PRINCETON, N.J. — Led by solid goaltending and goals by Josh Roberts and James Fitzpatrick, the Princeton men’s hockey team defeated St. Francis Xavier, 2-1, in an exhibition game at Baker Rink.
“I was pleased with our goaltending,” second-year Tiger coach Len Quesnelle said. All three of the team’s goalies — Dave Stathos, Nate Nomeland and Trevor Clay — played a period.
“I have confidence in all three of them. Certainly Dave Stathos leads the way, but Nate is hard working and has played well when given the opportunity, while Trevor has a lot of potential.”
Stathos, the team’s No. 1 goalie, started the game, turning aside all 13 shots he faced, including a breakaway by the X-Men’s Carl MacKinnon. In the second period, Nomeland turned away the four shots that he faced, including another break by MacKinnon. Clay, a freshman, played the third, yielding one goal on eight shots and preserving the victory with a last-second sprawling save.
“This was a good experience for the younger players on our team,” Quesnelle said, as he dressed 25 players for the game.
Roberts, playing on a line with David Del Monte and Chris Owen, scored at 17:50 of the first period when he lifted Owens rebound over X-Men goalie Dwayne Bateman.
Princeton took a 2-0 lead at 13:59 of the second when Fitzpatrick banged in a pass from fellow freshman Mike Patton for the eventual game-winner. The third member of the Sunshine Line was freshman Neil Stevenson-Moore. Del Monte had three excellent chances on the power play as one shot hit the post and another deflected off the mask of Bateman.
Brent Theobald made it a one-goal game with six minutes remaining in the third when he beat a prone Clay with St. Francis on the power play, but the Tigers held on for a 2-1 victory.
Princeton opens the regular season next Friday and Saturday at Niagara. The Tigers’ first home weekend at Baker Rink is Saturday, Nov. 17 vs. Vermont and Sunday, Nov. 18 against Dartmouth. The Vermont game begins at 7 p.m., while the Dartmouth game starts at 3 p.m.