PRINCETON, N.J. — After scoring first, Princeton yielded five consecutive goals to Dartmouth as the Tigers dropped a 5-2 men’s hockey decision to the Big Green Sunday at Hobey Baker Rink.
Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer scored his first goal of the season at 5:14 of the first period on a turn-around shot from the right face-off circle to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead. Jesse Masear notched his first collegiate point when he picked up the lone assist on Fouladgar-Mercer’s second career goal.
Dartmouth’s Mike Maturo tied the game at 11:19 of the first period and a pair of power-play goals by Trevor Byrne and Pete Summerfelt put the Big Green up 3-1 after the first 20 minutes. The lead grew to 5-1 after two more goals in the second period, one each by Chris Snizek and Summerfelt.
Tiger freshman Mike Patton scored his second of the season at 7:42 of the third period when he cut across the crease a slid a backhand past Dartmouth goalie Nick Boucher.
“We were outworked and not mentally prepared to measure up to Dartmouth’s speed and intensity level,” Princeton coach Len Quesnelle said. “It was completely unacceptable. There was a lack of mental focus on our part.”
Nate Nomeland replaced Dave Stathos in goal to begin the third period. Stathos, who had made at least 30 saves in seven of his prior eight starts, faced 38 shots in the first 40 minutes, 21 in the first period and 17 in the second.
“I just tried to hang it there,” Stathos said. “I was just thinking about trying to keep our team in the game.”
Dartmouth dominated the first two periods, outshooting Princeton 38-11. Despite giving up five goals, Stathos made some remarkable saves early, stopping Maturo on wrap-around and turning aside a Mike Murray shot from the low right circle. He later robbed Dan Casella from the left face-off dot with a splendid glove save when the game was still in reach at 3-1.
“We’re still trying to build our identity,” Stathos said of a line-up that was comprised on five sophomores and five freshmen.
Despite beating Vermont 5-4 the previous night, the Tigers played a sloppy defensive third period, losing a two-goal lead and yielding two goals in 10 seconds. They managed to collect themselves for the victory, but the erratic play carried over to the Dartmouth game.
With the game tied and 1-1, Byrne was left unchecked in front of the Tiger net with the Big Green on the power play. He put a backhand rebound of Murray’s shot past Stathos. With less than a minute remaining in the first period, Dartmouth connected on another power play, this time winning the face off that lead to Summerfelt’s goal from the right point.
After Snizek made it 4-1 in the second period, Summerfelt scored his second of the game when he tipped in Frank Nardella’s shot for a 5-1 Dartmouth lead.
Princeton is 1-5 overall and 1-3 in the ECAC, while Dartmouth is 3-1-1 overall and in the conference.
As Princeton looks to regroup, it can do so knowing that four of its next five games are at Hobey Baker Rink. The Tigers host Yale Nov. 20 and visit New Haven for a Nov. 24 rematch, before facing Northeastern, Colgate and Cornell at home.
The Big Green will host Holy Cross on Tuesday evening.