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thom-goal

Matthew Thom ’21 shooting at Union's net. The goal was Princeton's only in Saturday's matchup.

Photo Credit: Tom Salotti / The Daily Princetonian

Men’s hockey (1–3–2, 0–3–1 ECAC) lost in overtime on Saturday night after Union College (3–11–0, 2–4–0 ECAC) scored with 15.4 seconds left in the sudden death period. The Tigers scored first in the game after junior defender Matthew Thom knocked one in a few minutes into the second period. During a power play later in the second period, Union tied the game 1–1, after sophomore forward Christian O’Neill was sent to the penalty box for slashing.

Neither team scored in the competitive first period. The Tigers outshot the Dutchmen 24–15, but Union maintained a slightly better percentage of shots on target, hitting 67 percent on goal to Princeton’s 62 percent. Neither team committed a single penalty in the period.

Though Princeton senior forward Jackson Cressey was handed a two-minute penalty for boarding 21 seconds into the second period, Union was unable to capitalize on the power play. A minute after Cressey was let back in, Thom scored his first goal of the season, assisted by first-year defender Pito Walton and Cressey.

The Tigers stayed up 1–0 until 6:20 left in the period, when Union’s Dylan Anhorn got the puck past Princeton goalie Ryan Ferland on a power play. The game remained tied through the final minutes of the period and saw penalties on Thom for tripping and Union’s Brandon Estes for interference. The Dutchmen outshot the Tigers 20–16 in the second period and had 13 shots on target to Princeton’s seven. Ferland was busy in goal with 12 saves.

The third period was scoreless, as the teams jockeyed for a winning goal, which sent the game into sudden death overtime.

“We had some great looks and a couple open backdoor opportunities in the third period,” said Princeton’s head coach Ron Fogarty. “There were a couple of times we were backpedaling in the neutral zone instead of attacking.”

Union outshot Princeton 9–4 in the OT period and snuck in a goal off a rebound with 15 seconds left. The play was reviewed and confirmed, handing the Dutchmen a 2–1 win.

“We worked hard for 64 minutes, and it was unfortunate for that one to get in at the end,” said Fogarty.

Saturday’s loss against Union capped a disappointing home-opener weekend at Baker Rink, after a 2–2 draw against RPI on Friday. The results notwithstanding, the games still showcased some of the team’s strengths, according to Ferland.

“In our own zone we’re really good at boxing out, not giving up too many tips or too many screens, and even our gapping’s been really good this year,” he said. “As we play more teams our younger guys will get more adjusted and things will start going our way.”

The team heads to New York this weekend for games against Colgate (3–6–3, 2–2–0 ECAC) and Cornell (6–0, 4–0 ECAC) in Hamilton and Ithaca, respectively.

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