In the grand
scheme of things, Clarkson's late-season wins over Brown (Feb.
21) and Colgate (Feb. 27) didn't mean a whole heck of a lot.
Knights still finished in ninth place, they're still forced to
travel for this weekend's opening round of the ECAC Playoffs,
and they're still, at the end of the season, three games under
All of that
being said, it still marked a pair of wins against first-place
teams. Those Ws may not have helped Clarkson's standing very much,
but it did help Clarkson's psyche. Those back-to-back victories
came on the heels of a six-game losing streak. Coach George Roll
said it was important for his young team to taste success heading
into the postseason.
Desrochers and Clarkson upended first-place Brown on Feb.
21. (Photo by Christopher Lenney, Clarkson University)
obviously very important for us to go in there (at Colgate) with
a lot on the line for both teams. Our goaltender had a big part
in the win but I thought we were very solid in all aspects of
the game," Roll said. "To beat Brown at home when they
were in first place, and then Colgate, really gave us a boost
youth, especially on the blueline, has been a factor in its up-and-down
season. Eight freshmen have been regulars in the Golden Knight
lineup, including four defensemen. One lesson they've been learning
is how to play in close games.
been in 25 one-goal games this year, when you count the empty-net
games," Roll said. "Whether we've won or lost, that's
tough. To have some late-season success really raises our confidence."
in confidence, and great play down the stretch by Dustin Traylen,
have Clarkson in good spirits, even if it isn't reflected in the
12 Princeton at No. 5 Rensselaer
PU: 5-15-2 ECAC, 5-22-2 overall
RPI: 13-8-1 ECAC, 19-13-2 overall
Season Series: RPI won 2-0-0
Fact: Princeton hasn't won in the calendar year
of 2004. The last Tiger victory was a 2-1 win over Harvard
on Dec. 16.
Engineer Fact: Sophomore Kevin Croxton
leads the team in scoring for the second straight season,
as he has 16-21-37 in 34 games.
Princeton Wins: The scouting report from Captain
Obvious says Princeton has to score some goals. The team's
leading scorer is freshman Grant Goeckner-Zoeller with 18
points on the year. Yes, that's 18 points, not 18 goals.
How Rensselaer Wins: Take control of these
games early, as they did in two regular-season wins against
Princeton. The Engineers scored five first-period goals
in those games.
11 Vermont at No. 6 Harvard
UVM: 7-14-1 ECAC, 9-20-4 overall
H: 10-10-2 ECAC, 12-14-3 overall
Season Series: Split 1-1.
Fact: Vermont defeated Harvard at the Bright Center
last weekend 6-4. It was an exact reversal of Harvard's
6-4 win in Burlington in November.
Crimson Fact: Harvard hosted Vermont in
the quarterfinal round of last year's playoffs and swept
the Catamounts by scores of 4-1 and 5-3.
Vermont Wins: This young team has improved all
year long and is playing its best hockey of the season.
The Catamounts need to find the form that saw them defeat
Harvard last Friday, not the team that was routed 6-0 by
Brown the following night.
How Harvard Wins: The Crimson have underachieved
all season but are starting to turn the corner. Too often
during the regular season, good performances were followed
by clunkers. They'll need to find some consistency, as a
clunker in March ends your season.
10 St. Lawrence at No. 7 Yale
SLU: 7-12-3 ECAC, 11-19-6 overall
Y: 10-12-0 ECAC, 12-17-0 overall
Season Series: Yale won 2-0-0.
Fact: The Saints are 2-12-2 on the road this season,
and lost at "The Whale" 4-3 in overtime on Jan.
Bulldog Fact: Yale is the only team in
the ECAC that didn't have a single tie throughout the regular
season (one of two nationally, with Ohio State).
St. Lawrence Wins: The top line of T.J. Trevelyan,
Rich Peverley and John Zeiler each has eclipsed the 30-point
plateau. They'll need to be at their best to counter Yale's
offense, which ranks third in the league.
How Yale Wins: Playoff time is a time for
defensive hockey, which may not favor Yale, which allowed
4.0 goals against in league play. Limiting SLU's scoring
chances will be necessary for Yale to advance to the quarterfinals.
9 Clarkson at No. 8 Union
CU: 8-12-2 ECAC, 13-16-5 overall
UC: 8-11-3 ECAC, 15-14-5 overall
Season Series: Split 1-1
Knight Fact: Clarkson senior co-captain Tristan
Lush has never missed a game (141 straight) in his four-year
career. He'll break the school record of 142 games played
with two games this weekend. Among the three current record-holders
is current Clarkson assistant coach J-F Houle.
Dutchmen Fact: Union lost nine consecutive
games in December and January (one was later forfeited).
Take away that stretch and the Dutchmen were 14-6-5.
Clarkson Wins: By bringing the overall effort and
intensity it showed in two late-season wins against Brown
and at Colgate. Clarkson's been tested with 25 one-goal
games, which should have them ready for playoff time.
How Union Wins: By bearing down on scoring
chances. When Union's been focused and committed around
the opposition's net, it's led to big goals from Scott Seney,
Jordan Webb, Olivier Bouchard, and Jason Visser.
AND HEARD IN THE ECAC
the season, in interviews with coaches and players, they've been
kind enough to share their thoughts on a wide range of subjects,
some of which didn't make it into that week's particular notebook.
As the regular-season comes to an end and the playoffs begin,
a smattering of thoughts on topics around the league:
of the unheralded, yet most important, roles in the game these
days is the so-called defensive defenseman. They're sent out to
shut down the opposition's number-one line. Playing at a plus
or even rating for a night is a measure of their success, not
the glory that comes from going end-to-end and racking up a ton
you win it's always the offense that gets the credit for scoring
the goals and when you lose it's because of defensive mistakes,"
Rensselaer coach Dan Fridgen said.
best in the league at accepting this role, Brent Booth (Union),
Peter Hafner (Harvard), Vince Macri (Brown), and Charlie Cook
coach Tim Taylor was impressed with Cornell's enormous line combination
of Matt Moulson (6-1, 195), Byron Bitz (6-4, 200), and Mitch Carefoot
(6-1, 210). "What they do is wear you down, number one, physically.
And number two, even though they maybe can't get out into the
slot or get wide open chances with little give-and-gos, they grind
you and grind you and grind you. They get so much in-zone puck
time and obviously Moulson's a great goal scorer. You don't see
a lot of lines like that in college hockey," Taylor said.
about golf during the hockey playoffs is dangerous. It implies
that your season is over. But, it should be noted that Vermont
goaltender Travis Russell is quite accomplished on the links.
He finished fourth in last summer's Vermont State Amateur. If
he could only play one more round of golf his choice for that
round would, of course, be Augusta National.
ECAC's defensive record, as a whole, is quite impressive. A roster
of the league's goaltenders is headed by Brown's Yann Danis, Cornell's
David McKee, and Colgate's Steve Silverthorn. But there's not
much of a drop, if at all, to the next tier of goalies including
Nathan Marsters (RPI), Josh Gartner (Yale), Dov Grumet-Morris
(Harvard), and Dan Yacey (Dartmouth). Sophomores such as Traylen,
Russell, and Kris Mayotte round out a very formidable group.
as a whole, is by far the strongest position in our league right
now," Roll said.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
ECAC announced an arrangement with Comcast CN-8 to broadcast a
quarterfinal game from a campus site, and both semifinals and
the championship game from Albany's Pepsi Arena.
second annual ECAC fan festival will be held outside the doors
to the Pepsi Arena on South Pearl Street during championship weekend.
The event will feature music, pep bands and cheering squads from
the participating colleges and universities, interactive games,
food, a giant screen projection television, strolling entertainment,
face painters, and much more. Fan fest hours are March 19 from
2:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and March 20 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
likely noticed the trading spree by the Washington Capitals. They've
unloaded several big names in recent weeks, such that Jeff Halpern
currently ranks as the team's leading scorer. The last team to
say that was Princeton. Caps ... second-to-last place in the NHL.
Princeton ... last place in the ECAC. Might make for a decent
stumbled down the stretch, and locked up third place with a 6-0
win over Vermont on Saturday. First-place was there for the taking,
but Brown's third-place finish is the best since the Bears were
second in the ECAC in 1995.
stalwart defenseman Joey Mormina, who missed 10 games in the second
half due to a concussion, returned to the lineup on Friday night
against Clarkson. His injury woes continued, however, as he hurt
a finger in his first game back and missed Saturday's Cleary Cup-clinching
win over St. Lawrence.
finished just behind Brown in the standings, but it wasn't due
to their head-to-head contests. The Bears and Yale were the only
teams in the league that Dartmouth swept this year, although the
Big Green were not swept in any series themselves.
of Cornell defenseman Jon Gleed's three goals this year are game-winners.
of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report. Next
week's ECAC Notebook will feature a look at the regular season
in review, plus the quarterfinal matchups.