Princeton men’s hockey fell 5-0 to Minnesota State on Friday, extending Princeton’s losing streak to four games.
The Tigers (2-10-1) dominated the start of the game, outshooting the Mavericks 7-2 in the beginning. The Tigers outshot the Mavericks in the frame, the first time Princeton outshot an opponent in the first period.
“That was by far our best period all year,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “If we can harness that period and do what we did throughout the year, we’ll have great success in the second half.”
The loss marked the first time Princeton was shut out since Nov. 22, and the first time the Tigers allowed five goals since a Nov. 15 loss to Union.
“We didn’t give them any odd-man rushes for the first 15 minutes,” Fogarty said. “We were getting the puck down below the goal line, so those are a couple great positives that we’ve been working on.”
The Mavericks (13-4-0) scored twice in the last four minutes of the period to take a 2-0 lead. Minnesota dominated the game thereafter, and outshot Princeton a combined 28-6 over the next two frames.
“I think it was product of how Mankato played,” Fogarty said. “They came at us real hard and I still thought we played well, we just didn’t capitalize on the three power plays.”
Princeton finished 0-for-4 on the power play, but kept Minnesota off the board in three man-advantage chances.
“We didn’t get any quality looks on the three power plays in the second,” Fogarty said.
Five different players scored for the Mavericks, while Zach Stepan netted three assists. Minnesota State’s Cole Huggins stopped 15 shots.
Colton Phinney made 31 saves in the game, which was his seventh straight start.
“He’s been our most consistent player,” Fogarty said.
Phinney has started all games but one this season, when Ben Halford appeared in net. On Friday, senior Ryan Benitez dressed as the backup.
“He works hard in practice,” Fogarty said. “He deserves it. Regardless what number [of], what your last name is, if you work hard in practice and you compete and are a good person, you’re going to get a chance to play for the Princeton Tigers.”
With Tucker Brockett sidelined due to an injury, Princeton switched up its lines. Marlon Sabo re-entered the lineup, and the Tigers rolled seven defensemen. Freshman David Hallisey sustained an injury during the game.
Fogarty said the team needs to make adjustments through personnel changes.
“We have to keep tweaking that area so we get more quality scoring chances,” Fogarty said.