PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Dustin Sproat scored two goals and added two assists and Grant Goeckner-Zoeller had four assists as Princeton defeated Brown 5-1 for its second consecutive win Saturday night at Meehan Auditorium. Princeton has now won back-to-back for the first time since the end of the 2001-02 season.
Brown came out of the gates strong and took advantage of four early Princeton penalties to control play and outshoot Princeton 10-1 by the nine-minute mark. But sophomore goaltender Eric Leroux kept the puck in front of him and at 9:06, Princeton, on its thirds shot of the game, gave Leroux a 1-0 lead to work with. Junior captain Patrick Neundorfer intercepted a clearing pass and broke in on the Brown zone. His initial shot was saved by Brown goaltender Scott Rowan, but in the chase for the rebound, Neundorfer, sophomore Grant Goeckner-Zoeller and junior Dustin Sproat all got swipes at the puck, and it was Sproat’s that wound up in the net to give Princeton the lead on his second goal of the game.
Princeton made it 2-0 at the 16:22 mark when a great play by Goeckner-Zoeller resulted in Neundorfer’s team-leading fourth goal of the year. Goeckner-Zoeller picked the puck in the corner and circled in front. He took a shot that appeared to be wide, but it was a pass that ended up Neundorfer’s stick and then in the net to give Princeton the two-goal advantage. Sproat also assisted on the goal. Brown outshot Princeton 18-7 in the period and Leroux made all 18 saves.
Princeton came out and did not let Brown get back into the game, scoring three times in the second period to put the score out of reach. First at 2:01, Sproat picked up his second of the night when Goeckner-Zoeller intercepted a clearing pass and fed Sproat for a one-timer that beat Rowan just above his right goal pad and below his glove. A little more than four minutes later it was 4-0 when Neundorfer scored his second of the night. The goal, a power-play tally, came off the rush. Sproat carried the puck into the Brown end and dropped it Goeckner-Zoeller, whose pass to Neundorfer wound up in his skates, but as he adjusted to pick it up, he whipped a shot along the ice that went between Rowan’s legs for his fifth of the year.
With Neundorfer and Sproat each scoring twice, Princeton had its first game with a pair of scorers scoring twice since Dec. 1, 2000 when Chris Corrinet and Shane Campbell each potted two in a win at Colgate. Goeckner-Zoeller’s four assists and Sproats two goals and two assists marked Princeton’s first four-point game since Kirk Lamb had four assists on Feb. 17, 2001 at Union.
Princeton added a goal at the 14:07 mark when junior Luc Paquin scored his first goal of the season. He picked up his own rebound, circled out to the top of the left face-off circle and blasted a shot that Brown’s Kevin Kliman got a piece of, but it trickled over the goal line to make it 5-0. Princeton could have made it more but Sproat, junior Brian Carthas and freshman Landis Stankievech all rang shots off the iron in the period. Leroux made stops on all seven shots he faced in the period.
Brown broke up Leroux’s shut out bid at 5:41 of the third period when Sean Hurley capped an end-to-end rush with a wrist shot that beat Leroux on the glove side. The goal came on Brown’s 27th shot of the night. From there, Leroux stopped the remaining shots and Princeton came away with a 5-1 win. Leroux finished the night with 31 saves for his second consecutive win.
The win stopped a six-game Princeton skid at the hand of Brown and was Princeton’s first win at Brown in six tries.