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Winless streak hits 11 games as men’s hockey loses pair to Colorado College

<p>Jeremy Germain battles for a puck against a Colorado College opponent.</p>
<h6>Photo Credit: Jack Graham / The Daily Princetonian</h6>

Jeremy Germain battles for a puck against a Colorado College opponent.

Photo Credit: Jack Graham / The Daily Princetonian

After winning its season opener, Princeton men’s hockey (1–8–3 overall, 0–4–2 ECAC) has now failed to record a win in its past 11 games.

Most recently, the Tigers dropped two games this weekend at Baker Rink to visiting Colorado College (6–5–1).

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On Friday night, Grant Cruikshank and Chris Wilkie scored twice, and Jack Gates added two assists for the visiting Colorado College Tigers as they defeated Princeton 7–2.

After a slow start that saw the Tigers tally the first seven shots on goal of the game and, later, the first goal, Colorado exploded for seven of the next eight goals despite being outshot 42–22 on the night. Princeton was 7–7 on the penalty kill, but also failed to capitalize on their own man advantages, scoring just once on seven power plays.

The Tigers started the scoring early, killing off a penalty and rushing down the ice on a two-on-one that ended with sophomore forward Corey Andonovski saucing a perfect pass to senior forward Liam Grande’s backhand for an easy tap-in goal, his first of the season, and the 1–0 lead. Colorado responded just 1:15 later as a shot leaked through junior goalie Ryan Ferland, and Alex Berardinelli tapped it home to tie the game with his first of the year.

Sam Renlund struck next for Colorado, as he found a rebound that had gone off of Ferland’s mask and whacked it home for his first goal of the year, taking a lead that would hold the rest of the period.

Colorado picked up right where it left off to start the second, with Nick Halloran’s sixth of the year finding the back of the net to give Colorado a 3–1 lead. Five minutes later, Wilkie made it 4–1 as Colorado raced up the ice, had one shot stopped, the rebound blocked, then finally hitting twine as Wilkie powered the rebound past Ferland for his sixth of the season.

The Tigers found life late in the second, scoring on their fifth power play of the game with 4:15 to go. The puck popped loose from a scrum on the boards up by the blue line right to sophomore forward Christian O’Neill, who turned and fired home a wrister, his second of the year, to cut the deficit to 4–2. Andonovski picked up his second assist of the game on the play. That was, however, all the scoring the Tigers could muster.

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With just 1:04 to go in the second, Cruikshank fled up the right boards, then cut in towards the goal. Ferland went down to get in position, but did so too early as Cruikshank roofed the puck short-side to increase Colorado’s lead back to three and give Cruikshank his third of the season.

The third period provided no relief for Princeton. First-year Aiden Porter replaced Ferland in net, but could not hold Colorado back. With 7:01 to go in the game, Wilkie struck again with his seventh of the year, this time skating around the net up into the high slot, turning, and whipping a shot over Porter’s blocker to make it 6–2 Colorado. Just 49 seconds later, Cruikshank would get his second of the game and fourth of the year, taking a pass from Connor Mayer, his second assist, streaking shorthanded up the ice on a two-on-one, and burying the shot for Colorado’s seventh goal of the night to cap the scoring.

On Saturday night, Princeton tied the game at 1–1 with less than a minute remaining in the third period, on a goal from O’Neill. However, it took Colorado just 19 seconds into overtime to notch the game-winner. Princeton took the loss despite outshooting Colorado 41–27.

Princeton will return to action Tuesday at Baker Rink against American International College.

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