PRINCETON, N.J. — Andrew Gordon scored two goals and Billy Hengen and Joe Jensen combined for seven assists as St. Cloud State (3-3-1, 0-2 WCHA) hammered Princeton (0-1, 0-0 ECAC) 7-2 in the Tigers’ home opener.
St. Cloud State went 4-for-10 on the power play and added a shorthanded goal to dominate the scoreboard. The Huskies were happy to jump-start their special teams.
“We don’t score a lot of goals on a typical evening so we knew we had to get that going,” Gordon said. “We worked on it a lot in practice, came out with a couple new breakouts and things just seem to be clicking for us today. We got hot there, and that’s what we needed. I think we really needed something like this.”
Meanwhile, Princeton was 0-for-8 with the man advantage. First-year Princeton head coach Guy Gadowsky remained upbeat despite the lopsided score.
“Specialty teams, especially this year with the NCAA rule changes, are going to be a big part of the game, and they’re a big part of teaching and coaching,” he said. “The guys did a good job with what they were given. We have to spend a lot more time with it, obviously.”
Princeton briefly got back in the game early in the second. Grant Goeckner-Zoeller scored on a soft backhand off a rebound from a Luc Paquin shot from outside the right circle just 36 seconds in to cut the deficit to 2-1.
But Gordon answered for St. Cloud State 1:04 later with his second power-play goal of the night, which turned out to be the game-winner. Players from both teams were scrambling in front of Tigers goalie Jeff Mansfield as Gordon capitalized on a rebound from a Hengen shot.
After Goeckner-Zoeller’s tally, the Huskies scored four straight goals in the second to put the game out of reach from Princeton. The last of the four, a laser shot by Aaron Brocklehurst into the upper left corner of the net at 4:07, sent Mansfield to the bench for the rest of the night. He finished with 12 saves on 18 shots in 24:07. B.J. Sklapsky replaced him and let in one goal on 11 shots.
“Your first collegiate start is a tough situation at any time, and this has to be one of the toughest playing a team that’s already played six games,” Gadowsky said of Mansfield. “It’s tough for him. I wasn’t going to let him rot in there. He had a go at it. He got some good, valuable experience and we had a chance to look at another goaltender as well.”
Princeton had its best chance to pull ahead 1-0 while shorthanded at 13:11 of the first period. Montgomery left the net wide open, but Princeton was unable to get a clear shot. The Huskies took the puck to the other end of the ice and Gordon scored right in front of the crease 26 seconds later (13:37).
St. Cloud State made it 2-0 at 17:16 with Ian McNally in the box for tripping. Dave Iannazzo shot the puck on goal, and Mike Doyle redirected the rebound on net as the puck trickled between Mansfield’s legs.
Princeton faces Alabama-Huntsville at home Saturday night while the Huskies will travel to Yale.