Overtime goals were the theme for the Princeton Tigers (2–1–1 overall, 2–1–1 ECAC) this weekend, as they wrapped up their first two games at Hobey Baker Rink with two wins against the Yale Bulldogs (1–3–0, 1–3–0) and Brown Bears (2–4–0, 1–4–0).
The Tigers went into the weekend hoping to bounce back from their 5–4 loss on the road to the Dartmouth Big Green (2–1–3, 2–0–3), and that's exactly what they did.
“We want to secure every win at home, it’s a great place to play at Baker and a great tradition,” head coach Ron Fogarty told The Daily Princetonian. “The crowds have been great … and the guys love playing in front of their classmates, family, and friends.”
Senior forward Adam Robbins secures Friday night’s win
Friday night’s game versus Yale was hot from the start, with first-year forward Kai Daniells scoring his second goal of the season only 2:48 into the first period and putting the Tigers at an early 1–0 lead. Sophomore forward David Jacobs assisted Daniells by causing a Yale turnover, driving hard to the net, forcing the puck to come loose in front of Daniells.
Shortly after, the Tigers cashed in on their first power play goal of the weekend, putting them ahead of the Bulldogs 2–0. Senior defenseman Nick Carabin scored his first goal of the year with a dynamic one-timed shot off of assists from senior forward Nick Seitz and sophomore defenseman Tyler Rubin.
In quick succession, Yale answered with two power play goals of their own less than 10 seconds apart while playing 4-on-4. Bulldog defenseman Rhys Bentham and forward David Chen each slid one past first-year Tiger goalie Arthur Smith to tie the score at two–all.
With Smith in goal during his first collegiate start, Princeton held off Yale defensively throughout the rest of the first, but were unable to offensively retake the lead.
To start off the second period, Jacobs scored a power play one-timer goal of his own with an assist from senior forward Ian Murphy and sophomore forward Brendan Gorman. Below the goal line, Murphy fed a pass right to the tape of Jacobs, who wired a shot past the Yale goaltender for the lead.
Bringing the score to 4–2 Princeton, sophomore forward Jaxson Ezman continued Tiger momentum, earning a goal off of multiple rebounds in front, after a point shot from junior defenseman Noah de la Durantaye was put on net.
The Bulldogs again rallied back in the third, not accepting a quick loss to the Tigers. With 10:08 left in the period, Yale had tied the game up at 4–4. Both teams traded unsuccessful shots on goal and lots of physical contact to wrap up regulation in a tie.
With 2:21 left in the sudden death overtime, Princeton celebrated like they had secured the win after a backhander by Gorman bounced off of the Yale goaltender and appeared to cross the goal line.
However, after replay review, this goal was overturned, setting the stage for a dramatic finish. Skating through the neutral zone all the way to the net with four seconds left to play, senior forward Adam Robbins weaved his way through all three Yale defenseman, pulled the puck to his backhand and successfully flipped the puck into the net, earning the first Princeton home win of the season, 5–4.
Rockin' Robbins!— Princeton Men's Ice Hockey (@princetonhockey) November 11, 2023
The dirtiest of dangles from Adam Robbins ignites Bedlam at Baker Rink with 5.4 seconds left in OT!@Buccigross | @NCAAIceHockey | @TeamECH | @ecachockey | #SCtop10 pic.twitter.com/f2V25hAPrc
“It means everything” said Robbins to the ‘Prince’ about securing the win. “It’s an Ivy League game and an ECAC league game, so it’s important to start on the right foot.”
Sophomore defenseman Tyler Rubin finishes off Brown
On Saturday night, the Tigers were riding high as they faced the Brown Bears, who were coming off of a big 5–1 loss last weekend to nationally ranked No. 10 Quinnipiac (7–3–1, 3–0–1).
Despite the Tigers outshooting the Bears 13–8, neither squad was able to find the back of the net in the first period.
However, with 17:51 left in the second period, Brown defenseman Alex Pineau got a quick shot past first-year goaltender Conor Callaghan to get the first goal of the game on the board, leaving Princeton down 1–0.
Six minutes later Brown continued their scoring momentum on a 4-on-4 power play, taking a two-goal lead courtesy of forward Max Scott. This was the first time the Tigers found themselves playing from behind all weekend.
With 3:52 left in the second, Murphy turned the game around after being given a two minute minor penalty for goalie interference. With the assistance of a stretch pass from Carabin, Murphy skated directly from the penalty box to the net with a breakaway goal that slid past Bears goalkeeper Tyler Shea to pull the Tigers within one.
Time was dwindling on a Tigers comeback throughout most of the third period, but with 1:05 left of regulation, Princeton found the equalizer to send themselves to overtime play for the second night in a row. Tyler Rubin sent the puck across the ice with a pass to Daniells, who was able to feed it to senior forward Joe Berg, and Berg knocked it in for his first goal of the season. Princeton and Brown ended regulation tied 2–2.
As the five minutes of overtime play ticked away, the Tigers fought to fend off the Bears and tried to secure their second win of the weekend. With 2:09 left, it was Rubin who sent Baker into a frenzy. Carabin maintained the puck while Princeton changed shifts, allowing Rubin to take the ice, settle a stretch pass through the center of the neutral zone from Murphy, and skate in on a breakaway. Sniping a wrister over the shoulder of Brown goalkeeper Shea, Rubin gave Princeton the weekend sweep.
“The team’s resilience was our biggest strength this weekend,” Robbins told the ‘Prince’ post-game. “We had plenty of times where the bounces were not going our way, obviously we gave up plenty of goals this weekend, but throughout it all we kept the energy high, stuck together as a team, always fought back, and came out on top twice.”
This weekend was the first time the Tigers skated away with two overtime wins in succession since the 1986–87 season. It was also a high scoring weekend, with a cumulative eight goals scored by eight different players.
Fogarty remarked that these goals “show team depth, especially since the team was coming into [Saturday’s game] ranked fourth in the nation in goals scored.”
Reflecting on the weekend, Fogarty told the ‘Prince’ that, “every time you win, it’s a great feeling that gives the team more confidence, especially being resilient and coming back from being down two goals.” This confidence is exactly what Princeton hopes to keep as they play again at Baker Rink next Friday and Saturday against Colgate (3–5–2, 1–2–1 ECAC) and No. 7 Cornell ( 4–1–1, 2–1–1 Ivy).
Ava Seigel is a staff writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’
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