Number one overall seed Clarkson, still with the Red as its lone ECAC Hockey loss, would host the Engineers of RPI in the first round. Fellow North Country team St. Lawrence would host Yale. Cornell at number 3 would host travel partner Colgate. And the feline travel pair would see their games at Hobey Baker Rink. While these games would undoubtedly be exciting to watch, nothing right now is set in stone. One-conference-loss Clarkson could fall as low as #7 in the standings. It is possible for six different teams to finish #1. Even though it looks as if the eight playoff teams are decided, even 12th place Union, Cornell’s first opponent of the weekend, could still climb as high as a tie for #7. That’s right, readers. Union could climb to seven with Clarkson being able to fall that low.
No one is eliminated yet, and no one should be taken lightly. Cornell’s remaining six games will be a tough test to help ready the Red for the most wonderful time of the year. Aforementioned Union begins the six-game test. RPI ends our weekend. While the Engineers are below 0.500 both in conference and overall, one of their six conference wins comes against the Red in a tight 1-0 loss at Houston Field House just before Halloween. If you think you see Red goal lights, take heed of the warning. The other team who shouts “Let’s Go Red!” (Or in their case, “Let’s Go, Red!”) is looking for the series sweep for only the second time in history. It would be a good tin anniversary for the Engineers. Let’s not be so generous.
The final regular-season road trip for the Rouge finds our intrepid women traveling to Yale and Brown. Yale is presently on a nice little tear, having won four games in a row. The Elis and the Brownies face a tough test with a trip to the feline petting zoo this weekend, but that will make the Red’s trip to Ingalls and Meehan all the more challenging. Every opponent is battle tested and Yale looks to climb from its spot at number seven to the possibility of home ice while Brown looks to claw its way into the tournament.
How would we prefer our regular season to end other than with a chance at number one? (Possibly beating Harvard, but it would get old if that happened every year, right?) Yes, the Red will have the North Country visit Central New York when Senior weekend occurs. If the number one overall seed is still in contention (rooting interests: Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Quinnipiac, Colgate), the Red will have its home ice to seek a possible sweep of Clarkson and a much-needed split with the Saints.
The regular season is shaping up to have an exciting ride. We all know what Cornell hockey is built for, but enjoy the road there. These next six games should have a special feel to them.
The playoffs are coming. Are you ready?