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Men's Hockey Falls Short in Game 1 of ECAC Playoff Series

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 03/02/2012
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Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications
Sophomore Jack Berger
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Princeton made it a one-goal game in the third but an empty-net goal by Yale with one minute left in the game would give the Bulldogs a 4-2 win in game one of the ECAC Hockey first round best-of-three series.


Yale grabbed a 1-0 lead at 6:12 of the first period when Brian O'Neill took advantage of a loose puck in front of the crease. Colin Dueck took a shot from the left point and Jesse Root deflected it right in front of the Princeton cage where O'Neill got his stick on it and scored.

Dueck scored his own goal at 16:38. Root wrapped around the back of the net and found Dueck perched on the right face-off dot. Dueck fired blocker side and the puck caromed off the left pipe and into the back of the net.

Sophomore Sean Bonar made a big stop at 12:13 on an odd-man rush when O'Neill sent a cross-ice pass to Trent Ruffalo. Bonar was about to cut off the challenge with a stop at the left pipe. Three minutes later he squashed another, as Kevin Limbert had a breakaway but pushed the puck too far ahead and Bonar was able to push the puck aside with his stick

Princeton wasn't without its scoring chances in the first. With seven minutes left, junior Michael Sdao ripped a shot that rebounded out to the right side and sophomore Andrew Ammon backhanded the rebound that went just wide of the open left side. Fifteen seconds later Ammon rifled another shot that went just wide. The Tigers nearly scored in the waning seconds after a shot by junior Eric Meland. Meland's shot was saved and the rebound was batted around on the doorstep but the Tigers ran out of clock time before they could get it past Nick Maricic.

Princeton was able to kill off two penalties in the first period with some offense. The Tigers Yale to just one shot on goal in 3:11 of time, and had two short-handed chances during that time.


Yale had three shots hit the pipe in the second period, along with one in the first by Kenny Agostino. Andrew Miller hit the pipe midway through, Agostino picked up the rebound but Bonar caught the second chance in his pads. Two minutes later Limbert intercepted a fanned shot by Princeton on the blue line and took the puck in all alone, but hit the crossbar. The third pipe of the game for the Bulldogs

Princeton outshot Yale 12-7 in the middle frame. The Tigers had a flurry of chances three minutes in when they were on the power play. The Tigers put three on cage and Jack Berger had Maricic on his belly to prevent the score. A few minutes later, junior Rob Kleebaum had a great chance when he was in the slot but his shot went to the breadbasket of Maricic. With less than five minutes to play, junior Eric Carlson had a shot from the right boards that rebounded out to the left side to junior Will MacDonald. MacDonald's back hand was a touch too late as the puck hit the side netting.

Kleebaum made it a one-goal game at 14:28 with a power-play goal. Senior Marc Hagel had the puck in the corner and Meland came over to support, he grabbed the puck off the boards and popped the puck into the left circle to an undefended Kleebaum who shot over the blocker.

Nick Jaskowiak answered with a power-play goal for Yale less than two minutes later. Agostino sent a centering pass to Jaskowiak at the top of the point and Jaskowiak fired top shelf to make it 3-1 at 16:7.

Sophomore Andrew Calof nearly stuffed the puck in on the left side in the final minute but Maricic had his glove down at the left post to protect the net. The Tigers had another flurry of chances in the final 30 seconds, but Maricic was up for the challenge, stopping four shots.


Princeton had the momentum entering the third period. The Tigers were able to capitalize on it 4:20 into the period when Berger scored to make it a 3-2 game. He brought the puck down the right boards and whipped it around the boards to Hagel on the opposite side. Hagel put it in the slot for Kleebaum and Kleebaum saw an open right side of the goal and gave it to Berger who went five hole.

Yale tried to stave off a Princeton comeback by getting another goal but Bonar was up to the task. Seven minutes in he made a save on a shot by Tommy Fallen and the rebound was picked up by Princeton to take it the other way. Anthony Day used a flip shot at 12:31 but Bonar made the save at the left pipe. Miller hit another pipe with 2:35 left, Yale's fourth of the game.

Princeton pulled Bonar for extra skater and called a timeout with 1:11 remaining.  A shot wide by Princeton was picked up by Antoine Laganiere and he skated down the left side and delivered the empty-net goal with one minutes left on the clock. The result would be some pushing and shoving on the ice. Yale's Young received a two-minute minor for cross checking while Hagel got a five-minute major and game misconduct for contact to the head. He is eligible for tomorrow's game. The goal remained empty as Princeton tried to get the third goal on 5x4 but couldn't find the back of the net in the final 60 seconds.

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