PRINCETON, N.J. — PRINCETON, N.J. –
Late in the third period, Princeton’s Ethan Doyle skated all alone with the puck across the blue line. Hobey Baker Rink fell silent as the senior forward dashed toward the net.
Doyle wristed a shot at Dartmouth’s Nick Boucher, but the sophomore netminder made one of his best saves of the year, preserving a 1-1 tie Friday night before a gathering of 2,207 fans.
Boucher’s acrobatic save was typical of the night, as he and Princeton’s Dave Stathos — who have combined to win the last two ECAC Goaltender of the Week awards — played well. Boucher made 25 saves to extend Dartmouth’s unbeaten streak to five straight games.
“I thought both goaltenders played excellent,” said Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet. “It was a very hard-fought game between two fundamentally strong teams. This is a difficult building to play in, so I’m pleased with the tie on the road.”
For Princeton, junior Stathos turned aside 34 shots.
“I have so much to make up for,” Stathos said, smiling. “It has been a very bad season compared to last season. But like I always say, you can make up for it in the end.”
With the tie, the Big Green (12-10-4, 9-6-4 ECAC) clinched a spot in the postseason despite slipping into fifth place in the ECAC standings, one point behind third-place Cornell and Harvard, and five behind league-leading St. Lawrence.
Princeton (8-14-4, 7-9-3 ECAC), meanwhile, slipped into eighth place.
“A point is a point, whether it’s at the beginning of the season or the end,” said first-year Tiger head coach Len Quesnelle. “They’re hard to come by, so anytime you get a point or two, you’ve got to be thankful.”
The Big Green claimed a 1-0 advantage after controlling much of the first period.
Skating on the power play six minutes into the game, junior Chris Baldwin centered the puck to classmate Chris Taliercio, who one-timed it between the legs of Stathos for his seventh goal of the season. Taliercio, a native of nearby Farmingdale, N.J., recorded his first collegiate point in his home state.
The Tigers controlled much of the play in the middle frame, receiving two early power plays before knotting the score at one.
Soon after its second unsuccessful chance with the extra man, Princeton netted the equalizer when freshman Matt Maglione collected a rebound and slapped it past Boucher. Maglione’s goal, his third of the season, was assisted by seniors Kirk Lamb and Chris Corrinet.
The Big Green outshot the Tigers, 9-4, in the third period, but Stathos was perfect to preserve the tie. Doyle’s breakaway came with three minutes left, but Boucher’s spectacular save set the stage for overtime.
Neither team had a significant chance in overtime. The shots were 3-2 in favor of Dartmouth.
“We are in playoff-mode hockey now,” said Quesnelle, whose team trails Yale and RPI by one point and leads Vermont and Union by one. “That means digging in our heels and competing.”
Princeton will host Vermont Saturday night, while Dartmouth will visit Yale.
Scott Esposito contributed to this report.