The 2018-19 ECAC season is fast approaching. Here’s a brief look at each school in the conference and their predicted order of finish.
12th RPI (6-27-4 11th) The Engineers are a young squad with 7 sophomores and 16 incoming freshman. Juniors Todd Burgess and Jacob Hayhurst will have to add more to their point total. RPI is just struggling. There’s a sense of lack of commitment from school leaders, a young coach, an aging facility, and the on ice product suffers. I feel for the Engineers fans, they are hardcore and pack Houston Fieldhouse for every game. They deserve better.
11th Brown (8-19-4 10th) The Bears have a solid core of players like Alec Mehr, Brent Beaudoin, and Zach Guittari to compliment Tommy Marchin, Max Gottlieb, and Alex Brink. Gavin Nieto and Luke Kania will battle it out to be the top dog in net, look for Kania to keep the bulk of work.
10th Yale (15-15-1 8th) The rebuild in New Haven will continue. Unfortunately the Bulldogs will slide down the depth chart before they climb up from their 8th place finish last year. Other than Joe Snively, Yale lacks what’s needed to stay atop the ECAC.
9th St. Lawrence (8-27-2 9th) SLU could easily be in 12h or 11th but last year’s young squad has experience. They did lose a good amount of their offense to graduation, but forward Carson Gicewicz remains. Graduate senior Jacob Pritchard just left to rejoin former head coach Greg Carvel at UMass-Amherst, so that won’t help the offense. Hopefully incoming Freshman David Jankowski can keep half his pace from juniors where he had 90 points in 60 games. A big factor in the Saints success will be the play of senior goalie Arthur Brey. He shouldered the load last year.
8th Dartmouth (16-17-2 5th) The Big Green had a tremendous season last year. They return a good amount of their firepower. Forwards Shane Sellar, Will Graber, Alex Jasiek, & Matt Baker are just a few to watch out for. The problem area for Dartmouth will be at the back end. Graduation took goalie Devin Buffalo who played a majority of games the last few years. So it’s up to Adrian Clark, who started 10 games last year, or Dean Shatzer, who only played 2, to keep the Green in the game.
7th Quinnipiac (16-18-4 9th) QU have 12 incoming freshmen in Hamden, CT. to sprinkle into a well balanced roster. Plenty of experience on the backend. Brandon Fortunato, Chase Priskie, and Luke Shiplo have a ton of experience. The forwards are a young bunch led by Odeen Tufto and his 41 points as a freshman. Alex Whalen and Nick Jermain are poised to take the next step in their development. The goalie tandem of Keith Petruzzelli and Andrew Shortridge will look to backstop the Bobcats back into contention.
6th Harvard (15-14-4 4th) The Crimson lost a lot of talent to graduation, the NHL, and Boston College. The Bruins beckoned for Hobey Baker Award Finalist Ryan Donato, who would have been a senior, this past spring, while prized recruit Oliver Wahlstrom decommited for BC. Harvard also lost the services of assistant coach Paul Pearl who left for the same gig at Boston University. Despite all that things still look pretty good in Allston. Ted Donato still has forwards Louis Zerter-Gossage, Michael Floodstrand, and Nathan Krusko to name a few. Scoring should come in bunches. The defense is well stocked also, with the likes of Adam Fox, John Marino, Viktor Dombrovsky, and Jacob Olson. And we haven’t even mentioned the incoming freshman like Jack Drury and Ryan Doolin. The area of concern is netminding. Can Michael Lackey or Cam Gornet step up and keep the Crimson in the hunt for silverware?
5th Princeton (19-3-4 7th) Things in New Jersey are on the up and up. The Tigers felt the graduation sting too, but still return a plethora of talent that produces. Forwards Max Veronneau, who led the ECAC in points returns, as well as Jackson Cressey and Alex Riche. Maning the points will be Josh Teves, and Derek Topatigh, who both had a great season last year. On defense the Tigers might struggle, but they will certainly be helped by the presence of sophomore goalie Ryan Ferland. Ferland started 35 games last year and had a solid year as a freshman. It should only be better this year.
4th Colgate (17-17-6 5th) Last year’s young Raider team finished 5th in the ECAC, this year they should be so much better. That squad returns Bobby McMann, John Snodgrass, and Jared Cockrell. On defense Colgate is equally tough with the likes of Nick Austin, Paul Meyer, and Trevor Cosgrove. Junior Colton Point returns to back stop the Raiders. Point had a great season, where he was top 3 in GAA, Saves, and Save %.
3rd Clarkson (23-11-6 3rd) Last season’s surprise team the Knights lost strong leadership and point production. Luckily for them they still have plenty returning too. Forwards Devin Brosseau, Nico Sturm, Josh Dickinson, and Jack Jacome will still put up big numbers. In goal, the Knights still have junior Jake Kielly who backstopped Clarkson to the 2nd lowest Goals Against per Game in the nation last year. How much of the loss of defensive talent from last year will be the key to whether or not that number stays low. Can Aaron Thow and Jere Astren pull a young corps together?
2nd Cornell (25-6-2 1st) The Big Red were the top dogs in the conference last year. They didn’t lose a lot in terms of numbers, but in quality and production. Graduation took Alex Rauter and Trevor Yates. That being said Cornell still has Mitch Vanderlaan, Anthony Angello, Jeff Malott, and Morgan Barron. All were great last year and should only get better. Defensively the Big Red are still stacked. Last season’s they led the nation with a 1.57% in goals against. Matt Nuttle, Alec McCrea, and Alex Green return on the blue line. backstopping it all is returning sophomore Matt Galajda and his 1.51 GAA and .939 SV%. Cornell has a lot of big boys coming into the team this year as well, the smallest is 5’11”.
1st Union (21-15-2 2nd) With everything being written about Clarkson and Cornell you can’t sleep on Rick Bennett’s Union Dutchmen. They finished 2nd in the ECAC last year, this year they will be standing in first. Like Cornell, the Dutchmen lost some production but still have a ton of talent to build on last year. Anthony Rinaldi, Brett Supinski, Cole Maier, and Sebastian Vidmar remain. Expect more from Parker Foo and Jack Adams this season. The D still have plenty left, in the likes of Vas Kolias, Ben Newhouse and Greg Campbell. The goaltending will be a slight question mark under Jake Kupsky and co. but I think the offense will be enough to power Union to the top.