HANOVER, N.H. – When Dartmouth scored to take the 1-0 lead in the first, Princeton skated back as Big Green fans pelted the ice with tennis balls. But after the tennis balls were swept away for a clean surface just minutes later, the Tigers refused to falter.
They rebounded by outshooting Dartmouth 17-4 and controlling play in the second and outshooting the Big Green in the third.
“Our play of the game has greatly improved. From [when] our staff came, what we were looking for is what we’re seeing,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said.
While the Tigers threw 17 shots on net in the second, a breakdown led to Dartmouth’s goal – all the Big Green needed as Charles Grant made 37 saves in the 2-0 win.
“When you’re on the road and you get plus-30 chances, 30 shots on goal, you’re showing progress because you have the puck more,” Fogarty said. “We had some great scoring chances again and that’s what you want to have – the opportunity to have scoring chances. That’s something that [we’re] progressing for the last year and a half.”
Alex Jasiek struck first, while Jack Barre helped the Big Green capitalize on a Princeton mistake to go ahead 2-0. The Tigers responded by outshooting the Big Green in the second and third in an effort to tie the game. Princeton finished with 37 shots to Dartmouth’s 23.
“From this road trip we had opportunities both nights to score goals and [outshot Dartmouth] 17-4 in the second period,” Fogarty said. “We controlled majority of the play and just unfortunate one breakdown, we doubled up it goes the other way early in the second.”
The Tigers also continued strong defensive play, keeping most shots to the perimeter. Colton Phinney finished with 21 saves.
“We played very solid 5-on-5 [in] both games on the road. It doesn’t matter about home or road games, it’s how you play. we played very solid 5-on-5 throughout the weekend,”
While Fogarty was pleased with the team’s 5-on-5 play, Princeton has struggled on the power play – going 0-for-3 in the loss. But, The Tigers created some opportunities on their last power play in the third.
“We changed the philosophy to having a 5-on-5 mentality,” Fogarty said. “When you start thinking power plays, it’s 5-on-4. You go into a setup mode and not moving your feet. We’re moving off the puck and trying to get shots down. So it’s more of a 5-on-5 mentality that we’re bringing with our power play.”
The next step for the Tigers is to convert their chances, but the team is on the right path.
“I’m pleased with the progression, where we’re going in transitional game from defense to offense,” Fogarty said. “The guys realize [if] we come back in units of five, [it] creates opportunities in the offensive zone.”