Things picked up right where they left off in 2002, as upsets marked the ECAC’s first weekend of competition in 2003.
Princeton shocked No. 13 Harvard while No. 14 Dartmouth gave up a combined 14 goals in losses to Clarkson and St. Lawrence.
The Tigers have had little to celebrate all season, sitting in the cellar of the ECAC standings with just two wins overall, but they notched their third and most important victory Saturday night in Cambridge over the first-place Crimson, 2-1.
The Cantabs could not solve Princeton netminder Trevor Clay, who posted 45 saves in the victory, included 22 in the first period alone.
While Clay kept Harvard at bay in the first, winger Chris Owen, Princeton’s second leading scorer, gave the Tigers the lead on the power play with 6:34 left in the first period, stuffing home a rebound on a shot by defenseman Steve Slaton.
After failing to convert on their first four power play opportunities, the fifth time was the charm for the Crimson, as captain Dominic Moore put a wrist shot past Clay from the slot, knotting the game at one.
It did not take Princeton long to respond.
Off of the ensuing face-off, Tiger center Mike Patton carried the puck into the zone, put a shot on net, and Owen roofed the rebound for his second goal of the game, giving Princeton the lead for good.
Despite two more power play opportunities in the third period, Harvard could not beat Clay and finished the game 1-7 on the man advantage.
Clay’s counterpart, freshman John Daigneau, who usually backs up sophomore Dov Grumet-Morris, finished the game with 27 saves.
While Harvard emerged from the weekend with a split, Dartmouth was not as fortunate.
The Big Green used three goaltenders in two games but still could not find a way to slow down their opponents.
On Friday night in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson scored five goals on Big Green netminder Nick Boucher and one more on his replacement, Darren Gastrock.
In a back-and-forth game, the Golden Knights went up 3-0 early in the second period on winger Randy Jones’ team leading seventh of the season. Jones also had three assists in the game.
Dartmouth responded with two goals from wingers Mike Murray and Eric Przepiorka. Murray scored on a deflection, while Przepiorka ripped a snap shot through traffic to beat Clarkson goalie Dustin Traylen, his first of two goals in the game.
The Golden Knights added two goals on rebounds to widen their lead to 5-2, after which Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet pulled Boucher and brought in Gastrock.
The Big Green pulled within one in the third, but Clarkson’s Dave Reid scored an empty netter to ice the game at 7-5. Things did not improve for Dartmouth on Saturday night.
St. Lawrence, which sits in second to last place in the ECAC, one point ahead of Princeton, equaled Clarkson’s offensive explosion in a 7-3 victory in Canton, N.Y.
Saint freshman winger John Zeiler scored two goals and assisted on another to lead St. Lawrence.
Despite scoring the games first goal and taking a 3-1 lead in the first period, the Saints scored six unanswered goals to upset the nationally ranked Big Green.
In 5:14, St. Lawrence scored three goals in the second period and repeated that feat in the third in 3:01.
Boucher got the start again, but did not last the entire game making 27 stops. His replacement, Dan Yacey, made four saves.
Saint goalie Kevin Ackley made 35 saves in the victory.