One Weekend Left and Teams Still
Battling for Post-Season Positioning
With one more weekend left to play, the playoff picture is clearing up
a bit, however no teams have locked up a seed for the tournament. Each team
is down to its final two games of the regular season with a lot to play for this
Cornell and Harvard have wrapped up the top two seeds, yet who
will take home the William J. Cleary Cup as regular-season champion remains
to be seen. The Big Red, who travel to Princeton and Yale this weekend, can
clinch the cup and the top seed in the tournament with a win or tie in either
game, or a loss or tie by Harvard.
The Big Red completed a sweep in its last regular-season series at
Lynah Rink. David LeNeveu recorded his sixth shutout this season in a 5-0
win over Rensselaer on Friday, tying Ken Dryden's school record for shutouts
in a season set during the 1967-68 season. Cornell had a tougher time
Saturday night, coming from behind to edge Union 3-1.
While LeNeveu was in the process of tying his school's shutout
record, Brown's Yann Danis was busy setting a new school record with his
fourth shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over Vermont Friday night. Vermont
was victimized by stellar goaltending the next night as Harvard's Dov Grumet-
Morris, with the Crimson up 3-2 early in the third period, came up with a
huge game-saving penalty shot stop on Scott Mifsud. Harvard added two
empty-net goals at the end of the period to skate away with a 5-2 win.
Harvard defeated Dartmouth, 4-1, on Friday night.
The losses for Vermont mean the Catamounts will need help if they
wish to host a first-round series. Friday night's victory for the Bears helped, but
losing to Dartmouth on Saturday night means that Brown does not control its
own destiny in securing one of the final two first-round byes.
Dartmouth, by virtue of its 3-2 win over the Bears, can clinch a firstround
bye with a sweep this weekend. The Big Green can clinch the #3 seed
with a sweep and two Yale losses. Yale appeared to be on its way to securing
third place after a 3-1 win at Clarkson Friday night, and after taking a 3-2 lead
into the third period against St. Lawrence Saturday night. The Saints rallied for
three third-period goals, however, en route to a 5-3 win at Appleton Arena.
St. Lawrence, 9-4 winners over Princeton on Friday, completed their first
sweep of the season with the come-from-behind victory against Yale. The
Saints need to sweep this weekend and receive help if they hope to catch
Clarkson or Colgate for a first-round series at home.
Clarkson still has a chance of claiming the final first-round bye. The
Knights must win both games this weekend in addition to receiving a lot of
help from other teams. The Knights will clinch home-ice in the first round
with a win.
Colgate, winners over Union and RPI 5-1 and 4-3, respectively, can
clinch home ice in the first round with a three-point weekend at Princeton and
Union, despite being swept on the road, has clinched at least a firstround
series at home. The Dutchmen can still claim the final first-round bye
with a sweep at home against Dartmouth and Vermont and some help.
Rensselaer and Princeton will occupy the final two spots with the
Engineers needing only one point from Dartmouth or Vermont in order to
finish ahead of the Tigers.