ECAC Hockey Finals
Hold These Tigers
Princeton bests Harvard, heads to NCAAs
for first time since 1998
Joe Gladziszewski and Ken McMillan
4, Harvard 1
Kushniruk, K. Hagel
Taylor, A. Biega
Kyle Richter, 57:31, 24 saves, 3 GA, 1 ENG
Zane Kalemba, 60:00, 35 saves, 1 GA
HU 4/8; P 3/6
Plays: HU 1-4; P 1-3
Zane Kalemba, Princeton (MOP)
D: Alex Biega, Harvard
D: Mike Moore, Princeton
F: Jon Pelle, Harvard
F: Kevin Lohry, Princeton
F: Michael Kennedy, Cornell
ALBANY, N.Y. — The Princeton Tigers
came to Albany as the highest remaining seed and won two
games to claim the 2008 ECAC Hockey Championship with a
4-1 win over Harvard.
Suprising? Probably not based strictly on
this weekend, but definitely if you consider that the team
was picked eighth in the coaches and media preseason polls.
Whether you consider the outcome a surprise
or not, the way that Princeton won the title certainly opened
eyes. Zane Kalemba was outstanding in net and a group of
unusual suspects provided the offense all weekend long.
Princeton's Lee Jubinville, a junior who was
recently named ECAC Hockey Player of the Year, Ivy League
Player of the Year, and a Hobey Baker Award finalist had
no points in two games for the Tigers.
Freshman Kevin Lohry was the lone Princeton
forward to be named to the All-Tournament team. He and players
like Landis Stankievech, Matt Arhontas, and Mark Magnowski
were difference makers for the Tigers. Perceptions that
Princeton was a top-heavy lineup that relied exclusively
on the contributions from Jubinville, Cam MacIntyre, and
Brett Wilson have been put to rest.
"I think it's unfair. We got pegged as
that at the start of the season but we came around in the
last few months and showed that we've got four lines that
can fly with a ton of speed and we play an up-tempo game.
We have four lines that can contribute," Jubinville
"It's obviously huge. Guys stepped up.
Matt Arhontas, Lohry again two yesterday. To see freshmen
step up like that is obviously huge for the program. We
get four lines rolling, the D rolling and obviously Zane
Lohry had two goals in Friday's semifinal
win and knew that a quiet weekend from Princeton's leading
scorers doesn't diminish what they have meant all season
long. Instead, it's a compliment to the team's composition.
"Obviously they've been a very vital
part in where we are right now, but we've got a bunch of
guys in the locker room who know their role and know when
they need to step up," Lohry said. "I think everyone
wanted it just as equally as the top line did. Everyone
did their part and we got some key goals in key situations."
Twelve of the Tigers' 19 players in Saturday's
win are either freshmen (5) or sophomores (7). The leadership
comes from the top and has all season long, but the success
this weekend and in the future can be found on the lower
portions of the line chart.
CAN'T CONTAIN ZANE
Playing for a league championship and NCAA
tourney berth should have been plenty of motivation for
Princeton goalie Zane Kalemba. Yet, just knowing he was
going to be doing battle with ECAC goalie of the year Kyle
Richter of Harvard raised the stakes a bit.
"Before the game I kind of wanted to
prove myself and prove as a team that we're the best team
in the league," Kalemba said.
Kalemba did just that, stopping 35 of 36 shots
and leading Princeton to its first ECAC Hockey title since
1998 with a 4-1 triumph over the Crimson before 4,851 fans
at the Times Union Center on Saturday night. Kalemba was
voted the most outstanding player of the tournament.
"I had a couple breaks go my way and
a couple bounces that maybe a couple weeks ago I think might
have gone in," Kalemba said. "For some reason,
I was able to react quicker. The pucks just seem to hit
"I am not surprised we won the ECAC,"
he added. "Hopefully we got a couple more wins in us."
|Princeton's Zane Kalemba set
an ECAC Hockey postseason record with a shutout streak
Kalemba said the key to the win was he was
able to make a couple stops on power-play shots he did not
see clearly in the first period. "If they would have
scored there, it would have been a different game,"
he said. Kalemba also stopped a couple tricky shots in the
second period on plays where he thought Harvard would pass
the puck but shot instead.
Kalemba put up strong numbers all season and
only got better in the postseason. His goals against is
1.01 and his save percentage is .967. Both stats are tops
in the nation among all playoff goaltenders.
Just about the only thing he did wrong on
Saturday night was allowing a power-play goal, off a beautiful
circle-to-circle passing play at 24 seconds of the third
period. That goal snapped his ECAC Hockey tourney record
scoreless streak at 189 minutes, 59 seconds.
Kalemba held Yale scoreless for the final
29:42 of a 4-3 loss to Yale on March 15. He then blanked
Yale 4-0 in game three of the quarterfinal series and shut
out Colgate 3-0 in Friday's semifinals.
"He is not the biggest guy in the world
but he really works hard," said Pelle, who was stopped
on seven other shot attempts. "He is tough to beat.
He battles and never gives up on rebounds. I saw the Colgate
(semifinal) game and he made unbelievable saves that turned
that game around. The same can be said for his performance
tonight. I give him a lot of credit. He was definitely worthy
of the MVP award."
Princeton coach Guy Gadowsky has been singing
the praises of his sophomore netminder from Saddle Brook,
N.J., for weeks, but even he was taken aback by Kalemba's
"I have never seen a performance like
that," Gadowsky said. "That is the best goaltending
performance that I've had the privilege to be a part of.
He is phenomenal (but not one of our guys) is surprised
at what he can do, especially in high-pressure situations.
It just doesn't get to him. I don't know how but he's been
doing it all year."
For the season, Kalemba has a 19-10 record,
2.36 goals against, .918 save percentage and five shutouts.
Richter has better numbers (2.19, .923) but it's Kalemba
who's moving on to the NCAAs.
SEEN AN HEARD AT THE TIMES UNION CENTER
4, Colgate 2
more on the Cornell-Colgate game, see Ken
McMillan's Postcard about
the Saturday senior sendoff in Albany.
Devin, M. Kennedy
Scott, M. Kennedy
Nash, R. Nash
Mark Dekanich, 33:19, 12 saves, 3 GA
Justin Kowalkoski, 26:31, 8 saves, 1 GA
Ben Scrivens, 56:49, 22 saves, 1 GA
Dan DiLeo, 3:11, 3 saves, 1 GA
CLG 9/26; COR 9/26
Plays: CLG 0-6; COR 3-6
• With 6:31 left in the first period,
Crimson goalie Kyle Richter made a save on a low shot, but
appeared uncertain of if or where the puck was trapped under
his pads. Princeton forward Lee Jubinville was stationed
right in front of Richter, and as Richter got up from his
kneeling position the officials blew the play dead, just
before Jubinville poked the puck into the net.
• Immediately following the final buzzer
of the championship game, the Princeton band played a few
measures of "We Are The Champions."
• Carpets and a table with the championship
trophy were quickly set up in the center ice circle following
the championship game, forcing the handshake line to be
rerouted through the neutral zone near the boards.
• Peter Feola was given the referee
assignment for Saturday night's championship game and did
well to let the players compete hard all night long. More
penalties could've been called both ways, but it balanced
out. A late interference call against Harvard's Alex Biega
gave Princeton a power play that it cashed in for a 3-1
• Even though Colgate lost both of its
games this weekend, Saturday marked a special day for little-used
sophomore forward Sean Carty. Carty played in his fifth
game of the season and just the 16th of his career. He scored
for the Raiders at 16:04 of the first period on an assist
from Mike Werner. Carty redirected Werner's pass past Ben
Scrivens. During the celebration, defenseman Kevin McNamara
fetched the puck out of the Cornell net and carried it to
the Raider bench. Carty went home with the puck.
• It's illegal to switch goalies during
a shift in NHL play but not in the college game. Colgate
coach Don Vaughan pulled senior Mark Dekanich after 33 minutes,
19 seconds, in favor of junior Justin Kowalkoski, but Vaughan
wanted his all-star netminder on the ice for the final horn.
So when he called for his backup to head for the bench in
the closing moments. Kowalkoski thought he was coming off
for a sixth attacker, with the Raiders down a pair. Kowalkoski
was certainly taken aback when Dekanich hopped over the
boards instead of a skater.
"When he saw Mark coming over the boards,
they high-fived each other and said, 'Great change,'"
Vaughan said. "It was something we thought we would
have fun with to get Mark back in net."
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
Cornell and Colgate seniors
They ended their careers on the ice, and
completed great four-year careers at their respective
2. Mike Moore, Princeton
Led his team in all areas and scored the game's opening
goal to get Princeton started in the right direction.
Tournament's Most Outstanding Player made big saves
all weekend long and finished with 62 saves and one
goal allowed over the last two days.
• Cornell's last three goals all came
on the power play. Ray Sawada scored the first on a tip-in
that went over the shoulder of Mark Dekanich. Justin Krueger
scored the second with a blast on a one timer into the top
corner of the net and Colin Greening tipped in Cornell's
third PPG on a shot by Brendon Nash. It was the third time
this season that Cornell scored three power-play goals in
It was the 11th time this season that Cornell
has scored two or more PPGs and they were 8-2-1 when doing
• A baseball-type swing at an airborne
puck by Harvard's Pier-Olivier Michaud with four minutes
left in the third period went just wide of the left post
and would've been a spectacular game-tying goal.
• Colgate forward Jesse Winchester missed
Saturday's consolation game due to injury, but was invited
to be on the bench with the Raider coaching staff. He was
there for the first period and provided positive support
for his teammates.
• The Albany Times Union newspaper
printed color signs for fans of all four participating teams
that added to the festivities and also made useful autograph
cards for fans seeking a few signatures.
PLUSSES AND MINUSES
Mike Moore is a first team All-ECAC Hockey and All-Ivy League
defenseman and also earns praise from Inside College Hockey
for being a great person. Late in the second period of Saturday
night's championship game a puck sailed out of play and
landed in the Princeton bench near Moore's skates. He picked
up the puck, turned and looked over his shoulder into the
crowd, and tossed the puck to a young fan.
coverage of the tournament was as good as it's been in a
long time and exposure was even greater as the NHL Network
picked up the feed of the games, which were produced locally
by Time Warner Sports.
Colgate, and Cornell pep bands were on hand throughout the
weekend at the Times Union Arena but Harvard was not represented,
thus depriving the spectators of "Ten Thousand Men,"
one of the great fight songs in college sports.
understand that it's not easy when teams' seasons come to
an end and there are appropriate things that should be said
in the privacy of the dressing rooms between players and
coaches. That said, the time between the end of both games
on Saturday and when players and coaches were made available
to the media was far too long.
Judging by phone conversations overheard outside
the locker room involving Princeton players and congratulatory
well-wishers, speculation started early on where the Tigers
may play in next weekend's NCAA Tournament and against whom.
"Obviously we're thinking about [the NCAA Tournament]
but we'll get on the bus tonight and enjoy this and tomorrow
we'll get back to work," Jubinville said.
Harvard coach Ted Donato summed up the achievements
of this senior class and what the future holds.
"For me, personally, this group will
always have a special importance as the first class that
I've had, going from freshmen to seniors. A group that played
in three ECAC championship games, won an ECAC championship,
won an Ivy title, won a Beanpot game and got us to the final.
I hope we look back at this group and really appreciate
really getting the program headed back to where we want
to be, year in and year out. I told the guys after the game,
being a Harvard hockey player, being an old guy looking
back, isn't about goals and assists and even wins and losses,
it's about choosing to be a certain type of person. Having
said that, I couldn't be prouder or have more respect for
the type of people that our seniors were this season and
really the example they set for future Harvard hockey players."