PRINCETON, N.J. — No. 19 Princeton broke a 1-1 tie with three consecutive goals in the second period, and went on to record a 4-2 win tonight over visiting Yale before 2,126 fans at Hobey Baker Memorial Rink.
It was the third victory for Princeton in three meetings between the two Ivy League schools this season, including an October non-conference match-up at the Shootout at Ingalls Rink at Yale.
Princeton has now also won eight of its last nine outings overall, plus its last three straight. The Tigers remain undefeated in Ivy League play with a 6-0 mark, with three such games remaining on their schedule, while Yale fell to 3-3-2 in Ivy games this winter.
Tonight was huge, especially in the Ivy League, said Princeton senior forward Brett Wilson, who has three goals in his last four games after tallying the Tigers second goal tonight. We want to be in the best possible position, and the league is so close that getting a weekend sweep is big.
Zane Kalemba improved to 12-6 on the season in the Princeton net, stopping 34 shots for his eighth win in his last nine starts. Alec Richards took the loss for Yale, collecting 17 stops before giving way to Billy Blase (19 saves) in the second period.
Princeton outshot Yale, 40-36, on the evening, and went scoreless in four power-play attempts, while the Bulldogs were blanked on three man-advantages.
Im fairly happy that we were overall effective against another scrappy team, said Princeton head coach Guy Gadowsky. We gave up chances but we didnt panic, and Zane deserves a lot of credit for that.
The Tigers struck just 67 seconds into the game to take their first lead. Following a face-off to the right of Richards in the Yale end, the puck went back to Mike Moore at the left point, and the Princeton senior captains wrist shot through a crowd in front found the back of the net for his second goal of the season. Assists on the play went to Wilson and Princeton leading scorer Lee Jubinville.
Yales first good chance at tying the game came with 14:33 remaining in the opening period, as Mark Arcobello clanged a shot off the near post from the right circle, but the Bulldogs knotted matters just over two minutes later.
Tom Dignards shot from the left point was blocked, but caromed into the slot where Jean-Francois Boucher picked it up. The senior winger then backhanded the puck over to the right post and to an off-balance Brendan Mason, who nonetheless put it in at 7:45.
I thought we played pretty good, said Yale head coach Keith Allain. We created some offensive chances, but werent finishing them. Give Princeton credit, they did a better job at finishing their offensive opportunities than we did.
The first penalties of the night werent handed out until early in the second stanza, with the Bulldogs being whistled for two separate infractions in the first four minutes, but Princeton couldnt convert either power play. Yale then went on a power play of its own on a minor penalty charged to Princeton forward Kyle Hagel at 7:04, but it was the host Tigers who then netted their second shorthanded goal of the season to regain the lead.
Wilson carried the puck over the Yale blue line on the right side, and tried to feather a pass from the right circle ahead to Jubinville that instead kept on sliding until it slid untouched inside the far post at 8:26, with Jubinville and Brad Schroeder garnering assists on the play. Wilson, who had the game-winner on Friday night against Brown, has now scored 10 goals on the campaign.
That was huge, said Wilson of the shorthanded goal. I tried to throw it at the net for Jubinville, and it snuck in.
The line of Jubinville, Wilson and Mike Kramer had combined for 31 points in the last eight games entering Saturdays contest, and added four more points against Yale.
Our line has developed great chemistry the last seven or eight games, and those guys are so easy to play with, said Wilson. Jubinville has great speed and Kramer has a great shot, so Im more of a playmaker; but when I get the chances, I like to bury them.
Princeton (14-9-0, 11-5-0 ECAC) then effectively buried the Bulldogs with two scores just 17 seconds apart. Hagel made up for his earlier penalty by backhanding home a loose puck off of a frenzied scramble in front of the Yale cage at 11:29, assisted by Kevin Kaiser and Brandan Kushniruk, after Richards had made several saves in-close.
Landis Stankievech then made it a 4-1 affair when he slammed home a rebound at the right post at 11:46, set up by Kevin Lohry and Keith Shattenkirk, to spell the end of Richards evening. Shattenkirk has now posted points in his last three games, recording a goal and two assists in that span.
We kept pressing, and getting three goals in under five minutes kind of took them out of the game a little bit, said Wilson.
The Bulldogs (10-9-4, 6-6-4 ECAC) would get one back before the second intermission, as Broc Little fed Denny Kearney at the left post at 15:16 for Kearneys eighth marker of the campaign, with Matthew Thomey picking up the other assist.
They would pull Blase for an extra attacker with two minutes remaining in regulation, but couldnt get any closer on the scoreboard. Each team recorded 13 shots on goal and went 0-for-2 on the power play in the final period.
I thought a lot of our guys played well in spurts, said Allain. The Thomey -Kearney-Little line had some good moments. The Boucher-Jeff Anderson-Mason line was our fourth line tonight, and they carried some weight and scored a goal, so Im pleased with their play for sure.
Give Zane a lot of credit, reiterated Gadowsky of his sophomore goaltender. Not only for making the saves, but for being a calming influence back there, with the chances we take and the style we play.
Princeton will play at Dartmouth and Harvard next weekend and will be seeking to complete season sweeps of both opponents, while Yale will host St. Lawrence and Clarkson in New Haven.
Its always nice to play at home, but I dont think it will get any easier next weekend, said Allain. The ECAC is a great league, and this will be a new opportunity to see what weve got against good teams.
This league is probably the most difficult to predict night after night, said Gadowsky. Well have to be at our very best to get any points next weekend.