In the third period, Princeton held a 3-2 lead over Brown. The Tigers were trying to earn their first road win since March 7, 2014. But the Tigers needed to fend off some quality Brown chances, including several on the power play.
“The big story tonight was the penalty kill there in the third period, [we] did a good job of limiting opportunities in front of the net,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said.
The Tigers were a perfect 2-for-2 on the kill, and it propelled Princeton to a 4-2 win over the Bears on Friday. The win was Princeton’s first road victory in over a year, and the first time the Tigers scored four goals since last year’s 4-1 win over Army on Jan. 28, 2015.
The Tigers, who improved to 3-8, are undefeated at Brown in its last three games. This is also the earliest Princeton has reached three wins since the 2013-14 season.
Princeton jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to Ben Foster and Ryan Kuffner. But the Tigers were unable to hold it, and an individual-effort goal from Mark Naclerio tied the game early in the second period.
“Brown fought back. and our composure throughout the first half of the game and in the third period was outstanding,” Fogarty said.
Garrett Skrbich scored the game-winning tally 6:55 minutes into the second period, while Ryan Siiro added an empty net goal. Kyle Rankin had two assists on the night.
Colton Phinney finished with 36 saves, including 15 in the third, en route to his 11th career victory.
“Our guys played great in front of him,” Fogarty said. “There’s no question. He’s able to see the shots and we got in the shot lanes and took away the back door.”
Kuffner’s goal was his fourth of the season, tied with his linemate Max Veronneau for the team lead. Kuffner now has a team-high eight points, and has continued playing with Veronneau and Alex Riche for an all-freshman line.
“They’re learning together,” Fogarty said. “They still have a long way to go, but they’re creative and they’ve meshed well so far. So we’ll keep monitoring them and hopefully can continue to have scoring opportunities throughout their career here.”
Princeton also netted a power play goal, bumping Princeton’s conversion rate to 14.7 percent.
“We spent a lot of time on that in practice,” Fogarty said. “Obviously when you have struggled to score you have to cash in on the opportunities with a man up.”