I was so wrapped up with all league teams and such this week that I completely forgot to do playoff previews. As such, all you’re going to get is some quick thoughts and a prediction. Sad, I know. We start out east where the 10, 11 and 12 seeds all advanced to the quarterfinal round.
(12) Colgate at (1) Union
Not too much to say here. Colgate was 10th in offense, last in defense, had the worst power play, and the 10th best penalty kill. Meanwhile, Union had the 2nd best offense, best defense and best power play (but were only 6th in penalty kill so hey that’s something). I see no way that Colgate pulls off the upset here. Of course, I said the same things about Brown last year. Still, Union sweeps.
(8) Quinnipiac at (4) Cornell
Andy Iles faces his first taste of a playoff atmosphere, which has tripped up many goalies before. Still, he couldn’t have picked a better team to go against. Quinnipiac was last in scoring this year, putting in 2.23 goals per game. They also scored only 14 third period goals all year in ECAC play. The Big Red meanwhile got better as the game went along, scoring 15 in the 1st, 16 in the 2nd and 22 in the 3rd. Although I had them in my NCAA tournament preseason projection, Cornell ended up overachieving a bit this year in finishing 4th after losing a ton of talent of last year’s team. Because Cornell is fairly young at some key positions I think this could be close, but I’ll take Cornell in 3.
next two after the jump
(10) Harvard at (3) Dartmouth
I have only seen Dartmouth play once this year, but I was pretty blown away at how good they are. Scott Fleming is their leading scorer with 27 points, and they had only two players in the top 15 in the conference in scoring, but the Big Green can really play. They had the second best penalty kill in conference play, and were third in both scoring offense and defense, despite not having a guy who can carry the team on either end of the ice. They are just a solid solid group. Harvard meanwhile has Danny Biega, who made my all ECAC first team, and look out for Alex Killorn as well. Harvard’s best shot is if Dartmouth takes a lot of penalties, given that the Crimson’s power play is second best in the league, but Dartmouth only gets in the box for 11.6 minutes per game, 3rd least in the conference. I think there is a slight upset chance, but Dartmouth has just too much talent, and I like them to sweep.
(11) St. Lawrence at (2) Yale
The Saints may have been 11th in the league, but they have some good young talent. Greg Carey was my Freshman of the year, and St. Lawrence actually had the best penalty kill in the conference, despite having the 5th most penalty minutes. Sadly for them, they were 10th in defense and have to go up against the machine that is the Yale offense. Led by the trio of Andrew Miller (27 pts), Brian O’Neill (25) and Chris Cahill (23), the Bulldogs scored 3.82 goals per game in conference play, best in ECAC Hockey. Yale was upset by Brown last year in the quarters, and I don’t see them suffering the same fate this year. Yale sweeps.