This weekend, the Tigers competed in a 6-team Ivy League Tournament that include Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth, Columbia, and Penn. Princeton first played Columbia and emerged victorious by a 15-2 margin. Many Tigers found the scoresheet, highlighted by Drew Bennett's 6 goals. Freshman goaltender Evan Majic earned his first win as a Tiger. In the second round robin game, Princeton played long-time rival Harvard. The Tigers pounced on scoring opportunities early and jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead. With stellar goaltender from Coleman Merchant, who made 35 saves, Princeton held on for a 6-2 win, securing them the top spot going into the elimination round.
Due to the tournament seeding, Princeton again met Harvard in the semifinal on Saturday night. Strong Crimson goaltending prevented a similar early Tiger lead as the afternoon contest and the teams remained scoreless after one. Alex Vukasin provided the all-important spark just 22 seconds into the second period with a goal. Antoine Crepin-Heroux tallied his own midway through the frame, but the Tigers surrendered a power play goal late in the period, giving them a slim 1-goal margin after two. It was deja vú from the drop of the puck - this time Antoine Crepin-Heroux scored on the opening shift. The Tigers clamped down on defense, led by captain Mac Hugin and a tenacious forechecking effort by David Crane, Andrew Zhou, and Christian Bischoff. With 29 total saves by Graham Turk, the Tigers held on for the 3-1 lead and punched their ticket for a date with Penn in the final.
Played at the historic Class of 1923 Arena, the championship had the makings of a classic before the puck dropped. Peter Kuenne got the scoring going early with a beautiful wrist shot over the goalie's glove on a perfect feed from Drew Bennett. Bennett tacked on his own on a pass from Andrew Zhou in the latter half of the period. But Penn wouldn't go away, and with just 28 seconds remaining scored on the powerplay to make it 2-1 Tigers.
The Tigers went down a man early in the period, and it didn't look good for their lead. But a great defensive break-up by Antoine Crepin-Heroux led to a Drew Bennett breakaway. Denied on the first attempt, Bennett put home the rebound to reclaim the 2 goal lead. For the second time, this lead was short-lived. Still on the powerplay, Penn scored on an odd-man rush. 5 minutes later, they scored again from in tight on a rebound. All of a sudden it was 3-3 and the tide had shifted. The Tigers caught a break with a penalty called on the Quakers, and made their opponents pay. Antoine Crepin-Heroux caught a pass from Mac Hugin and buried a shot to make it 4-3, which is how it stayed entering the third period.
Princeton just had to hold on for the win. But it's never that easy. After an uneventful first 8 minutes, Penn put the pressure on in the attacking zone. A scrum along the boards led to a chance in front, and the Penn forward buried the puck between Turk and the post. It was pandamonium in 1923 Arena and all the momentum was with the Quakers. But on the very next shift, Mac Hugin took an innocent looking shot from the point that sailed wide. It careened off the lively back boards and found the stick of Peter Kuenne, alert and in position. He wasted no time to bury the puck into an open net: 5-4 Tigers. For the remaining 10 minutes, the Tigers survived attempt after attempt from the Quakers. In the dying moments, Princeton went into shell mode and kept the puck anywhere from the front of the net. When the dust settled, the scoreboard showed 5-4: the tigers were Ivy League Champions.