Clarkson Hands Princeton Crushing Conference Loss

There is no such thing as a free pass in the ECAC.

But a first-round bye in the conference tournament is pretty close, and the Princeton Tigers were in prime position to hold on to one of those spots coming into their weekend series with Clarkson and St. Lawrence.  But the Golden Knights turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win, and now the Tigers will have to face the Saints, who just knocked off the No. 1 team in the country.

“This isn’t a step back at all,” said Princeton head coach Bob Prier.  “We’ll just regroup and come back tomorrow.”

As for tonight, Princeton didn’t seem to have their legs in the first period — perhaps due to a stomach virus that’s been traveling through the team — but junior goaltender Sean Bonar, starting in place of a sick Mike Condon, stopped all 15 shots he faced to keep the game scoreless through one period.

“I thought maybe we played a little tentative (in the first period),” Prier said.

“I was expecting a better start out of us, I felt like we had a really good week of practice.  The guys looked pretty good.  I thought we had a good second half of the first period, and I thought we controlled the game there until the third.  They were pretty desperate in the third, like teams are when they’re down, but we changed the way we played.  We changed the way we played because of the score, the clock, and that’s uncharacteristic of us.”

Ah yes, the third period.  That did not go well for the Tigers.  They got outshot 11-8, but it felt like more than that.  Rob Kleebaum — who had a very strong game on both sides of the puck — and Mike Sdao got the Tigers out of an early 1-0 hole in the second period, but the Golden Knights poured in the pressure in the final 20 minutes.

With just 5:30 left to play, Simon Bessette’s seemingly innocent wrist shot from the outside of the left circle somehow eluded Bonar, and T.J. Moor put Clarkson ahead for good just 2:23 later on the power play.  Prier was asked directly if the flu that has been ravaging his team led to the late loss, but refused to use that as an excuse.  However, when also asked about Bonar’s play in the first in relation to the goal(s) he’d like to have back in the third, Prier only offered “he played well,” without any further comment.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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One Response to “Clarkson Hands Princeton Crushing Conference Loss”

  1. toms zapatos Says:

    Your article Clarkson Hands Princeton Crushing Conference Loss | 5 For Writing by Mike Ashmore write very well, thank you share!

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