It’s that time of the year, folks.
And I’m not talking about March Madness. Of course I’m talking about ECAC Conference Semifinals and Finals that will take place this Friday and Saturday. The matchups for the semifinals are set: Union will take on Colgate, and the Cornell Big Red will face off against Harvard.
This couldn’t have worked out better for the Big Red. Had Yale beat Harvard in their quarterfinals series, assuming Colgate took care of business with Quinnipiac, Cornell would have been facing Hoby Baker favorite Austin Smith and the rest of a very competitive Colgate team. If you recall, Cornell was swept by Colgate this season, losing 2-1 and 5-3. In the latter game, Cornell held a 3-1 lead going into the third period, but the defense epically collapsed, allowing a breakaway, shorthanded, and a powerplay goal en route to the defeat. It is safe to say, however, that the Cornell defense has vastly improved since that game. In addition, Cornell has all the momentum in their favor, after an emotional double OT win Saturday night and a easy win the following night.
Personally, I believe that with a win over Harvard on Friday, a trip to the ECAC finals will at least give Cornell an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament. Right now, the team is 13th in the all-important Pairwise rankings, but with lower ranked teams in weaker conferences with “win and in” bids, Cornell’s work is not done. Right now, the only sure-fire way for the Big Red to make the tournament is to win the ECAC tournament. Don’t leave anything to chance.
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