For those that don’t know, the ECAC quarterfinals consist of a best of three series played over one weekend (Fri-Sat-Sun) at the arena of the better seed. The Semifinals and Finals are held at the home of the top seed, which is once again Clarkson.
The matchups are as follows:
- #1 Clarkson vs. #8 Yale
- #2 Colgate vs. #7 Harvard
- #3 Cornell vs. #6 Princeton
- #4 St. Lawrence vs #5 Quinnipiac.
Clarkson vs. Yale
As one might expect, Clarkson pretty well dominated Yale during their season series, sweeping the Bulldogs and only allowing one goal. The big guns dominated for Clarkson, with Loren Gabel hitting 2-3-5, Michaela Pejzlova hitting 1-2-3, and Elizabeth Giguere hitting 2-2-4 in goals, assists, and points. Grace Skarzynski had the lone goal for Yale, unassisted. All goals in the series were scored at even strength.
What to expect:
Yale can do a decent job of slowing teams down, as evidenced by the final score and shots total in the second game. That’s probably going to be their MO, and to take advantage of power play opportunities. Clarkson has difficulty staying out of the box sometimes, and it disrupts the flow of their game.
Gabel, Pejzlova, and Giguere notched all the points, but Cassidy Vinkle put eight shots on Yale netminders this season. Look for veterans Vinkle, Amanda Titus, Rhyen McGill, and Kelly Mariani to make their presence felt.
Clarkson in 2
Colgate vs. Harvard
Colgate did the opposite of Clarkson, playing the close game first before blowing Harvard out. They were lucky to win that game too as four third-period penalties led to a 15-4 shots advantage in the period. In the second game the Raiders made no mistakes, winning shots 15-7, 19-6, and 14-9 across the three periods. Jessie Eldridge and Shelby Perry led the Raiders with three points each.
What to Expect:
Colgate’s scoring runs deep and they rely on contributions from across their lineup. Ten skaters had 20 or more points on the season with Eldridge and Perry leading the way. They’ll relentlessly attack Harvard and look to wear the Crimson down.
Colgate defender Olivia Zafuto popped in 10 goals on the season. Her and Lauren Wildfang make up the Raiders’ talented top pairing.
Colgate in 2
Cornell vs. Princeton
The Tigers are probably the team everyone wanted to avoid, inconsistent, but capable of a high ceiling. They beat Clarkson in the back end of their series and blew out Cornell as well. Eleven skaters notched points in the second game for Princeton.
What to Expect:
Princeton is a team that wants to race end to end and pile up shots. Cornell is a team that wants to slow the game down and grind out wins. The Big Red were able to more effectively apply their strategy in both games, though it did little to help them in the second.
Princeton’s defense. The Tigers have spent times this season icing just four defenders. It didn’t slow them down against Clarkson towards the end of the season, but in a three-game series, it could be the decider.
Cornell in 3
St. Lawrence vs. Quinnipiac
Speaking of grinds, these are two teams that want to slow things to a crawl and make you earn every inch. SLU split their points evenly between Justine Reyes, Nadine Edney, Hannah Miller, and Kennedy Marchment. Melissa Samoskevish had two goals for the Bobcats.
What to Expect:
Pressing, lots and lots of pressing. Part of the reason both teams suppress shots so well is that they’re constantly on the puck when it’s on their opponent’s stick. It can lead to bad passes and the puck pinging around the neutral zone.
Sarah-Ève Coutu-Godbout. Melissa Samoskevich led the team in points, but the four-named sophomore forward was constantly on the lips of the announcers in the games I watched.
St. Lawrence in 3