5FW Game Coverage: Previewing Harvard @ Princeton

— This is a pretty big ECAC matchup for both teams.  Harvard comes into the 7 PM contest on a four-game winless skid, but only dropped out of the USCHO Top 20 just last week and are still receiving enough votes to put them as the 24th best team in the country.

As for the Tigers, things are far more dire, as they’ve now gone seven straight games without picking up a win, a stretch that dates back to a Nov. 23 win over lightly-regarded Sacred Heart.  But their division mark of 2-3-3 puts them at seventh in the 12-team conference, with impressive victories over a still-ranked Cornell team and very solid Colgate squad.

Although Quinnipiac has run away with the number one slot in the division, the other three first-round byes in the ECAC Tournament are very much so up for grabs, as only five points separate the second through 12th place-ranked teams.

— Based on NHL-drafted players alone, Harvard is a far more talented team than what Princeton is expected to ice in a few hours.  The Crimson — who have been rocked by an alleged academic scandal within the team — still boast five players whose rights arre held by teams at the top level, compared to just one for the Tigers (D Mike Sdao, OTT).  Although local fans will surely be interested in Flyers sixth-rounder Petr Placek, defenseman Danny Biega is likely to garner the most attention out of any of the players here.

Carolina’s third-round pick in 2010, the 6-foot, 205 pound defenseman has gotten off to a slow start this season from an offensive standpoint, as has been the case for his team in general as of late; they’ve scored just four goals in their last four games.

— Princeton’s Sean Bonar (3.81, .876) is expected to be opposed in net by Raphael Girard (2.69, .918) tonight.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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