PRINCETON, N.J. — No. 19 Minnesota State may have been the ranked team entering Friday night, but it was ultimately all Princeton at Hobey Baker Rink. The host Tigers got goals from six different skaters en route to their fifth straight victory, a 6-1 triumph over the Mavericks.
Princeton (7-7-1 overall) is 7-1 in its last eight outings after beginning the campaign with a 0-6-1 mark. MSU (10-7-2) is now 2-2-1 over its last five appearances, and 5-7-2 following a 5-0-0 start to the season.
Colton Phinney stopped 26 shots in picking up the win for Princeton, his seventh of the season.
“It was a slow start, but we picked it up and did well,” he said afterwards. “They had some chances, but we played well, and I can’t complain.”
“He was just solid,” said Princeton coach Ron Fogarty of his netminder. “He made a big save in the first two minutes. He just wants to win.”
Princeton has now scored 25 goals in its last five games in support of its goaltender, and has tallied five or more goals in three of those contests.
Support is a key word, according to Fogarty.
“They came at us with lot of heat in the first seven minutes,” he said of MSU. “We wanted our players to come back harder for support. … They’re one of the fastest teams we’ve played.”
Ryan Kuffner and Ben Foster scored goals just under eight minutes apart in the first period to put Princeton up, 2-0, after 20 minutes. Eric Robinson made it 3-0 on a power play, and Liam Grande followed up his assist on Robinson’s goal with a score of his own to make it 4-0. Minnesota native Garrett Skrbich was then stopped on a breakaway shortly after the Tigers killed off a power play, but the puck then went off a Mavericks defender and into the net for a five-goal lead. Max Becker finished with two assists for the Tigers.
David Hallisey added another power-play goal for Princeton in the third period, before Sean Flanagan netted MSU’s lone goal of the night to close out the scoring. Cole Huggins stopped 20 of 24 shots for the Mavericks before being replaced in the second stanza by Jason Pawloski (11 saves). The Tigers outshot MSU, 37-27, and finished 2-for-7 on the power play to the Mavericks’ 0-for-4.
It was just the fifth-ever meeting between the two schools, with each team having previously won twice apiece on its home ice. The sixth encounter will be held Saturday night at Baker Rink, to close out the series and also the calendar year for both teams.
“They came at us hard, and we’ve got to be expecting them to come even harder tomorrow,” said Phinney. “They came all this way, and we’ve got to be ready and do everything we can.”
“We have to come out hard and support the puck,” said Fogarty. “Our philosophy is we have to worry about what we do, and prepare the best we can.”
No. 15 Bemidji State 1, at No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth 1
Michael Bitzer made 35 saves as Bemidji State continued to trouble the No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, who have not recorded a win over the Beavers since 2012. Phillip Marinaccio opened the scoring, getting the Beavers on the board at 15:30 of the first with a power-play goal, picking up a rebound in the crease and putting it into the open net after goalie Hunter Miska lost sight of the rebound. None of the Bulldogs picked up Marinaccio as he came down the slot and picked it up in the crease and snapped it in. Duluth tied it in the third when Adam Johnson carried it up the left side boards and sent a snap shot in on Bitzer from the left circle that Bitzer stopped with his left pad. A big rebound came to Parker Mackay at the top of the right circle, and he let fly with a slap shot that went in off Bemidji State forward Gerry Fitzgerald’s skate at 6:23. After the teams played a scoreless five-on-five OT, the Beavers won the three-on-three OT when Fitzgerald carried the puck up the middle and dished it to Brendan Harms at the left point, and Harms sent a pass across to Zach Whitecloud streaking down the right side, who beat Miska short side at 59 seconds of the second OT. The game will be recorded as a tie for NCAA purposes.
Arizona State 4, at Massachusetts 1
The Sun Devils got 30 saves from goalie Robert Levin and two goals from Anthony Croston to record their second victory over a Hockey East opponent this season. Croston opened the scoring at 14:42 of the second, and after Joe Lappin scored what turned out to be the game-winner at 9:53 of the third, Croston scored an insurance goal at 12:25, barely two minutes later. Massachusetts scored a late goal on a power play at 16:40 of the third, and pulled goalie Ryan Wischow, but David Norris tapped in an empty-netter at 19:42 to end the scoring.
Alaska 3, Bowling Green 2
The Nanooks got their first Friday victory in nine tries, with John Mullally and Colton Leiter scoring second-period goals. A fracas at the final horn resulted in five major penalties, two to Alaska and three to the Falcons. Marcus Basara also scored for the Nanooks, who got 21 saves from Jesse Jenks. Mark Friedman and Lukas Craggs scored for Bowling Green.