February 1, 2002

Stuck in the Middle

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It’s not often that we the sports editors of The Cornell Daily Sun admit that we’re wrong. In fact, it usually takes the jaws of life to convince us to even apologize. Maybe it’s our New Year’s resolution, or maybe it’s just your lucky day, but today we’re going to dredge up the past and talk about where we, well… didn’t know what we were talking about. Of course, we weren’t really “wrong;” we’re just not right yet.

In the Nov. 11 edition of The Sun, we printed our annual hockey pullout, which contained our ECAC predictions for the year. With the season now about half spent, it’s time to sit down and evaluate how our preseason picks are holding up. For every one of our predictions that’s gone horribly wrong, we’ll try to offer justifications for our errors. Don’t forget, we are only human.

Off By a Mile


Predicted Finish: 12th

Current Place: 10th

Superficially, it may appear that we didn’t stray too far on this one. But look deeper. Brown may be on the playoff bubble right now, but while the rest of the ECAC has struggled out of conference, Brown has played David to a trio of the nation’s Goliaths. This past Tuesday it was No. 9 UMass-Lowell. Before that it was then- No. 2 St. Cloud and Wisconsin. Add to that a win over Harvard and narrow overtime defeats to Maine and Providence, and Brown is making its record (8-9-2) look all too deceiving. Of course, the Bears also gave up nine third period goals to New Hampshire, so they can still be Brown when they need to be. Still, the Bears could very well be a tough sleeper team to face in the ECAC playoffs.

What we said then: “How long have the Bears been at the bottom of the ECAC? Since the Berlin Wall came down?”

What we say now: “If capitalism can work in Eastern Europe, then Brown can make it the playoffs!”


Projected: 5th

Actual: 11th

What happened to RPI? We expected the Engineers to score like crazy. (Get the double entendre? We try.) Last year, they averaged 3.15 goals per game. This year only 2.42. The most striking problem, though, has been the drop-off in the play of goalie Nathan Marsters. Last season, as a freshman, he was brilliant. This year he couldn’t stop a beach ball if it was rolling fast enough. The sophomore version of Marsters sports a 3.05 GAA and a sad .909 save percentage.

What we said then: “Expect the Engineers to score… a lot.”

“What we say now: “Expect Nathan Marsters to get scored on… a lot.”


Predicted: 11th

Actual: 7th

Yeah, we got Colgate wrong, but does anyone actually care?

What we said then: “Having your top goaltender [Jason LeFevre] return for his senior year would usually be considered a good thing. But is it a good thing if he gave up nearly 3.50 goals a game last season?”

What we say now: “Survey says…no! Especially when he averages 4.06 his senior year.”

The Jury’s Still Out

St. Lawrence

Predicted: 6th

Actual: 8th

What we said then: “If anything’s going to let the Saints down this season, it’ll probably be their goaltending.”

What we say now: “Yes the Saints have found a pair of freshmen goalies who can hold their own, but .


Predicted: 7th

Actual: 5th

What we said then: “What the Dutchmen do have is breadth on offense.”

What we say now: “What the Dutchmen do have is breadth on offense.” (Union has 10 players with at least 10 points.)


Predicted: 8th

Actual: 5th

What we said then: “The Bulldogs gave up 3.68 goals a game last season. Much of the credit for that wonderful stat can go to now-senior goaltender Dan Lombard, how had a not so hot .881 save percentage.”

What we say now: “The Bulldogs are giving up 2.33 goals a game in conference. Much of the credit for that wonderful stat can go to senior goaltender Dan Lombard, how has hot .924 save percentage.”


Predicted: 9th

Actual: 12th

What we said: Actually we didn’t have anything interesting to say about Vermont then.

What we say now: Oddly enough, we don’t have anything interesting to say about Vermont now.


Predicted: 10th

Actual: 8th

What we said then: “Say it loud, Princeton’s in New Jersey”

What we say now: “As far as we can tell, Princeton is still in New Jersey.”

Nail on the Head


Predicted: 1st

Actual: 1st

What we said then: Actually, we didn’t say anything about Cornell then, but head coach Mike Schafer ’86 remarked, “I can’t imagine better power play in college hockey right now.”

What we say now: “Well, we can imagine four power plays that are better than Cornell now —