Did You Know: The Clarkson Hockey program has amassed 10,001 goals since the 1920-21 season?

Friday, February 24, 2006

CHF Women's Preview - 2/24/06

Another split last weekend against Yale and Brown eliminated the Clarkson's Women's Hockey Team from the ECACHL title picture, but did inch them closer to a home-ice playoff series in the first round of the ECACHL Tournament, Clarkson's NCAAs this year. With two games remaining, Clarkson sits in 3rd place, a point ahead of Brown, and two points ahead of Harvard. The top four teams in the league will get to host the first round of the tournament, and the top remaining seed will host the ECAC Final Four. Clarkson does control their own destiny, as they could clinch home-ice with a win or a tie against Harvard on Saturday, as Clarkson would win the tie-break in that scenario. A Clarkson win against Dartmouth would not necessarily clinch, as we'd need a little help from our rivals on Rt. 11 against Harvard, or for Brown to get held to just a single point against Princeton and Quinnipiac. In the case of a tie, Brown owns the tie-breaker against Clarkson, and I'm not even going to try to figure out what would happen if Harvard and Clarkson are tied, because we'll need to figure out how the rest of the league is going to shake out.

This brings us to Clarkson v. Dartmouth on Friday at Cheel. Clarkson will likely be buoyed by a decent sized crowd, including a band and bonesaws, an intimidating environment for any team to play in. Despite starting the year ranked in the top 10, Dartmouth fell off the pace early, and has been working to battle back into league contention. After going 0-2-2 though the beginning of February, Dartmouth swept a Colgate and Cornell with one goal games against a pair that has been tough of late. In both games Dartmouth outshot their opponents by strong margins, but both of the weekend's goals were given up on the power play. Shannon Bowman and Maggie Kennedy are the leading scorers on the team. Both freshman, along with senior Danielle Grundy, have scored over twenty points this season. Dartmouth also has a strong tandem in goal with senior Kate Lane, who has started about two-thirds of the games for the Big Green, with freshman Carli Clemis getting the other starts. Both goalies have strong save percentages and GAA's of slightly above 2.00, meaning the Knights offense has their work cut out for them. In their previous matchup, Clarkson defeated Dartmouth in Hanover 1-0 in what was their biggest win to date.

Saturday afternoon, Clarkson will face Harvard, the team that ignited the women's season when they went on a tear defeating Harvard, Dartmouth and St. Lawrence, three of the four teams that played in the 2005 Frozen Four. After losing to Cornell 4-3, in one of the biggest upsets in women's hockey this season, Harvard righted the ship slightly by defeating Colgate 3-1 by throwing 52 shots at Colgate, and behind a strong perfomance by senior Ali Boe. Harvard's Jennifer Raimondi and Jenny Brine are both point-per-game scorers for Harvard which has ten double-digit scorers in 27 games played. As with many teams in the ECACHL, Harvard has a strong tandem of goalies, with Boe and freshman Brittany Murphy both playing extremely well. With home ice on the line we suspect we'll see Boe out there with the pressure on. In their last meeting in Cambridge, Clarkson defeated Harvard 4-3 after Clarkson jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first.

Last weekend, Kira Hurley had a stellar performance and one she'd like to have back. After shutting out Yale the previous evening for her nation leading tenth shutout, she gave up three goals early to Brown and was pulled in favor of Stephanie Hansen who stopped the remaining shots. Clarkson's offense continues to struggle with only five goals in their last five games, two of which were wins. Bottom line this weekend is to take advantage of the power play, and most importantly Clarkson's offense, lead by Ashley Shaidle (27 points) and Brooke Beazer (20 points) needs to shoot often and score first. Clarkson is 16-2-0 when they score first, while Dartmouth is 8-1-2 and Harvard is 11-2-2. Clarkson is a whopping 19-3-1 when outshooting their opponents.

Ron's Picks:
Clarkson 2 - Dartmouth 0
Clarkson 3 - Harvard 1

Gobe's Picks:
Clarkson 4 - Dartmouth 3
Clarkson 5 - Harvard 2


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