ECAC Hockey Semifinals
Goalie backstops Princeton to championship
3, Colgate 0
Shattenkirk, L. Stankievech
Mark Dekanich, 59:08, 19 saves, 2 GA, 1 ENG
Zane Kalemba, 59:58, 27 saves, 0GA
CU 3/6; P 3/6
Plays: CU 0-2; P 0-3
ALBANY, N.Y. — It started harmlessly
enough, after approximately eight minutes had been played
in the early semifinal at the Bank of America Hockey Championships.
Princeton goalie Zane Kalemba stared down Colgate star forward
Tyler Burton as Burton split the Tiger defensemen and had
a clear breakaway. Kalemba went low to the ice on his belly,
covered the bottom of the net and denied Burton's backhand
deke attempt by snaring the shot in his catching glove.
Burton had the game's best opportunity later
in the first period when a rebound fell to him in the low
slot, with Kalemba stationed at the far post after having
made the initial save. Burton didn't get a great chance
on his backhand attempt and it rolled off the end of his
stick. Instead of finding the five and a half feet of gaping
net mouth, Kalemba's glove again reached down to stop the
As stated earlier, that was just the start.
Kalemba kept it up all the way through Princeton's 3-0 win
over Colgate that sent Princeton to Saturday night's ECAC
Hockey Championship game against Harvard.
It continued through the second period with
good stops on Jesse Winchester and David McIntyre as the
game remained scoreless through 40 minutes.
Kalemba's victim in the third period was Ethan
Cox. The first came off a point-blank one-timer on a 2-on-1
rush to keep the game scoreless. Princeton's Matt Arhontas
broke the scoring drought with 11:56 left in the third period.
Teammate Mark Magnowski forced a Colgate turnover and Arhontas
was the beneficiary of a bounce. He was in clearly on Raider
goalie Mark Dekanich and slid the puck between the pads
for a 1-0 Princeton lead that would hold up as the game-winner.
The second stop on Cox was a spinning stuff
attempt from inside the crease with 5:25 left to play and
Princeton leading 1-0. The ensuing play saw Kevin Lohry
go the distance the other way and score on a breakaway with
5:16 left that put Princeton ahead by two goals.
"Colgate did a heck of a job defending
our rush and I was proud of how our team responded. This
team has found different ways to win every night, and we
did that again," Princeton head coach Guy Gadowsky
For senior defenseman and team captain Mike
Moore, Kalemba's play was the key as the rest of the team
picked up its game and was able to cultivate confidence
as the game wore on.
"It was one of the best performances
by a goalie that I've ever seen on a team that I played
for," Moore said. "It builds the confidence of
the entire team and you see how it reflects on a defensive
unit with a lot of freshman and sophomores. They know that
he's back there and it helps our composure."
LEADER SETS AN EXAMPLE FOR CRIMSON
3, Cornell 1
McCafferty, J. Fraser
Rogers, M. Taylor
Sawada, M. Kennedy
Biega, M. Taylor
Ben Scrivens, 57:42, 30 saves, 3 GA
Kyle Richter, 60:00, 31 saves, 1 GA
CU 6/12; HU 4/8
Plays: CU 1-4; HU 3-6
Tell coaches around the league that you can
offer them a player who leads his team in scoring, is among
its best penalty-killing forwards, plays the point on the
power play, and has run off a 13-game point streak at the
most important time of the season. They might be interested.
Then talk about the intangibles. That he has earned the
respect of his teammates as a great co-captain who guided
a team through a miserable stretch of hockey and has a knack
for making big plays at important times. That he leads by
example first, and then raises his voice when necessary,
making himself accountable before pointing the finger at
others. They'll probably be very interested.
Then ask those same coaches why they didn't
vote Harvard's Mike Taylor to any of the three All-ECAC
Hockey Teams this season.
Scanning a box score or the league's scoring
leaders won't bring Taylor to mind. Watching any Harvard
game will paint a clear picture of how vital he is to the
Crimson's success. That was the case in Friday night's 3-1
semifinal win over Cornell that sent Harvard to Saturday's
ECAC Hockey Championship against Princeton.
Taylor's energy and work ethic, his poise
with the puck and willingness to pursue it when Cornell
had it set the tone for Harvard. It's been that way since
early February, when Harvard started its impressive run
of 10 wins, two losses, and a tie to put itself in a position
to resurrect a season that was sliding downhill. It's no
coincidence that Taylor has at least one point in those
forward Mike Taylor extended his point streak to 13
games with a pair of assists in Harvard's 3-1 win against
Cornell in Friday's ECAC Hockey semifinal.
"I lead by example, but I'm also able
to open up around my teammates when I'm pretty soft spoken.
That's what we've tried to do in the second half. I had
a great talk with (co-captain) Dave MacDonald and we knew
we needed to turn things around," Taylor said.
His reputation for scoring big goals is well-earned.
He's got three short-handed goals on the season. All of
them broke scoreless ties, and Harvard went on to win those
games. He had a goal and an assist in the three-goal spree
in the first period of the Beanpot win over Northeastern
that started to turn the Crimson tide.
"Our senior leadership didn't allow us
to crumble or doubt ourselves and splinter off when things
weren't going well," Harvard coach Ted Donato said.
Taylor's linemate Doug Rogers elaborated on
how Taylor gets the job done.
"Mike's been a great leader for us all
year. He comes to practice ready and he knows what to do
every place on the ice. He leads by example but says all
the right things," he said.
The trio of Taylor, Rogers, and Matt McCollem
has combined for 23 goals in the last 13 games and Harvard
as a whole has benefited. Even though he plays on the left
wing, Taylor's been at the center of it all.
SEEN AN HEARD AT THE TIMES UNION CENTER
Making the most of a difficult situation:
Harvard goalie Kyle Richter credited his defensemen and
forwards for doing a good job in the zone and helping to
make him look good. Harvard coach Ted Donato credited Richter
for making the tough saves and being aware in a very difficult
building for goalies and being sharp right from the start.
"Especially in the first period, I thought
Kyle was exceptional. When he's playing as well as he is
now, as is the case with all hot goalies, they make things
look much easier than they actually are. He was solid from
the start and made some great saves on Cornell's power play.
That gives the team a huge boost in a game when any goal
that might be scored changes momentum," Donato said.
"This is a very difficult arena for goalies.
There are funny bounces and not a lot of room behind the
net or in the corners. One step in either direction can
put them in a bad spot or off their angles."
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
Kyle Richter, Harvard
Kalemba's shutout and eye-popping saves get the recognition,
but Richter was almost as good in the second game
with several important stops on deflections and grade-A
chances by the Big Red
Jon Pelle, Harvard
Two goals and tons of jump on the night for a tremendously
talented offensive player who buried his chances and
sent the Crimson to the finals.
Zane Kalemba, Princeton
Princeton has three wins in the playoffs and all have
been shutouts. It's an ECAC Hockey tournament record,
and ties the career mark for shutouts in the ECAC
Hockey playoffs. With five zeroes on the season, Kalemba
has set the Princeton record in that category.
Excited on Old Nassau: The
most distinguished group of fans arrived at the Times Union
Center early in the second period of the first semifinal.
Princeton's men's lacrosse team happened to be in town for
an early afternoon game against the University of Albany.
While the lax game didn't go the Tigers' way
(a 10-2 loss to the Albany Great Danes), the team was wearing
shirts and ties and filled the first three rows of section
122 where most of the Princeton supporters had gathered.
Kalemba's great saves and Lohry's breakaway
goal brought them to their feet and they banged on the glass
as the Princeton players celebrated in front of them.
"The support for our program and all
the athletic programs at Princeton has been fantastic. Princeton
has been proud of what we've been able to do," Gadowsky
said. "All of our guys noticed it and it definitely
gave us a boost."
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• The four participating teams aren't
the only ECAC Hockey teams in action this weekend. Regular-season
champs Clarkson are continuing to practice in Potsdam after
having been upset by Colgate in the quarterfinals last weekend.
The Golden Knights are awaiting word on a likely NCAA Tournament
berth when the field is announced on Sunday morning.
• Colgate is without defenseman Nick
St. Pierre for the weekend due to an injury suffered during
the Clarkson series last weekend. It didn't cause too much
of a shakeup in the Raider lineup as they have regularly
dressed seven defensemen and just 11 forwards for most of
• The Fan Fest that has traditionally
been held on South Pearl Street outside of the arena has
been scaled down and moved inside. Inflatable play areas,
other games, jugglers, face-painters, and balloon artists
were on hand inside of Times Union Center on the concourse
to provide entertainment options for fans of all ages.
• Colgate provided a small hospitality
table for Raider fans in attendance featuring "GO RAIDERS"
signs and large bowls of popcorn and pretzels.
PLUSSES AND MINUSES
expected, Cornell had the largest number of supporters in
attendance, but their enthusiasm waned after Harvard tallied
those back-to-back PPGs in the second period. It's easy
to cheer for your team when they're winning. Fans cheer
for their team at all times.
for beers! Concession stands and vendors sold a variety
of beers in the arena and a good number of fans enjoyed
an adult refreshment or two during the evening's festivities.
They won't have that opportunity next weekend when the Times
Union Center hosts the NCAA East Regional..
Princeton and Harvard meet Saturday for an
ECAC Hockey Championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA
Tournament in what is setting up to be a true goaltender's
duel on Saturday night. While Kalemba made the gaudy and
spectacular saves, Richter made the stops in traffic and
The third-place game matches travel partners
Cornell and Colgate for one more game. It closes the illustrious
careers of standout players Topher Scott and Raymond Sawada
for the Big Red and Tyler Burton, Jesse Winchester, and
Mark Dekanich for the Raiders. ECAC Hockey fans will be
thankful to have the opportunity to see these guys one more