PRINCETON, N.J. – Princeton hockey came close to scoring its first goal of the game in the second. But players hit the ice, and Colgate emerged out of the chaos with a man advantage the other way.
Tyson Spink scored to bring Colgate’s lead to 4-0, his second goal of a 5-1 win over Princeton.
“That’s hockey,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “You have to stay with it and just keep battling. But it’s a great sign. It’s a very good team, they returned a lot of players from last year, they’re in sync, in unison.
“I saw a lot of great things from our team and we’ll continue to move forward.”
Saturday night’s loss followed Princeton’s first win of the season, a 2-1 victory over Cornell. The Tigers dropped to 1-2-1 on the season.
“As good as last night was in learning, tonight [is good] to learn that we can’t have any dents in our armor, because teams are going to keep coming at us,” Fogarty said. “That’s a good team. They’re a top-10 team in the country, and we were with them 32 minutes. We just got to keep going for 60.”
Princeton’s lone goal of the game came with four seconds left, with Jonathan Liau netting his first of the season. Colton Phinney made his fourth consecutive start and finished with 45 saves.
“We did a lot of great thigns and then what happened is that resulted in bad habits,” Fogarty said. “When it’s a pressure situation we can’t go out and play as individuals. We have to play unified as 28 members of this program, and that’s what happened. Guys just went out on a limb a little bit and took some penalties at the wrong time.”
While Colgate dominated Princeton for much of the game, the Tigers were down 2-0 at the end of the first period. The Raiders scored their first of the game on a shot from Jake Kulevich.
“We had some great chances, some great looks,” Fogarty said. “[Phinney] made some big saves.”
While Princeton allowed five goals, the Tigers kept most of Colgate’s shots to the perimeter. Only one Raider goal came from near the net.
Penalties characterized the 60 minutes of play, as the team combined for 24 penalties for 48 minutes and 17 power plays. Princeton has struggled with penalties so far this season, and average 16.50 penalty minutes per game.
“You got a mission here,” Fogarty said. “The mission isn’t to go after guys or take penalties or be talking to the referees. It’s a learning process and they have to lear that from us. Game’s over, move forward and we’ll get better on Monday.”
A night after killing off all five penalties, the Tigers allowed two power play goals on nine chances. On one of the penalty kills in the second, forward Kyle Rankin took a puck to the face and skated off. He returned later in the game.
“The penalty killers are going all in,” Fogarty said. “We’ve had a lot of work on the penalty kill and our guys are committing. It also allowed us to get [Ben] Foster some work on the penalty kill and I thought he did a great job.”
The Raiders attempted 79 shots on the night, while Princeton countered with 60 shots. The Tigers have yet to outshoot an opponent this season, and have struggled with possession.
“Stay out of the box,” Fogarty said. “We know and our team knows that we’re four lines. We have to have four lines and [be] fresh. We’re utilizing the same four to five guys in impact situations throughout the game, especially on the penalty kill.
“We have to lleivate that stress on those five players by staying out of the box and rolling four lines.”