Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Power Rankings

By: Anton Khodakov

We here at WHRB hope all of our listeners enjoyed their Thanksgiving breaks. So far, we have too, with the Crimson taking down the University of New Hampshire by a 6-3 tally on Tuesday night. Ahead of the Crimson’s matchup with their more familiar New Hampshire rivals, Dartmouth, we present our Thanksgiving ECAC Power Rankings.

1. #5 Quinnipiac (6-1-1, 12-2-1)
Freshman Sam Anas, third in the nation in points, is grabbing all the headlines. But the real credit goes to head coach Rand Pecknold, who has the Bobcats leading the nation in goals against despite starting as many as four rookies on the blue lines. 

2.  #15 Union (5-1-0, 6-3-2)
The Dutchmen overwhelmed Harvard a few weeks back at the Bright-Landry, and lately they’ve been overwhelming everyone. Union has already taken six of six conference points from RPI and Cornell. WHRB favorite Shayne Gostisbehere leads all defensemen in conference scoring. 

3. #9 Yale (3-1-2, 5-2-2)
The defending champs are riding a top-ten offense led by seniors Jesse Root and Kenny Agostino. The biggest concern is the penalty kill. Sixth-worst in the nation at 73.5%, it has made life more difficult than it arguably should be for freshman goaltending tandem Alex Lyon and Patrick Spano. 

4. #19 RPI (2-3-2, 7-5-2)
The Engineers have slowly been falling in the national rankings due to some surprising losses, including one to the Crimson. Never mind all that. This team is still loaded. Even if there is truth in the whispers that Jason Kasdorf’s shoulder injury is season-ending, Scott Diebold has looked great in net behind a team that just needs to find its defensive game. 

5.  #10 Clarkson (4-2-0, 10-3-1)
On one hand, the Golden Knights already have double-digit wins and are only allowing 2.05 goals per game. On the other hand, only one of those wins came over an impressive opponent in Cornell and their underlying numbers aren’t that great. Perhaps the hardest team to judge in the conference. 

6.  #14 Cornell (5-3-0, 7-7-1)
I am only ranking the Big Red below Clarkson by virtue of the Big Red’s loss in their one head-to-head meeting. And like the Golden Knights, the men from Ithaca only have one good win so far over the Yale Bulldogs. The return of Cole Bardreau may be just what they need to definitively move into the top tier of ECAC teams.   

7. Colgate (4-3-1, 7-3-1)
Between the Spink twins, Kyle Baun, Darcy Murphy, and Mike Borkowski, the Raiders might have the most impressive class of sophomore forwards in the country. The quintet are the top five point-getters for Colgate, and even if they don’t push towards the top of the conference this year, they’re already meeting expectations. 

8. St. Lawrence (2-2-2, 7-5-2)
Greg Carey leads a deep and talented offensive squad. The senior is currently second in scoring to Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau and making another run at the Hobey Baker. The question is whether the Saints can stop anyone. Their 3.6 goals against per game is good for 51st out of 59 D-1 teams. 

9.  Harvard (2-4-1, 4-5-1)
A single powerplay goal in each of the last six games is a great sign. So is the triumphant return of pro prospect Patrick McNally. The team is improving on the fly, and thank goodness, because Raphael Girard isn’t going to keep up his .947 save percentage. Nor will the team continue to kill penalties at a clip of 90%. 

10. Brown (1-4-1, 3-5-1)
As predicted, the Bears are struggling to score. After the top line of Lappin-Lorito-Naclerio, there just is not a lot of talent there. To make matters worse, inconsistent goaltending has Brown allowing almost three goals a game in conference play. Someone fetch Anthony Borelli back from Italy. 

11. Princeton (1-4-1, 3-5-1)
A shock win over Quinnipiac has been the lone bright spot so far. Princeon is in the bottom two in the ECAC and bottom ten in the country in goals scored and in goals allowed. The loss of Andrew Calof might make this campaign unbearable for Tigers fans. 

12. Dartmouth (0-6-0, 0-8-0)
The Big Green are allowing 4.8 goals allowed per game and over 5 in conference games. They are killing penalties at a rate of 68.6%. James Kruger has a save percentage of .850 from one start—and that’s the best of Dartmouth’s three goaltenders. What in the world is going on in Hanover?