With two weeks left in the regular season, there’s still plenty at stake in ECAC Hockey.
First-place Quinnipiac has clinched a first-round bye for the conference playoffs, while second-place Yale is in a good position to join the Bobcats in the top four.
At the bottom of the standings, Princeton, Brown, Colgate, and Union appear set to head on the road for the playoffs.
However, in between those six teams sits a tight race, with third-place Harvard separated from eighth-place Cornell by only five points. Those teams will meet in Cambridge on Friday night.
Another matchup down the road to keep an eye on is Yale at Quinnipiac on Feb. 27, the final night of the regular season. The Bobcats currently hold a five-point lead over the second place Bulldogs, but Yale (more on them below) has won five in a row, the fourth-best unbeaten streak in the country.
Bulldogs finishing strong
A road sweep at Colgate and Cornell is an achievement on its own. But the fact that Yale did it shorthanded makes it even more impressive.
The Bulldogs were without senior defenseman Rob O’Gara, who was suspended for two games by the league. Injuries to other players meant that Yale only dressed 17 skaters for both games this weekend.
The line of John Hayden, Stu Wilson and Joe Snively has emerged as legitimate offensive threat down the stretch for Yale. Couple that with an outstanding defensive group and goalie Alex Lyon, and the Bulldogs will be a dangerous opponent in the playoffs.
Saints on the rebound
A month ago, St. Lawrence was in the midst of a five-game losing streak. It’s turned around since then for the Saints, as the team enters the final four games of the regular season on a 6-1-1 run that has helped St. Lawrence move into fourth place. The team’s six-game unbeaten streak is the third-best active stretch in the country.
The Saints have averaged over three goals per game during that stretch, while holding its opponents to under two goals per game. Like Yale, St. Lawrence’s is strong on defense and has an outstanding goalie in sophomore Kyle Hayton. If the Saints keep it up, they’ll be a good bet to make it to Lake Placid for the second season in a row.