Well, uh, that happened. Where to even begin?
Yale spotted St. Lawrence a game before winning two games rather handily (they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in game 3 and never trailed). Cornell took Colgate to the brink despite only one overtime and no third game. Quinnipiac annihilated Clarkson in two games despite getting outshot rather significantly.
And Princeton made history. Prior to this series there had been only one game won by an eight seed, and no advances to the second round. And Harvard was lucky to get it to a game three. I’m struck by how badly Harvard has played when it mattered. On the final day of the regular season, with the top seed on the line, in a game where they couldn’t even afford to go to overtime, Harvard let 12th place Union take them deep into the third with the Crimson clinging to a one goal lead.
Now Union was better than their record this season, but when you’re the top team in the conference you should be putting forth a better effort. Then, with the do or die game 3 tied heading into the third with Princeton having just survived a barrage of shots to end the second, Harvard came out, got outshot 10-1 in the first half of the period and gave up the lead and the game.
Granted I think that is as much Princeton feeling not great about how the second ended and bringing it, but come on. You’re the top seed. Do better.
I guess that Union game doesn’t matter after all because we’re all going to Yale anyway. Well, not Harvard. Harvard definitely isn’t going to Yale. But Princeton, Colgate, and Quinnipiac are!
#2 Yale vs. #8 Princeton
I was watching the ECAC rather closely because I knew Princeton had gotten one on Yale, and they kept up in shots compared to their series against Colgate and Quinnipiac where they got peppered. So this might be another favorable matchup for the Tigers.
On the flip side, this is just the second time Yale has made the semifinals, the last coming in 2005. The Bulldogs have never made the ECAC title game and the Tigers have made it only once, 2020 when they won it only to have the NCAA tournament canceled.
Yale – Emma Seitz. The junior defender was the Big Damn hero in the St. Lawrence series. It was Seitz tying game two not once, but twice at 1-1 and 2-2 before Yale pulled away. And it was Seitz notching the first two goals of game 3 putting Yale up 2-0.
Princeton – Shannon Griffin and Sharon Frankel. The two Shas combined for 5 goals and 5 assists in the Harvard series. Princeton has struggled to score at times, but Griffin and Frankel can tilt the ice.
Christ, I don’t know, Yale 4-3.
#3 Colgate vs. #4 Quinnipiac
Both matchups kind of favor the lower seeds. Quinnipiac did to Colgate what they just got done doing to Clarkson – surrendered a lot of shots, but made theirs count more. The Bobcats also had a much better looking first round series, at least on the scoresheet.
Colgate – Kalty Kaltounkova. Kaltounkova came up big in the second game with an assist on Colgate’s first goal to cut the deficit to one and tallying the game winner. The Czech sophomore is big, strong, and mean, exactly the type needed to break through a difficult Quinnipiac defense.
Quinnipiac – Corinne Schroeder. It was Schroeder shutting down Clarkson despite the Knights notching 76 shots across the series. With a game looking to favor Colgate in possession, she’ll need to be sharp.