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20131116_MHockeyV.Harvard_BenKoger_8473
20131116_MHockeyV.Harvard_BenKoger_8473

The men’s hockey team provided a weekend of wild finishes for fans at Baker Rink, splitting Friday’s and Saturday’s games with a victory over Dartmouth (0-8 overall, 0-6 ECAC) and a loss to Harvard (3-4-1, 2-4-1). Facing a three-goal deficit against the Big Green, the Tigers (2-7, 1-5) scored four unanswered goals and topped that off with a walk-off overtime goal by senior forward Andrew Ammon to win 5-4.

The next night, Princeton cut Harvard's 4-1 lead to one goal in the final period but fell 5-3 as the Crimson tallied a last-second goal on an empty net.

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20131116_MHockeyV.Harvard_BenKoger_8473

The Tigers earned their first in-league points with the win.

“We’re definitely moving forward,” senior forward Jack Berger said. “I think, on the whole, we played well. We didn’t get a couple of bounces, and we definitely need to clean things up. But we’re definitely making strides from where we were at the beginning of the year.”

Friday night, Dartmouth had put together a three-goal lead with seven minutes left in the first period. A power play stemming from a cross-check called on junior defender Tom Kroshus led to the second goal, with the third coming as Tim O’Brien broke away off a deflected shot and took the puck through the Princeton defense and past senior goaltender Sean Bonar.

Princeton's response came during a two-minute power play with under five left in the first period. Sophomore forward Mike Ambrosia ripped a shot into the crossbar for what was called a goal, but on video replay the referees reversed the call. Soon after, junior forward Tyler Maugeri fed freshman forward Ryan Siiro, who scored the Tigers’ first goal to narrow the score to 3-1.

In the second period Princeton scored its second power play goal as junior forward Tucker Brockett fed Maugeri, who flipped the puck past Dartmouth goaltender Cab Morris. Brockett, who was involved in all four of the Tigers' goals, leads the team in points and assists with 11 and nine.

Under three minutes later, junior forward Aaron Kesselman found Ambrosia streaking to the crease for the tying goal.

“When we go down on the scoreboard, we want to stay positive,” Berger said. “We really believe we have a team that can be successful. And if we keep working hard and keep believing in our systems, at some point we’ll get the bounces and things will turn around.”

Early in the third period, Ammon maneuvered in from the wing and beat the Big Green’s goalie to the top corner. After Brett Patterson turned a deflected save into the net to tie things at 4-4, the remaining 8:35 ran down and sent the game to overtime.

The game-winner came with only 11 seconds remaining in the extra period, when Ammon was fed by freshman defenseman Tyler Davis. The 5-4 win marked Princeton's second overtime victory over Dartmouth this season.

The following night saw the Tigers take on another Ivy rival, Harvard. Neither team struck the net until 13:37 into the first period, when Harvard’s Sean Malone put the puck past an outstretched Bonar off a deflection. No more goals came until the third period.

The Tigers tallied 21 shots on goal through two periods against Harvard’s Steve Michalek, who would go on to record 32 saves in his team’s win.

Three minutes into the final period, Princeton managed to beat Michalek to level the score at 1-1. The goal came via an odd-man rush while the Tigers were down a man. Junior defenseman Aaron Ave received the puck from Brockett and scored to tie.

With 13:26 left in regulation, the Crimson opened up a three-goal tear in which they beat Bonar and the Princeton defense for three goals in under two-and-a-half minutes. Tyler Moy scored an unassisted goal that would prove to be the game-winner on a power play. Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey netted his team's fourthgoal with just over 10 minutes remaining.

A beautifully executed rush by the Tigers narrowed the lead to two, with Berger feeding Ambrosia feeding Kesselman, who ripped one past the Harvard tendie.

With just over two minutes remaining, a wild charge by Harvard led to a Princeton power play. After a time-out, the home side pulled Bonar and put six skaters against Harvard’s four. Krushus scored his team’s third goal.

In spite of a bevy of tight chances and just-wide shots, Princeton’s man-up offense could not net the tying goal. Vesey found the puck and slid it past the empty crease to put the game out of reach as time expired.

“I think we’ll really focus on having strong starts,” Berger said, “and playing a full 60-minute game. There definitely were some good spans of play, but we need to clean it up and eliminate some of the chances we’re giving our opponents as we really commit to playing a full 60 minutes.”

The gentlemen of Princeton hockey will play the sixth game of this homestand Friday at 7 p.m. against Quinnipiac.

The women’s hockey team (5-2-1 overall, 4-2 ECAC) hosted the University of New Hampshire and No. 5 Boston College Friday and Saturday afternoons, making it a home double-doubleheader at Baker Rink. A win over UNH (6-6-2, 2-2-2 Hockey East) and a 1-1 tie with the Eagles (9-3-1, 5-1) extended the Tigers' unbeaten streak to five games.

In contrast to recent men’s games, the Boston College showdown was a low-scoring affair. Nonetheless, the home and away sides tallied 34 and 33 shots on goal, respectively. Sophomore goalie Kimberley Newell held tough, however, and none of the five attempts by the Eagles in the extra period proved a game-winner.

The first goal of the contest came 11:10 into the second period as Boston College's Haley Skarupa struck on a power play.

With 6:04 remaining in the next period, freshman forward Kelsey Koelzer tipped in a shot by her classmate, forward Tucker Cassidy, for the first goal of her career. The Tigers would manage to keep a strong BC team from regaining the lead.

The women of Princeton hockey have not tasted defeat since the Nov. 1matchup with Cornell, and they have improved to 4-2-1 . Next weekend, the women will play games three and four of a five-game home series against conference rivals Clarkson and St. Lawrence.

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