Surprise: The ECAC Remains Unpredictable
2, Colgate 1
Rutherglen, J. McKinven
Genovy, L. Porter
Dustin Traylen, 59:56, 27 saves, 1 GA
Steve Silverthorn, 59:16, 32 saves, 2 GA
Clk 4/8; Clg 3/6
Plays: Clk 0-1; Clg 0-3
It was another night of hockey without rhyme or reason, and in
the ECAC, it doesn't come any other way.
with a combined total of one goal coming into the evening’s
action scored three of the biggest goals of the night. And those
higher-seeded teams that were nationally ranked? You'll find them
in the consolation game.
the ninth seed, and Harvard, the sixth seed, got goals from unlikely
sources to advance to the championship game. That left Colgate
and Dartmouth with the chance to pick up one final win in the
consi and the slimmest hopes for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In the first
semifinal, two rookie blueliners for Clarkson lit the lamp. Matt
Curley, a North Country product, took a cross-ice pass and blasted
it through Colgate goalie Steve Silverthorn to put the Golden
Knights in front 3:01 into the proceedings.
have come at a better time," Curley said of his first collegiate
goal. "To be honest with you, it's nice, but more importantly
we're playing tomorrow night for an ECAC Championship, and that's
what really matters."
tied the score, Clarkson's Michael Grenzy crept in from the point
and was on the doorstep to bury a centering pass from Jeff Genovy,
who was stationed behind the net. It was Grenzy's second goal
of the year.
as surprised as everyone else. Matt Curley and myself scoring
is quite a surprise. We're not the two most offensive defensemen,"
Grenzy said. "It's great to see that we can contribute because
you have a tough time scoring against Colgate."
continued in the second semifinal, where after a scoreless first
period, Harvard defenseman Dave McCulloch intercepted a cross
ice pass inside of the Dartmouth defensive zone, and wristed a
shot from the top of the left-wing circle that found the upper-right
corner. It was McCulloch's first goal of the year.
coaches have been getting on me in practice about not scoring,"
he said. "I just tried to get it on net. I told (Coach Mark
Mazzoleni) that I tried to pick the corner, but I'm not sure he
from Lacombe, Alberta missed 15 games this year, most of those
due to a leg injury. He's the all-time penalty minutes leader
at Harvard, and laid a ferocious open-ice hit on Dartmouth's Eric
Przepiorka in the first period.
McCulloch is one of those kids that you don't appreciate him unless
you have him on your team. He's a guy who comes to play hard and
tenacious every single night," Mazzoleni said.
2, Dartmouth 1
Hafner, R. Lannon
Dov Grumet-Morris, 60:00, 30 saves, 1 GA
Dan Yacey, 58:56, 31 saves, 2 GA
H 2/4; D 2/4
Plays: H 0-2; D 0-2
figured something out about playing with the lead. It's good.
For the sixth
consecutive game when scoring first, the Golden Knights went on
to win. That includes five playoff wins, including Friday's 2-1
win over Colgate that sends Clarkson to the championship game
it's been important for us all along here. Same thing against
Union, we got the lead and held on to it. Against Cornell the
first night they jumped on us and we never recovered," head
coach George Roll said. "We're not telling our guys you've
got to score the first goal, but it's more just go in and establish
ourselves, get the puck deep and get to the net."
came out flying in the first period of the afternoon tilt, and
capped a series of tenacious forechecking plays with Curley's
you get down to a team, you start questioning things, but when
you get a lead it makes it so much easier. It's been important
for us down the stretch here. We've played well with the lead
the last seven or eight games," Roll said.
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
Lee Stempniak, Dartmouth
Dartmouth junior had the highlight-reel goal of the night.
He backchecked in the neutral zone to take the puck away
from Harvard's Ryan Maki, then wheeled in to the zone around
Noah Welch, across the crease of Dov Grumet-Morris, and
tucked it inside the left post on his backhand.
Clarkson's "fourth" line
Roll said the trio of Max Kolu, Lyon Porter, and
Jeff Genovy set the tone with their forechecking work all
game long. He called them the team's best offensive group
on Friday, even though they're listed as the least-heralded
of the forward lines.
Dennis Packard, Harvard
Two Harvard goals were scored and you won't see
any points for the 6-foot-5 winger. Yet there he was, creating
traffic on McCulloch's opener and winning the draw to set
up the game-winner by Bernakevitch.
AND HEARD AT THE PEPSI
is 4-7-0 all-time in the championship game, while Harvard is 6-7-0.
Harvard's third straight final. They last won it in 2002. It's
Clarkson's first appearance in the final since 1999, when they
defeated St. Lawrence in Lake Placid.
killing a penalty late in the first period, Clarkson's Chris Blight
took the puck away from Colgate defenseman Rob Brown and had a
partial breakaway. Brown hauled down Blight, who was awarded a
penalty shot by referee Tim Kotyra. It's believed to be the eighth
penalty shot in ECAC playoff history.
Dan Yacey saw his shutout streak end at 181:21 when McCulloch
scored in the second period. It's the longest shutout streak in
ECAC playoff history.
penalty-killers paid the price to protect a one-goal lead in the
middle of the third period, as Rob Fried, Tim Pettit, and Ryan
Maki all blocked shots from the left point by Hugh Jessiman. A
fourth Jessiman blast hit the outside of the goalpost.
Clarkson win leaves a mark in the league record book, as the ninth
seed in the league tournament had never advanced as far as the
semifinals. A win on Saturday would make Clarkson the lowest seed
ever to win the title.
to the mutual respect shown by Colgate's first-team forward Jon
Smyth and Clarkson's red-hot goaltender Dustin Traylen. They had
the best one-on-one duel of the night. In the third period, with
Clarkson holding a one-goal lead, Smyth patiently held the puck
and had Traylen on his back, but as Smyth released the low shot,
Traylen slapped his arm to the ice and made the save.
was a bit of a Hail Mary save. He had me beat, I'm not going to
sit here and lie to you," Traylen said. "I just sprawled
backward and tried to throw my glove back there and hope for the
best, and he hit me."
gone upstairs had I known that his arm would come around, so I
have to give all of the credit to him. He made an unbelievable
save," Smyth said.
guy walked into the arena wearing a Boston College jersey. Hey,
why not? They're not playing this weekend. The bad part was that
he had the jersey tucked into his blue jeans. Get with it man.
question, the Raiders hopes for an NCAA Tournament berth took
a major hit with Friday's loss. But, with several results from
around the nation yet to be determined, Colgate still has a chance
to pick up a quality win in the consolation. "We don't know
what will happen with the selection committee or the bids, or
an NCAA berth. We only know that tomorrow we need to be prepared
and ready to play. If we win that game, we'll make it difficult
for people to make a decision not to select us," Colgate
interim head coach Stan Moore said.
The loss was disappointing, and the result was disappointing,
but the Big Green has been to Albany for four consecutive years.
Consistency is hard to come by in the ECAC, with so much turnover
in the standings from year-to-year. Senior defenseman and captain
Brian Van Abel
These Golden Knights have already taken a huge step by helping
to put all of the negative publicity surrounding the program from
last year a thing of the past. One more win brings the Clarkson
program from perhaps its lowest point in its existence to a high
perch atop the ECAC.
is where the Crimson were expected to be, playing in the ECAC
Championship. We didn't think they would need this win to get
into the NCAA Tournament, however. Experience is on the side of
the men from Cambridge, but as we found out again on Friday, anything
can happen in the ECAC.