Red and Blue white hot
A couple of Ivies are playing with hot biscuits ahead of the holiday, as both Cornell and Yale are riding four-game winning streaks entering Tuesday’s non-conference tilts. Each squad has a reasonable expectation to extend its winning streak to five before Turkey Day, as Cornell hosts Niagara and Yale plays Sacred Heart in Bridgeport, Conn.
The Big Red have scored almost four goals a game in their mini-streak, and have only allowed four goals outright – including consecutive 4-0 shutouts at home over Princeton and Quinnipiac last weekend. Junior defenseman Nick D’Agostino and frosh forward Brian Ferlin share the team lead with five goals in seven games apiece, and there is reason to believe that the Red will get even stingier as sophomore goalie Andy Iles tries to up his save percentage from its current .906 position. (That’ll happen when you allow 12 goals on 78 shots over three games, as Iles did to open the season.)
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs did Cornell one better, stringing together three straight shutouts in beating Colgate at home, and RPI and Union on the road. A 5-3 win over UConn marked the end of the clean-sheet run, but extended the winning streak ahead of Tuesday’s neutral-site match against 0-11-0 Sacred Heart. (A point worth noting, though: SHU head coach C.J. Marottolo used to man the bench with Keith Allain before being offered the gig in Fairfield. It’s not going well just yet, but he’ll be as familiar with Allain’s tendencies as anyone.) Junior netminder Jeff Malcolm’s .950 save rate and 1.56 goals against average are off the charts, which is good since the Yale offense has been as pedestrian as we’ve seen it in recent years: nobody in the blue & white has averaged so much as a point per game so far.
It’s dark and getting darker in Troy right now, and not just because the solstice is approaching. The Engineers are 2-10-0 overall and 1-4-0 in league play following last Tuesday’s 5-1 home loss to rival Union.
It’s not the goalies’ fault: junior Bryce Merriam and freshman Scott Diebold combine for a save percentage nearing .920, well above head coach Seth Appert’s previously stated standard of .910. Their combined goals against average, too, is serviceably close to 2.00.
It’s not the defense’s fault, either, as RPI is holding opponents under 28 shots per game… not extraordinary, but certainly not lethal either.
What’s left? The fact that through a dozen games, Rensselaer’s leading goal-scorers are senior Joel Malchuk, junior Nick Bailen, and freshman Ryan Haggerty, with… two goals apiece. Two goals leads the team. There is simply nothing else to say, as – for once – one statistic just about says it all.
Back in the fight
Left for dead by… well, let’s just say “the media”… only two weeks back, the Saints of St. Lawrence University have risen up and laid the smack down on the doubters with four wins in five games.
The Saints secured two shutouts and allowed eight goals over the five-game stretch, which featured wins over Rensselaer, Princeton, Quinnipiac and Harvard, with the lone defeat suffered last Friday at the hands of the Big Green.
After practically handing goals to the opposition in the opening weeks of the season (25 goals against in the first four games), SLU has slammed the door shut with only 10 goals allowed in its last six outings. Junior Kyle Flanagan is pacing the offense with six goals and 13 points in his nine appearances, but soph goalie Matt Weninger is the player who has made the biggest U-turn with a .943 save percentage in his last six starts.