Thursday, February 3, 2011

Men's Hockey: If the ECAC Playoffs Started Today 1

I've put off doing this (mostly because I was hoping each team would actually get to an even number of games played) but now that it's February, it's time to look at the ECAC playoffs. I was going to try to balance out the numbers but the only place it makes a substantial difference is Quinnipiac/Clarkson. Clarkson trails Quinnipiac by 2 points with a 2 games in hand advantage but my tiebreaker of choice, points %, is the same for both teams (.500) so I decided to just stick with the standings.

First Round Byes:
Standing: Team (overall, league, points %)
1. Yale (17-4, 11-3, .786)
2. Union (18-7-3, 10-3-1, .750)
3. Princeton (14-6-1, 9-4-1, .689)
4. RPI (17-6-3, 9-5, .643)

First Round Matchups
5. Dartmouth (12-6-3, 8-4-2, .643) vs. 12. Colgate (3-21-2, 0-12-2, .071)
Dartmouth currently leads the season series between the two teams 1-0, a 7-3 home win for the Big Green. The first playoff meeting between the two teams was in the ECAC first round in 1992-93, a 4-3 (2OT) win for Colgate. Three playoff games have gone to multiple OTs, with the longest being a 4OT game won 4-3 by Colgate in 2002-03. Dartmouth holds a 5-2 record over the Raiders in the postseason. Overall, the two teams are tied at 40-40-5 in a series dating back to 1928-29.

6. Cornell (9-9-3, 7-5-2, .571) vs. 11. Harvard (4-16, 3-12, .214)
Cornell currently leads the season series between the two teams 1-0, a 2-1 road win for the Big Red. This would be a rematch of last year's quarterfinals in Ithaca, swept by Cornell with scores of 5-1 and 3-0 in favor of Cornell. The first meeting between the two teams in the playoffs was in the 1969 ECAC Championship game, a 4-2 win for Cornell. Harvard has traveled to Ithaca for a playoff series four times (1990, 1997, 2000 and 2010) and been eliminated in two games all four times. Harvard and Cornell have never met in the opening round under the current format of the ECAC tournament. Cornell holds the playoff series record at 13-7-1 and the overall series record at 69-58-7, with the series dating back to 1910.

7. Quinnipiac (13-10-4, 6-6-3, .500) vs. 10. St. Lawrence (7-13-5, 3-9-1, .269)
St. Lawrence won the regular season series 1-0-1, beating Quinnipiac 6-4 on the road and earning a 2-2 split on home ice. The Bobcats have a young ECAC history and yet they would be facing a somewhat familiar opponent as the two teams have met twice in the Bobcats' five ECAC postseasons. The first meeting was in 2007 when Quinnipiac beat St. Lawrence 4-0 in the ECAC semifinals. The other meeting came in 2009 at St. Lawrence in the quarterfinals and resulted in a Saints sweep by identical 5-3 scorelines. This would be the first time Quinnipiac hosted St. Lawrence. St. Lawrence holds the postseason series record at 2-1 and the overall series record at 7-5-3 in a series dating back to 2000.

8. Clarkson (12-11-2, 6-6-1, .500) vs. 9. Brown (7-10-4, 5-8-1, .393)
Clarkson leads the regular season series 1-0 thanks to a 3-1 win at Brown. Of all the potential matchups, this one has the most lopsided history. The playoff series started in 1963, a 3-1 for Clarkson at home in the ECAC Quarterfinals. Brown's lone win came in Potsdam in the 1973 Quarterfinals, a 6-2 win for Bruno. Every other game in the playoff history has been a Clarkson win. Brown has never hosted Clarkson in the playoffs, with all the meetings coming either in Potsdam or at a neutral site. Clarkson holds a 10-1 record over Brown in the postseason, including a meeting in the 1993 championship game as well as 56-15-6 overall series record that dates back to 1951-52.

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