PRINCETON, N.J. — Princeton battled back from first-period deficits of 3-0 and 4-1 to earn a 5-5 tie with St. Lawrence on Friday night at Baker Rink. St. Lawrence scored three goals in the game’s first 4:52 but could not hold off Princeton throughout the remainder of the game. Three Tigers, sophomore Dustin Sproat, junior Mike Patton and senior Chris Owen, each recorded a goal and an assist in Princeton’s first tie of the season.
Princeton is now 5-13-1 on the season and 5-6-1 in the ECAC while St. Lawrence now stands 6-12-4 overall and 2-5-1 in the league.
Things did not start out well for Princeton in the first period as the Saints scored three goals in the opening five minutes. Drew Bagnall opened the coring at the 2:47 mark with a rocket from the top of the left faceoff circle. Eighteen seconds later, T.J. Trevelyan made it 2-0 on a shot from in front. Matt Macdonald then redirected a Ziga Petac pass past Princeton’s Eric Leroux to make it 3-0.
The game settled down following the third goal and Princeton began to create more opportunities. At the 16:29 mark, Sproat cashed in with his fourth goal of the season. Freshman Darrol Powe gained control of the puck in the Saint end and skated around until he fed senior Steve Slaton on the left point. Slaton fired a shot towards the net that St. Lawrence goalie Mike McKenna stopped. The puck then bounced to Sproat and he backhanded the puck over McKenna to make it 3-1.
However, St. Lawrence answered right back with a goal at the 17:22 mark by Matt Macdonald to give St. Lawrence the three-goal lead again. The goal also chased Leroux from the Tiger net in favor of freshman goaltender B.J. Sklapsky.
Princeton rebounded from the goal well and with 1:53 left in the period, sophomore Patrick Neundorfer tallied his fifth goal of the season to make the score 4-2.
Down two to begin the second period, Princeton came out strong and drew within one at 3:53 when senior Matt Maglione scored his first goal of the season on the power play. Freshman Grant Goeckner-Zoeller corralled a pass from junior Mike Patton and fed Maglione who had snuck in from the point. Maglione then fired a shot just under the cross bar as McKenna slid across the crease.
Princeton continued to press and scored to make it 4-4 just under ten minutes later. Playing four men aside, Owen stole the puck behind the Saint net and fed Patton in the slot. Patton then slid the puck through McKenna for his fourth goal of the season.
It looked as though the period would end even at four, but St. Lawrence’s Trevelyan scored on a wraparound attempt at 18:34 to make the score 5-4 entering the third period.
Again, Princeton responded and just 2:19 into the period, Owen tallied his third goal of the season to make the score 5-5, where it eventually ended. Sproat fed freshman Kevin Westgarth in the neutral zone. Westgarth skated into St. Lawrence’s end and faked a shot then passed the puck to Owen as he streaked to the net. Owen redirected the shot by McKenna for the 5-5 final.
Both teams had several scoring chances in the final period, but McKenna and Sklapsky were equal to the task. Sklapsky made his biggest save of the night with less than two minutes remaining when he robbed a slapshot by Drew Bagnall with a glove save. Sklapsky made a total of 21 saves on the night and earned the tie. McKenna stopped 24 Tiger shots.
Princeton’s overall goal total of five was the most goals Princeton has scored in almost two full seasons. Princeton last reached the five-goal mark on Feb. 21, 2002 in a 5-2 win over St. Lawrence.