Tag Archives: Princeton hockey

Playoff atmosphere starts early for men’s hockey and ECAC peers

For most teams in the ECAC men’s hockey league this season, there has been no such thing as a comfortable position in the standings. Princeton learned that the hard way this weekend, sliding all the way from third place to seventh with two 3-2 home losses, but such large changes have been common in one of the wildest editions ever of the ECAC. Just look at a chart of every team’s standing after the last nine weekends of conference play:

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(Graph by Kevin Whitaker ’13)

Bear in mind, that crazy graph starts a full month into conference play, by which point every team had played 5-8 games and the standings should have stabilized a bit. Instead, they’ve only become more chaotic. Quinnipiac ran away with the league lead by winning its first 10 conference games, but five different teams, including Princeton, have held second place in the last two months.

Cornell opened the season ranked sixth nationally and was still in fourth place when the calendar turned; after a seven-game losing streak, it dropped to 11th within a month. Harvard was also nationally ranked as late as Dec. 17, five weeks before falling into the basement. On the other side, six straight victories propelled Rensselaer from 11th place to second in a three-week span, an almost unheard-of leap this late in the season.

Those jumps reflect a season of preposterous parity — every team can beat almost anyone, so the standings have formed a tight band right around .500. Entering Friday, the middle eight teams were separated by a mere four points, the difference between a good and bad weekend; even after a relatively orderly week, a four-point range still contains teams two through eight. “It seems like it’s always really tight [in past years], but this is pretty incredible,” head coach Bob Prier said.

If the ECAC Tournament had started last week, Princeton would have been the No. 3 seed, getting a first-round bye before playing a home game in the quarterfinals. If it started today, the Tigers would be seeded eighth, having to beat a solid Brown squad in the opening round for the right to visit national No. 1 Quinnipiac.

Of course, with the standings still so close, Princeton could bounce back as high as second place with a strong showing against Brown and Yale this weekend. With only four games remaining, every team except Harvard is still mathematically in the running for a top-four seed and first-round bye in the ECAC Tournament. “When that many teams are fighting for a bye that late in the season, these are really playoff-type games already,” Prier said.

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Men’s hockey drops home finale to Yale

By Andrew Robinton ’04
 
The Princeton men’s hockey team’s recent woes continued with a 5-4 loss against Yale Feb. 20 at Baker Rink. The Tigers’ loss to third-ranked Yale was their fourth loss in six games and dropped the team to the middle of the pack in the ECAC.
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Rob Kleebaum ’13 scored three goals in the Feb. 20 loss to Yale. (Office of Athletic Communications)
 

Princeton (15-10-2 overall, 10-8-2 ECAC) entered Sunday’s game after a dominating 7-3 win against Brown a night earlier — a game that featured 43 Princeton shots and was its third seven-goal game of the season. Against Yale, the Tigers stormed out of the gates early, putting 16 shots on goal in the first period and leading 3-0 after the game’s first 14 minutes. But Yale, one of the country’s best teams and tied for the conference lead in points, total offense, and power play goals, stormed back as quickly as it had fallen behind.

 
Sophomore forward Andrew Miller, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, netted Yale’s first goal, a shorthanded tally at 14:24 of the first period. Miller’s wrist shot beat Princeton’s senior goalie Alan Reynolds and put the Bulldogs back in the game. Another shorthanded goal for Yale three minutes later reduced the lead to one goal, and Yale earned the equalizer with 11 seconds remaining in the first period.
 

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Sports shorts: Basketball teams lead Ivy at midpoint

At the halfway point for Ivy League play, the MEN’S and WOMEN’S BASKETBALL teams are on track for their first Ivy title sweep since 1977. The Princeton men (19-4, 7-0 Ivy) dominated Columbia and edged Cornell Feb. 11 and 12 to maintain their half-game lead over Harvard in the standings. The women (17-4, 6-1) also swept their weekend games and jumped into first place thanks to a pair of Harvard losses.
 
i-afb992907ef41cf27734ed5266dccd95-wb_sports.jpgWOMEN’S FENCING successfully defended its Ivy championship in the league’s round-robin competition at Jadwin Gym Feb. 12-13. The Tigers captured Princeton’s first league title of the winter season with a perfect 6-0 record that included close wins against Harvard and Columbia. MEN’S FENCING placed fourth in the Ivies, and foilist Alexander Mills ’12 earned the league’s Most Outstanding Performer award after posting a 13-2 record in league bouts.
 
WOMEN’S HOCKEY beat Union and Rensselaer in its final regular season home games Feb. 11 and 12, aiding its chances at earning home ice for the opening round of the postseason. The Tigers (14-12-1, 11-8-1 ECAC), who face Brown and Yale on the road this weekend, are one point out of fourth place in the ECAC standings. The top four finishers serve as hosts in the ECAC playoffs.
 
MEN’S HOCKEY tied Harvard, 4-4, Feb. 11 and fell to Dartmouth, 4-1, Feb. 12. Princeton (14-9-2, 9-7-2) remains in sixth place in the ECAC.
 
In other weekend action, WRESTLING dropped its final two Ivy matches to Columbia and Cornell. … MEN’S SQUASH finished the regular season with a win over No. 4 Rochester and a loss to No. 1 Trinity. … WOMEN’S WATER POLO split its season-opening weekend, beating Brown but losing to Pacific. … MEN’S and WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD swept Harvard and Yale at the H-Y-P meet in New Haven.

Sports shorts: Back from exams

Thirteen Princeton teams were in action over the weekend as the athletic seasons resumed in earnest following the January exam break.
 
i-afb992907ef41cf27734ed5266dccd95-wb_sports.jpgKareem Maddox ’11 continued his extraordinary season as MEN’S BASKETBALL opened Ivy League play with home wins over Brown and Yale Jan. 28 and 29. Maddox sparked a key first-half run in a 78-60 defeat of the Bears and finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Against Yale, he scored 17 points and made a key block in the final minute as Princeton (14-4, 2-0) held off the surging Bulldogs, 67-63. Head coach Sydney Johnson ’97 said that Maddox’s success has been aided by a talented and balanced Tiger lineup that can spread out defenders. “Kareem’s put the work in, but so has Dan [Mavraides ’11] and so has Doug [Davis ’12],” Johnson said after the Brown game. “We have a team of guys who are trying to improve everyday, and it’s hard [for opponents] to pick who you’re going to take away.”
 
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL also swept its weekend games to maintain a perfect league record. After coasting to a 70-48 win at Brown, the Tigers faced a challenging matchup at Yale, where the Bulldogs took a 22-20 lead into halftime. Princeton (14-3, 3-0) tightened its defense in the second half, holding Yale to 1-for-11 shooting on 3-pointers, and won by a comfortable 52-37 margin. Addie Micir ’11 scored 18 points in each of the weekend games.
 
MEN’S HOCKEY continued its winning ways after the January exam break, posting a 3-0 record in the last week. The Tigers capped that run with a 4-3 overtime win at Clarkson Jan. 29. Kevin Lohry ’11 scored the winning goal. Princeton (14-6-1, 9-4-1) is third in the ECAC standings, behind Yale and Union.
 

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Sports shorts: Winter updates

i-afb992907ef41cf27734ed5266dccd95-wb_sports.jpgA month after beating Pac-10 power Southern California, WOMEN’S BASKETBALL notched another win against a big-conference team, beating Wake Forest, 71-63, Dec. 31. Princeton (10-3) topped the Atlantic Coast Conference school on the road despite playing without star forward Niveen Rasheed ’13, who injured her knee in a Dec. 29 win over Davidson. Princeton plays La Salle Jan. 4 at Jadwin Gym.
 
MEN’S BASKETBALL will host Marist in its final game before the first-semester exam break Jan. 5. The Tigers (10-4) dropped a close game at 19th-ranked Central Florida Dec. 30. Before that, Princeton had won eight in a row, including six road games.
 
MEN’S HOCKEY will host Cornell Jan. 7 in a key ECAC Hockey matchup. Princeton (10-5-1, 6-3-1 ECAC) is unbeaten in its last six outings, including two wins that led to a tournament championship at the UConn Hockey Classic Dec. 29-30.

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Sports shorts: Kicking off the winter season

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Addie Micir ’11 (Office of Athletic Communications)

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL is off to a 4-2 start that includes impressive wins over Southern California, Delaware, and Lehigh, and a pair of close losses at Rutgers and No. 22 Vanderbilt. Senior captain Addie Micir was the hero in the Southern Cal game Nov. 26, sinking two free-throws with five seconds remaining to put the Tigers on top, 60-59. She followed that performance with a 20-point game against Vanderbilt and an 18-point effort at Delaware in which she hit six of seven 3-point attempts. Through six games, Micir leads Princeton in 3-pointers (3.8 per game) and ranks second on the team in scoring (13.8 points per game).

 
In MEN’S BASKETBALL, Princeton has won its last two contests, scoring more than 80 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1975. Against Siena Nov. 28, Dan Mavraides ’11 hit a clutch 3-pointer to send the game into overtime, and Kareem Maddox ’11 led Princeton with a remarkable all-around performance that included 30 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks. At Lafayette Nov. 30, Ian Hummer ’13 made 10 of 12 field-goal attempts to lead the Tigers with 22 points in a convincing win over the Leopards.
 
MEN’S HOCKEY hosts Clarkson and St. Lawrence Dec. 3 and 4 in Princeton’s last two ECAC Hockey games before the league takes a hiatus for fall-term exams at most of the member schools. The Tigers have rebounded from a sluggish start, winning five of their last six games, including shutout victories over Harvard and Quinnipiac.
 

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