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Men’s ice hockey earns win and a tie in weekend series against Sacred Heart

Man in orange and white uniform holds puck in defensive zone, looking up ice to teammates.
First-year defenseman Ian Devlin with the puck Saturday against Sacred Heart.
Photo courtesy of @princetonhockey/X.

This weekend, Princeton men’s hockey (5–5–2 overall, 4–3–1 ECAC) played a home-and-home series against the Sacred Heart Pioneers (8–7–1 overall, 8–3–0 Atlantic Hockey Association). Starting the weekend away Friday night, the Tigers skated away with a shutout win over the Pioneers, before returning to Hobey Baker Rink for a closely-contested tie on Saturday night.

Multi-goal game from Brendan Gorman leads Tigers to Friday night win


In the Pioneers’ Martire Family Arena, the Tigers added an away win to their record with a 4–0 shutout. Sacred Heart went into the game on a one-game losing streak that grew to two after Princeton’s dominant performance. 

The first period began with multiple offensive pushes for Princeton; with 9:31 left to play in the period, sophomore forward Brendan Gorman was able to score the first goal of the night. The goal came on a unified effort from the line, including a screen from senior forward Ian Murphy, senior forward Adam Robbins feeding the puck off the boards to junior defenseman Noah de la Durantaye to take a wrister, and ultimately Gorman tipping it into the net. This set the momentum for a Tigers lead that lasted all night. 

With 3:16 left to play in the second period, Gorman scored his second goal of the night, marking his first career multi-goal game. After Robbins won the puck in a face-off and slid it backwards, Gorman took his first shot on net, which ricocheted off Murphy and directly back to the stick of Gorman for the follow through. At the closing of the second, Princeton was up 2–0 with 20 minutes left to play. 

The third frame started with another Tiger goal, this time with Robbins redirecting a shot from senior defenseman Mike Kennedy through the slot past goaltender Cullen DeYoung. His tip-in marked his fourth goal of the season and put a third goal on the board for the Tigers against the Pioneers. 

Throughout the rest of the third period, Princeton played shutdown defense, including a successful fourth penalty kill of the night and an additional nine saves from first-year goaltender Arthur Smith, who ended up totalling 21 that night. 


With three minutes left to play, junior forward Jack Cronin sealed the win with an empty netter against a Pioneer power play advantage, closing out the game decisively 4–0.

Reflecting on Gorman’s performance, head coach Ron Fogarty told The Daily Princetonian, “We moved Brendan to right wing to play with Robbins and Murphy, and he has adjusted so well.” He added that he has “six points in two games.”

Gorman was not the only Tiger with a dynamic Friday night, as Adam Robbins had a career-high two assists as well as a goal, marking a three-point game for him as well. 

A Saturday night ‘teddy bear toss’ tie 

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Playing back at home in Hobey Baker Rink, Princeton hoped for another dominant performance against Sacred Heart, but the Pioneers put up a much tougher fight, resulting in a 2–2 tie Saturday night. 

“Sacred Heart is a good team, they are in the top 25 in the PairWise [rankings] nationally, they are number one in their conference,” Fogarty remarked. “We knew there would be a good pushback from them after Friday night, and they came out hard.”

Sacred Heart has since dropped to number 40 on the PairWise rankings.

Just under 13 minutes into the first period, the Pioneers scored their first goal of the weekend when forward Daniel Ebrahim whipped one past junior netminder Ethan Pearson on the breakaway. The Tigers were outshot 12–8 at the end of the first 20 minutes and were down 1–0. 

Rallying back with an equalizer, junior defenseman Noah de la Durantaye scored his first goal of the year with 17:22 left in the second. Robbins, Murphy, and de la Durantaye moved fast through the neutral zone on an odd-man rush, floating the puck from the stick of Robbins to Murphy, who then slid a drop pass to de la Durantaye to finish the scoring sequence inside the near post. In celebration, Tiger fans covered the ice with stuffed animals, which would be donated as part of the annual “teddy bear toss” tradition.

A few minutes after the toys were cleared from the ice, Sacred Heart regained the lead with a shot from defenseman Hunter Sansbury, assisted by Ebrahim and forward Jake Bongo.

With 5:58 left in the second, Sacred Heart was sent to the box for a five minute major penalty after making contact with Ethan Pearson’s head. The junior goaltender stayed in the game to close out the 20 minutes, but was relieved by Arthur Smith for the third. The full five minutes of five-on-four advantage was scoreless for the Tigers, so they were set to combat a 2–1 Pioneer lead at the start of the third. 

Looking for a comeback, Princeton played with a tough tenacity in the last 20 minutes. 2:41 into the third frame, Jack Cronin scored his first of the night and second of the weekend against Sacred Heart to tie the game at two all. First-year forward Kai Daniells won a face off in the defensive zone and knocked the puck ahead for sophomore forward David Jacobs to carry up the ice into scoring position, before he drilled a pass across to Cronin for a quick finish into the net. 

“It was a great play by Jacobs to beat the defender wide and make a good pass so I could find a way to get it in the net,” Jack Cronin told the ‘Prince’ postgame. “He made it easy for me.”

Regulation ended in a 2–2 tie, but unlike their last three overtime home games, Princeton was unable to secure the game winner in the five-minute sudden death period, despite five shots on net. This led to a Tiger exhibition shootout appearance, where de la Durantaye made a nifty move past the Pioneer goaltender, but ultimately the game ended in a tie for points and conference standing. 

“We took it to ‘em in overtime, but just couldn’t find the back of the net,” Cronin reflected. 

Wrapping up the first half of their season, Coach Fogarty assured, “twelve games in, I like where we are — we are leading the Ivy League.” After a break for finals, the Tigers will return to face an Ivy League foe on Dec. 30 at Hobey Baker Rink: the Harvard Crimson (1–5–3 overall, 1–3–3 ECAC). 

Ava Seigel is a staff writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

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