Previewing Princeton vs. Clarkson

Friday night’s matchup at Baker Rink is hardly a must win for Princeton, but should the Tigers overlook the lightly regarded Golden Knights, it could come back to hurt them in a big way.  With six conference games remaining, Princeton (9-10-4, 7-6-3 ECAC) is in a tight battle for the final three first-round byes remaining in the ECAC Tournament, with the top-ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats having all but secured a spot.

The second through tenth spots in the conference are separated by all of six points, with Princeton clinging to the fourth and final spot that would give them a first round free pass (they’re actually in a three-way tie with 17 points with Dartmouth and RPI) by having one more goal than the fifth-place squad.

Clarkson has two NHL draft picks on its roster in F Ben Sexton (BOS) and G Cody Rosen (NYI), but Rosen has only played a handful of games this season, sitting on the bench in favor of freshman Greg Lewis.  Princeton, of course, has D Mike Sdao as their lone NHL-drafted player, but Andrew Calof has been the star of the show for the Tigers for most of the season anyway.

Calof, a 5-foot-10, 165 pound junior, is tied for 22nd in the nation in scoring with 30 points despite having played in just 23 games.  Perhaps a more accurate assessment of his skill would be to look at his points per game ratio (1.30), which is good for ninth in the nation among qualifying top 50 players.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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