Closing out the First Semester
by Vincent MatulaECRHA November 22nd, 2019 at 6:51AM November 23rd, 2019 1:28PM
Our final weekend of the first semester takes place in Feasterville, PA as all but five clubs from the ECRHA will be in attendance.
The highest scoring team in Division 2 returns to action this weekend. That would be the Huskies of Northeastern University who will play four games. Since their last games in Old Bethpage earlier this month, their first place position has been overtaken by Robert Morris University. The two clubs will face-off to determine who gets the top spot in D2 for the time being. Northeastern also matches up with West Chester and ends their Saturday against Penn State. Those Huskies conclude the weekend in a Sunday afternoon tilt with Rowan. As for Robert Morris, they head into Feasterville riding a three game win streak with three Saturday games on their schedule. The Colonials fell to Northeastern 5-3 in pre-season play and are looking to change that result in their opening game. Matchups against UMass and Rowan round out the weekend for Robert Morris.
Also returning to action from their Old Bethpage weekend is the University of Massachusetts. The Minutemen take part in four games against Penn State, Rowan, Robert Morris and West Chester. UMass is facing Penn State for the first time since defeating them 11-3 in the opening round of the 2019 Regional Championships. Their game against West Chester is a rematch of last season’s D2 Regional Championship game which UMass took home. These Minutemen also take on Rowan for the second time this season after beating them 9-5 in Dracut earlier this month.
While we’re on the subject of Rowan University, they’re going to need to play their best hockey this weekend in order to make a case for a playoff spot in March. With games against UMass, Northeastern and Robert Morris, the Profs are going to need plenty of goal scoring to give them the best chance to win. Rowan has already suffered losses to UMass and Northeastern this season and should be on a revenge tour this weekend.
RIT, Penn State and West Chester University are the remaining Division 2 teams to end their first semester this weekend. The Tigers of RIT only play in two games on Saturday against Penn State and West Chester. It will be the first time RIT faces Penn State since ending their season at Regionals. Rochester also took down West Chester by a 4-1 count in pre-season play. While West Chester will look for revenge against RIT, the Golden Rams also have some unfinished business with both Northeastern and UMass. The club lost 6-3 to Northeastern in Old Bethpage and fell victim to UMass in the Regional Championship game last season. Although Penn State University has some wins to their name this season, they too are in a tight playoff race. It’s a big weekend for the Nittany Lions as they get UMass, RIT and Northeastern on a Saturday full of games. Penn State lost against both UMass and RIT at Regionals last season.
All but one team from Division 3 is coming to Feasterville this weekend and it’s Syracuse. Although they sit in first place now, Neumann University has the opportunity to surpass them for that top spot. Coming in on a seven game win streak, the Knights have two Saturday games against Cortland and Oswego. Towards the top of the division also sits Endicott College with only one loss on their season to the previously mentioned Knights of Neumann. Endicott has matchups with Drexel, Niagara and a non-conference tilt with James Madison. It marks the first time the Gulls are seeing Drexel since they handed them a 6-0 loss at last season’s National Championships. Temple University comes into Feasterville after just recently sweeping their opponents in Export. The Owls take on Cortland, Hofstra and St. Joseph’s while also partaking in non-conference play with James Madison. An overtime win that sent Hofstra packing at Regionals was the last time these clubs have seen each other. Cortland is also coming off a weekend sweep in their most recent weekend of action back in Old Bethpage. The Red Dragons are scheduled to go up against aforementioned Temple, Neumann and Yeshiva. Oswego is remaining team in D3 who have endured just one regulation loss this season. The Lakers face-off with Montclair State, Neumann, Boston and Lock Haven.
After winning three out of four in Export last weekend, Montclair State is right back to work in Feasterville. The Red Hawks face Oswego and Hofstra along with non-conference play against James Madison. Hofstra’s remaining two games of the weekend come against Temple and Niagara. Drexel enters Feasterville on the high of a five game win streak and looks to continue it against Endicott plus winless Vermont and Cornell. On the other side, St. Joseph’s will look to break their three game losing streak with matchups between Cornell, Temple and non-conference action against Boston. The Golden Eagles defeated Boston 3-2 in Dracut earlier this season. Yeshiva University is also in the midst of a four-game skid looking to rebound with a Sunday slate of Boston, Cortland and James Madison (non-conference).
Five teams in Division 3 remain winless going into the weekend, but should change due to specific matchups against one another. Cornell has two games against fellow winless clubs Boston and Vermont along with games against St. Joseph’s and Drexel. Vermont goes head-to-head with Drexel and D4 UMass (non-conference) to start their weekend and close it out against Cornell and Lock Haven. Just like the Catamounts of Vermont, Lock Haven University will also open their weekend slate against D4 UMass in non-conference play. The Bald Eagles continue on during the weekend with Niagara, Oswego and Vermont. Niagara and D4 Northeastern meet in non-conference play while the Purple Eagles remaining schedule for the weekend includes Lock Haven, Hofstra and Endicott. The last of these five winless teams is Boston University. The Terriers get a non-conference game which will be against St. Joseph’s after falling 3-2 to them earlier this month. Before that, Boston begins with Cornell and ends against Oswego and Yeshiva.
Slippery Rock’s Division 4 club has been stellar this season with a first place record of 6-0 that can be attributed to their 64 goals scored, five goals allowed and shutting out four different opponents in the process. Farmingdale Black and UMass are not only the Pride’s first two games of the weekend, but they’re also two of the teams that have been shutout by Slippery Rock this season. Farmingdale Green and Oswego are their remaining two opponents for the semester and also happen to be the last two teams in D4 they have not shutout. Farmingdale Green will attempt to maintain Slippery Rock’s dominant pace as the Rams look to avenge their only loss of the season which came against the Pride when the clubs collide on Saturday night. Outside of that, Green also takes on Oswego, Northeastern and UMass on Sunday morning. It’s been four weeks since the Lakers of Oswego we’re in Grove City taking part in ECRHA competition. With only two games played on the season, Oswego will triple that number by the end of the weekend. The Lakers play against both Farmingdale clubs, Northeastern and Slippery Rock.
Goals against is proving to be big statistic in Division 4 this season as four teams tied with two points are separated based on this category. All five of Northeastern’s goals were scored in their lone win this season as they were shutout in their other two games. The Huskies are matched up with both Farmingdale teams, Oswego and Niagara in non-conference play. The Minutemen of UMass are still in search of their first win on the season. First, they’ll have to play Vermont and Lock Haven for non-conference games and then will go up against the top two teams in Slippery Rock and Farmingdale Green. Both those teams were able to shutout UMass in Old Bethpage earlier this month. Farmingdale Black is the final team in Feasterville this weekend and will look to build on their first and only win this season that came in Old Bethpage. Black ends first semester with Slippery Rock, Oswego and Northeastern. A late comeback by the Black Rams against Oswego in Grove City fell just short.