Tigers Ring in New Year with Offensive Outburst
In its first game of 2015, the Tigers hosted Seton Hall at Baker Rink looking to avenge a 4-5 loss to the Pirates earlier in the season. With a group of alumni behind the bench, the Tigers changed up their usual lines. Antoine Crepin-Heroux was matched with Zach Currier and Peter Kuenne. Ben Sorkin and Alex Vukasin stuck together, with Matt McKinlay on the left wing. Rounding out the forward lineup was the hardhitting foursome of David Crane back for his first game since September, Luke Amber, Kyle Douglas and Eric Naslund. On defense were the ever-reliable pair of Mac Hugin and Brandon Lam and the offensively minded tandem of captain Matt Kelly and Dennis Guo.
Just 40 seconds into the game, it became evident that the coaches were onto something. Peter Kuenne forced a turnover in the defensive zone and chipped it to Zach Currier who carried the puck up ice. After gaining the blue line, he slid it across on a pillow for a Crepin-Heroux one-timer that found the back of the net: 1-0. Princeton withheld a push from the opposition in the following minutes with big time plays from Mac Hugin and Brandon Lam. Then, at the fourteen minute mark, Sorkin found Vukasin in front of the net, who roofed it over the goalie's shoulder for the 2-0 lead. After controlling the pace of play for the next few shifts, Princeton struck again. Crepin-Heroux found Currier with a tape-to-tape stretch pass as Currier crossed into the offensive zone. With some shimmies and shakes only a lacrosse player could pull off, Currier deked out the goalie and found the back of the cage extending the Tigers' lead to three. The Tigers held their lead for the rest of the period, helped by strong pressure from Crane, Naslund, Douglas and Amber.
Entering the second period with the most dangerous lead in hockey, the Tigers were eager to widen the margin. Despite surrendering some good scoring opportunities early, Graham Turk kept the Pirates off the board. With David Crane playing on the Sorkin-Vukasin line, the group rushed the puck up the ice. Sorkin carried it low and threw the puck towards traffic in front of the net. It grazed off Crane's leg and ricocheted past the netminder for Crane's first goal as a Tiger. Just one minute later, Mac Hugin fed Crepin-Heroux on the breakout. With two strides into the O-zone, the sophomore forward let go a blistering wrist shot that went cross bar and in for his second goal of the evening. Five goals down, Seton Hall got the spark they needed from a two-on-one goal to get them on the board. On the next shift, a Pirate forward came in all alone on a breakway, but Graham Turk shut the door with a blocker save. Princeton refused to give any more way. In the next five minutes, the Tigers tacked on three more with goals from Mac Hugin (inaugurating a new stick), Antoine Crepin-Heroux (for his second hat trick of the season), and Luke Amber on a hustle play in front of the net. Crepin-Heroux added his fourth in the closing minutes with a shot from the slot. The third period saw one more tally for Alex Vukasin on an artful rush to the net. With a 10-1 victory, and multi-point nights from five different players, the Tigers earned two valuable points in the standings. Princeton will be back in action the weekend of February 6th, when they face rival University of Pennsylvania on the road in the historic Class of 1923 Arena.