THE UNION COLLEGE DUTCHMEN ARE IN FIRST PLACE IN THE ECAC!
Luke Cain's wrap-around in overtime was the difference. Also in the game Corey Milan made 23 saves and Jason Walters tallied his 100th career point when he assisted on Mario Valery-Trabucco's goal. You can read the game summary on Union Athletics .com , Quinnipiac Bobcats.com, USCHO.com, Times Union.com, and on Ken Schott's Blog and post-game video.
Well as I posted earlier this week I would have been happy with two points from this weekend and anything more would be icing on the cake... well we have that icing on the cake and it tastes wonderful! After winning games at Princeton and Quinnipiac this weekend the Dutchmen now sit on top of the ECAC standings by themselves. All Dutchmen fans should be extremely excited and show their support of the team next week when RPI comes to town on Saturday. I expect the student section to be packed.
Even though this is a great feeling and accomplishment, we should all put this into perspective considering the Dutchmen haven't even played half of the league schedule yet (13 more games). They also have to travel to Cornell, Colgate, and Yale along with playing Quinnipiac one more time. Also, they have yet to play Harvard and Dartmouth. The team and their fans should celebrate this week but once Saturday comes around it should be back to business. We should not be too cocky and from what Coach Nate Leaman has been saying they are not taking the standings too seriously and are just taking it one game at a time.
Even though the Dutchmen should not pay too much attention to the ECAC standings or the National Rankings (which come out tomorrow) they should still keep and eye on the PairWise Rankings. Your positioning in the PairWise Rankings is a major indicator if you are able to obtain an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Currently Union is sitting at #13 and if they stay around there they have a realistic shot of making the tournament. 16 teams make the tournament and if you win your conference tournament you receive and automatic bid. For an explanation of how the PairWise Rankings work click here.
Congratulations to Jason Walters on his 100th career point as a Dutchmen. He has been on fire of late and if he keeps up the pace he could break the all-time Union Division I scoring record (Jordan Webb '05, 114). Also congrats to Luke Cain on his goal last night. It's been a long road for Cain since he had his devastating and pretty gruesome injury (from what I remember) two seasons ago. It's nice to see him still working hard and making the most of his opportunities since he doesn't play every game.
It was also great to see Corey Milan have another strong outing. He is definitely making a case for getting more playing time in between the pipes. It is funny how everyone has been raving about Keith Kinkaid lately even though Milan has better statistics in almost every category while playing more minutes. In 630 minutes Kinkaid has posted a 6-2-2 record with a 2.76 GAA and a .904 save percentage, while Milan as posted a 6-2-3 record with a 2.07 GAA(seventh in the nation) and a .916 save percentage in 665 minutes.
It will be exciting to see where the Dutchmen end up in the National Rankings tomorrow. I predict that they will move up in the rankings and crack the top-15 at #15 and that Quinnipiac will drop out of the top-15 and land at #16. If they keep up their play against RPI next weekend and for the rest of the season it would definitely not be out of the question to say that the Dutchmen have a good shot of making the ECAC Final Four or winning it for that matter.