Princeton men’s hockey (1–1–1) began ECAC action this weekend with a win over Dartmouth on Friday and a draw with Harvard on Saturday. The Tigers, who are currently ranked 18th in the country, defeated Dartmouth 7–1 in Hanover, aided by a four-point performance from senior forward Alex Riche. Senior forward Ryan Kuffner and senior defender Joshua Teves also delivered impressive performances, each recording three points. Teves, who currently has 70 career points, moved into second place on the all-time scoring list for Princeton defenders with his performance on Saturday. Only Cliff Abrecht sits above him, with 101 points scored from 1982 to 1986.
The offensive firepower continued into Saturday, as the Tigers tied Harvard 4–4. Although they were not able to come away with the win, Saturday’s game did not come without highlights for the Tigers. Senior forward Max Véronneau, who finished the game with four points, struck first, taking advantage of a Harvard giveaway in the offensive zone. Harvard responded with two goals in a span of three minutes, but Kuffner leveled the score before the end of the first period with a power-play goal.
Harvard’s Jack Drury scored in the eighth minute of the second period to regain the lead. Princeton followed with a shorthanded goal which was Véronneau’s third assist of the night. After intercepting the puck along the boards, Véronneau skated deep into the offensive zone. Surrounded by Harvard defenders, Véronneau centered the puck to junior defenseman Derek Topatigh, who found the net with a clinical finish. The Tigers scored again two minutes later, as Kuffner scored his second power-play goal of the game. Princeton was unable to hold the lead, however, as Harvard equalized at the start of the third period.
With his four-point performance, Véronneau matched his career high for points scored and pushed his career total to 114 points, the ninth most in Princeton history. Kuffner sits right behind him in the top ten, with 112 career points.
The Tigers are coming into this season with high expectations. They were picked to finish second in the ECAC in the preseason poll, and are coming off of a season in which they won the ECAC. Last year’s team finished second in the nation in scoring, averaging 3.64 goals per game, and the Tigers have two returning All-Americans in Véronneau and Kuffner. Last year, both forwards recorded over 50 points for the season, with Véronneau leading the nation in assists while Kuffner finished second in the nation in goals.
ECAC action will continue this weekend as the Tigers face Union University (6–2–1) on Friday and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (3–4) on Saturday at Hobey Baker Rink. Union is currently ranked 12th in the nation and will enter the game on a two-game win streak.