Princeton men’s hockey (3–14–4 overall, 1–10–3 conference) faced a tough 5–3 defeat in a home game against No. 1 Cornell (15–2–4, 10–2–2) on Saturday, Feb. 1. Junior defender Mark Paolini, first-year forward Spencer Kersten, and senior forward Liam Grande all scored for the Tigers, with junior defender Matthew Thom tacking on two assists. Princeton scored all of its goals on the man advantage, going 3–5 overall for the game.
Cornell got off to a strong start, with forward Max Andreev striking 8:29 into the first period for his third goal of the year. Just over a minute later, the Big Red struck again, as forward Tristan Mullin netted his seventh of the season, putting Cornell up 2–0. Mullin’s goal came on the power play, after Princeton sophomore forward Finn Evans was called for slashing. That score would stick for the rest of the period, with Cornell outshooting Princeton 12–7 at the break.
During the second period, Andreev took a penalty and Paolini struck on the ensuing power play for his first goal of the season, cutting Cornell’s lead to one. A little under four minutes later, Andreev was sent to the box for the second time. Once again, Princeton capitalized, this time with Kersten finding twine for his fourth of the year to tie the game at two.
The period ended with the score still tied, with Cornell outshooting the Tigers 22–10 across the two periods.
Cornell rebounded in the third quarter, quickly jumping to a 4–2 lead. A little over five minutes in, defender Alex Green netted a power-play goal, his fifth of the year, after Princeton sophomore defender Mike Ufberg’s hooking penalty. Just 51 seconds later, Cornell scored again. This time it was Ben Tupker’s second of the season that found the back of the net.
The Tigers, however, weren’t done yet. With 11:56 to go, Liam Grande cut the deficit to 3–4 after a Cornell penalty for his fifth of the year. The score remained that way for a tense 10 minutes, and in the end, it was the Big Red who would score to put the game away. After Paolini took a tripping penalty, Mullin scored his second of the game and eighth of the season with 50 seconds on the clock for the two-goal lead.
Princeton couldn’t keep up with the barrage of shots Cornell put on sophomore goalie Jeremie Forget. In the end, Cornell outshot the Tigers 36–15.
The Tigers look to bounce back Friday, Feb. 7, when they head to Providence to face Brown.