The Princeton men’s hockey team (1–5–3 overall, 0–4–2 ECAC) traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland, over Thanksgiving break to play in the Friendship Four, an international hockey tournament that began as a celebration of the sister city relationship between Boston and Belfast.
The team was defeated by Colgate 3–1 on Friday and by New Hampshire 3–2 on Saturday. The Tigers also took time to explore the area and appreciate the culture of Northern Ireland. Their itinerary included a trip to the Game of Thrones set and a visit to a local elementary school to learn traditional Irish dancing. They also had the opportunity to stay in the Titanic Hotel, the former headquarters of the company that built the ill-fated Titanic ship.
The Tigers’ first game of the tournament, against Colgate, began with a faceoff between senior forward Jackson Cressey and Colgate’s Arnaud Vachon, which Princeton won. Three shots from Colgate followed. Much of the period continued in the same way, with two more shots from Colgate and one more shot from Princeton before the start of an ultimately unproductive powerplay from Princeton.
Colgate began a second power play in the 19th minute, resulting in a goal from the Raiders’ John Snodgrass, with assistance from Anthony Stark and Trevor Cosgrove. The period concluded after Colgate won a final faceoff.
The second period began more successfully for Princeton, with two successful faceoffs and a second-minute goal from Princeton’s freshman forward Spencer Kersten, who received assistance from freshman forward Liam Gorman and senior forward Liam Grande. Though Aidan Porter saved three shots from Colgate, the Raiders scored their second goal in the fifth minute.
The score remained at 2–1 until the end of the second period, with one fruitless powerplay from Princeton and three from Colgate. The third period began with a faceoff won by Colgate, followed by 11 shots from Colgate and 16 from Princeton, before Colgate scored their third goal in the 13th minute. Ben Sharf again made the goal, with assistance from Henry Marshall and Paul Meyer.
The next day did not bring better fortune, with the Tigers falling 2–3 against the University of New Hampshire (7–6–1). Although Princeton outshot the Wildcats 19–5 in the first period, New Hampshire scored the game’s first goal in the 16th minute.
The Tigers followed up with a goal by sophomore forward Christian O’Neill in the 19th minute, with assistance from sophomore defenseman Mike Ufberg and sophomore forward Corey Andonovski. The first period concluded with a 1–1 draw, which was broken in the next period.
Princeton’s senior defenseman Derek Topatigh, assisted by Liam Grande and junior forward Luke Keenan, scored four minutes into the second. Princeton maintained their lead until the 9th minute of the third period, when New Hampshire’s Liam Blackburn scored a goal in a powerplay with assistance from Eric Macadams and Max Gildon.
The Wildcats cemented their win with a third and final goal in the 10th minute from Filip Engarås. Though the Tigers pushed hard in the final minutes, hitting eight shots in the last 10 minutes, victory eluded them.
The team will return to Princeton for their next game at the Hobey Baker Rink against Colorado College on Dec. 6.