With every ECAC Hockey team having played at least four league games, surprising Quinnipiac has taken sole possession of first place with a perfect 4-0-0 mark, one point ahead of Colgate.
The No. 13 Bobcats, whose 8-1-0 overall record gives them the best winning percentage in the nation at .889, earned their first national ranking of the season after sweeping Harvard (5-1 on Friday) and Dartmouth (4-2 on Saturday) at home this weekend.
Sophomore goaltender Dan Clarke, who has started all four of Quinnipiac’s ECAC Hockey contests, has led the way in net, posting the best record in the nation at 5-0-0. His .937 save percentage leads ECAC Hockey, while his 2.20 goals-against average ranks second. Clarke earned ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week honors for the third time this season after making 60 saves on 63 shots this weekend.
Offensively, the Bobcats are averaging 4.22 goals per game, ranking second in Division 1, while their average goal differential of 2.00 ranks third in the nation, and their combined special teams seventh at 56.1 percent.
Senior forward Eric Lampe — who recorded his second career hat trick and added an assist in Quinnipiac’s victory over the Crimson — is tied for the Division I lead with an average of 1.00 goals per game, while senior forward Mike Atkinson’s two shorthanded goals tie him for the national lead.
NEHJ Player of the Week
Brian O’Neill, soph., Yale
The forward figured in five of the Bulldogs’ seven goals on the weekend, scoring and assisting twice in Yale’s key victory over Cornell on Friday before recording a power-play tally and adding a helper as the Bulldogs came back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 to salvage a 3-3 tie with Colgate on Saturday.
Quinnipiac at Colgate, Friday
The top two teams in ECAC Hockey square off at Starr Rink, with each looking to separate itself from the conference pack.
Last season, the Bobcats bounced the Raiders in three games — with sophomore forward Austin Smith’s hat trick in the second contest prolonging the series — in the first round of the ECAC Hockey tournament after Colgate took both regular-season matchups. Including those three contests, the last four matchups between the two teams have gone into overtime, while the last eight have been decided by one goal or fewer.
Around ECAC Hockey
The Bears dropped the Mayor’s Cup for the third consecutive year, falling 4-3 to Providence on Tuesday night.
The Golden Knights are 3-0-0 when they lead at the second intermission, but 0-8-0 when they trail or are tied entering the third period.
Senior forward David McIntyre leads ECAC Hockey with 11 assists.
The Big Red lead the nation in both power-play conversion rate (34.5 percent) and penalty kill (93.3 percent).
The Big Green are the only team in the nation still looking for its first point of the season.
The Crimson are the only ECAC Hockey team killing fewer than 70 percent of its penalties at 69.2 percent.
The Tigers’ combined special teams (60.7 percent) trails only Cornell in Division 1.
Junior forward Chase Polacek has scored in six consecutive games for the Engineers.
Freshman forward Kyle Flanagan’s 10 points represent the best mark by a Saint through seven games since then-senior Erik Anderson posted 12 to start the 1999-2000 season.
The Dutchmen’s sweep of the North Country was their first since the 2002-03 season.
The Bulldogs have the lowest combined special teams success rate in Division 1 at 40.4 percent.
Alan Ginsberg can be reached at email@example.com.