Tag Archives: Ron Fogarty

Colton Phinney Breaks Program All-Time Saves Record

PRINCETON, NJ – Colton Phinney was crouched in front of his net, situated on the side of the arena where the old “Make Hobey Proud” sign used to hang, facing the new banners that lined the press box. And on Friday night Phinney did just that – he made Hobey proud by recording his 2,952nd save to break Princeton’s all-time career saves program record.

It was the same side his mother watched from, nervously counting every save. It was the same side where Hobey Baker’s historic skates stood encased in a shrine. It was the same side where the NHL banner of another Princeton goaltender, Mike Condon, was displayed in an archway window. Continue reading Colton Phinney Breaks Program All-Time Saves Record

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Princeton Drops Double Overtime Game To Clarkson

Phinney saveOn Friday night, the game was Princeton’s to lose. The Tigers had jumped out with one of their best games of the season and held a 2-0 lead over Clarkson, ready to take a 1-0 advantage in the playoff series.

 

But with 8:44 minutes left in the third, a series of penalties and special team losses forced the Tigers back.

First, Spencer Kryczka took a five-minute major for boarding, allowing the Golden Knights to cut the deficit to 2-1 on the major penalty. The Tigers followed with a too many men on the ice penalty with 1:46 minutes left.

Clarkson pulled its goaltender for the power play, and Sam Vigneault tied it on the 6-on-4 with 22 seconds left.

After one scoreless overtime, the Golden Knights took possession to start the second. They had a couple chances early, including a shot that rang off the post. But a few seconds later, James De Haas scored to give Clarkson the 3-2 overtime win.

“Awesome,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said of the Princeton’s play. “Great effort, great execution. [We] just lost the special teams.”

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The Tigers played well in the loss. Princeton controlled play in the first period and jumped ahead 5:35 into the game on an Alex Riche goal. In the second, Ryan Siiro made it 2-0.

“The Siiro goal was big to get us up 2-0,” Fogarty said. “They saw a lot of minutes and did a good job on the penalty kill for the most part on the five minute [major].”

Clarkson played better in the second and ultimately outshot the Tigers 46-31, including 13 shots in the third and 12 in the first overtime. The Golden Knights – especially late in the game – forced Colton Phinney to make some difficult saves.

“I think everybody fared great. It was a great hockey game,” Fogarty said. “Like I said, we just lost special teams. And we played well for a road game, really well for a road game.”

Despite giving up two goals on the penalty kill late in the third, the Tigers continued playing well into overtime. The teams exchanged chances in the first overtime period.

“We had chances in the overtime, but until the final buzzer goes for the game, our guys competed extremely well,” Fogarty said.

Phinney finished with 43 saves on the night and passed the 1,000 mark for saves this season. On the other end, Greg Lewis made 29 saves for Clarkson.

Quin Pompi netted two assists for the Tigers, who took the ice without forwards David Hallisey, Max Becker or defenseman Matt Nelson. Stuart Pomeroy filled in on offense while Marlon Sabo took Nelson’s spot on defense. Fogarty said Nelson is day-to-day.

With the loss, Princeton faces a must-win Game 2 on Saturday night.

“It’s not over. You [have] to win two games,” Fogarty said. “Refocus. Our guys have been down before and it’s been a tough season, but they’ve always responded with great effort and we’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

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Blog: Postseason Practice (News And Notes)

Behind The Blue Line

With the regular season over, I stopped by practice on Wednesday to catch up with the co-captains, coach Ron Fogarty and a couple other players. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here, but there’s a lot I was asking about (like faceoffs and the power play).

But before I go there, I have to say if Princeton is going to beat anyone in the playoffs this year, it would be Clarkson. If the Tigers play well, especially on the defensive end, they have a chance of at least taking one game. But there’s very little margin for error defensively. Having a healthy Colton Phinney should really help though, as he was playing hurt during their trip to North Country a few weeks ago.

The tie against Brown was really big. You could feel the sense of relief that, after so many times down one goal with Phinney pulled, Princeton finally got the game-tying goal. It also marked just the second time since the 5-4 loss to Colgate when Princeton scored more than a goal in a game.

With the playoffs starting today, here’s a quick rundown of some key news, notes and quotes heading into tonight’s matchup at Cheel Arena:

• Princeton’s power play is still struggling

The Tigers have one of the worst power plays, converting 12.3 percent of their chances. It’s something the Tigers have also been working on in practice.

“There’s two things with the power play that you need,” Fogarty said. “You need productivity and we’ve been at 11 percent. I think it’s not that good. But the biggest thing that we need to do is get shots and generate some momentum against their top defensemen and their top defensive forwards. You don’t have to score, but you have to get some momentum off of the two-minute power play.

“That’s our goal as well too, to create more shots. We’re averaging like a half a shot a power play, which is horrific. We have to try to get three or four shots each power play just to create that momentum and force the goaltender to make saves.”

• And about those faceoffs…

Faceoffs, or the inability to win them, hinder power plays. It’s really tough – and I’ve seen this with Princeton – to establish zone time on the power play when you’re losing the faceoff, the puck gets cleared and you have to spend that time regrouping.

“It’s everything. I think with faceoffs, when you’re running at one-third of the time getting it, 52 percent, 53 percent in the national hockey league is great so what’s 32 percent in college hockey?” Fogarty said. “It’s awful. The one area we’re doing a better job is using more of a line faceoff. The two wingers are helping out more because of our inability to win faceoffs center vs. center, so they’re doing a better job to help it out.”

The Tigers have a nation-worst 40.8 faceoff winning percentage. On the team, Ben Foster and Garrett Skrbich have taken the most faceoffs. Foster has won 41.7 percent and Skrbich has won 40 percent.

“It’s awful. Our faceoffs probably the worst in the league and that’s been one of our attention to detail this week in practice and moving forward this week,” Fogarty said. That’s so important to get that first possession off of a faceoff and put people in a set position. That has to improve. We are bad.”

• Colton Phinney being healthy is huge

Phinney wasn’t playing his best hockey in February, which made sense after we found out how hurt he was and how much it limited him in practices. Fogarty said that one game he sat, which was a loss at St. Lawrence, helped him heal. So Phinney was still hurt when the Tigers fell at Clarkson. And he’s looked a lot better since that game off.

While we’re on the subject of Phinney, he’s 29 saves away from reaching 1,000 for the season.

• Hayden Anderson back in the lineup

Anderson has played a lot the second half of the season. He’s missed just two games since January, filling in on a defense missing Kevin Liss. Anderson’s role is especially important now, since there’s no update on Matt Nelson’s condition yet. He left Saturday’s game with an injury, forcing reserve Stuart Pomeroy (who played as a forward in that game) to return to defense. Granted, blueliner Tommy Davis was missing because of a suspension, but Nelson’s absences would leave the defense shorthanded.

Anderson has played in the last four games, and was playing for both games against Clarkson this year.

“He knows his limitations,” Fogarty said. “He’s a defenseman that knows what he can do with and without the puck and does it a hundred percent of the time with stuff that he does well. He moves it quickly he doesn’t try to beat someone one on one, Hayden looks for the open man quickly … and distributes it effectively. He’s been very consistent for us.”

• All the close games

The Tigers have played in 14 one-goal losses (not including opponent empty net goals.)

“Our guys have stayed with it throughout the year, have competed for 60 minutes so that’s the big thing,” Fogarty said. “It’s easy to cut corners, it’s easy to formulate a different game plan because things aren’t working. I’ve said we’ve had 14 losses by one goal where we pulled the goalie, that’s by far better than the five we had last year.

“We’re in more of the games and there’s where sometimes you get frustrated as a player because you see how close you are and you’re not getting over the hump. Bt it’s been great improvement throughout the course of time over the year and hopefully we can break through.

• Struggling offense

As mentioned above, the Tigers have just seven goals over the last seven games.

“We need to score goals. Besides the Colgate game we’re nine goals in the past nine games so we have to get back on the scoresheet,” Fogarty said. “Winning faceoff, taking shots can help that out.”

• Close to home

Senior co-captain Kyle Rankin is excited to go back to Clarkson.

“I really enjoy playing up there,” Rankin said. “It’s close to home, it’s a good atmosphere. You’re right we do have that playoff experience there. We also know what it’s like to be up one game in a series there. If we find ourselves in a similar situation this time we know the importance of Game 2 and closing things out.”

• The last time…

Rankin talked about being up in the series. That was thanks to an overtime goal from Andrew Ammon in 2014, a senior back then.

• Alex Riche coming into his own

At one point, the forward was taken off the all-freshman line. Fogarty wanted him to be more of his own player and take control of things. Now Riche is back with Ryan Kuffner and Max Veronneau.

“He had two great scoring chances there against Brown,” Fogarty said. “Yeah he’s taken ownership of that line more. Obviously his number’s don’t support that but his effort is much better the second half and better the last quarter.”

• Closing notes…

If Princeton is healthy, or at least somewhat healthy (Matt Nelson being back would help), the Tigers can win. They don’t have a great record of winning at Cheel Arena in the playoffs, but I think this team has a stronger foundation than the one that took a game from Clarkson two years ago.

 

Princeton Travels To Clarkson For ECAC Playoffs

Eric Robinson goal 8Princeton men’s hockey will travel to Clarkson for the first round of the ECAC playoffs. It’s the second time in the past three years the Tigers will be making the trip, as they fell to the Golden Knights in three games in the 2013-14 season.

“[We had] 29 pop quizzes going into the main test,” Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty said. “This is the main test. Our goal this year was give ourselves an opportunity to win a playoff series and we’re trying to do everything from Day 1 to now to put us in the best position to make that occur.”

The teams split the season series. Princeton came away with the 3-0 win at home in November and dropped a 5-2 decision at Clarkson in February. Freshman defenseman Josh Teves has three points against the Golden Knights and Max Veronneau has two goals.

“Our underneath positioning was poor [in February],” Ron Fogarty said. “They had a couple one hitters, rushes down the ice and we were out of position, so we have to make sure that our five guys are really patient positioning this weekend.”

The Tigers just snapped a nine-game losing streak with a season-ending tie to Brown. Princeton’s last ECAC win was Dec. 5 against Yale, when the Tigers swept the Bears and Bulldogs. Despite the losses, many of Princeton’s games this season have been close.

“Because the core has improved, it’s brought everyone up a level here,” Fogarty said. When I look back at even our first games this season in Trenton compared to now, I just see great improvement from all. And that’s important that the group continues to improve.”

Clarkson is on a two-game winning streak after sweeping Harvard and Dartmouth. The Golden Knights posted a 11-5-1 record in January, partly thanks to Greg Lewis’ play in net. Lewis has a save percentage of .924 and has been the team’s starter since January. The Golden Knights allow 2.50 goals per game

“I mean they’re a hard-hitting team, they have good defensemen, they like to jump up in the play and they like to pinch down the wall,” co-captain Kyle Rankin said. “You got to give credit where credit’s due, but at the same time it’s going to come down to who wants it more. Our forwards are going to have to find a way to outwork those guys.”

The Tigers have had some success against Clarkson lately, splitting last year’s season series as well. And the Tigers also pulled out to a 1-0 series lead two years ago in the playoffs with an overtime win.

“The one positive that this group has is Colton Phinney won his first playoff game up in Clarkson,” Fogarty said. “So they’re familiar with that and winning, how to win and hopefully we can duplicate that twice this weekend.”

Clarkson’s offense averages 2.68 goals per game, led by Sam Vigneault’s 11 goals and 25 points.

“They have guys that can finish and we have to make sure that they’re going to travel 200 feet and they’re going to have to work for the scoring opportunities,” Fogarty said. “And that’s where we have to make sure that we’re patient in the zone and don’t double up and then once we get the puck that we maintain.”

The Tigers average 1.93 goals per game. Ryan Kuffner and Max Veronneau lead Princeton in scoring with 1 and 15 points, respectively. They form a line with classmate Alex Riche, who doesn’t score as much but has been playing better the second half of the season.

“He had two great scoring chances there against Brown,” Fogarty said. “He’s taken ownership of that line more. Obviously his number’s don’t support that, but his effort is much better the second half and better the last quarter.”

In net, Phinney has started every game but one, missed due to an injury. The recently named Second Team All-Ivy selection has a career-high save percentage of .923 this season. Princeton allows 3.21 goals per game.

Phinney recorded his first career shutout in the 3-0 win against Clarkson. He was also in net during the loss to the Golden Knights, but wasn’t healthy.

“They were two of our better games,” co-captain Mike Ambrosia said. “It was 2-2 going into the third period and they had three quick goals, obviously some nice plays. We let up some second chances and we know that Colton’s going to stop that first puck almost every time, he’s a fantastic goalie and that’s an advantage that we have.

“But we need to make sure that we don’t give up those second, third opportunities, because then he doesn’t necessarily have a shot if we do that. So if we play sound defensively and if we can bury some pucks, we have a good chance of winning.”

Another key for Princeton will be faceoffs. The Tigers are the worst team in the country on faceoffs, winning 40.8 percent of their chances.

“That’s been one of our attention to detail this week in practice and moving forward this week,” Fogarty said. “That’s so important to get that first possession off of a faceoff and put people in a set position. That has to improve.”

The Tigers also may not have a full roster heading into the playoffs, as they were shorthanded on Saturday night. They dressed 16 players and defenseman Matt Nelson let the game with an injury, reducing the roster to 15. Forwards David Hallisey, Max Becker and Spencer Kryzcka missed the game. So did defenseman Tommy Davis, who was suspended by the ECAC, and Kevin Liss. To fill in, Stuart Pomeroy played forward and Marlon Sabo played returned to the blue line.

On Wednesday, Fogarty said Friday’s roster hasn’t been set and that some players are day-to-day.

“We’ve had some defense who’ve played forward and yeah some forwards have seen some shifts on D,” Rankin said. “Everyone has got to step up a little when there’s injuries. It’s nothing uncommon in hockey. And you have to kind of expect it at this point of the year. Overall I’m just most pleased with the willingness of guys to play wherever and do whatever they can to help the team win.”

The Tigers haven’t won a playoff series since 2008-09, which was also Princeton’s last NCAA tournament appearance.

“There’s a really good morale in the locker room,” junior Garrett Skrbich said. “I think we get along really well and play for each other and I think we’ve got some really skilled guys, we’ve got some consistent guys, we’ve got a well-rounded team. I think that our record doesn’t show how well we’ve been playing this season.”

Princeton’s Defensive Improvement Evident

Josh Teves skates away after colliding with Ryan Donato

Back in December, Princeton was skating to a 4-2 win over Yale, completing a sweep at Brown and Yale for the first time since 2007-08. But when the teams met again in February, the Tigers were on the wrong side of a 6-0 loss.

The difference was the team defense.

Getting pinned in their own zone, as happened in the loss to Yale, was reminiscent of the defensive issues Princeton had last year. But that hasn’t been as much of an issue for the Tigers this year, who’ve played much better on the defensive side.

“Our Achilles heel for a year and a half has been getting the puck and turning it over right away,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “And so now the positioning and puck protection’s a lot better in the defensive zone to eliminate that continuous time.

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“And that’s where we were poor against Yale, we gave a lot of the pucks away for second and third opportunities once we established possession.”

The defensive improvements can mostly be seen on the ice. Players aren’t getting out of position and making as many mistakes, and the Tigers don’t get trapped in their zone as much.

But the improvement can be seen on the scoresheet, as the Tigers allow 3.21 goals per game. While the average is still low at 47th in the country, it’s a slight improvement from last season’s average of allowing 3.30 goals per game.

A key to Princeton’s solidified defensive play comes from not getting beaten twice, something Fogarty has emphasized this year.

“[It’s] learning that it’s okay to get beat at certain points,” co-captain Kyle Rankin said. “You’re going to get beat. It’s just making sure you don’t get beat twice. If your man beats you, we have systems in place to make sure that we can recover.

“I think guys have shown a lot more poise in the D zone, [it’s] a lot less frantic. So it’s definitely been good to know that guys understand that when something happens we can avoid it without it being a complete disaster.”

The defensive improvement has also helped the Tigers play in more close games this year, including 14 one-goal losses – excluding empty net goals. Princeton finished with five wins, the most since 2012-13. And while the Tigers finished last in the ECAC, they netted nine league points – also the most since 2012-13.

Having Colton Phinney in net has been helpful. The netminder as a .923 save percentage and has 971 saves this year, a new Princeton single-season record. The challenge for the Tiger defense is to eliminate second and third opponent chances on Phinney.

“I think it’s more [that] the second year guys understand the structure,” co-captain Mike Ambrosia said. “You kind of worry about yourself and where you should be. You know if you make one mistake that there’s going to be a guy behind you to bail you out. Then obviously having Colton back there is great for our confidence.

“We just want to minimize the mistakes and try not to compile the mistakes, because [once we do] we get running around then it’s tough for everybody.”

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Late Goal Propels Princeton To Tie With Brown

Brown goalPRINCETON, N.J. After playing in so many one-goal games this year, Princeton found itself in a similar situation. Down 2-1 against Brown on Saturday night, on senior night, the Tigers desperately tried to send one past Tim Ernst in the third period.

They came close. They kept coming close.

And this time, for the first time in a long, long time, Princeton tied it.

“[I] just drove the net, got a nice pass from [Eric Robinson] and just like hit off my leg and found its way into the net,” Max Veronneau, who tied the game with seven seconds left said. “It was a pretty lucky goal but we’ll take it.”

The Tigers followed with some chances in overtime, but the teams setttled to a 2-2 tie Saturday night at Baker. Princeton, the 12th seed, will travel to Clarkson next weekend for the first round of the ECAC tournament.

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Princeton pulled off the tie despite dressed just 16 skaters and then losing defenseman Matt Nelson to an injury in the middle of the game – dropping Princeton to 15 skaters. To help make up for an already-depleted defense thanks to Quin Pompi’s absence and an ECAC-imposed suspension on Tommy Davis, the Tigers moved Stuart Pomeroy – who’s normally a defenseman but had dressed as a forward – back to the blue line.

“It’s tough to adjust but we have some good, good players who can step in the lineup and play well,” Veronneau said. “[Hayden] Anderson played very well, [Marlon] Sabo played very well. Basically everybody’s had to pick up their game that much [more]. It was a pretty good game with the depleted lineup.”

The Tigers dominated the third frame as they tried to tie the game, a flip from the second period – where Brown was the better team. The Bears finished wtih 19 shots in the period and a number of scoring chances from the slot and near the net.

“Every game’s tough,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “You’re going to get pushed back and it just we were in the game.”

Brown took the 1-0 lead early in the second period thanks to Davey Middleton. Princeton 3:21 responded minutes later with Stuart Pomeroy’s first collegiate goal. But the Tigers gave up the lead on a 5-on-3 power play goal to Tyler Bird late in the frame. The puck bounced over Colton Phinney and into the net to give Brown the 2-1 lead.

“It was [an] unforunate 5-on-3 goal against [that] goes up and over,” Fogarty said. “We were doing a great job systematically, keeping the shots on the outside and [it] was unforuante.”

After tying the game late, the Tigers had a couple of scoring chances in the third, including a 2-on-1 where Kyle Rankin fed Ryan Kuffner, but Tim Ernst came up with the save.

“We had some preatty good looks there at the end, had a great look in overtime,” Fogarty said. “It was great. Guys just stuck with the system. We got back to playing last weekend how we played at Union, RPI and last night was just uncharacteristic. So it was good to see us today, just shows that last night was uncharacteristic.”

The tie snapped a nine-game losing streak for Princeton.

“It was great leadership by [seniors] Kyle [Rankin] and Mike [Ambrosia] throughout the year,” Fogarty said. “We’ve had 14 one-goal losses where we pulled the goal through the year and Mike and Kyle ave kept the team focused. Our goal is to try to win a playoff seris and that was a good effort tonight to bounce back and play 60 full minutes. With a decimated lineup.”

The Tigers outshot the Bears 45 t0 37. Ernst made 43 stops while Phinney finished with 33 saves.

“It feels pretty good. We would’ve liked the win in overtime, we had a few chances but we’ll take the tie for now and hopefully we can build on that for next week in the playoffs.”

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Princeton Falls To RPI As Colton Phinney Breaks Program Single Season Save Record

Tommy Olczyk and Colton Phinney

Colton Phinney needed just 18 saves to break Princeton’s record for saves in a single season. But he spent much of the first period waiting in his crease, as Princeton’s defense didn’t give RPI many chances to at Phinney.

“It was great throughout the whole weekend,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “You give up two goals in each game on the road, you [have] to be pretty satisfied.”

Phinney eventually made his 18th save in the second period, becoming the program leader for saves in a single season. He finished with 39 saves as the Tigers lost 2-1 to the Engineers on Saturday night.

“He played great both games. … He had a solid weekend in goal,” Fogarty said.

It was the second night in a row Princeton’s defense fared well, but also the second night Princeton struggled to score. The Tigers have scored a goal or less in seven of their last nine games.

“We sputtered offensively to finish our opportunities throughout the weekend,” Fogarty said.

The Tigers again generated quality scoring chances, including a couple breakaways from freshman Max Veronneau. But Veronneau was unable to convert on either.

“We had two breakaways and missed and getting those opportunities,” Fogarty said. “[We’re] just snake bitten right now, but their defensive effort on the road [was] great. When [we’re] allowing two goals each game we’re giving ourselves an opportunity.”

While RPI outshot Princeton 11-8 in the first period, the Tigers played well defensively. Princeton then took the 1-0 lead when Ben Foster scored less than two minutes into the second period.

“We’re getting opportunities. If we weren’t getting opportunities then it’d be difficult,” Fogarty said. “But we’re getting them and we just [have] to keep preparing for the playoffs.”

Princeton’s lead didn’t last for long, as Milos Bubela tied the game 15:40 minutes into the second period. He struck again 1:54 minutes into the third period to give RPI the 2-1 lead.

Princeton pulled Phinney late in the game to try and get the equalizer, but a bench minor for too many players gave the Engineers a game-ending power play.

The Tigers finished 3-for-3 on the penalty kill, while the Engineers killed off both of Princeton’s power plays.

RPI outshot Princeton 41-20, and Jason Kasdorf made 19 saves for the Engineers.

“I like how we’re generating opportunities. Kasdorf made some big saves,” Fogarty said. “I am pleased of the generation of them, we just [have] to bear down. You can’t teach that. That’s something that’s got to be acquired and [they] just got to put the puck through the back of the net.”

Princeton Falls At Union

After being shut down for one game last weekend, netminder Colton Phinney returned to action on Friday night. He made 34 saves, seamlessly returning to ECAC action.

“He was excellent,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “He looked more flexible and I think the day of rest, we should probably [have done] it sooner. He was a little banged up. But he looked great tonight. He had a solid game.”

Phinney’s stops, which brought him very close to breaking Princeton’s single-season save record, limited Union to two goals. But it wasn’t enough as the Tigers struggled to score, falling 2-1 at Union.

“I think we matched their pace. It was a senior night for them and a whiteout and we the place was rocking and we matched and countered their intensity with three great scoring chances in the first five minutes,” Fogarty said. o you

“So you score a couple of those and the whole dynamic of the game changes.”

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Union scored first, with Eli Lichtenwald converting on the power play late in the first period. Ryan Siiro scored in the second, tying the game early in the frame. But the Dutchmen responded a minute later thanks to Nick DeSimone.

“I thought it was just an overall team effort,” Fogarty said. “I thought we played well. We just have to bear down on the chances. We had some great looks at it and just missed and we have to continue to give ourselves the opportunity to have those opportunities.

“It was a great bounceback game from a poor performance up at St Lawrence.”

It marked the second game in a row where the Tigers failed to score more than one goal. And while Princeton’s overall offense has improved from last year, it’s struggled lately.

“I thought we had three great chances to score in the beginning and just didn’t capitalize on a breakaway then a great backdoor feed,” Fogarty said. “That changed the whole game. I thought our special teams played well, we got a tying power play goal. We had chances of scoring just didn’t capitalize.”

Princeton’s lone goal was a power play tally, giving the Tigers one goal in four chances. The Tigers limited Union to one goal on four power play chances.

“[We need to] score those goals,” Fogarty said. “They’re going to become few and far between, [the] goal scoring opportunities, so you got to bear down and make sure the puck goes into the back of the net.”

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Princeton Drops Decision At Clarkson

When the final buzzer sounded on a snowy Friday night in North Country, Princeton men’s hockey fell 5-2 to Clarkson.

While it was Princeton’s fifth-straight loss, the score didn’t represent how well the Tigers played at Cheel Arena.

“I thought we played well,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “[There were] just a couple little breaks and they capitalized on them.

“I’m not upset at how we’re playing, it’s just disheartening that we can’t get a win out of the quality of play that we’re doing.”

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The difference was a third-goal third period from Clarkson, which broke a 2-2 tie. The Golden Knights scored all three tallies in less than 10 minutes, while the Tigers failed to score in the frame

“[I hope] it doesn’t become a reoccurring theme here in the third period of getting outscored,” Fogarty said. “We have to make sure that we play better in the third period, not better in the third period, just get a goal in the third period.”

The Tigers were narrowly outshot 30-28 in the loss.

“We played well. We had a lot of chances to score,” Fogarty said. “[We] had great pressure throughout the game in their zone. It was the best we’ve broken the puck out all year and they just had a couple of one-hitters and they scored on them in the third.”

The Tigers struck first, turning a possible Clarkson shorthanded opportunity into a power play goal. Josh Teves picked the puck up at center ice, skated it into Clarkson’s zone and passed the puck to Mike Ambrosia who sent it over to Ryan Kuffner for the first-period tally.

“With everything, even the second goal, we had traffic in front for Veronneau’s goal. That’s the [big] thing,” Fogarty said. “The goalies in the ECAC are so good [that] if you don’t have traffic you’re not going to score.”

Clarkson tied the game late in the first period. Colton Phinney made an initial save but failed to fully cover the puck. It trickled straight to Dylan Gareau who shot it past Phinney.

The Golden Knights made it 2-1 off a Jordan Boucher goal at 11:16 in the second, but the Tigers tied it when Veronneau’s shot bounced off Clarkson netminder Greg Lewis’ skate and into the net.

Phinney, who finished with 25 saves, made some key saves in the third as he tried to keep the score tied.

“He was good,” Fogarty said. “Phinney’s been solid he made some big saves.”

But the game started to slip away early in the third, beginning with a lost faceoff that Clarkson’s Ben Dalpe capitalized on.

“I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but we lost a couple clean draws tonight,” Fogarty said. “It’s still a work a progress I guess. We have to be so good at everything and it’s just a matter of a couple of bad breaks tonight.”

After Dalpe’s goal, Paul Geiger scored midway through the third to make it 4-2. Boucher added his second goal 2:07 minutes later, and Fogarty replaced Phinney with Ben Halford.

“They scored off of a faceoff to make it 3-2. The shot came and the rebound and it bounces to their stick, so you can’t coach that,” Fogarty said. “Our guys were in the right positions. … Our defensive zone coverage was really good throughout the night.

“It just right place, right time they score [and] right place right time us, we miss.”

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Defenseman Marlon Sabo Earning Ice Time At Forward

Marlon Sabo

PRINCETON, N.J. – When Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty told Marlon Sabo he would have to switch to forward, Sabo wasn’t sure what to think.

“I was kind of like meh, [I] don’t really want to do this because I like D,” Sabo said. “I’ve always played D my entire life right, but I was like hey [it’s] another opportunity. [I’ll] try it and like try everything and it’s been good so far. [I] can’t say I hate it.”

Fogarty said the team switched Sabo to forward because of injuries. While David Hallisey and Ben Foster returned, forwards Max Becker and Spencer Kryczka have not played in the last three games. Their absences left the team slightly thin up front.

So in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Cornell, Sabo took the ice as the team’s fourth-line center for the third-straight game. While centering David Hallisey and Ryan Berlin, Sabo was mostly playing as the defensive forward – but also tried freeing the puck up.

“I’m not the most skilled guy, so forward is kind of a different thing,” Sabo said. “I like it, [I’m] just getting used to it. I don’t think it’s too big of a transition. I like to be the third guy high, be the defensive forward so it’s not too bad of a transition from defense.”

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As a defenseman, Sabo hasn’t played much this season. The British Columbia native has appeared in six games, including the last three in a row. While Sabo played his first three games, scattered throughout the season in contests against Harvard, at Yale and against Quinnipiac, as a defenseman, he’s been a forward for the last three.

“Our centerman, our third man, plays low in our zone so we just put him as the high guy, the third man high so that’s going to automatically initiate him as more of a defensive role in our zone,” Fogarty said. “We kept him away from the forecheck and just made sure that he was responsible as the low man in our zone so it worked out fine.”

Now that Sabo is centering the team’s third line, his responsibilities include taking faceoffs – something Sabo had no experience with.

“I practiced like one time in practice and other than that it’s kind of just go into it and see how it goes,” Sabo said. “It’s been alright. I wasn’t too good today, but yesterday I was pretty good so [I’m]  just trying that out.”

Sabo, who won one of three faceoffs on Saturday night, said he wasn’t nervous before taking his first in-game draw. This season, the forward has a 30.8 faceoff percentage, with four wins and nine losses over the last three games.

Anybody who’s about 40 to 50 percent is improving for us,” Fogarty said. “We haven’t been good at faceoffs all year.”

While Sabo just began practicing as a forward midway through this week, it’s not the first time the British Columbia native has played up front. Last year he spent six of his 18 games as a forward. He played in 12 games as a defenseman, including in a chunk of contests after fellow defenseman Quin Pompi was injured.

“The hardest is definitely the skating, because from forward you’re going as a center you’re going hard in the D Zone [into] the O zone, and as defense you kind of just coast up so that’s probably the hardest,” Sabo said.

“I don’t really know what the easiest is.”

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