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Vermont Upends Men's Hockey at Catamount Cup, 6-3

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 12/30/2012
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Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications
Freshman Mike Ambrosia scores his second career goal.
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Box Score

BURLINGTON, Vt. (12/30/12) - Second period penalties kept the Princeton men's hockey team from maintaining a lead as Vermont upended the Tigers 6-3 in the final game of the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup on Sunday, Dec. 30 at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Princeton took an early lead and had a 3-1 edge at the start of the second period. Five penalties would keep the Tigers from skating at full strength for 10 minutes, half of the period. Vermont scored two power-play goals and used the momentum to expand on the lead.

"I think a lot of guys played well," Princeton coach Bob Prier said. "We got some younger guys into the lineup, that got healthy like Ambrosia, Zajac and Rankin. Our leaders are playing better, a lot better. It was great to get Kleebaum going and Berger going, and I think they had great weekends."

"I think the younger guys are getting some experience and figuring it out and I think our older guys are really starting to play a lot better. I think that we are hopefully going to gel here soon and start putting some wins together. I don't think we are that far off. "

Princeton's own power play helped it take a 2-1 lead in the opening period.

Freshman Mike Ambrosia scored his second career goal in his second game back following an injury that benched him for eight games. Ambrosia fired a shot from the point with help from sophomore Tyler Maugeri and junior Andrew Calof at 4:32. The goal came on the Tigers' first power-play opportunity and first shot on goal of the game.

Vermont evened the scoring at 1-1 at 14:18 on an even-strength goal from Robert Polesello. Polesello roofed a shot over the left shoulder of netminder Sean Bonar after getting the puck from behind the net from Pete Massar. Anders Franzon got the secondary assist.

A 4x3 goal by senior Michael Sdao put Princeton back on top at 15:22. Sdao ripped a shot from the top of the key with Calof and Ambrosia collecting their second points of the game.

Senior Rob Kleebaum, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, expanded Princeton's lead to 3-1 with a goal 54 seconds into the second period. Senior Will MacDonald intercepted the puck in the neutral zone and gave it to Berger on the right boards. Berger centered to Kleebaum who ripped a high shot into the back of the net. Sophomore Tom Kroshus earned the secondary assist.

Vermont turned the tables and scored three straight to take the lead. Power-play goals by Jacob Fallon and Brett Bruneteau knotted the game at 3-3. Anthony Decenzo gave the Cats their first lead of the game at 16:28. The second period saw shots fall 20-8 in favor of Vermont as they skated with a man-up for half the period.

Ryan Rosenthal's goal with 3:49 remaining in regulation put the game even further out of reach for the Tigers. Bonar skated to the bench with 1:24 left on the clock but the Cats would seal the win with an empty-net goal with 10.7 seconds left.

Yesterday's Player of the Game, Bonar finished the game with 35 saves, while Brody Hoffman stopped 20 for Vermont.

Princeton was 2 for 2 on the power-play and 6 for 8 on the penalty kill. The Tigers had 36 seconds of power-play time and scored twice. Vermont was on the power play for 13:09 and scored just twice.

The Tigers fall to 3-7-4 overall but head home for a five-game homestand. It will be a welcome change as Princeton has played just three home games this season.

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