The big news this week was an online report questioning the eligibility of Yale's Chris Cahill, because of a French league he played in last season while he was away due to academic issues.
An anonymous letter was reportedly sent to every ECAC Hockey coach bringing up the concerns that Cahill, while not paid himself, might have played in a league against paid players, which would make him ineligible. However both local coaches, Clarkson's George Roll and SLU's Joe Marsh, said they did not receive the letter.
It has turned out that Yale did get clearance for Cahill to compete in the French league last year prior to his taking part, so there was nothing behind the internet rumors, which suggested the top-ranked Bulldogs might have to forfeit all but one of their wins this season.
A Look at the Conference
Some teams are already past the halfway point in the conference schedule and others are three games away.
The standings can be deceptive at this point, because of the margin of games played. Quinnipiac, for example, is fourth if you go by points (12), but ranks eighth in win percentage (.462).
If you went strictly by win percentage here's how the playoffs would shape up (tie-breaker scenario's not included):
BYES: Yale (1.000), Union (.688), Dartmouth (.650) and Princeton (.625).
HOME FOR FIRST ROUND: Clarkson (.611), Cornell (.500), Rensselaer (.500) and Quinnipiac (.462).
ROAD FOR FIRST ROUND: Brown (.438), St. Lawrence (.333), Harvard (.182) and Colgate (.062).
Clarkson has played every league member except for Yale and Brown, whom the Golden Knights travel to face next weekend. The Golden Knights have wins over Princeton, Quinnipiac, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence and Harvard. Clarkson has lost to Dartmouth, Union and Cornell and has tied Colgate (the only point the Raiders have so far this season).
As far as the national picture, the conference has the same three ranked teams as last week. Yale is No. 1, RPI is No. 10 and Union is No. 14. Those are also the only three teams which would be in a position to make the NCAA Tournament, based on the PairWise Rankings. Yale is No. 1, RPI is No. 11 and Union is No. 13.
Odds and Ends
RPI is going to honor the 50th anniversary of their 1960-61 Frozen Four team the weekend of Jan. 28-29. At least 16 of the 24 players on the team are expected to return for the celebration. The squad was coached by Ned Harkness. There will be a ceremony on the ice during the first-period intermission for the game against Yale on Jan. 29, which also will be RPI's annual Big Red Freakout. ... Cornell has the second best penalty kill in the nation at 88.7 percent. ... Dartmouth goalie James Mello has the second-best save percentage in the nation (.940). ... Princeton goalie Sean Bonar, a freshman, leads the nation with a 1.28 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage. ... Adam Presizniuk became Union's all-time NCAA Division I leading scorer when he picked up an assist on Kelly Zajac's game-winning goal against SLU last Friday. He has 116 points, with 41 goals and 75 assists. ... Yale has the nation's longest active win streak (nine games). The Bulldogs also lead the nation in scoring, averaging 5.0 goals (75 in 15 games).
And, finally, a bonus for Clarkson fans. Someone posted the entire overtime from last Friday's 3-2 win over RPI on You Tube:
NOTE: Since there are no games this weekend this blog will next be updated on Tuesday with another edition of Pro Hockey Notes.