Monday, December 30, 2013

Get Packing

TigerBlog doesn't remember all the details of his parents' three-week trip Down Under way, way back when.

He does remember a few things. Like one of the stops, in addition to Australia and New Zealand, was Tahiti, since for weeks before they left, FatherBlog kept singing "Tahiti sounds the greatest, of all the crazy places that you've been."

In case you didn't get the reference, that's a line from the title song in "Mame." Is it any wonder TigerBlog grew up to be so cool?

TB also remembers that it was in the summer, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. At some place along their route, it was the dead of winter, while in other spots it was winter but summer year-round, probably Tahiti.

Anyway, what TB's parents did was take their winter stuff and ship their summer stuff to the hotel where they would be when it came to be summer weather. Then they shipped the winter stuff home. Ingenious, no?

TB thought about that when he saw that the Princeton men's hockey team was going to spend eight days split between Fort Myers, Florida, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

The high temperatures in Fort Myers have been in the 80s. The low temperatures in Vanoucover will be in the low 20s, with highs in the high 30s or low 40s.

So what do you pack? Summer stuff and winter stuff, all for less than the 50 pounds a checked bag can be? That's not easy to pull off.

The Tigers go from the Florida College Hockey Classic to the Great Northwest Showcase, with a little New Year's Eve and New Year's Day fun thrown into the mix.

Princeton lost to Maine and New Hampshire in Florida and will play Canadian universities Simon Fraser and the University of British Columbia Friday night and Saturday night. Princeton is struggling this season, but there is plenty of time for a second-half run, especially with such key players as Andrew Calof now healthy.

And besides, the trip to Canada is were such a seasonal turnarounds can begin.

Another Princeton team that played in a tournament this past weekend was the women's basketball team, which had a very successful run at the Cavalier Classic at the University of Virginia.

The Tigers reached the championship game, falling to the host team 69-57 as UVa won its own tournament for the 10th straight time.

To get to the game against Virginia, Princeton blew out Alabama 79-59 Friday for its first win ever against an SEC opponent.

It's not just that Princeton beat Alabama. It's that Princeton beat Alabama by 20 points.

The Tigers are rounding into top form just when necessary, with the start of the Ivy season coming up. Princeton will spend the next two Saturdays in Philadelphia, with a game this weekend at Drexel and then the Ivy opener Jan. 11 at Penn.

After that is a 20-day break for first semester exams, followed by a showdown at home against Harvard.

The loss to Virginia ended a five-game winning streak for Princeton, which included four blowout wins over Navy, Binghamton, Illinois State and Alabama and one overtime win against a very good Delaware team. The loss to Virginia, a perennial ACC power, was very competitive.

Blake Dietrick had 36 points in the two games, and she was joined by Kristen Helmstetter (26 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists in the two games) on the all-tournament team.

As an aside, every time TB hears about all-tournament teams, he thinks about what Pete Carril once said, when told that one of his players in an in-season tournament had made the all-tournament team: "Yeah? So did the guy he was guarding."

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