While Quinnipiac and Yale are cruising along rather smoothly, there are some other ECAC teams that need to bounce back from some bumps in the road this weekend. RPI, St. Lawrence and Brown are all in need of some wins to gain confidence and restore the faith in the locker room.
RPI was swept at the hands of its archival last weekend with Saturday's home loss to Union marking the tenth consecutive game that the Engineers have been on the wrong side of the scoreboard against the Dutchmen. Seth Appert's team has a chance to pick up two quality nonconference wins this weekend when it heads to Erie, Pa. to face Mercyhurst.
The Lakers are one of the best teams in the Atlantic Hockey Association, and will pose a threat to the boys from Troy if the Engineers don't hold down the fort defensively. Last season's offensive catalysts for the Lakers, juniors Matthew Zay and Ryan Misiak, have five and four goals respectively on the season already. Daniel O'Donoghue has six goals to go along with his five assists as he's emerged as a go-to-player in his senior season.
Junior Jordan Tibbett was expected to get the bulk of the minutes in goal for Rick Gotkin's team but fellow junior Jimmy Sarjeant has been the better goaltender through the first 11 games.
It's no secret that RPI has some big guns up front, including junior Ryan Haggerty who leads the country in goal scoring with 13. Brock Higgs, Matt Neal, Johnny Rogic are all offensive players that Mercyhurst will have to contain in order to have success. The Engineers are 6-0-2 when Haggerty finds the back of the net.
St. Lawrence will also be looking to get back on track as it heads to RIT for a pair of nonconference contests against the Tigers. After going unbeaten in five straight SLU lost twice last weekend to Colgate and Cornell. It's no secret that Greg Carey leads the way for Greg Carvel's team. The point-producing machine certainly can carry the load offensively, but the team defense and goaltending need to improve if SLU is going to get back on the winning side of things.
Brown is 1-3-1 in its last five games, including a debacle at New Hampshire last Tuesday. After the game Brendan Whittet said his team didn't play Brown hockey, and said he would use the next 10 days to get the team focused back on fundamentals.
Injuries have hurt the Bears as well, and the time off could have helped, but there are still some lingering ailments. Matt Lorito and Marc Naclerio have been two of the most productive offensive players in the ECAC thus far. The health of linemate Nick Lappin will go along way in helping the aforementioned duo find the scoresheet.
After being a healthy scratch for the majority of the season Massimo Lamacchia had a good game against UNH, and earned a spot back in the lineup. The Maple, Ontario native had a goal and an assist against the Wildcats after being a healthy scratch in five of the first six contests.
Brown's opponents this weekend are Colgate and Cornell, both on the road. Yale will also be making the trek to central New York to face the Big Red and the Raiders. Princeton and Quinnipiac play a home-and-home series in a battle of travel partners going in opposite directions. The Bobcats are 11-1-1 overall and 5-0-1 in league play while Princeton is 2-7-0 overall and 1-5-0 in the league. Bob Prier's Tigers have yet to beat an opponent not named Dartmouth.
More from SBN College Hockey:
- Hockey East Weekend Preview
- ECAC Power Rankings: Union Makes Huge Leap with Sweep of RPI, Quinnipiac Holds Top Spot
- Vote for the best rivalry in college hockey
- Gaudreau, Boston College Cruise Past Harvard, 5-1
- Check out where ECAC Hockey teams stand in the national polls
Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.