PRINCETON, N.J. — Princeton-Yale is as rich an Ivy Thanksgiving tradition as eating too much turkey or bad football games. Entering Tuesday night’s contest, however, each team had little to give thanks for with just one win in this nascent season.
The Tigers can now celebrate Matt Maglione.
Maglione completed a Princeton comeback by beating goaltender Dan Lombard short side with 1:58 left in overtime. The Tigers (2-5-0, 2-3-0 ECAC) trailed 1-0 for most of the game, but rallied to tie it in the third period and win 2-1 in overtime in front of 1, 273 at Hobey Baker Memorial Rink.
Lombard had been having a spectacular night for the Bulldogs (1-4-1, 1-3-1), but Maglione came down the left side and wrested one by him.
“I give our team full marks for effort tonight,” Princeton coach Len Quesnelle said. “We needed to comeback tonight and start competing again and we got the result we were looking for.”
The Tigers tied up the score at 12:26 of the third period on a controversial goal by defenseman turned forward Trevor Beaney. Beaney crashed the net, but it appeared that Lombard had the puck covered. He kept poking at it and eventually it crossed the line.
A clearly upset Yale bench felt the play should have been over already.
“I felt the whistle should have blown,” Yale coach Tim Taylor said. “The referee said that the puck was on him, but it wasn’t covered. I don’t really know.”
For most of the night, the show belonged to Lombard. In the second period alone, Princeton had numerous odd-man rushes including a mini breakaway by James Fitzpatrick at the end of the frame that Lombard lunged to stop. The Tigers also missed several open nets in a 13 shot barrage that never found twine.
“I thought that even though we missed some wide-open opportunites, some real open nets, that if we kept pushing, good things would happen for us,” Quesnelle said. We could feel it in the locker room and we could feel in on the bench.”
Lombard, who enetered the game with just an .890 save percentage, made 34 saves on the evening. His counterpart, Dave Stathos, stopped 21 altogether.
“Lombard played real well,” Taylor said. “They had a lot of chances in the second period. He had been having a great game.”
Ryan Steeves got Yale’s only goal at 8:37 of the first period. Evan Wax forced goaltender Dave Stathos to make a tough save on a backhand in front of the crease. Nobody marked Steeves at the side of the net and he tapped in the rebound.
“We never got that offensive flow going,” Taylor said. “I thought we played hard. Princeton was more physical than us. They beat us down low, which has been a good area for us all year.”
Yale has an immediate opportunity for revenge right after the Thanksgiving holiday. The Bulldogs will host Princeton on Saturday at the Whale to complete the home-and-home.
Notes: Maglione scored Princeton’s last overtime winner, last year against Vermont. … Lombard was 12 minutes away from the Bulldogs’ first shutout over Princeton since Feb 13, 1971, a whopping 7-0 victory for the Elis in New Haven.