February 8, 2006

Red Grabs Top Spot; Rest of League Looks to Keep Up

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ECACHL teams be warned: Cornell is back in the driver’s seat.
As the Red (16-4-3, 11-3-2 ECACHL) swept a crucial home-and-home series with then-first place squad, Colgate (15-8-5, 11-4-1), over the past weekend, moving it to the top of the league, other teams such as No. 20 Harvard, Dartmouth and St Lawrence jockeyed for positions behind, with mixed results. Here’s a look back at the most recent action around the ECACHL.

Quinnipiac 6, Clarkson 1

Playing at home, Quinnipiac (15-14-0, 6-11-0) demolished the visiting Golden Knights (13-13-2, 6-9-1). Bobcat Ben Nelson got the scoring started in the first and teammate Chris Myers handed the hosts a two-goal lead just 25 seconds later. By the time Clarkson knew what hit it, it was 3-0 after the first period. The Golden Knights were able to able to pull one back through a power-play goal by David Cayer, but Quinnipiac wrapped up the result, with goals by Myers, Nelson and Chris Walsh in the third.

Dartmouth 6, Yale 4

With two of the top-scoring teams in the ECACHL facing off, there were surely going to be a lot of goals. The Bulldogs (8-12-3, 6-8-2) did not disappoint in the first period, as Jean-Francois Boucher, Matt Cohen and David Meckler gave the hosts a 3-0 lead after one. But, the Green (11-10-2, 9-5-2) clawed its way back in the second, scoring two goals, before ultimately taking the lead in the third period after Tanner Glass scored at the 6:17 mark. Yale would tie the game with a Brad Mills goal less than a minute later, but a power play strike from Mike Ouellette and a Jarrett Sampson empty-netter with one second left in the game sealed Dartmouth’s comeback win.

Harvard 2, Brown 1 O.T.

Brown, the ECACHL’s last-place team with a record of 3-14-6, 2-10-4, suffered another heartbreak in overtime after Dan Murphy scored from a Kevin Du feed to give the Crimson (12-9-2, 9-7-1) the win. Bears’ netminder Adam D’Alba saved 45-of-47 Harvard shots, but could not stop Ryan Maki from opening the Crimson’s account in the first period. However, Brown was able to tie the game with a goal from Cory Caouette.

Rensselaer 2, Union 3

In the first game of a home-and-home series between the traveling partners, Union (13-11-6, 6-6-4) and RPI (11-14-4, 5-7-4) played an exciting second period which featured all of the game’s five goals. Scott Seney put the Dutchmen ahead off a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity, before Rensselaer converted on two extra-man opportunities of its own, with goals from Keith McWilliams and Jake Luthi. However, Union, the host, was able to fight back at the 16:23 mark with a Jonathan Poirier goal before the Chris Potts scored the eventual game-winner just 15 seconds later.

Princeton 4, St. Lawrence 3

Princeton (9-13-1, 6-9-1) added another scalp to its mantle of ECACHL powerhouses with a comeback victory at Hobey Baker Rink. In the third period, the Tigers’ Patrick Neundorfer tied the game up at two with his goal at 4:45 mark. St. Lawrence (15-12-1, 9-7-0), however, took the lead for the third time in the game when T.J. Trevelyan scored his second power-play goal of the evening just 45 seconds after the Tigers tied it up. But, the Tigers clawed their way back into the encounter and on the man-advantage, Brett Wilson scored the game-tying goal, before, with 1:24 left in regular time, Neundorfer notched his second for the win.

Princeton 4, Clarkson 2

The Tigers continued their strong form at home by beating a North County rival for the second consecutive night. Princeton took a three-goal lead into the third period after Grant-Goekner-Zoeller, Brett Wilson and Kevin Westgarth put it ahead. Steve Zalewski would answer back for the Golden Knights at the 6:55 mark, but Darroll Powe put the game out of Clarkson’s reach a little more than four minutes later with a score of his own. Tigers’ goaltender Eric Leroux made 37 saves in the victory.

Dartmouth 2, Brown 2

Dartmouth was able to salvage a point at Meehan Auditorium after David Jones scored the game-tying goal with 55 seconds left in regular time. Brown drew first blood with a Caouette goal in the first, before the Green’s Nick Johnson responded in the second. It looked as if Chris Poli put the Bears up for good at the 8:04 mark in the third period, but Jones’ goal forced Brown to play its 10th overtime game this season. The Green is in third place in the ECACHL, four points behind Cornell and three behind Colgate.

Quinnipiac 3, St. Lawrence 1

The Bobcats had their own four-point weekend after a strong first period. Nelson and Brian Leitch found the back of the net for the hosts in the opening frame before St. Lawrence’s Chase Trull answered back to reduce the Saints’ deficit to one. But, the Saints could not find their way past Quinnipiac netminder Bud Fisher, who made 31 saves and 18 in the third period, as Leitch added his second tally of the night with an empty netter to send St. Lawrence packing.

Union 1, Rensselaer 1

The Engineers were able to take a point from their traveling partners after a largely defensive battle. The game was scoreless until the third period when RPI’s Andrew Lord notched the game’s first goal at the 5:03 mark, but Lane Caffaro tied it up just 2:44 later. Union’s Kris Mayotte made 30 saves, while his counterpart, Mathias Lange stopped 27 shots.

Yale 4, UConn 3

In a non-conference battle on Sunday, Yale held off a late UConn (7-18-1, 6-14-0 Atlantic Hockey) rally to win its eighth game of the season. Matt Nelson put the Bulldogs on the board just 1:43 into the first before Bill LeClerc doubled the hosts’ lead in the second on a power play. Yale took a 4-1 lead with a more than 17 minutes left in the game, but William Crum and Nick Schneider pulled goals back for visitors. However, UConn was unable to notch another tally as the Bulldogs escaped with the victory.

Boston University 5, Harvard 3

Harvard sought its first trip to the Beanpot championship game since 1998 on Monday, but it was not to be, as the No. 6 Terriers (16-8-2, 13-6-1 Hockey East) held off a late Crimson charge. B.U. took the lead with goals from Bryan Ewing and Chris Higgins in the first period before Paul Dufault cut the Terriers’ lead to one later in the frame.

The Terriers’ power play haunted the Crimson late in the second period when Brad Zancanaro and Jason Lawrence scored on the man-advantage to give their team a 4-1 lead.

Harvard, which outshot B.U. 25-5 in the third period, fought its way back and got goals from Alex Meintel and Dave Watters to cut the Terriers’ lead to one. But, David Van der Gulik sealed the Crimson’s fate with an empty netter at the 19:53 mark to book the Terriers’ place in the final, where it will face rival, No. 5 Boston College. B.U. goaltender John Curry made a season-high, 38 saves in the win.

Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Assistant Sports Editor