For the second weekend in a row, there were no sweeps in the ECAC West. The teams entering the weekend in the last two positions of the standings took three points from the higher seed team that they played.
Despite being outshot, 39-21, on Friday, Neumann put a whipping on Utica, 5-0. The Pioneers went 0-for-11 on the power play, including two five-on-three advantages in the third period, but couldn’t convert
Saturday’s game went better for the Pioneers, who led by a goal two separate times in the first period. Again Utica held a strong shot advantage, 41-25, but this time managed to eke out a 3-3 tie.
In the other league action, Hobart and Elmira played a home-and-home series that included raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.
On Friday, Elmira completely dominated the scoreboard during the first half of the contest, as the Soaring Eagles converted on almost every opportunity presented. After Elmira built a 6-0 lead, the referees called a series of penalties on Elmira and it was Hobart’s turn to be opportunistic. The Statesmen converted on three power plays to make the game respectable, but still lost 6-4.
Saturday was a much different affair, as the teams traded leads through the first two periods. Hobart jumped out a three goal lead with six minutes left in the game and then held on to win, 5-4, and earn the weekend split.
In the final nonconference game of the season for the league, Manhattanville found itself down 2-1 to Morrisville after the first period. Then the puck started going in during the second period, and the Valiants romp was on.
Manhattanville scored three times in the first five minutes of the second stanza and then carried the momentum to a 9-3 victory.
The ECAC West finished the season with a very strong 44-14-4 inter-conference record and a winning record against every other conference. The only other conference with a winning record against all other leagues was the ever-strong NCHA. The majority of the wins and losses for the ECAC West came against the SUNYAC. where the league enjoyed a 27-10 advantage.
I’ll have a playoff outlook in my column this week as we enter the final week of the regular season. We’ll also look at the tiebreaker situations that are an integral part of the equation.