The losing streak for the men’s hockey team reached five games this past weekend as the Tigers (1-6-1, 1-5-0 Eastern College Athletic Conference) dropped conference contests at St. Lawrence University (8-4-1, 4-2-0 ECAC) and Clarkson University (5-5-4, 3-1-2 ECAC).
Depleted by injuries to five key contributors, including senior captain Tyler Maugeri and junior assistant captain Mike Ambrosia, the Tigers failed to score a goal in either game. It marks the first time a Princeton team has been shut out in consecutive games since the 2004-05 season. In addition to the absence of two captains, the Princeton side was without junior forward Kyle Rankin, as well as senior defenseman Tom Kroshus and junior defenseman Kevin Liss.
On Friday night in Canton, NY, the Tigers squared off against a talented St. Lawrence team that boasts a high-powered offense. After a scoreless first period of play, two Saints goals just 1:37 apart proved insurmountable as the Tiger offense failed to break through against opposing freshman goaltender Kyle Hayton, who notched his fourth shutout on the young season. St. Lawrence would add a third and final goal late in the third stanza to increase its lead to 3-0, the eventual final score.
There were some positives for the Tigers, as sophomore goalie Colton Phinney continued his strong start to the season, stopping 37 of 40 Saints shots. Additionally, facing one of the most efficient power play-units in the ECAC, the Tigers committed only three penalties, far lower than the seven per game they had been averaging.
Saturday night’s matchup in Potsdam, NY, proved less competitive, as the Golden Knights of Clarkson dominated play for most of the night. After falling behind 1-0 late in the first period, the Tigers conceded three goals in a 7:12 span early in the second. Neither team managed to tally a goal for the remainder of the game, resulting in a 4-0 Clarkson win.
The Golden Knights outshot the Tigers 31-23, with goalie Steve Perry notching the shutout. The Tigers again successfully limited their minor penalties, holding Clarkson to just three power-play opportunities.
Tensions boiled over late in the game, as freshman Ryan Berlin, freshman Joe Grabowski and senior Tucker Brockett, as well as Clarkson’s Pat Megannety, James Howden and A.J. Fossen all received 10-minute game misconduct penalties as a result of two separate skirmishes in the third period.
After two long road trips to New York in consecutive weeks in ECAC play, the Tigers will play host to non-conference foe Michigan State University at Baker Rink this weekend. For Princeton, the home ice and respite from ECAC play will be welcome, having been outscored 21-3 over the course of the losing streak.