North Country sliding

Clarkson and St. Lawrence are a combined 3-7-1 in their last 12 games, which include two head-to-head matchups that both went Tech’s way. While SLU boasts the better record (7-8-2, to Clarkson’s 4-8-5), the Saints have dropped four straight and seven of their last 10. Clarkson started the season 0-4-3 and has improved with a 4-4-2 record in its last 10, but a 3-1 loss at home to Mercyhurst is no way to end 2012.

What appeared to be a multi-headed offensive monster in Canton has sputtered out only five goals in its last four games, as SLU stars Greg Carey and Kyle Flanagan have only summed two goals and two assists in that time (Flanagan missed the Vermont game with injury). While the Saints have held opponents to two goals or fewer six times this season, the D has yet to support the flagging O: The team is 0-8-0 when it fails to get three goals.

In Potsdam, the Knights are hoping that rookie netminder Greg Lewis (.908 save rate, 2.67 goals-against average) will continue to improve as the rest of the team struggles to match strong offensive production with solid defensive responsibility. The Green & Gold are actually 2-3-1 when scoring four goals or more, yet already have two wins and four ties when failing to hit that mark.

Not the usual suspect

Quick, which ECAC Hockey player is averaging the most goals-per-game overall? He’s not based out of Appleton.

He doesn’t live in Hamden…

… and he doesn’t practice in New Haven or New Hampshire, either.

The surprising answer is Brown sophomore Matt Lorito. In an admittedly meager dozen games played, Lorito has nine goals, putting him a few hundredths of a goal-per-game better than the likes of Carey, Flanagan, Jeremy Langlois, Antoine Laganiere, or Eric Robinson.

The 5-foot-9 forward out of Oakville, Ont. has seven points (3-4–7) in his last four games, and his peak performance thus far was his natural hat trick against Army in mid-November. Where’s the limit for Lorito? Hard to tell, since he’s already blown away last year’s numbers (4-13–17 in 24 games). Coach Brendan Whittet has always been high on the guy, so we’ll see where this year takes him.

Trending at the break

A few things to keep an eye on as we hit the holiday hiatus:

  • Rensselaer turned it around in a big way, going 3-1-2 on the heels of a five-game losing streak (and seven-game winless skid). That slide culminated in consecutive shutout losses, but RPI found its groove and buried 19 goals in its last six games. The Engineers’ only loss in over a month came at the hands of red-hot Quinnipiac, by a 3-1 score (including an empty-netter).
  • The Colgate Raiders are 5-1-1 in their last seven, and 3-1-0 in their last four league games. They’ve won ’em big and dirty alike, including a 1-0 win (over Harvard) and a 1-1 tie (at Merrimack), but also a pair of 5-4 victories, a 6-4 win, and a 5-2 win. Nice to see scoring and defense align every once in a while, right?
  • Cornell dropped three straight in early November, but rebounded with three wins and a tie to end the first half. The road ahead is taxing, though: The Big Red play six games between now and January 25, their next home date.
  • Yale, Union and Dartmouth have yet to lose consecutive games.
  • Harvard has been shut out twice in its last three games (0-2-1), and has scored two goals or fewer in five of its nine games this year (0-4-1 in those games).
  • Brown, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Quinnipiac, RPI, Union, and Yale all enter the holidays on unbeaten streaks.

Check back in with USCHO on Wednesday morning for our final installment of the ECAC Hockey half-in-review.