Current ECAC Rivalries
There's no rivalry here at all. Brown has had difficulty throughout its history, playing in the cavernous, Kingdome-like Meehan Rink that does more to highlight the absence than the presence of a crowd.
Games with Union are generally close, heated, and unpleasant. Those are the wins. The losses have been excruciating.
The "Skating Deer Ticks" entered the league when Vermont departed. They appear to be a serious program somewhere along the lines of a Colgate hockey commitment mixed with state school admissions requirements. Which actually sounds a lot like Vermont.
Yale has had long periods of inexplicable ineptitude punctuated by short bursts of great play, like their surprise 2009 ECAC RS championship. Despite the Ivy ties, not much of a rivalry, though that could change if they stay near the top.
The Tigers have had a few excellent teams, likely none better than the 2008 ECAC champion. Much like Yale, the rivalry varies with their quality.
After twenty years as the league doormat, the Big Green have built a solid program over the last decade, and with that they have gained prominence as a rival. They have an excellent rink and attract good support when they win. Along with Quinnipiac, the best candidate for a new rivalry.
There is a gap at this point, between the relatively interchangeable and seasonal opponents above and the more permanent targets below who, in any season, are still considered particularly important.
We stole Ned! We stole Red! RPI gained legendary status with their indomitable 1985 NCAA championship team, and held it for 15 years afterwards with their explosive, unpredictable style. There have been many great games between these teams, most of them in Houston Field House, the summit being Cornell's dramatic upset win in the 1998 Quints.
Cornell's "junior partner," and often a home-and-home opponent in the middle of the season. The Red have done more damage to Colgate over the years than vice versa. Still, this can at times be a heated and physical rivalry, and fan relations are marked by rare but unfortunate "incidents."
3. St. Lawrence
The Saints have been easy to hate, since the Saints knocked off the Red many times in tournament play, and just generally seems to play their best against Cornell. St. Lawrence boasts a great program, some reflected glory from the covalent bonded with their North Country partner, and the dean of ECAC coaches, Joe Marsh. They are always a worthy opponent, and should be approached with extreme caution.
A great opponent and a classy program -- seemingly always near the top of the league, and enjoyable to play. The rivalry is marked by sportsmanship above and beyond the call, given the almost monotonous recurrence of tight, vital late RS and playoff meetings. If course it helps that Cornell always seems to come out on top when it really matters, including their 7th and 9th championships, and of course the capstone of their perfect 1970 NCAA championship season.
The Great Satan, Harvard supplanted BU as Cornell's greatest rival after the departure of the Terriers from the ECAC in 1985. One of Coach Mike Schafer's signature achievements was his teams' immediate turnaround of this series, which at one point in the early 90's had run to 0-17-3 in favor of Harvard in regular season meetings. Playoff victories over the Crimson in 1990 and 2000 at Lynah and in the 1996, 2003, and 2005 ECAC Championship are among the great moments of the Schafer era. Losses in the 2002 (in double overtime) and 2006 finals are arguably the biggest disappointments in the history of this rivalry.