Princeton Tops Brown, Will Play Yale In Ivy Tournament Final Sunday
If Princeton and Yale repeat their game from earlier this season when they meet up in the Ivy League tournament final Sunday, it'll be regarded as an all-time classic, as opposed to an interesting footnote to a March Saturday.
Of course, what are the odds of another five-overtime game?
About the same, it would appear, as having Princeton repeat what happened in its regular-season game against Brown earlier this season when those two got together for a second time.
Princeton-Brown II was much closer than the first meeting, though at this time of year, style points aren't very important. Instead, it's a win-and-advance mode, and that's exactly what Princeton did.
The Tigers got just enough of everything they needed and held off a strong challenge from a red-hot Brown team to win 9-6 in front of 1,286 fans at Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium in the second Ivy League semifinal game. Princeton is now 11-3 overall, while Brown ended its season at 7-8.
The win advances Princeton to the final Sunday at noon to take on Yale, who defeated Cornell 14-10 in the first game Friday. The winner of the final will get the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, though Princeton is the 2012 Ivy champion, regardless of the outcome of the game.
The first time Princeton and Yale met, the Tigers won 10-9 in five overtimes. That game was back on March 24.
A week later, Princeton went to Providence and defeated Brown 13-2.
Brown, though, regrouped to get big wins down the stretch to get into the Ivy tournament. As for Yale, the Bulldogs haven't lost since that five-OT game and will bring an eight-game winning streak into the game Sunday.
The rematch between Princeton and Brown didn't figure to be easy - and, if the series history was correct, high-scoring. And both turned out to be true.
Princeton, in fact, won for the first time this season in a game in which it didn't reach double figures. The Tigers got goals from seven different players, and only Mike MacDonald and Alex Capretta had more than one.
Capretta, who scored five times last week as Princeton defeated Cornell for the Ivy title and had the game-winner against Yale, had his two goals in a 1:17 span late in the second quarter, as the Tigers rallied from 4-3 down to build a 7-4 lead at intermission. Tom Schreiber's 30th goal of the year tied the game at 4-4, and then defenseman Rob Castelo had the first of his career with 22 seconds left before intermission after the two by Capretta.
Neither team erupted in the second half, and Princeton had a five-minute possession during the fourth quarter while it had an 8-6 lead.
Tyler Fiorito, the Ivy League Player of the Year, had 12 saves, giving him 608 for his career, two away from Kevin Gray for second place all-time at Princeton. Scott Bacigalupo has the school record with 732.
With this win behind them, the Tigers could focus on Yale, who led Cornell 13-4 at one point. Yale's Deron Dempster had eight goals, tying the stadium record set by B.J. Prager aginst Hobart in 2001, and Dempster's teammate Matt Gibson had eight assists in the game, setting the stadium record.