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

Thursday, March 09, 2006

CHF's Women's ECACHL Semifinals Preview - Part 2

#3 Brown v. #2 Princeton

I've picked on Brown in nearly every preview opportunity, especially after their six shot performance against Clarkson that ended up ending in a 1-0 victory for the Bears. Their sweep of Dartmouth last weekend should silence many critics, and leads to a very intriguing matchup against Princeton in the ECACHL semifinals. Brown had a rough stretch in February, only managing a single win at home, but they managed to scrape together enough ties to secure the three seed in the playoffs, despite having allowed more goals than scored in the regular season. They're consistently outshot by their opponents, yet this team has an innate quality to score and hold tight leads when it matters, with a 6-2 record in one goal games.

Keaton Zucker and Hayley Moore came through for the Bears last weekend, but it was senior Margaret Ramsey who came to life for the Bears when they needed it most, scoring two goals in the second game, including an unassisted tally to give the Bears a little bit of breathing space against a tough Big Green team. Brown will need to see Zucker and Moore stay hot offensively, plus have a couple more Brunos turn into scoring threats if they want to beat Princeton's talented Roxanne Gaudiel. Senior O'Hara Shipe stopped 21 shots on Friday night, but surprisingly freshman Nicole Stock got the call on Saturday and stopped all 18 shots to record her second shutout of the season. I still suspect that Brown will go with O'Hara Shipe, but having two confident goalies should make the rest of the team feel more comfortable regardless of who they put out on the ice.

Princeton is coming off of a two game sweep of a young Colgate team that gave them fits in game two before falling to the Tigers 5-4 with under two minutes left in the game. A quick look at Princeton's schedule should scare any team. They've gone 12-1-0 since January 13th, with their only loss being a 3-1 defeat at the hands of St. Lawrence. They too play well in one goal games with an 8-5 record, but more importantly Princeton can open fire offensively and have several blowouts underneath their belts. This recent run included a 6-1 victory over Harvard and a 7-2 victory over Dartmouth, and neither of those teams are a cakewalk. The Tigers average over three goals per game, and that number inches towards four if you just talk about conference matchups.

Kim Pearce and Annie Greenwood have lead the Tigers offense in scoring all season, but the Tigers have six skaters with twenty points or more this season, showing threats all across the board. Christine Foster had a hat trick in the series opener against Colgate, scoring all three of Princeton's goals. This offense is dangerous. Combined with the goaltending abilities of Gaudiel who has been consistently been one of the strongest goalies in the ECACHL throughout her career, and that spells trouble for any team.

Brown and Princeton split the season series this year, unsurprisingly in a pair of one goal games. Brown beat the Tigers 4-3 on home ice in January, and Princeton returned the favor in a 3-2 win two weeks ago. Brown needs to keep their scorers hot if they want a win on Saturday. The Bears average less than two goals a game, and that won't be enough to beat a team like Princeton unless Shipe has been practicing standing on her head this week. If they can score three goals like they did last weekend, they've got a legit shot to beat the Tigers. The Tigers need to get on the board fast, overwhelm Brown and crush their spirits quickly. A five goal outburst should be an instant victory for the Tigers, just add water. If the Tigers can't get on the board, that could spell trouble against a Brown team that seems to excel in one goal games. I think this one will either going to be a blowout, or a one goal upset. I like roulette, I like putting money down on double-zero, I'll go with the upset in this one.

Prediction: Brown 3 - Princeton 2


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