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Men's hockey loses 4–2 to No. 13 Harvard in season opener

<h5>The Tigers will look to bounce back Friday night against Cornell in ECAC play.&nbsp;</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of Erica Denhoff/<a href="https://goprincetontigers.com/sports/womens-volleyball/schedule/2022" target="_self">GoPrincetonTigers</a>.</h6>
The Tigers will look to bounce back Friday night against Cornell in ECAC play. 
Courtesy of Erica Denhoff/GoPrincetonTigers.

Men’s ice hockey (0–1–0 overall, 0–1–0 Eastern Collegiate Athletic) lost a tight game in their season opener against No. 13 Harvard (2–0–0, 2–0–0) by a score of 4–2 in Cambridge, Mass. 

To start the action in the first period, the Crimson came out flying. Harvard had 27 shot attempts in the first, with 12 shots on goal in comparison to Princeton’s six shots on goal. The game remained close due to a strong play from Princeton senior goalie Aidan Porter. He successively saved 11 of 12 goal attempts in the opening frame. Harvard, however, still managed to open the scoring when a broken stick aided Zakary Karpa’s redirection past Porter.

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The second period saw the Tigers push back with first-year forward Brendan Gorman putting Princeton on the board at the 6:33 mark. Unassisted, Gorman picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and rifled a shot past Harvard junior goaltender Derek Mullahy for his first collegiate goal.

For Brendan Gorman, one of the most memorable moments of the night was the chance to play on the ice with his older brother and teammate, senior forward Liam Gorman, for the first time.

“It was really special,” Brendan Gorman wrote to The Daily Princetonian. “We played on the same team in high school, but we never had the opportunity to play together. We always played with one another on our backyard rink, so to now play in a real game means a lot to both of us.”

The third period began tied at one, and the Tigers went to an early power play when Harvard forward Austin Wong tripped sophomore forward Jack Cronin 1:36 into the frame. On the ensuing power play, Cronin received an excellent cross-ice pass and wristed the puck past the goalie for a 2–1 Tigers lead. 

“Obviously power plays are very important for our team to be successful. Having a successful power play can swing the momentum of the game in our favor,” Cronin said.

The tide turned against the Tigers following the power play goal. The Crimson were able to answer right back on their own man advantage on a first collegiate goal from first-year forward Joe Miller. Three minutes later, after a Princeton defensive zone turnover, Harvard sophomore forward Matthew Coronato scored on a one-timer to give the Crimson a 3–2 lead.

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“We need to limit the full possession turnovers in our defensive zone,” Head Coach Ron Fogarty said. “We have improved in this area from last season and there is still some room for further improvement.”

Princeton pushed to the very end and had a power play opportunity late in the game that could have tied the score again. However, Harvard and Mullahy had other ideas, as the Crimson’s defense stopped Princeton’s search for a tying goal. In the final two minutes, Coronato delivered again on a breakaway to bring the score to a 4–2 final.

The Tigers will look ahead to next weekend, where they will play at Baker Rink for the first time this season with matchups against Cornell (0–0–0) and Colgate (0–0–0). The puck drops against Cornell on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m., and against Colgate on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.

“I’m very excited about the direction our team is headed,” Cronin said. “I think we have added a very talented class of [first-years] so there’s a lot of excitement in the locker room right now.”

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Cole Keller is a contributor to the Data and Sports sections at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to corrections@dailyprincetonian.com.

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