PRINCETON, N.J. — Scott Seney scored three goals and Olivier Bouchard had two goals and one assist as Union (6-5, 5-0 ECAC) came from behind in the third period to defeat Princeton (2-4-1, 2-3 ECAC)) 6-4 in front of 1,697 at Hobey Baker Rink.
The Dutchmen capitalized on repeated Tiger turnovers to extend their winning streak to five games and maintain a hold on first place in the ECAC.
“Everybody’s working hard. Everybody has their role on the team. It feels great,” Bouchard said of the streak.
The Tigers kept Union forward Jordan Webb, who led the nation entering the evening in goals (10), off the scoreboard and went 3-for-6 on the power play. They didn’t fall behind on the scoreboard until the third period, and in the end, didn’t fare well because of giveaways in front of their net.
“The [turnovers] you see, you think, ‘Man, you won’t do that maybe more than once in a year,’ so hopefully we got them all out of the way tonight,” first-year head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “As disappointing as the result is, it’s almost encouraging to the coaching staff because those mistakes that you see should not happen again. And it doesn’t take a coach to point them out. The players know it. They’re extremely bright.”
Seney finished off his hat trick early in the third period with a shot from just outside the crease. The puck danced over Tigers goalie Eric Leroux, and the game was tied at 3 just 23 seconds into the period. It was Seney’s sixth goal of the season.
“We came out with spark right from the get-go,” Seney said. “Sometimes you have to depend on other lines, and our line was the line that got depended on tonight and we came through. We kept it simple, got it in deep, and when we got our chances, we scored, fortunately.”
At 4:23 of the third, Bouchard picked off a Princeton pass and set up Josh Coyle for his fifth goal of the season and Union’s first lead of the game.
Bouchard then scored his first goal of the night, unassisted, at 14:19 to make it 5-3 Union. It would turn out to be the game winner.
Princeton made the game close at 15:56. Dustin Sproat ripped a shot over Union goalie Kris Mayotte’s glove and connected with the top of the net to close the lead to one. The crowd was energized, but Bouchard added an empty net goal in the final minute to dismiss any hopes of a Tiger comeback.
Although out-shot 38-28 for the game, Princeton controlled the second period, outshooting and outscoring the Dutchmen.
At 4:09 of the second with Princeton on the power play, Luc Paquin took a shot from the right circle. Mayotte made the save, as well as stopping the two subsequent shots by Sebastian Borza. But Borza’s third shot found the back of the net to give Princeton a 2-1 edge.
“We definitely played pretty well on the power play again tonight.,” Paquin said. “We’re moving the puck around and we’re trying to get shots on net. We’re just trying to keep it simple, and we seem to get the bounces, so that’s good. We just have to keep doing that, working hard, and make sure we keep going at it.”
But the lead lasted just 25 seconds as Seney answered for Union with his second goal of the night after a scramble in front of Leroux.
Neil Stevenson-Moore scored from the top of the slot 10 minutes later to put Princeton ahead 3-2.
Union controlled the first 10 minutes of the game, having several good chances early on. But Leroux made several big stops, including a kick save from a point-blank shot by Webb to the short side seven minutes in.
Leroux’s goaltending allowed Princeton to open up a 1-0 lead at 11:38. With Union’s Michael Beynon and Jake Schwan both in the box for hooking and boarding, respectively, Paquin capitalized on the two-man advantage, beating Mayotte from a pass across the slot.
“I thought Eric made some big saves tonight,” said Paquin, who along with Borza and Sproat had one goal and two assists each. “The goals they scored, some of them he didn’t get much help. He definitely can’t be blamed for some of the goals. It’s a team effort, and it was team defense tonight that didn’t get it done. I’m sure he’ll come back strong in the games to come.”
Union answered at 15:04 when Seney stole the puck from Grant Goeckner-Zoeller and beat Leroux through the five-hole.
“Hard work is how we won tonight,” Seney said. “We stuck together. In the third period, we knew we were down 3-2 … but we knew if we played our game, it was our game to win, and that’s what happened.”
The Dutchmen will attempt to extend their winning streak to six games Saturday at Yale while the Tigers will try to rebound at home against Rensselaer.