PRINCETON, N.J. — Colgate goalie Steve Silverthorn made 23 saves in the Raiders’ 3-1 win over the Tigers at Hobey Baker Rink Saturday. With the victory, No. 12 Colgate (20-8-2, 12-4-2 ECACHL) leaps over Harvard in league standings to second place.
Meanwhile, Princeton (6-17-2, 4-13-1 ECACHL) is winless in its last six games.
Colgate opened the scoring early. A long slapshot from Tony Masotto beat goalie B.J. Sklapsky 2:21 in. Princeton head coach Guy Gadowsky replaced Sklapsky with Eric Leroux a minute later.
“I tipped [the puck] and it bounced over the defenseman’s stick. I just beat the defenseman wide. It took a pretty good bounce off the boards for me and I just let it go right away,” Masotto said of his unassisted tally.
The Tigers maintained offensive pressure on Silverthorn throughout the first half of the game but weren’t able to tie the score. With the Raiders nursing a 1-0 lead with just under eight minutes to go in the second period, Princeton forward Landis Stankievech had a point-blank scoring chance on the power play but was robbed by Silverthorn.
“Early on Silverthorn came up pretty big,” Masotto said. “Later we really started to get things going.”
A few minutes later Colgate cushioned its lead with two goals in 1:12. With just under three minutes to go in the period, Dave Thomas won a faceoff to Jon Smyth, who immediately zipped a shot from the circle behind Leroux.
Darryl McKinnon made it 3-0 at 18:16. He skated in on Leroux and took a shot that was saved, but he followed up with his own rebound for his seventh goal of the season.
The penalty-filled game produced seven power plays for Princeton, which earlier in the season was one of the best power-play teams. However, the Tigers were unable to capitalize on any of their seven attempts Saturday.
“We’ve always been pretty good on the penalty kill but the past couple weeks we’ve really tightened down,” Masotto said. “The coaching staff has been working with most of the guys. I think that’s going to be big coming down the stretch.”
Princeton avoided being shut out for the third time in its last four home games when league scoring leader Dustin Sproat tallied his 15th goal of the year at 18:29 of the third. Gadowsky saw it as a positive sign for his team.
“I thought that was a big goal,” he said. “We have two games left in the ECAC and we haven’t been able to score here, and we finally got one. To me, that’s a big goal.”
Meanwhile, Gadowsky attributed Princeton’s recent lack of offense to a lack of depth.
“This is a very good league with excellent coaches,” Gadowsky said. “You have to have depth if you want to score consistently because if you do it all with one line or a few players you’re going to get keyed on pretty easily.”
Colgate returns home Friday to face Union, and Princeton will play Dartmouth.