TROY, N.Y. — One night after Princeton head coach Len Quesnelle called his team’s performance “disgusting,” the Tigers broke a 2-2 deadlock in the third period and dominated the Rensselaer Engineers in a 4-2 victory.
“It was a big win, especially after coming off of last night’s performance,” said Quesnelle. “We needed to come out and have a much better performance and effort in all areas of our game.
“I’m real proud of our guys and they’re proud of each other given the fact that we controlled pretty much every phase of the game.”
The Engineers had the edge in the first five minutes of the game, but from there on, the Tigers took the game away slowly. In the second period the Tigers got on the board first when David Del Monte took the puck into the high slot and snapped a backhander over the glove of Nathan Marsters.
“I had a breakaway earlier in the game and I tried to go low and I knew that he was a good butterfly goalie,” said Del Monte. “So the next time I thought to go roof. You get lucky every once in awhile.”
Later in the period, defenseman Luc Paquin did the same thing in a four-on-four situation and beat Marsters for the 2-0 lead.
At that point, Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen called a timeout and the Engineers came back to score when Jim Vickers took a Chris Migliore rebound and banged it past Dave Stathos.
On the power play late in the second period, the Engineers tied the game when Jim Henkel took a rebound of a Carson Butterwick shot and gave it the final push over the line.
But in the third, the Tigers regained control as Trevor Beaney broke in on a two-on-one with Chris Owen and labeled one for the corner. The converted defenseman’s shot blazed past Marsters for the 3-2 lead.
“I don’t know if it’s unexpected now that he’s got three on the season,” said Quesnelle. “He’s going to get his share of hard-working goals and tonight that was a nice one, picked the corner right off of the pipe.”
Later in the period the Tigers executed the back-door play as well as their basketball team, as Del Monte was wide open on the backside for an easy tap in power-play goal to make it 4-1.
Del Monte scored twice and was also bolstered by the return of Brad Parsons to lineup for only his fourth game of the season.
“David’s been superb all the way along this season,” said Quesnelle. “He continues to generate offense; it was great to have Brad Parsons back in the lineup and maybe he created some more space for David tonight.”
“It was a disappointing game. For the first five minutes we were all over them and they couldn’t get out of their end,” Fridgen. “After that five minutes we seemed to let down and played their style.
“We played the way they played, and certainly not the way we play.
“It just didn’t seem that we had the zip that we usually have. Last night’s game took a lot out of us and I didn’t think we had the juice to come back and to play as strong of a game as we played last night. We hoped to feed off that energy.”
Said Quesnelle, “We’re on the road — there’s only one better situation and that’s being in the lead, so we were in a good situation. We’ve got the next four weeks [open] ahead of us, and this [was] your last 20 minutes of hockey before that.”
The Engineers (5-5-1, 2-2-1 ECAC) will host the 51st Rensselaer/HSBC Holiday Hockey Tournament and play Quinnipiac on December 28, while the Tigers (4-9-0, 4-6-0) will host Notre Dame for two games starting on the 28th as well.
“We haven’t had the best of starts and over the breaks, this will be good for all the younger guys on the team,” said Del Monte. “This was a good win. Leave on a high note and let everyone feel good.”