Princeton Downed by Strong Vanderbilt Squad 2-4
Vanderbilt made the long trip north to historic Baker Rink to test their skills against the Tigers. The Commodores blitzed Princeton in the first period, putting 19 shots on net while giving up only 5. The Tigers were forced to spend much of the period defending, and as a result had trouble getting into a rhythm. At about the halfway mark, Vanderbilt got the puck to the slot. The inital chance was turned aside by netminder Graham Turk but the rebound ended up in front of the net. The Vanderbilt forward got a stick on it, and the puck slid over the goal line and in. Vanderbilt kept up the pressure after opening the scoring but thanks to some strong defensive plays by Mike Anderson and Brandon Lam, the score remained 1-0 at the end of the period. Princeton came out much stronger in the second period. On the defensive side, they locked down Vanderbilt's odd man rush chances. And in the O-zone, the Tigers had several long possessions to tire out the Commodore defense. At the 8 minute mark, Princeton got called for a too-many men penalty. It didn't take long for Vanderbilt to capitalize. They quickly moved the puck from the half wall to the point. With Graham Turk screened by a forward on the edge of the crease, the defenseman took a low shot that got through everything to find the back of the net. Princeton couldn't get on the board for the rest of the period despite a few great chances.
The Tigers took the ice in the third looking urgently to get on the board. And just 2 minutes in, what happened was exactly that. With a Vanderbilt player in the box for tripping, the Tiger PP unit moved the puck around the perimeter. Defenseman Mac Hugin faked a slap shot and slid the puck over to Mike Anderson. Anderson wound up and fired a hard, low slapshot into the bottom corner of the net: 2-1 Vandy. However, just two minutes later, the Commodores were back in the offensive zone. A forward took control behind the net where he saw a defenseman cutting in. He fed his teammate, who beat Graham Turk on a high wrister to the far side. With the deficit back to two goals, Princeton again needed a spark. Vanderbilt played strong defense to maintain their lead while the clock wound down. With a minute and a half left in the game, Coach John Phillips pulled the goaltender for the extra skater. At the one minute mark, Ben Sorkin took a shot that the goalie stopped but couldn't handle. Sophomore Zach Currier was right there to clean it up for his first goal of the season. With the score at 3-2, Princeton again pulled the netminder for the last chance effort to tie it up. After getting the puck into the zone, Vandy chipped it out. The Commodore player converted his empty net try to seal the deal. The game ended 4-2 in favor of Vanderbilt in a hard fought contest. The Tigers have a long break until their next game, which is January 17, when they will face off against Seton Hall for a rematch of last week's match.