This past weekend, in a doubleheader against ECAC rival Quinnipiac (13–2 overall, 6–2 ECAC Hockey), Princeton men’s hockey (3–6–1, 3–4–1) suffered two losses. On Friday, the team lost 0–3, and was kept scoreless by strong Quinnipiac defense. The game on Saturday was higher scoring, but the Tigers lost 3–6. Junior forward Jackson Cressey led the tigers with two goals, and senior forward Ryan Kuffner tapped in one for the Tigers. Until the third quarter, the game was close, when Quinnipiac scored two back-to-back goals.
“We can take some positives out of this weekend,” said sophomore forward Luke Keenan. “Each game, there was a goal disallowed that could have gone either way. We’re still trying to find our team identity…. Parts of this weekend we saw that, but moving forward that’s what we need to find.”
The team is bolstered by strong senior leadership in captain defenseman Josh Teves and forwards Ryan Kuffner and Max Véronneau. But with several underclassmen entering the lineup, the Tigers are working to get the new players acclimated to the pace of the game. In practice, the Tigers are working on their play chemistry on the ice. They have struggled with their power play performance during the last few games, and are hoping to bring it back. However, they feel confident in their penalty kill ability and feel like they have a strong technical foundation.
Next up for the Tigers is a doubleheader against Arizona State this weekend. The Tigers hope to break their losing streak of the last five games, but Arizona State will not be an easy matchup. Arizona State is off to a solid start in their season, with a 10–6 overall record. In last year’s matchup against Arizona State, the Tigers went 1–1.
Princeton now stands 3–4–1 in the ECAC league, but hopes to capture the title in the remaining part of the season. “We won the ECAC last year, so that’s our goal again,” Keenan said. “But anyone could beat anyone. Every league game, we really have to come in like it’s a do-or-die.”