On Friday night, we had a tough start. Quinnipiac scored three goals at 6:18, 9:05, 10:20 of the first period: the last one on a power play. At this point, I pulled our goaltender, Ian Shane and called on Remington Keopple. We finally scored at 12:12, when senior forward Gabriel Seger backhanded a shot over the goaltender’s shoulder to send us into the first intermission down 3-1. But just four minutes into the second period, the home team went up 4-1. Just 28 seconds later, freshman forward Jonathan Castagna broke quickly toward the net, drew a penalty, and backhanded the puck into the net to make it 4-2.
Sophomore forward Dalton Bancroft scored at 12:47 of the second period, converting a rebound off a shot by freshman defenseman Ben Robertson. The primary assist was Robertson’s eighth point in seven games of his young career. We kept the pressure on, but with no result. Credit to this young team, they battled back, but our young guys were taught some lessons. The Bobcats scored again with 29 seconds remaining in the period to send us into the third period down, 5-3.
At 3:51 of the third, Bancroft converted a roof shot to narrow the margin to 5-4. Sophomore goaltender Remington Keopple, who hadn’t played in a game since Feb. 11, 2022, made a couple of great saves to keep us at the one-goal deficit. After that, it was all Quinnipiac. The Bobcats scored goals at 9:11, 12:14 and 17:16 to seal the victory.
Shane, in his 10:21 minutes in the net made six saves, while Keopple stopped 22 shots in his 49:39 minutes in the goal. The Quinnipiac net-minder made 21 saves. We were 0-for-4 on the power play, and the Bobcats were 2-for-3.
I was wondering when this type of game was coming with the youth we have on the ice, and it happened Friday night. However, we will be better for it.
Because of illness, I was not at the Princeton game, but I heard that we played much better but couldn’t score against a goaltender who had a very strong night with a season-high 36 saves. We got plenty of shots, but we seem to be running into hot goaltenders.
After a scoreless first period, we dominated play in the Tigers end, and finally scored at 7:54 of the second period. Junior captain Kyle Penney one-timed a wrist shot from the left circle to make it 1-0. Five minutes later, Princeton tied the score with a roofer at 11:24. With 55 seconds left in the second period, we got our second power-play opportunity, and kept the pressure on for the remainder of the period, but to no avail.
In the third period, Princeton was assessed a five-minute major penalty. We had five shots on goal during the extra man but couldn’t light the lamp. With 12 seconds remaining in regulation, Princeton received a minor penalty, so we opened the overtime skating four on three, but the Tiger penalty killers and goaltender were equal to the task. Near the end of OT, Princeton really put the pressure on us, and Keopple made some big saves. But with 6.4 seconds left in OT, the home team fired home a rebound to win the game 2-1. It was Princeton’s first home victory over us since Nov. 7, 2014.
Keopple, recording his first start since Nov. 19, 2022, made 22 saves in goal, while the Tiger goalie stopped 36 shots. We were 0-for-4 on the power play, and Princeton was 0-for-2.
It doesn’t get any easier for us, as we head to NYC for the Red-Hot Hockey contest vs. long-time rival, #8 Boston University. This is always a great game for our alumni following, and a special treat for our players to play at Madison Square Garden. Hope you can come and enjoy the atmosphere.