PRINCETON, N.J. – Last night, Princeton headed home after a late surge failed against Penn State. But the Tigers couldn’t continue that effort against the U.S. National Team Development Program U-18 team.
“It wasn’t a good effort,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “It was something we haven’t seen since St. Lawrence, what we did tonight.”
Princeton dropped the game 4-1, with the only goal coming from sophomore David Hallisey in the third period.
“Sometimes it’s a trap game,” Fogarty said. “You’re not playing against an ECAC foe, the mind plays tricks on you. You think you’re playing against high school kids, but they’re pretty damn good hockey players.”
Colton Phinney sat out for the first time this season to get some rest, while underclassmen Ben Halford and Austin Shaw manned the net. Halford played for 45:59 minutes and stopped 13 shots while Shaw made five saves and allowed no goals over a 12:46-minute span.
The Tigers kept it close in the first and found some scoring chances of its own. Alex Riche had one of the team’s best scoring chances early on as he continued playing with fellow freshmen Max Veronneau and Ryan Kuffner.
“They don’t know any better. Sometimes being naive is great and they’re naive,” Fogarty said. “They don’t know what they’re supposed to do. Just go play hockey. It’s great.”
Things changed in the second, when the Keiffer Bellows scored 24 seconds into the period on the power play. Trent Frederic made it 2-0 1:17 minutes later. Bellows added his second goal in the third, while Keenan Suthers added the empty-net goal.
Princeton will break for the next couple of weeks. The Tigers return to action on Dec. 29 when they host travel partner Quinnipiac.
“I want to keep playing,” Fogarty said. “Maybe it’s good for the guys, but it’s never a good time for a break. We just want to make sure that guys go into break [and] keep the mental part of knowing what their good habits are.”