The Princeton Tigers scored a goal off the stick of defenseman Matt Maglione late in the third period to earn a 2-2 draw against Rensselaer.
The Tigers pulled out the tie when Maglione scored on a hard wrist shot at the 17:42 mark of the third period. Scott Prime won an offensive-zone faceoff to teammate Tommy Colclough. He fed Maglione, who tallied his fourth of the season from the top of the right circle. The puck changed direction on RPI goaltender Nathan Marsters after it nicked off of Engineer Carson Butterwick.
With the tie, the Tigers are now 3-20-1 overall and 2-14-1 in the league. The Engineers are now 9-19-3 overall and 3-11-3 in the ECAC. RPI maintains its four-point lead over Princeton, which was 2-0-1 against the Engineers this season, for 11th in the standings.
Princeton took an early lead when sophomore Mike Patton tapped the puck into a vacated net 4:47 into the first period. The play developed when defenseman Steve Slaton drove down the right side, drawing Marsters out of the net. Slaton then found Patton in front for the goal, his seventh of the season.
The Engineers evened the score with just 39 seconds left in the period when sophomore Nick Economakos scored on a rebound of a Danny Eberly shot. RPI captain Eberly, returning to lineup after missing seven game s due to injury, took a pass from Butterwick as an Engineers’ power play was expiring and fired a slapshot that Nate Nomeland saved. The rebound, though, went directly to Economakos, who scored his seventh of the season from just outside the crease.
Senior forward Butterwick gave the Engineers a 2-1 lead with an unassisted shorthander at 4:28 of the second period. Butterwick took the puck on an errant hard-around, skated down the left side on a 2-on-1 and beat Nomeland with a wrist shot for his fourth of the season.
“All we needed to do was get that third one,” said Engineer coach Dan Fridgen. “It’s not like we didn’t have opportunities to get it. We had their goaltender down and out and he made a great play. That next goal was real important and we just couldn’t capitalize.”
“I thought we showed a lot of resiliency coming back late in the third period and we had our chances throughout the whole game,” said Tiger coach Len Quesnelle. “I thought Marsters had a great game in net and when we got it down low, we just had a tough time collecting the puck and getting those shots.”
“Am I satisfied with the tie? No,” said Fridgen. “I thought we should have came away with a victory. Give them credit, they just kept coming, they didn’t quit.”
“Given a few lucky bounces, we played well enough to win tonight,” said Quesnelle. “I liked our work ethic, we worked hard. The focus here is to get these young kids to play fundamentally sound, to come up with a point on the road, that’s the point; it’s a hard-earned point.”
Marsters, making back-to-back starts for the first time this season, finished with 21 saves while Nomeland stopped 24 shots.
The Engineers are back on the ice on Saturday night when they host ECAC foe Yale at 7 p.m. at the Houston Field House. The Tigers will play at Union in a league game on Saturday night at 7.