Photo courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- As the hockey slate heats up once again, it is Princeton that has worked its way to the top of the Ivy League standings.
The Tigers are 3-0-0 in Ivy League play after downing Dartmouth 2-1 on January 5. That handed the Big Green their first Ivy loss of the season and third straight loss overall. The Tigers are hoping 2013 is a fresh start. After beginning the campaign 3-7-4, Princeton recorded wins over Harvard and Dartmouth to get back on track. The two wins also pulled Princeton into second place in the ECAC standings.
In the Polls: USCHO.com | USA TODAY/USA Hockey
With the three straight losses, Dartmouth dropped from eighth to 12th in both polls. Yale moved up to 14th in both polls this week, up from 17 in USCHO and receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Top 15. After dropping two at Denver last weekend, Cornell dropped three spots from No. 12 to No. 15 in both polls this week.
Brown (4-6-4, 0-3-0) got back in the win column when it closed out 2012 with a 7-2 win over American International at the UConn Tournament on December 30. Joe Prescott had a pair of goals in the win and Matt Harlow and Brandon Pfeil had three assists apiece. Pfeil also added a power play goal to complete a four-point night. The Bears added a 7-1 exhibition win over the Russian Red Stars last week, as well. Sophomore Matt Lorito leads the Bears in scoring with 15 points, including a team-best and Ivy-best 10 goals. His 15 points are good for seventh in the league this season. Lorito is also tied for the League-lead in power play tallies with four. The Bears have battled through several key injuries, particularly on defense, and are hoping things will solidify down the stretch. Brown visits Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend.
Cornell (7-6-2, 0-2-1) dropped a pair at then 11th-ranked Denver last weekend to see its losing skid hit three in a row. Cornell sits at No. 15 in both polls, dropping three spots after the tough weekend in The Rockies. The three-game skid began when a three-goal lead slipped away in a 6-4 loss to Maine. Cornell is led in scoring by Greg Miller with 14 points on seven goals and seven assists. He is tied for the team-lead in goals with John Esposito. The Big Red had three players named to the list for the opening round of online voting for the Hobey Baker Award this week. Junior goalie Andy Iles, senior forward Greg Miller and senior defenseman Nick D'Agostino earned spots on the ballot for the second straight year. After road trips to Estero, Fla. and Denver on consecutive weekends, the Big Red have this weekend off and return to action on January 18 when they visit Union.
Dartmouth (8-5-2, 2-1-1) has suffered three straight one-goal losses after having won three in a row. Dartmouth had scored 42 goals in its first 12 games (3.5 per game), but scored only twice in each of the three losses. The Big Green, now ranked No. 12 in both polls, had killed off 32 straight penalties prior to allowing a power play tally against UMass on New Year's Eve. Dartmouth junior forward Matt Lindblad and sophomore forward Tyler Sikura were both named to the opening ballot for the Hobey Baker Award this week. Sikura continues to lead the league in scoring with 21 points. His 13 assists lead the Ivy thus far this season, while his 1.40 points per game rank seventh in the nation. Lindblad is second on the team in scoring with 17 points (6g, 11a). After allowing two power play goals against UMass to see that streak end, the Big Green slipped to second in the nation on the penalty kill at 93 percent (53-of-57). Dartmouth, which is 7-1-0 at home this season, will look to get back in the win column when it hosts Harvard on Saturday night.
Harvard (5-7-1, 2-2-0) is coming off a thrilling 6-5 win over cross-city rival Boston University on Wednesday night. The Crimson rallied from down 5-2 with three goals over a 10-minute span in the third period to tie the game. Then Conor Morrison picked a great time for his first goal of the season, scoring with just 48 seconds left in overtime to lift Harvard to the win. The win snapped a four-game losing streak and a six-game winless skid. Alex Fallstrom and Tommy O'Regan are tied for the team lead in points with 10 each. Jimmy Vesey leads the team in goals this season with five. Earlier this week, senior defenseman Danny Biega was named to the opening ballot of the Hobey Baker Award. The Crimson are in the midst of a seven-game road trip and don't return home until January 25. The next three games are against Ivy League foes beginning with Dartmouth on Saturday night.
Princeton (5-7-4, 3-0-0) has surged as of late. The Tigers seem to have turned the calendar and maybe started to turn the corner. After a seven-game winless streak, Princeton downed Harvard in overtime, 3-2, and then knocked off Dartmouth, 2-1, last weekend to take over first place in the Ivy League and move into second in the ECAC. Andrew Calof scored the gamewinner in overtime to defeat Harvard last Friday. Mike Condon's 34 saves was the big storyline in Princeton's win over Dartmouth. The Tigers scored twice in the first 2:35 of the second period to erase a 1-0 deficit, including Jeremy Goodwin's tally that wound up being the gamewinner. Calof is second in the Ivy League in scoring with 20 points (8g, 12a). Tyler Maugeri is third in the League in scoring with 17 points (6g, 11a). They also rank second and third, respectively, in the Ivy in assists. The Tigers are tops in the nation in combined special teams (60.5 percent) and are fourth in the nation on the power play with an Ivy League-best 24.1 percent (13-of-54). The Tigers host Union on Friday night in a game televised by the NBC Sports Network.
Yale (7-4-3, 2-1-0) is ranked No. 14 in both polls currently. The Bulldogs are coming off of a 3-3 tie at then No. 3-ranked Boston College last Friday. In front of a crowd of 7,213, Yale scored three times in a span of 7:02 in the second period against the Eagles. The Bulldogs outshot the Eagles 48-22 on the night, including 15-6 in the final period but couldn't come away with a gamewinner. Senior forward Andrew Miller is one assist away from 100 for his career, which would make him the second Bulldog to achieve the milestone. He has 14 points on the year (6g, 8a). Miller joined senior forward Antoine Laganiere and junior forward Kenny Agostino on the first round ballot for the Hobey Baker Award. The trio are all in the Top 10 in the Ivy in points this season. Agostino is tied for third in the League in scoring with 17 points (7g, 10a), while Laganiere is sixth (9-7-16) and Miller is tied for eighth. Yale is on the road to face St. Lawrence and Clarkson this weekend.