ECHC Mid-Season Recap
The Empire Collegiate Hockey Conference (ECHC) has etched its mark as a formidable force in AAU College Hockey, boasting 14 member teams competing across D1, D2, and D3 levels. This dynamic first half has witnessed significant developments, including notable team transitions and competitive matchups.
Fairfield University faced a heart-wrenching defeat in the National Divisional finals, losing to Binghamton University at the AAU College Hockey Nationals Championships in March. The off-season saw pivotal moves, with the University of Delaware joining from the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference, and Rutgers University and NYCHC making their mark in AAU College Hockey.
**Current Playoff Picture**
The playoffs loom on the horizon, promising excitement and intensity. In the Purple (D1/D2) division, Farmingdale State College Rams lead the pack, closely followed by Quinnipiac University Bobcats and Fairfield University Stags. Meanwhile, the Black (D2/D3) division sees Farmingdale State College Rams (D2) in the lead, pursued by Sacred Heart University Pioneers and NYCHC.
The ECHC teams showcase their prowess on a national scale. In D1, Farmingdale State College secures the 5th position, with Fairfield University and Quinnipiac University ranking 10th and 12th, respectively. D2 highlights include Farmingdale State College at 16th, while Stony Brook University commands the 2nd spot in D3.
Brendan Dixson of Farmingdale State College D2 leads the conference in goals, assists, and points, showcasing remarkable prowess. The BDM Line, featuring Brendan Dixson, Marco Malandruccolo, and Nick D’Alessandro, adds a dynamic scoring dimension for Farmingdale. Notable goaltending performances include Gene Castro from Stony Brook University, leading in save percentage.
1. BDM Line Dominance:
Description: Farmingdale State College's BDM Line, comprising Brendan Dixson, Marco Malandruccolo, and Nick D’Alessandro, has emerged as a force to be reckoned with. These players, occupying 3 spots in the top 10 in conference scoring, showcase remarkable chemistry and offensive prowess.
Impact: The BDM Line's dominance not only contributes significantly to Farmingdale's success but also establishes them as a trio to watch in the ECHC. Their scoring abilities and teamwork become a focal point in matchups, creating challenges for opposing teams.
2. Fordham's Trio:
Description: Fordham University's line of Anthony DeMario, Owen Goulette, and Carmine Pittelli has garnered attention for its effectiveness. DeMario's recognition as the D1 Player of the Month in October underscores the line's impact on the scoreboard.
Impact: The synergy between DeMario, Goulette, and Pittelli brings a formidable offensive dimension to Fordham's game. Their ability to score consistently and DeMario's individual achievements make them a key storyline, adding excitement to Fordham's performances.
3. Stony Brook's Redemption:
Description: Stony Brook University has experienced a remarkable turnaround from a challenging previous season. Gene Castro's exceptional goaltending and a more balanced offensive lineup have propelled the Seawolves to a prominent position in the standings.
Impact: Stony Brook's redemption story not only showcases their resilience but also positions them as contenders for both the conference playoffs and National Championships. The team's improved performance creates anticipation for their continued success.
4. Quinnipiac Goaltender's Call-Up:
Description: Quinnipiac University faced an unexpected twist with starting goaltender Ryan Solomon's call-up to the university's NCAA team. Solomon's absence during that period affected the team's dynamics, leading to a notable loss against interstate rival Fairfield University.
Impact: Solomon's call-up and subsequent return to the ECHC introduce an element of unpredictability. Quinnipiac's response to this challenge and their performance in upcoming games become intriguing storylines, impacting their playoff positioning.