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It's Princeton Again for Icemen

MEN'S HOCKEY NOTEBOOK

By John B. Trainer and Jay K. Varma

It's gonna be a rematch will Princeton for the Harvard men's hockey team in the ECAC tournament quarterfinals.

Tenth-seeded Princeton scored two late goals against Vermont supergoalie Christian Soucy to upset the seventh-seeded Catamounts, 3-1, in ECAC first-round tournament action.

The Tigers' (9-15-3) win sets up a clash with the top-seeded Harvard men's hockey team at Bright this weekend.

The two teams will play a best-of-three series starting this Friday. Princeton and Harvard faced off in Bright on February 13 and Princeton skated away with a 3-3 tie/win--a precusor to Harvard's recent slump and the Tigers' surge.

In the other first round game, seventh-seeded Colgate defeated Dartmouth in double overtime, 4-3, to advance to a quarterfinal matchup against second-seeded RPI.

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THEORY TIME: There are all sorts of theories floating around as to why Harvard lost Saturday night against St. Lawrence, the team's first home loss this season.

Is the offense just not communicating? Is the team complacent, its sights set on the future rather than the here and how? Does the team have a tendency to self-destruct?

Whatever you're favorite theory, the coaches offered their assessments Saturday night. As expected, they said it all depends on one four-letter word: work.

"We just got outworked tonight," Tomassoni said after the game. "It meant more to them than us. They beat us to the loose pucks and in every part of the game."

St. Lawrence Coach Joe Marsh, who had never won in Bright Hockey Center, said his team somehow found the desire to win, even though it was guaranteed a sixth-place finish no matter what the outcome of Saturday's game.

"The key for us what that it didn't matter where we get seeded. We just wanted to come into the playoffs on a high note," Marsh said. "We just wanted to go into the playoffs playing playoff style hockey. That was something we talked about."

They talked the talk, and, sure enough, they walked the walk, St. Lawrence forechecked Harvard all night, played solid transition defense, cleared out the zone and fought hard in the corners.

That's the grit playoff teams show. That's the grit Harvard needs right now.

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NOTES: Harvard freshman goalie Tripp Tracy finished the regular-season as the top goalie in the ECAC a feat Allain Roy '92 accomplished the year he led Harvard (along with fellow goalie Chuckie Hughes '92) to the NCAA championship. Tracy finished with a 2-46 goals-against-average in 12 games, making him the top contender for ECAC rookie of the year honors...Classmate Aaron Israel finished fifth in goal-keeping, with a 2.89 goals-against-average...Clarkson senior Hugo Belanger led the Golden Knights to a three-point weekend, including a come-from-behind victory over Brown Saturday night. He was named ECAC Player of the Week.... Do you want to know how dominant Maine is? The Black Bears finished the season with the top three goal scorers in Hockey East.

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