This past weekend, the men’s hockey team (2–5–0 overall, 2–5–0 ECAC) fell in a set of weekend games against No. 5 Quinnipiac (9–1–2, 6–0–0 ECAC).
In the first game of the weekend, Quinnipiac Bobcats earned a 4–1 victory over the Tigers at Hobey Baker Rink. The first period saw five shots from each team, but only the Bobcats were able to convert, giving them a 2–0 advantage on opportunistic goals.
At the 11:32 mark in the first period, Quinnipiac forward Skyler Brind’Amour netted the puck on a passing play to open the scoring. Four minutes later, forward Joey Cippollone cut through the neutral zone and backhanded a puck past sophomore goalie Ethan Pearson.
Heading into the second, the play was four-on-four after roughing penalties on both sides at the end of the first period. Princeton went to a four-on-three man-advantage early in the period, but could not take advantage of the situation.
On Quinnipiac’s first power play of the second period, forward Sam Lipkin deposited a goal from in tight to give the Bobcats a 3–0 lead. Although they were down by three, the Tigers continued to push but possession was relatively even, and the game went to the third still at 3–0, Quinnipiac.
The start of the third was not quite what the Tigers were looking for as forward TJ Friedmann scored just 34 seconds in to give the Bobcats a cushy 4–0 lead. To the Tigers’ credit, the team managed to push a goal into the net on a rebound backhander from sophomore defensemen Noah de la Durantaye. It was Durantaye’s first goal of the season, and the final goal of the game, resulting in a 4–1 Quinnipiac victory.
In game two of the weekend, the Tigers traveled to Connecticut for a second matchup, this time on Quinnipiac’s home ice. Saturday’s game saw the exact same result as Friday night with a 4–1 Bobcats victory.
Yet again, Princeton outshot Quinnipiac, and controlled the pace of play often, but it was the Bobcats who jumped out to an early lead on a power-play goal from defenseman Jayden Lee. Goalie Yaniv Perets denied Princeton on their shot attempts in the first period.
During the second period, the Bobcats successfully expanded their lead to give them some cushion. At the end of a Princeton power play, the Bobcats rushed up the ice in a shorthanded two-on-one. Receiving a pass from his teammate, forward Jacob Quillan slapped a one-timer past the sprawling Pearson for a 2–0 lead. Then, with two minutes to go in the period, a point shot leaked its way through traffic off the stick of defenseman Jake Johnson for another Quinnipiac goal.
Princeton, throwing 12 shots on goal in the period with several high quality chances, were stymied by the Quinnipiac goaltender.
Perets continued to put the Tigers at a standstill in the third period. On a shorthanded breakaway from junior forward Adam Robbins, Perets, once again, denied the Tigers a much needed goal.
The Tigers were finally able to break through with about two minutes left in the game when junior forward Nick Seitz picked up a loose puck on the boards, maneuvered to the slot, and fired a puck by the goaltender. It was Seitz’s second goal of the season and the lone goal of the game for Princeton.
“I think that my line as a whole has gotten better and better as the season has gone on,” Seitz told The Daily Princetonian. “We have good chemistry and read off of each other well. We like to play with an attack mentality and it has led to a lot of chances the last couple games.”
For Princeton, it was too little, too late to even the score. Quinnipiac potted an empty netter to seal the game at 4–1, taking both games of the weekend. According to Seitz, the two losses against one of the best teams in the nation did not overshadow the talent the Tigers showed on the ice.
“We were able to carry large portions of the play and generate a lot of quality chances, which other teams have struggled to do against them,” Seitz said. “Our standard is to win games like that, which we were unfortunately unable to do, but there is definitely a lot to build on from the weekend.”
The Tigers will look to build on the weekend in a pair of non-conference games against red-hot RIT (10–2–0, 9–1–0 Atlantic Hockey League) this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26.
Cole Keller is a contributor to the Data and Sports sections at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to corrections at dailyprincetonian.com.