February 28, 2007

The ECACHL Jukebox

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Though the award show season has passed, hockey fans are just getting ready for their main event as the first round of the men’s ECACHL playoffs begin this Friday.

With everyone dying to know what the winners will be wearing after the finals on March 17, I decided to mirror the Grammys’ selection process and headed to the jukebox at my local watering hole to find the perfect song that sums up each team’s postseason chances.

I’d like to thank the academy of the Royal Palms and its generous $2.50 PBR special for helping me make these difficult selections. All stats are conference only ,and all teams appear in order of tournament seeding.

No. 12 Union (14-17-3, 7-14-1 ECACHL)
“Should I Stay or I Should I Go” The Clash

What’s the difference? Union has never won a regular season title or a conference tournament. Why “Rock the Casbah” now?

No. 11 Brown (10-13-6, 6-12-4)
“The Way” Fastball

Fastball had one good song on their 1998 album “All the Pain Money Can Buy,” and the Bears have one good player on this year’s squad in junior forward Jeff Prough (13 goals, 14 assists). No one remembers Fastball’s follow up album “The Harsh Light of Day” and no one will remember Brown’s season after this weekend.

No. 10 Yale (11-15-3, 8-13-1)
“Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude” Jimmy Buffet

The Bulldogs went 6-3-1 against Ivy opponents to tie for first place in the Ancient Eight, but notched just two wins against the rest of the ECACHL. Fortunately for Yale, its first-round opponent is Harvard — a team it swept by a combined seven goals in two wins this year

No. 9 Rensselaer (10-16-8, 6-11-5)
“Summer Girls” LFO

Just because it’s on the jukebox doesn’t mean you should play it. The only things worse than LFO’s rhymes are the writers on Fox News’ The 1/2 Hour News Hour and the Engineers’ defense, which has allowed a league-high 3.82 goals per game.

No. 8 Colgate (13-9-4, 7-12-3)
“Build Me Up Buttercup” The Foundations

The preseason No. 1, the Raider’s offense has disappointed time and again, averaging a league-worst 2.41 goals per game in 22 conference contests. Colgate will need the ECACHL’s second-best goalie Mark Dekanich and his .922 save percentage right from the start to make it to Albany and avoid the letdown of a season that had such huge build up.

No. 7 Harvard (12-15-2, 10-10-2)
“We Are the Champions” Queen

As the reigning 2006 ECACHL tournament champions, Harvard will have its work cut out for it if the Crimson hopes to make its sixth straight trip to the NCAA tournament. Harvard’s never won back-to-back ECACHL tournaments and with the team’s mediocre scoring and special teams play, “Another One Bites the Dust” may be a more appropriate Queen song for the squad.

No. 6 Princeton (13-13-3, 10-10-2)
“Don’t Fear the Reaper” Blue Oyster Cult

No one wants to play this song at the bar, but someone has to. With convincing wins over Dartmouth, Clarkson and St. Lawrence to close the regular season, Princeton could make some noise in the playoffs. All the Tigers need is more cowbell.

No. 5 Quinnipiac (16-13-5, 10-8-4)
“Tequila Makes Her Clothes Come Off” Joe Nichols

With a league best 74 goals on the season, the Bobcats are more consistently offensive than Sun Associate Editor Carlos Maycotte’s attempts to pick up women. Still, Quinnipiac looked hung over in February, going 2-4-0 down the stretch to finish out of a first round bye. I’m not sure what the Bobcats drink on the bench, but whatever it is I think it makes their pads come off in the third period as Quinnipiac has allowed a league-high 32 third-period goals.

No. 4 Cornell (14-11-4, 10-8-4)
“With a Little Help From My Friends” The Beatles

Despite losing its final two games, Cornell got a first-round bye with a little help from its friends at Quinnipiac. The Red’s defense is as solid as George Harrison on lead guitar, and its goalies, freshman Ben Scrivens (.918 save percentage) and sophomore Troy Davenport (.667 winning percentage), are sort of like John Lennon and Paul McCartney — it’s hard to go wrong either way. However, Cornell’s special teams may prove to be its Yoko Ono as both the Red’s power play and penalty kill have tanked faster than a leaky “Yellow Submarine” this season.

No. 3 Dartmouth (16-10-3, 12-7-3)
“Magic Carpet Ride” Steppenwolf

No one finished the season hotter than Dartmouth, as the Green went 7-1-0 in the month of February. However, six of those seven wins came against teams in the bottom half of the ECACHL. Interestingly, “Magic Carpet Ride” peaked at No. 3 on the charts, and Dartmouth has failed to beat either Clarkson or St. Lawrence this year.

No. 2 Clarkson (21-8-5, 13-5-4)
“Don’t Stop Believin’” Journey

They’re just a small town team, but Clarkson has big time talent, leading the league in scoring (3.36 goals per game), defense (2.41 goals allowed per game) and combined special teams (56.7 percent). Everybody wants a thrill and with arguably the league’s best goalie in David Leggio (.927 save percentage) and four forwards with 20 points or more, the Knights provide more than enough. Some will win, some will lose, but as the only team to beat St. Lawrence twice this season, Clarkson should go on and on and on and on.

No. 1 St. Lawrence (20-12-2, 16-5-1)
“Under Pressure” David Bowie

“Under Pressure” is a great song, but is it the best David Bowie ballad? It’s hard to say. Likewise, the Saints are a solid all-around team, with a go-to scorer in Kyle Rank (13 goals) and a lockdown freshman keeper in Alex Petizian (.913 save percentage). But are they the best team in the tournament? With 18 underclassmen making up more than half its roster, this very young St. Lawrence team will have to prove its No. 1 seed is no “Space Oddity.”

Paul Testa is a Sun Assistant Sports Editor. Cleveland Rocks will appear every other Tuesday this semester.