as Princeton snapped its five-game losing streak with a 4-0 shutout of the Bears on Saturday. Rookie forward Olivia Mucha came away with a pair of third-period goals, including the first shorthanded goal of her career, and she now leads the team in points with nine.
9. Rensselaer (6-8-5, 4-3-1, t-5th)
This was supposed to be an easy two-win weekend for the Engineers. Instead, they just barely escaped with a 3-3 tie on Saturday. Back to the drawing board.
10. Union (1-12-2, 0-6-2, 12th)
Union moves up a few spots this week after earning a tie against fifth-place Rensselaer, doubling its point total in the conference standings. The Dutchwomen nearly had their first conference win of the season, but an Engineer power-play goal with 12 seconds left in the third left them settling for the draw.
11. Clarkson (6-10-3, 3-3-1, t-8th)
The Golden Knights were riding the struggle bus weekend, squandering an early 2-0 lead to Colgate on Friday before getting blanked by Cornell, 3-0, on Saturday. That means Clarkson hasn’t scored in nearly 110 minutes of ice time, giving up eight goals in the meantime.
12. Brown (2-8-2, 1-5-2, 11th)
Not only did the Bears get swept this weekend, they failed to score a goal in a pair of 4-0 losses. Brown does get a break, as the squad won’t play again until Jan. 2, but four of its first six games in January are against teams currently ranked in the top five nationally. Ouch.