Why is there so much love for the EZAC?
There is a question that a lot of western college hockey fans ask. Why does the EZAC get so much love from the hockey pundits every year in the pre-season polls? This is a question that I would like to see answered. Its common knowledge that the ECAC is made up of schools with great academic records, however, these teams are not as good in NCAA division one college hockey as the ECAC fawning media wants us to believe.
Here are the current pre-season rankings of the teams in question.
INCH has three ECAC teams ranked in the top 15, Cornell 7, Princeton 8 and Yale 11.
The USA Today polls have three ECAC teams ranked in the top 15 Cornell 7, Princeton 9 and Yale 11.
The College Hockey News has three ECAC teams ranked in their top ten preseason poll as well, Cornell 4, Princeton 7 and Yale 10.
Let’s look at this further; the Ivy League teams in the ECAC won’t start their exhibition play until around the 23rd – 25th of October. By that time all other teams in division one college hockey will have played at least an exhibition game and probably at least a game or a series against a non conference opponent. A few teams will have played in a pre-season tourney. The travesty is that college hockey fans are going to have to suffer through two weeks of games when three ECAC teams will be ranked in the top 15 and they won’t have played even one college hockey game.
Just so you think I am not piling on the ECAC, since 2001 the ECAC has a combined NCAA playoff record of 6-18, that is not an impressive record folks. Breaking it down further Cornell is responsible for 5 of those wins with a 5-5 record. The rest of the ECAC teams are 1-13. Yet the NCAA hockey selection committee still gave Clarkson a number one seed in 2007 which Clarkson promptly went out and lost their first round game. Yeah like they were the 3rd best team over all that season. Not!
Seriously folks, the last time an ECAC team won an NCAA title was in 1989 when the Harvard Crimson beat Doug Woog’s Minnesota Golden Gophers 4-3 in overtime. That was 20 years ago. So I ask you again why is there three ECAC teams ranked so high.
Just for historical purposes; here is the break down of the NCAA titles won by ECAC teams.
Cornell 2-time NCAA men’s champions (1967, 1970)
Harvard -time NCAA men’s champions (1989)
RPI -time NCAA men’s champions (1954, 1985)