PRINCETON, N.J. — Sometimes change is good; it’s even better when it results in a win.
No. 13 Princeton made a change in goal and it paid off this afternoon with a 4-1 victory over Clarkson before a crowd of 1,700 at Hobey Baker Memorial Rink
Alan Reynolds made 31 saves in his first start of the season for Princeton (2-2-0, 1-1-0 ECAC), as he spelled regular netminder Zane Kalemba. Matt Arhontas tallied two goals and set up another for the Tigers, who were clad in their orange third uniforms and snapped a two-game losing skid with the victory.
“I found out about it last night,” said Reynolds of his start. “It was a lot of fun, and our team played well, especially the last two periods.”
Paul Karpowich had 30 stops for the visiting Golden Knights (3-6-0, 0-2-0 ECAC), who went 0-for-6 on the power play in dropping their fourth consecutive game, all on the road. Princeton killed off all 13 short-handed situations it faced on the weekend against Clarkson and St. Lawrence.
Dan Bartlett got things going for the Tigers just 5:29 into the contest when his shot from the low right circle beat Karpowich. Derrick Pallis drew the lone assist on the play
“The first period I thought we played well, and could have been up 2-0 or 3-0,” said Clarkson coach George Roll, whose team had 19 shots on goal in the opening stanza but couldn’t get the puck past Reynolds.
“Clarkson came out storming, and it could have been over,” said Princeton coach Guy Gadowsky. “Zane has been a huge part of what we’ve accomplished, but everyone likes Alan, and they were really happy he got the opportunity and took great advantage of it.”
Reynolds stopped a backhander in close by Brandon DeFazio with less than 14 minutes left in the period, and then made a pad save on Corey Tamblyn’s breakaway attempt some ten minutes later.
The 1-0 lead stood up until early in the second session. Mike Kramer skated down the right side in the Clarkson zone and then deep into the right circle before centering a pass to Mark Magnowski at the near post. Magnowski redirected the puck past Karpowich at 1:57 for his first goal of the season and a 2-0 Princeton advantage, with Arhontas also assisting
“Princeton played a good second period,” said Roll. “We couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Arhontas made it 3-0 at 12:31 with his own inaugural goal of the campaign. Clarkson was unable to get the puck out along the boards near its blue line, and Arhontas then picked it up in the right circle and swept into the slot, where he put a backhander between Karpowich’s legs.
“That goal was all him,” said Gadowsky. “He never gave up on the puck, and it was a huge goal.”
Clarkson forward Matt Beca fired a rebound just wide of the post three minutes into the third period, but got a second chance moments later and connected at 3:10 for his sixth goal in eight games this season.
“I think it hit something and went through,” said Reynolds, who nonetheless praised his teammates for all their help in clearing rebounds and blocking shots.
Arhontas closed out the scoring with less than two minutes left in regulation, after Kramer had corralled the puck outside the Clarkson blue line in front of the penalty boxes. He turned off the wall and fed Arhontas, who skated in alone and steered the puck into an empty net at 18:07.
“It was fitting that he got that empty-netter,” said Gadowsky. “He took a hit to get it out (of our zone), and it was fitting that he and his line got that one.”
Princeton continues its season-opening homestand on Friday evening against Dartmouth, while Clarkson will host Rensselaer that same night.
“We haven’t won on the road, and that’s a concern,” said Roll. “We’ll go home and see if we can’t turn this around.”