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

Friday, March 03, 2006

CHF's ECACHL Women's Quarterfinals Preview - Part 4

#5 Clarkson at #4 Harvard

It feels odd typing #5 Clarkson at #4 Harvard. For most of the season Clarkson was battling for first place with St. Lawrence and Princeton. After going 8-1-0 to open up the New Year, that loss being 1-0 to Brown, Clarkson has gone cold as of late, dropping five of their last seven, many in close games. On top of this Clarkson lost home ice in the first round last weekend at Cheel, when Harvard managed to notch a game-tying goal with the extra attacker, and a game winning goal with one second left in OT. This means extra motivation for this weekend's matchup against the Crimson in Cambridge.

Clarkson's Kira Hurley has been outstanding in net this year, but inconsistent as of late. Her ten shutouts leads the country, and despite the rough stretch, she still ranks in the top tier of goalies in both GAA (1.32) and Save Pct.(.940) while playing significantly more minutes than most goalies. Clarkson does not have a superior offense, but they can score more goals than say a Brown or a Dartmouth thanks to a more balanced sheet from top to bottom. They feature no point per game scorers on their roster, but they do have ten players including four defenseman that have ten or more points this season. Ashley Shaidle currently leads the team with 17 goals and 13 assists. Clarkson's defense on top of their goaltending is their strong point. They don't allow offenses to get many shots on goal and when they do, they're not great ones. Clarkson gives up the least number of penalties in the country, and at last check were leading the country on the PK.

Harvard comes into the weekend series on a high note. They walked into the North Country needing a win, and when they were down to the wire, they came through when it counted the most. Their reward for not giving up until the horn sounded: The Crimson Women will only have to walk across the Charles for their games this weekend instead of a return trip to Potsdam. A closer look at the Crimson's recent games show them in a tough spot just like Clarkson though , having dropped games to Cornell and Boston College at Bright in the past month.

Harvard's Jennifer Raimondi has a hand in all three goals against Clarkson last weekend including the GTG and the GWG at the 4:59 mark in OT. She currently leads Harvard scorers with 33 points. Along with Raimondi, Jenny Brine and Sarah Wilson are dangerous on the special teams with 19 goals on the PP, nearly two-thirds of the PP total. We'll likely see Senior Ali Boe in net. She maintains a solid, but average in this strong ECACHL, GAA of 2.30 and Save Pct. of .915, and is tough to beat. Many still talk about her 56 save performance against Mercyhurst which resulted in a triple overtime victory in last year's NCAA quarterfinals, so you know she's going to step it up for any big game, and these are big games.

In fact, these are the biggest games of the season for both teams. In Clarkson's short history, the Golden Knights have never won a playoff game let alone a series. With no NCAA eligibility this year, this IS their postseason tournament, and they're looking to come out and make a statement after a brutal loss at the hands of the Crimson last weekend. The Crimson desperately need to win this series to keep their NCAA hopes alive. They're neck and neck with Boston College right now in the PWR and a series loss would likely end their season. In their first meeting of the season, Clarkson came out strong early, then held on for dear life as the Crimson poured it on in the last minutes of the third period. Last weekend, Clarkson came out strong again, but Harvard's pressure got to them at the end. This weekend? Not a doubt in my mind this one will go to three games, and might even be the best post-season series of the year, but I've got to be a homer and give it to the Knights. I feel like they have had Harvard's number, and if they can get to the Crimson quickly, their defense will be able to hold on.

Ron's Prediction:

  • Clarkson 3 - Harvard 1
  • Harvard 2 - Clarkson 1 (ot)
  • Clarkson 1 - Harvard 0

Clarkson wins series 2-1


Post a Comment

<< Home