With 10 minutes to go against No. 4 Quinnipiac, the men’s hockey team was about to face a long drive home from Hamden, Conn. The Tigers (3-8 overall, 2-6 ECAC) had lost to the Bobcats (12-2-1, 6-1-1) 3-0 at Baker Rink the day before, and they now were down 3-1.
But Princeton came alive just in time. In just over seven minutes, the Tigers rallied to score three times and held on for a 4-3 win over one of the best teams on their schedule. It was the first loss of the season for the Bobcats, who had gone 13 straight games without a loss.
The rally came a day after the Bobcats breezed to victory in the Garden State, scoring twice in the span of 30 seconds in the second period and tacking on another goal on a power play in the third. Freshman goalie Colton Phinney made 31 saves, but his offense could get nothing going and was outshot 34-19.
Saturday’s game looked to be headed in the same direction. The Bobcats outshot the Tigers 23-12 in the first two periods and went up 2-0 with quick goals early in the second. Princeton did not show signs of life until late in the middle period, when sophomore defenseman Kevin Liss got the puck to freshman forward Ryan Siiro, who found senior forward Eric Carlson in the slot. Carlson netted it for his first goal of the season.
Quinnipiac’s Kellen Jones answered back early in the final period to keep the Bobcats comfortably ahead. Halfway through the period, however, Princeton took momentum back for good. Junior forward Aaron Kesselman won a faceoff, leading to a goal by senior forward Jack Berger. Six minutes later, senior forward Andrew Ammon threaded a pass through a crowd of defenders to find sophomore forward Mike Ambrosia, who was on one knee as he scored the tying goal.
Just a minute later, Ammon completed the comeback he had helped engineer, intercepting a Quinnipiac pass and netting an unassisted goal with 2:24 to play. It was the sixth goal of the season for Ammon, who leads the Tigers in scoring.
Princeton was outshot 12-6 in the third period, but Phinney did not let the Bobcats back in the game. He recorded a career-high 32 saves in the victory, the first of his season.
The win not only came after Princeton had lost to Quinnipiac once — it also came after the Tigers fell to No. 9 Yale and No. 16 UMass Lowell earlier in the season. The Bobcats are currently the highest-ranked team on their schedule.
The Tigers will be back in action with another two-game series next weekend, when they head to East Lansing to take on Michigan State.