By Andrew Robinton ’04
The Princeton men’s hockey team’s recent woes continued with a 5-4 loss against Yale Feb. 20 at Baker Rink. The Tigers’ loss to third-ranked Yale was their fourth loss in six games and dropped the team to the middle of the pack in the ECAC.Princeton (15-10-2 overall, 10-8-2 ECAC) entered Sunday’s game after a dominating 7-3 win against Brown a night earlier — a game that featured 43 Princeton shots and was its third seven-goal game of the season. Against Yale, the Tigers stormed out of the gates early, putting 16 shots on goal in the first period and leading 3-0 after the game’s first 14 minutes. But Yale, one of the country’s best teams and tied for the conference lead in points, total offense, and power play goals, stormed back as quickly as it had fallen behind.
Sophomore forward Andrew Miller, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, netted Yale’s first goal, a shorthanded tally at 14:24 of the first period. Miller’s wrist shot beat Princeton’s senior goalie Alan Reynolds and put the Bulldogs back in the game. Another shorthanded goal for Yale three minutes later reduced the lead to one goal, and Yale earned the equalizer with 11 seconds remaining in the first period.
The full house at Baker Rink was brought to silence when Yale tied the game, somewhat supporting a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal that ranked the Princeton rink as ‘Least Lively’ in a survey of college hockey arenas. (The writers note that Baker “is well known for both looking and sounding like a library”; in fairness to the fans, the writers acknowledged that they visited when students were on winter break.)
The crowd was brought back to life five minutes into the second frame, when sophomore forward Rob Kleebaum found an opening past Yale’s goalie Ryan Rondeau for his 10th goal of the season and his third of the game. That would be the final goal of the game for the Tigers, however. Yale scored once more in the second period, at the 15 minute mark, to tie the game, and scored the game winner with just less than two minutes to go in the game.
The Tigers’ final two games of the season come on the road this weekend, with a Feb. 25 contest against RPI and a Feb. 26 showdown with league-leader Union.