Friday, March 27, 2009

On the ice and in the water

This weekend, the men's hockey team battles Minnesota Duluth in the West Regional of the NCAA Tournament in Minneapolis, Minn. Also in sports, six of Princeton's best swimmers will represent the Tigers at the NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas.

The No. 10 men's hockey team faces off against the No. 8 Bulldogs of Minnesota Duluth at 9 p.m. this evening. This is the third time in history that Princeton has appeared in the NCAA tournament. In 1998, the Tigers lost 2-1 to Michigan and, last season in 2008, Princeton fell to a talented North Dakota squad by a score of 5-1.

Though the Tigers sneaked into the tournament with an at-large bid after their 2-2 consolation game tie vs. St. Lawrence last weekend, this team should not be overlooked. Princeton possesses both a capable offense and a solid defense, anchored by junior goaltender Zane Kalemba, who was recently named the ECAC Player of the Year. Kalemba is also one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, the most prestigious award in collegiate hockey.

In the offensive zone, Princeton has a few talented players who are a threat to score each time they take the ice. Junior forward Dan Bartlett has been especially effective as of late, and he found the back of the net both times in the crucial tie against St. Lawrence.

If you want to follow the Tigers' matchup against Minnesota Duluth, click on the link at the top of the Prince homepage and read the Sideline Dispatches blog, which will be updated regularly from the actual game site in Minneapolis.

Making a splash in the water this weekend will be six of Princeton's finest swimmers: seniors tri-captain Doug Lennox, Mike Carter, Dan Eckel and Will Schaffer, junior Jon Hartmann and freshman Colin Cordes. These swimmers qualified for the NCAA Championships after posting A-cut times at the Ivy League Championships, which were held Thursday, March 5 through Saturday, March 7 in the friendly confines of DeNunzio Pool.

These six swimmers hope to put an exclamation point on a season that has been one for the record books. Lennox in particular has had a great collegiate career, racking up numerous accolades over his four years at Princeton. He will compete in the 200 fly, an event he won at the Ivy Championships, along with teammate Eckel, who placed second in the same event.

In the relays, Princeton will be represented in the 2o0 free by the talented team of Hartmann, Schaffer, Cordes and Lennox. The group won the event at the Ivy League Championships with a time of 1:17.93.