NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In the belly of the whale, Princeton and Yale were skating end to end in a physical match. But with 2:13 minutes left in the first, Tucker Brockett was ejected for hitting from behind.
Assistant captain Mike Ambrosia left the first period with an injury and did not return, leaving the Tigers (3-15-1, 1-12-0 ECAC) two forwards down.
Princeton killed off over two minutes of the major to end the first in a scoreless tie. But in the second period, it took the Bulldogs (12-16-2, 7-5-1 ECAC) 90 seconds on the five-minute power play to earn a 2-0 lead.
“The five minute major was a turning point most definitely,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “Then we had an injury there in the first period so we lost two of our key offensive guys out there early in the first period.
“The five minute major, obviously the two goals late in the penalty hurt us.”
After netting two on the man advantage, the Bulldogs added a pair with less than three remaining in the second en route to a 4-0 victory at Ingalls.
Frankie DiChiara, Sty Wilson, Cooper Carson and Mike Doherty all scored for the Bulldogs. Alex Lyon made 31 saves in the shutout, marking the sixth time this season Princeton failed to score. It ties the program mark set last season.
Princeton allowed 27 shot attempts in the second, including seven Grade-A chances. Yale scored on four of those chances, including a couple goals off turnovers.
“I wasn’t really paying attention to turning the puck over, we have to make sure we don’t turn the puck over in areas where it hurt us,” Fogarty said. “But I don’t think the areas were hurting us, we just tried to force some plays in the neutral zone.”
Princeton finished the night winning 22 of 56 faceoffs, an area of more concern for Fogarty.
“We lost a lot of faceoffs tonight which gave them immediate possession to start each shift,” Fogarty said.
Colton Phinney stopped 25 pucks, and was replaced by freshman Ben Halford in the third period. Fogarty referred to the replacement as a “team decision.” Halford stopped all 11 shots he faced.
With Halford in net, the Tigers, aided by a five-minute power play of their own, stormed back in the third. The Tigers outshot Yale 12-11 in the frame, and received some good chances thanks to freshman Eric Robinson. But Princeton was unable to score.
“He put himself in some spots and we’ve taken him off the power play so he can just go back to basics,” Fogarty said. “With the injuries he got some power play [time]. [He] didn’t score, but he gave himself some opportunities to put the puck in the net.”
The Tigers are tied with Brown for last place in the ECAC, and the two teams play on Saturday at 4 p.m.
“You have to hate losing,” Fogarty said. “It’s difficult to win, you can’t accept losing. You have to find ways to win. I’m glad our guys are not accepting it. You have three classes now that haven’t won a playoff series and you have to make it sting on the losses.”