PRINCETON, NJ – Princeton scored just 45 seconds into the game and never looked back, as the Tigers (15-9-2, 10-7-2) claimed a 7-3 win over the Brown men's hockey team (8-13-4, 6-11-1) on Friday evening at Baker Rink. Special teams continue to plague the Bears as of late, as Brown was 0-5 on the power play and was 4-7 on the penalty kill with Princeton scoring all of its power play goals at critical times, breaking a 1-1 tie with the first, taking a 4-1 lead with the second, and a 7-2 lead with the third.
The loss also does not help the Bears in the standings and the hunt for home ice for the playoffs, as the three teams behind Brown, St. Lawrence, Harvard, and Colgate, all won their games on Friday.
Things did not start well for Brown, which fell behind, 1-0, just 45 seconds into the game when Michael Sdao fired a blast from the left point that Kevin Lohry was able to redirect behind junior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) for the early lead.
Brown tied the game at 1-1 at the 6:38 mark on a goal by senior Harry Zolnierczyk (Toronto, ONT) when his shot from the top of the crease bounced off goalie Alan Reynolds and into the net, before the net came off its moorings. Referee Eric Ernst was in position behind the goal and immediately signaled for a goal, despite booing from the Princeton fans.
Sophomore Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ) blocked a Princeton shot just inside the left point, settled the puck, and found Zolnierczyk at center ice. Zolnierczyk carried the puck into the zone with speed and beat Reynolds on the partial breakaway.
However, the Tigers regained the one-goal lead just three minutes later when Taylor Fedun cashed in on Princeton's first power play of the night, after skating into the slot, unmarked and beating Clemente glove-side high at 9:54 for the 2-1 lead.
Just 24 seconds later, Princeton went up on its second man-advantage, and though the Tigers didn't convert the power play, Andrew Calof put away a rebound of a shot by Mike Kramer 18 seconds after the Brown penalty expired to give his team a 3-1 lead.
The Bears had a series of chances to get one back over the next minute, but Reynolds stopped four shots from close range and the Princeton defense blocked another three to keep the score at 3-1.
The Bears applied a lot of pressure during the first part of the second period, generating a trio of opportunities to close the gap to one goal. Freshman Garnet Hathaway (Kennebunkport, ME) had perhaps the best chance when he looked to finish a give-and-go with senior Jesse Fratkin (Burnaby, BC). However, his shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle in the fifth minute of the period clanged off the near post. Just about a minute later, Zaires had a quality chance from the slot, but was denied by Reynolds.
Brown's momentum was halted midway through the second period when Princeton went up on its third power play of the night and converted the chance when Rob Kleebaum beat Clemente through the five-hold from the left circle just 42 seconds later to take a 4-1 lead at 9:46.
Following the goal, freshman Marco De Filippo (Arunzo Di Cadore, Italy) replaced Clemente in net.
The Bears got one back at 12:57 when Fratkin, who was back in the lineup after missing the last five games with an injury, took a centering feed from junior Mike Wolff (Walpole, MA) and beat Reynolds from the left side for his fifth goal of the year.
However, the Tigers answered again when Lohry completed a give-and-go with Matt Arhontas and beat De Filippo glove-side high with a shot from the slot at 17:34.
Brown just missed coming to within two goals early in the final period when the second line of Fratkin, Hathaway, and freshman Mark Hourihan (Lynnfield, MA) had Reynolds out of position but could not capitalize. After a shot by freshman Marc-Antoine Carrier (St.-Michel-de-Bellechasse, QUE) was blocked by Andrew Ammon, the Princeton rookied skated the other way on a breakaway and beat De Filippo from the right faceoff circle just 2:12 into the period to give the Tigers a 6-2 lead.
Brown had a pair of power play chances after the goal, but could not score on either opportunity and Princeton held its four-goal lead. However, the Tigers would go up on their 7th man-advantage at the 9:54 mark and needed just seven seconds to increase their lead to 7-2, with their third power play goal of the night.
Junior Bobby Farnham (North Andover, MA) picked up a point for the third straight game when he took a pass from Hourihan and beat Reynolds at the 17:33 mark for his 7th goal of the year, accounting for the 7-3 final.
Clemente finished with 14 saves in 39:46, while De Filippo made 22 in 30:14. Reynolds stopped 30 shots for the Tigers. Brown returns to action tomorrow evening when it faces Quinnipiac in a 7:00 p.m. contest in Hamden, CT.
BROWN 1 1 1 x - 3
PRINCETON 3 2 2 x - 7
First Period – P, Lohry (Sdao, Arhontas), 0:45; B, Zolnierczyk (Zaires), 6:38; P, Fedun (Meland), PP, 9:54; P, Calof (Kramer), 12:36. Penalties – B, 2-4; P, 1-2.
Second Period – P, Kleebaum (Pallis), PP, 9:46; B, Fratkin (Wolff, Goldberg), 12:57; P, Lohry (Arhontas, Ritchie), 17:34. Penalties – B, 4-8; P, 0-0.
Third Period – P, Ammon (unassisted), 2:12; P, Fedun (Zuk), PP, 10:04. Penalties - B, 1-2; P, 3-6.
B, Mike Clemente (29:46) – 9-5-x-x – 14; B, Marco De Filippo (30:14) – x-13-9-x – 22; P, Alan Reynolds (59:21) – 8-8-14-x – 30.
Pictured: Jesse Fratkin '11. Photo by DSPics.net.