PRINCETON, N.J. — Junior forward Brett Wilson connected for the game winner midway through the final period as No. 19 Princeton rallied for three third-period goals and held on for a 3-2 win over Brown before 1,765 fans at Hobey Baker Rink.
The victory was the seventh by Princeton in its last eight games, and ended the two game winning streak Brown brought into tonights meeting following wins over Harvard and Dartmouth last weekend.
Friday also marked Princetons fourth straight triumph against Brown dating back to last years best-of-three first round of the ECAC playoffs at Baker Rink. Princeton also remains atop this seasons Ivy League standings with a 6-0 record in such outings so far.
I thought it was a good hockey game, said Princeton head coach Guy Gadowsky afterwards. Brown played a heck of a game, and Im happy our guys found a way to win.
The Tigers outshot the Bears, 33-28, on the night and went 1-for-7 on the power play, while Brown finished 1-for-6.
Princeton goaltender Zane Kalemba made 26 saves in besting former junior hockey teammate Dan Rosen, who totaled 30 stops. The coaches for both teams wore pink ties as part of this months league-wide Pink at the Rink promotion supporting the American Cancer Society, while referee Eric Ernst sported pink armbands instead of the traditional orange ones.
The two teams went scoreless through the first half of the contest, but the offensive opportunities picked up later in the second period. Brown captain Sean Hurley stepped out of the penalty box after his teammates had erased his cross-checking infraction with just over nine minutes remaining in the middle stanza, and picked up a loose puck near center ice. Hurley then skated into the right circle of the Princeton zone and dropped a pass to a trailing Aaron Volpatti, who spun away from a Princeton backchecker to get off a shot from the slot that Kalemba stopped.
Princeton went on a two-man advantage with 6:50 remaining in the second stanza when Browns Jesse Fratkin and Paul Baier were sent off simultaneously, and the Tigers kept the puck in the offensive zone for the full two minutes but couldnt score. Brown defenders blocked a number of Princeton shots, and the Tigers best chance went awry when a shot from the left side glanced off Rosen and the rebound bounced over Brett Wilsons stick at the right post.
Brown garnered a two-man advantage of its own when Princetons Lee Jubinville and Matt Godlewski were banished just 51 seconds apart for separate transgressions, and the Bears cashed in when Hurley put the puck home off a scramble to Kalembas left at 16:37. Jeff Prough and Devin Timberlake drew assists on the games first goal.
Sean played well, said Brown head coach Roger Grillo. Hes played well all year for us. Dan played well, and Volpatti and Jordan Pietrus and a number of others.
The Tigers tied the game 3:36 into the third period when the puck went to Cam Ritchie at the blueline and his wrist shot along the ice slipped through a crowd in front and past Rosen, with Kevin Lohry and Keith Shattenkirk picking up the assists on Ritchies third goal of the year. The Tigers then took the lead at 5:14, just 11 seconds after going on a power play from a cross-checking penalty to Baier, as Mark Magnowski scored from the left circle for his seventh goal of the season, assisted by Dan Bartlett and Jody Pederson.
There was a period where they came at us hard and scored some big goals, and it was unfortunate, said Grillo. I thought we played well, but we have to be more consistent.
Princeton then stretched its lead to two goals as Jubinville skated behind the Brown net and centered the puck in front to Wilson, who put it home at 9:59 for his eighth of the campaign, with Ritchie also assisting.
Hes a goal scorer, and a hungry kid, said Gadowsky of Wilson. You could see that things werent clicking and that it might not be one of those nights for him, but he kept working and scored a huge one.
Brown (3-15-4, 3-9-3 ECAC) got back within a goal at 14:26 when Ryan Garbutt converted the rebound of Baiers shot at the right post. Pietrus just missed knotting matters when he whirled and fired wide of that same post off a rebound with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, and then Prough chipped the puck wide in that same area moments later.
Princeton iced the puck with four seconds left, but Landis Stankievech won the ensuing face-off into the left corner of the defensive zone as the Tigers held on for the win.
Princeton (13-9-0, 10-5-0 ECAC) will now host Yale tomorrow night, while Brown will visit Quinnipiac on Sunday.