Breaking Down the ECAC Tournament: Quarterfinals

ecac bracket

The ECAC tournament will feature a best of three quarterfinals round played at the home of the better seed.  From then on it’s single elimination at the regular season champion’s arena.  The highest advancing seed plays the lowest in the second round so the bracket above isn’t absolute.

Rensselaer at Quinnipiac

qu rpi

Overview:

If there’s one lower seed that can give the Bobcats fits I think it’s the Engineers.  If you can’t match Quinnipiac on possession, and RPI can’t, then your best hope is to have great goaltending.  The Engineers have superb goaltending in freshman Lovisa Selander who I think should be in the conversation for league MVP.

Keys to Success:

Quinnipiac:

Play their game, cut down on RPI’s scoring chances and dominate possession.  RPI only scored 21 goals in their 14 games against ECAC playoff teams.

RPI:

Make it a series where Quinnipiac is outshooting them 25-14 in games and not 40-14.  Stay out of the box.  The Engineers’ one advantage over every other team in this tournament is they drew significantly more penalties (53) than they committed (38) against the seven other teams.

The X-Factor:

Lovisa Selander.  The RPI netminder can steal a game or two.

Prediction:

Quinnipiac in a sweep.  RPI doesn’t score.

Cornell at Clarkson

cu cor

Overview:

There’s good and bad in this matchup for the Knights.  The good is that, at 3-9-2 against playoff teams, Cornell is arguably the worst team in the tournament.  The bad is that the Knights are 0-3 all time versus the Big Red in postseason play.

Keys to Success:

Clarkson:

Don’t get into penalty trouble.  The last time these teams met, the Knights gave Cornell eight power plays.  The Big Red couldn’t convert, but that’s a lot of time spent mostly in your own end.

Cornell:

Play big in net.  At 6-0, Paula Voorheis is the ECAC’s largest netminder, but her play is questionable at times.

The X-Factor:

Cassandra Poudrier.  The Cornell defender saw her points decline this season, but she is their most important player.  She had a back-breaking assist on an end-to-end rush last time these two teams met in the playoffs that all but ended the game.

Prediction:

Clarkson looks iffy for a brief moment, but sweeps the Big Red.

St. Lawrence at Princeton

pri slu

Overview:

This is the most intriguing matchup of the playoffs, with the two splitting the season series.  Both games were relatively even and decided by a goal apiece.  My gut tells me Princeton is just the better team, but SLU can play with them.

Keys to Success:

Princeton:

Play like they ended the season, on a 16-2-1 run and the consensus third best team in the conference.  Dominate shots as they are capable of doing and rely on superior goaltending to squeeze out the Saints.

St. Lawrence:

Find an answer in net or suppress shots enough that it doesn’t matter.

The X-Factor:

The SLU goalie.  They never really found an answer in net as three goaltenders saw time in ten or more games.  Grace Harrison started to elevate herself slightly over fellow freshman Sonjia Shelly so she’ll likely get the nod.

Prediction:

Princeton sweeps St. Lawrence surprisingly easily.

Harvard at Colgate

col har

Overview:

The Raiders have a similar problem to St. Lawrence in that they can’t decide on a  goaltender.  Where they differ is that both Ashlynne Rando and Julia Vandyk played pretty well.  Rando will probably get the nod in this series.

Keys to Success:

Colgate:

Beat Emerance Maschmeyer.  If it were the Colgate skaters versus the Harvard skaters, I’d be taking the Raiders without a second thought.  But Colgate needs to find a way to neutralize Maschmeyer, whether it’s Rando playing just as well, or potting an early goal or two.

Harvard:

Don’t make Maschmeyer win the series on her own.

The X-Factor:

Emerance Maschmeyer.  She’ll probably be the X-factor in every Harvard game.

Prediction:

Harvard wins a close 2-1 series.

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About Alex

I am awesome.
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