January 24, 2008
Princeton and Harvard Back In Action

By Joe Gladziszewski

Princeton and Harvard headed into their respective annual exam breaks heading in different directions. The Tigers won their last five games before the break, four of which came in ECAC Hockey play, and vaulted into first place with 16 points from 12 games (8-4-0). Harvard is winless in its last nine games and earned just one point in four ECAC Hockey games earlier this month.

ECAC Hockey Notebook

Harvard goalie Kyle Richter has been one of the bright spots for the Crimson.

National TV Schedule

Taking exams at Harvard and Princeton is no easy task. How easily they handle the return to competitive hockey in the next few weeks will determine how successful their seasons can be. Harvard gets back on the ice at Dartmouth on Saturday, while Princeton has a game at Robert Morris on Tuesday.

We'll start with Princeton. It's already been one of the best seasons in recent history for Princeton, as the Tigers won their 10th game of the year on Jan. 12, the earliest that it has achieved that win milestone since the 1998-99 season. That season, you may recall, ended with Princeton's last trip to the ECAC Hockey championship weekend (then held in Lake Placid, N.Y.).

The Tigers have been led by a trio of forwards that rank near the top of the league's scoring leaders in Lee Jubinville (23 points), Brett Wilson (19), and Cam MacIntyre (18). That trio played on a line for most of the year, but the next highest scorer on the team is senior defenseman Mike Moore with nine points.

Increasing its scoring depth may be a benefit for the Tigers as they return to league play, where many teams have shown an ability to stifle a top-scoring line on a nightly basis. Princeton's last two games before the exam break saw Jubinville and Wilson joined on a line by Mike Kramer and they combined to total 16 points in wins over Yale and Brown. It didn't slow MacIntyre down either, as he had a point in each game playing with Dan Bartlett and Mark Magnowski.

Harvard, on the other hand, is looking to get back into the win column for the first time since Dec. 1. That game was a 1-0 victory at Bright Hockey Center over Dartmouth highlighted by a 27-save shutout from Kyle Richter and a game-winning short-handed goal by Mike Taylor with 10 minutes left in the third period. That improved the Crimson's record to 6-2-1, but Harvard has gone 0-7-2 in nine games since then.

The Crimson can take some encouragement from a pair of recent performances in which they rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a tie against nationally ranked Quinnipiac and played a close game against Clarkson before the Golden Knights scored a late goal to get a win. Games against Dartmouth and Brown precede the Beanpot, which Harvard begins with a semifinal game against Northeastern.


While You Were Away: Which teams benefited most by Princeton and Harvard being on hiatus? Union and Clarkson. The Dutchmen earned four points and moved into a tie for fourth place, while Clarkson played its two games in hand over Princeton and Quinnipiac and moved ahead of both of those teams into first.

This coming weekend will see additional leveling of the schedule as every team in the league will have played at least 12 of their 22 ECAC Hockey contests. Clarkson, Princeton, and Quinnipiac continue to lead the way, but just four points in the standings separate the next seven teams entering this weekend's action.

Don't Forget About Barr: Last week's ECAC Hockey Notebook cited a note published in the league's weekly release regarding Travis Vermeulen of St. Lawrence scoring two short-handed goals in the same period against Dartmouth on Jan. 13. That note identified Vermeulen as the first player to ever score two short-handed goals in the same period in ECAC Hockey history.

That is likely true for regular-season games, but Rensselaer's Ben Barr scored two short-handed goals in the same shift during the third period of a playoff game between RPI and Union in the 2002-03 season. Those two goals turned a 2-1 RPI deficit into a 3-2 Engineer lead. Rensselaer held on for the victory in that game and clinched the first-round series win at Union, advancing to a quarterfinal series at Cornell.

Thanks to a reader in Rochester, N.Y. who attended that game for pointing this out.

Great Weekend Getaway
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Union at St. Lawrence (Fri.)
RPI at St. Lawrence (Sat.)

Four points separate these three teams as they currently stand in a tightly bunched middle of the ECAC Hockey standings. The Saints return home for the first time since a 4-2 win over Clarkson on Dec. 1.

While You're There: St. Lawrence athletics hosts a couple of afternoon events – an indoor track and field meet and women's and men's basketball games on campus.

Stick Salute

Dartmouth needed something to do while Harvard was on break, so they went out and picked up a couple of wins against Hockey East foes. Mike Devine made 85 saves over two games in victories against Boston University and New Hampshire, and was named INCH National Player of the Week.

Bench Minor

After being swept by Union last weekend, Rensselaer's losing streak now stands at nine games. If you're looking for somewhere to point the blame, look no further than the "goals for" column of the standings. RPI has scored just three goals in its last four games and nine goals in its last eight.


• During Thursday's chat at ESPN.com, one question that we didn't get to answer was to name an All-ECAC Hockey team at this point in the season, so I'll do that here ... but will omit any players that appeared on the preseason media and coaches all-league teams. At forward I'll take J.T. Wyman (Dartmouth), Lee Jubinville (Princeton), and Brock McBride (St. Lawrence). On defense, Dan Henningson (Quinnipiac) and Grant Clitsome (Clarkson), and for goalie I'll go with Ben Scrivens (Cornell).

• ECAC Hockey announced earlier this week that every single one of the league's playoff contests will be broadcast online by B2 Networks.

• Harvard freshman Michael Biega shares the team scoring lead with Jon Pelle as each has 12 points on the season. The last freshman to lead Harvard in scoring was Peter Ciavaglia in the 1987-88 season.

• Eleven different players recorded at least one point in Quinnipiac's 5-2 win over Holy Cross last weekend, as the Bobcats scored two goals in the second period and two in the third to get the win. The Bobcats wrap up the non-conference portion of their schedule this week when they host Niagara on Friday and Saturday.

• Clarkson's win at Cornell on Sunday was its first regular-season win at Lynah Rink since the 1998-99 season and snapped an overall five-game winless streak (0-3-2) against the Big Red.

• Devin Timberlake, a sophomore at Brown, has been a bright spot for the Bears. He has a four-game point streak and leads the team with five goals on the year. He has eight points this season after totaling 11 points in his freshman year.

• Jesse Winchester scored the game-tying goal in the third period of Colgate's 1-1 draw with Clarkson last weekend, and it was the 100th point of his collegiate career. He went on to add a short-handed goal in a win over St. Lawrence and earned ECAC Hockey Player of the Week recognition.

• Topher Scott has been a talented offensive threat throughout his Cornell career, but his two-goal game against Clarkson on Sunday was the first of his collegiate career, spanning 118 games.

• Yale picked up a split at Alabama-Huntsville, as freshman Denny Kearney had a goal and two assists on the weekend. The Bulldogs also visited the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.

A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report. Joe Gladziszewski can be reached at gladdy@insidecollegehockey.com.