ESTERO, Fla. (12/28/13) – The Maine men’s hockey team battled for a 4-0 win over Princeton in Game 1 of the Florida College Hockey Classic at Germain Arena on Friday, Dec. 28.
After a three-week hiatus and regaining most of its injured players Princeton (3-13) was a new-look squad. However the Tigers couldn’t get on the board despite rattling off 33 shots.
Steven Swavely scored Maine’s (10-6-1) first two goals with two late goals in the third period sealing the win.
Swavely put Maine on the board first in the first five minutes of the game when re redirected a Dan Renouf shot from the right point with Devin Shore assisting.
Both teams had equal chances to score in the period with Maine taking a slight 13-12 edge in shots.
Senior Andrew Calof returned from an injury after missing 10 games and showed he’s back and ready to play. He had a breakaway in the first five minutes of the game but was stopped by netminder Martin Ouellette. Calof had another advantage in the second period and Ouellette bobbled the puck setting up a good chance for a second bid.
Freshman Quin Pompi received the first penalty of the game at 18:15 of the first but it was the Tigers that put the puck on net as juniors Aaron Kesselman and Tom Kroshus nearly popped in a short-handed goal on Columbus draft pick.
A scoreless second period saw the Princeton sticks really come to life as the Tigers outshot Maine 22-17.
Freshman goalie Colton Phinney made his best save early in the second with a leg save on a rebound shot by Connor Leen. Ouellette matched that performance minutes later with a big save on a give and go between junior Tucker Brockett and Kroshus.
Swavely’s second of the night just 43 seconds in the third did nothing to sway Princeton’s momentum as the Tigers continued to pepper the net. Swavely received a tape-to-tape pass from Leen to make it 2-0.
Jake Rutt’s goal at 13:21 started to drain the Tigers as he buried a pass from Cam Brown. A few minutes later the Tigers nearly gave up another after a turnover just inside the left circle on a breakout, leading to a one-on-one between Phinney and Mark Anthoine. Again a leg save by Phinney squashed the goal.
Stu Higgins capped the win for Maine with a tally with 5.6 seconds left in regulation.
Phinney finished the game with 32 saves while Ouellette stopped 33 on the other end as Maine outshot Princeton by a slim 36-33.
Princeton’s penalty kill was solid allowing just one shot on goal in two opportunities of 3:22. The Tigers’ own power play had two shots on one opportunity of 1:22.
The Tigers will face the New Hampshire game in the consolation game of the Florida College Hockey Classic tomorrow afternoon at 4:05 p.m. UNH lost 4-2 to Cornell in Game 2.