ECAC Hockey: The League Of Offense?


When you read a headline involving ECAC Hockey, you likely think the story is going to be about the other end of the ice. After all, three teams were in the top ten defensively last year. In addition, Ben Scrivens and Zane Kalemba were 2nd and 3rd nationally in GAA, respectively. They also had the 3rd and (tied for) 4th best save percentages in the country.

What a difference a year makes. This year the top three scoring teams in America all hail from ECAC Hockey. Cornell is scoring 4 goals a game, although they have only played nine contests so far, so perhaps their numbers shouldn’t be considered “for real” as of yet. Yale has played 10 games and scored 41, so perhaps there could be some doubting of them as well. But Quinnipiac (13 games, 56 goals scored) have been lighting it up.

Last year Yale was the conference’s top scoring team with 3.32 goals per game. But outside of them at St. Lawrence, no ECAC team was in the top 25 in scoring. The league also had 2 of the 6 lowest scoring teams in the country, and 3 of the 8th lowest. Harvard (50th, 2.19 per game) RPI (53rd, 1.95 per game) and Brown (55th, 1.82 per game) brought up the rear.

Individually the league has gotten a lot better. Although Quinnipiac’s Brian Leitch led the country in scoring last year (1.51 ppg) that included just 12 goals. Shockingly, another Bobcat, David Marshall, was 10th nationally in scoring. No wonder Quinnipiac was picked so low in the ECAC preseason polls. Although, given their output this year, maybe there’s something in the water in Connecticut.

Within the conference last year, ECAC Hockey had 9 point per game scorers. Atlantic Hockey had 14, the CCHA had 8, Hockey East had 7, and the WCHA had 12, so perhaps the reputation of ECAC Hockey as an all defense, no offense league is a bit harsh. Last year ECAC Hockey had 8 ppg scorers overall, whereas this year they have a whopping 25 (although, to be fair, it’s a lot easier to have ppg scorers earlier in the season).

Last year it was easy to point to the likes of Leitch, Marshall, and the league’s best player, David McIntyre. McIntyre has just 4 goals so far this year, but plenty other ECAC mates are picking up the slack. RPI’s  Chase Polacek has 10 goals already, and Harvard’s Louis LeBlanc is the 4th leading Freshman scorer. ECAC Hockey hasn’t gotten great goaltending this year from the likes of Scrivens and Kalemba, but they are getting tons of goals.

Perhaps it will work out better that way in March.