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Men’s hockey splits series with RIT in battle of the Tigers

<h5>The Tigers celebrate after Saturday's 5–0 win.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of <a href="https://twitter.com/princetonhockey/status/1596691968620630017/photo/1" target="_self">@princetonhockey/Twitter.</a></h6>
The Tigers celebrate after Saturday's 5–0 win.
Courtesy of @princetonhockey/Twitter.

The men’s hockey team (3–6–0 overall, 2–5–0 ECA) played back-to-back games against Rochester Institute of Technology (11–3–0, 9–1–0 Atlantic) this past weekend, splitting the pair.

On Friday, Nov. 25, the Tigers lost 5–3. Although Princeton outshot RIT 36–20 for the game, two goals in the first period for Rochester would prove hard to overcome.

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“As a whole I think our team played very well this weekend. Although Friday’s game did not go our way, there were a lot of positives we can take from the weekend,” sophomore forward Jack Cronin told The Daily Princetonian.

With RIT surging to a 2–0 lead just five minutes into the game, senior forward Liam Gorman would help counter their momentum, finding the back of the net on a power-play a little over halfway through the first period. The senior scored off of a slap shot from sophomore defender Noah de la Durantaye to put the Tigers on the board.

Right before the end of the first period, RIT would counter Gorman’s goal, scoring yet again and reinforcing the two-goal lead they held earlier in the period. However, just three minutes into the second period, Cronin would once again bring the Rochester lead back to one, scoring with assists from Durantaye and Gorman.

Unfortunately for Princeton, the Tigers were never able to tie the game despite a goal halfway through the third period from senior forward Matt Hayami. A late empty-netter from RIT left the final score at 5–3.

Despite a rough start to the weekend, the Tigers bounced back on Saturday with five goals of their own and secured an impressive 5–0 shutout.

“I think the difference [from Friday to Saturday] was that we were a lot more focused on the details in our defensive zone and on the penalty kill [on Saturday],” Cronin said. “This allowed us to spend a lot more time in their zone and gave us some more chances, which we capitalized on.”

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Five Princeton players would put goals on the board for Princeton. In the second period, goals came from junior forward Nick Seitz and first-year forward David Jacobs. In the third period, goals were scored by junior forward Ian Murphy, Gorman, and senior defender Pito Walton.

Junior defenders Nick Carabin and Mike Kennedy both had two assists for Princeton. Sophomore goalie Ethan Pearson made 23 saves, securing his third shutout of the season.

Once again, Princeton led with 37 shots on net compared to RIT’s 23. Princeton will return to Hobey Baker Rink on Dec. 2 to face Clarkson (7–6–0, 3–1–0 ECAC). 

“I think our team can be really dangerous and that our current record does not reflect how well we have played. I am really looking forward to more opportunities to show how good our team can be in upcoming games,” Cronin said.

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Sophie Steidle is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.

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