Princeton Defeats Maine For First Win Of Season

Becker and RobbinsTRENTON, N.J. – Josh Teves sent a shot at the net less than three minutes into the second period. Kyle Rankin deflected the puck with his face, giving Princeton the first goal of the game.

While the tip-in didn’t stand as the game-winning goal, scoring first helped Princeton hold on for a 3-1 win over Maine at the Capital City Classic.

“It’s something that I think is exciting for the team, because a lot of games last year w were trying to battle back from behind,” Rankin said. “Getting that first goal first, not only that but an insurance marker to boot, that was great for us.”

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The second period saw two Princeton goals and was more even than Friday night’s contest against Yale.

“We played the same I thought, but we took care of our defensive responsibilities a lot better tonight,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “The second period wasn’t as lopsided against Maine as it was against Yale. But that was it, we just shored up the defensive zone to able us to transition quicker to offense today.”

While Princeton gave up a goal with 13:52 minutes left in the game, the team didn’t give up many quality scoring chances in the period.

“I mean that’s a key for our team, team defense,” Rankin said. “We don’t want to give up anything between the dots. We want to force anything from the outside.”

Both Rankin and Colton Phinney were named to the all-tournament team. Phinney finished with 38 saves on the night, giving him 79 stops on the weekend.

“You saw the way Colton played this weekend,” Rankin said. “I stand by me saying he’s the best goalie out there. He can stop pucks from the outside and that’s what he did all night and last night as well. He had a great tournament.”

The Tigers also killed off a five-minute major to start the third period after Matt Nelson was called for boarding Nolan Vesey.

“We faced a lot of adversary in the third, [that[ five minute major kind of came out of nowhere, kind of blindsided us,” Rankin said. “But our penalty kill was great and I think we were just confident in the way we were playing. We didn’t think another one was going in. We were able to weather the storm for a bit, get back in their end and then add an empty netter at the end.”

 

 

Joe Grabowski scored a goal in the second period, while Ben Foster added an empty net goal in the third.With the assist on Rankin’s goal, Teves earned his first collegiate points.

“[Teves was] a lot better,” Fogarty said. “More under control, he had that great shot from the point that was tipped. He’s seen a lot of ice time and power play time, penalty kills. We’re asking a lot from him and he just has to conserve the energy to utilize it smartly throughout each shift.”

The defensive pairs remained the same, while Max Becker played in Spencer Kryczka’s place. Fogarty said the lineups will continue changing, but Rankin said he enjoyed playing with classmates Mike Ambrosia and Jonathan Liau.

“We’ve had a lot of success in the past together,” Rankin said. “They’re two highly skilled guys, so I just try and get them the puck as much as I can and be physical and move my feet to create space for them to work their magic.”

The game, Princeton’s first win of the season, marked the Tigers’ last non-conference tilt until both Maine and Princeton meet again in November.

“We really focused on just playing our game and keeping the same pace from the get-go,” Teves said. “I think we did that really well. We put a lot more pucks on net today which is huge and just really kind of pushed hard against them.”

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