ECAC Hockey Power Rankings: Quinnipiac, Union Separating from Pack

Greg Lewis and Clarkson will be going up against archrival St. Lawrence this weekend. - Mike Tansey

Quinnipiac looks to be on its way to repeating as ECAC Regular Season Champions, but this weekend in the Capital District could be a road block.

Quinnipiac and Union have separated themselves from the rest of the pack - at least for the time being. There are some really big matchups around the league in the upcoming weekend. Archrivals St. Lawrence and Clarkson battle in a home-and-home series while Quinnipiac visits the Capital District to face Union and RPI.

1. Quinnipiac (13-2-2)

The Bobcats outshot Providence by a wide margin, but in a great battle of top ten teams, Quinnipiac had to settle for a 3-3 tie. Rand Pecknold's team hammered UMass, 6-1, on Saturday night. The top line was once again tremendous. Sam Anas and Kellen and Connor Jones are all averaging over a point per game with the freshman Anas leading the way at 12 goals and 12 assists.

Up Next: at RPI (Fri 12/6), at Union (Sat 12/7)

2. Union (8-3-2)

The Dutchmen ran their winning streak to five games with a sweep of Penn State, including Sunday's thrilling game-winner scored by Daniel Ciampini with just three seconds left on the clock. Star defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere had two goals and an assist and a staggering 17 shots on goal during the weekend series.

Up Next: Princeton (Fri 12/6), Quinnipiac (Sat 12/7)

3. Yale (6-2-2)

The Bulldogs had to rally to force overtime, but found just enough in the tank to defeat Merrimack in the extra session on Saturday night. This weekend poses a good opportunity to gain two wins against weaker opponents, but regardless of the result, Keith Allain's team is more focused on March and April. Coming off a national championship, it is hard to remain focused throughout the entire regular season.

Up Next: Dartmouth (Fri 12/6), Harvard (Sat 12/7)

4. Clarkson (10-3-1)

Clarkson had the weekend off, excluding an exhibition win over Queen's University. The Golden Knights take on archrival St. Lawrence this weekend in a battle of teams with different styles. Clarkson has a few good scorers, but for the most part it will look to grind and slow down the pace against a powerful Saints offense. Sophomore goaltender Greg Lewis could be the difference maker in this series, if he plays well.

Up Next: St. Lawrence (Fri 12/6), at St. Lawrence (Sat 12/7)

5. St. Lawrence (8-6-2)

Another weekend, another offensive explosion by St. Lawrence senior forward and Hobey Baker candidate Greg Carey. The Hamilton, Ontario native had two goals and three assists on the weekend, four of those points coming in Friday's win over North Dakota. The Saints couldn't pull off the sweep, losing 3-2 on Saturday. UND might be down, but it was an impressive performance in a tough place to play, regardless. The Saints will look to keep the pace at a level they are comfortable with and not let Clarkson dictate the tempo in the big series this weekend.

Up Next: at Clarkson (Fri 12/6), Clarkson (Sat 12/7)

6. Cornell (7-4-1)

The Big Red are big and physical and imposed their will on Boston University at Red Hot Hockey at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. The physical dominance wasn't enough as Cornell's lethal power play came up empty. Mike Schafer's team has two very good lines and a solid senior goaltender. Along with RPI below them in the power rankings, Cornell could likely be higher in these very same rankings a few months from now.

Up Next: Colgate (Sat 12/7)

7. RPI (7-5-2)

The Engineers had the weekend off in preparation for a visit from Quinnipiac and Princeton. RPI is such a tough team to figure out. Seth Appert's squad looks so good at times, yet is struggling to find the consistency to play a full 60 minutes. If this team can get on track it will be very dangerous come playoff time.

Up Next: Quinnipiac (Fri 12/6), Princeton (Sat 12/7)

8. Colgate (7-7-1)

The Raiders were idle over the holiday weekend and will take the ice just once this upcoming weekend. It will be a big game, however, against travel partner and rival Cornell. Colgate seems to be a team that is either really hot or really cold. Don Vaughn's team will be taking on a Cornell team that will be hungry after a disappointing loss to BU despite outplaying the Terriers for much of the game.

Up Next: at Cornell (Sat 12/7)

9. Harvard (4-6-1)

Just when you thought Harvard was getting on track the Crimson put up a stinker in Hanover. Fresh off a 6-3 victory at New Hampshire, Harvard lost 2-1 at Dartmouth on Saturday. This is a young team with some promise, but consistency and goal scoring seem to be issues it will need to resolve to get over the hump.

Up Next: at Brown (Fri 12/6), at Yale (Sat 12/7)

10. Brown (3-6-1)

Brendan Whittet's team outshot crosstown rival Providence on Saturday night, but was unable to get the victory. Brown lost, 3-2, to extend its losing streak to four games. After starting 2-0, Brown is 1-6-1 in its last eight games.

Up Next: Harvard (Fri 12/6), Dartmouth (Sat 12/7)

11. Princeton (3-10-0)

Injuries are adding up and so are the losses for the Tigers. Bob Prier's team lost by a combined 12-3 total to Michigan State over the weekend. Star forward Andrew Calof is still out with an injury, and Princeton didn't even dress the full allotment of forwards this weekend in East Lansing.

Up Next: at Union (Fri 12/6), at RPI (Sat 12/7)

12. Dartmouth (1-8-0)

The Big Green finally got into the win column this past Saturday night with a 2-1 victory over Harvard. Junior forward Eric Neiley continues to shine. The Warminster, Pa. native had another goal on Saturday to increase his total to six on the season. The only problem is Tyler Sikura continues to struggle. He was expected to pace the offense, but he has yet to find the back of the net, and he has only four assists.

Up Next: at Yale (Fri 12/6), at Brown (Sat 12/7)

Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.

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