Cressey Scores OT Winner for Tigers in Victory Over RPI

Cressey Scores OT Winner for Tigers in Victory Over RPI

Freshman Jackson Cressey scored at 3:03 in overtime to give Princeton a 6-5 win over Rensselaer on Saturday night at Hobey Baker Rink.

The goal was one of eight goals that came on the power-play with 30 penalty minutes in the game.

THe goal was tipped in at the left post after a shot was taken by sophomore defender Josh Teves, on a pass from sophomore Ryan Kuffner. Cressey added three assists in the game, while Teves had two other assists. Kuffner finished the night with a goal and two assists, while sophomore Max Veronneau had a four-point game with two goals and two assists and the ECAC Player of the Week David  Hallisey scored twice and had one assist. Senior Colton Phinney earned the win making 16 saves in net.

RPI took an early 2-0 lead and had a 4-1 lead in the second period before Princeton rallied.

"It was a great come-from-behind win, and it's been the first time we've seen it in a long time," Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty said. The guys didn't deviate. Last night we deviated and it became an onslaught. We just have to be patient. It's a 60-minute game for a reason and we played 64 tonight and it was a battle of the special teams. Our penalty kill struggled for the first time this year but the percentages don't tell the story. It's when you score them and when you give them up and we gave up a lot tonight but got the one that counted at the end on the power play.Our guys were focused throughout the game, down 4-1 and even when we tied it up. It was still a task-at-hand-mentality."
 
Princeton (3-7-1, 1-6-1) tied it up at 5-5 with a Kuffner goal with 56 seconds left to force extra time. The Tigers had momentum on their side, and after a power-play opportunity expired, pulled Phinney for the extra skater. Kuffner collected his own blocked shot off his defender and stayed on the puck before rifling it through traffic for the equalizer.
 
A Jared Wilson holding call at 1:27 in extra time gave Princeton the opportunity it needed and it delivered. Veronneau fed Kuffner at the right wall before he saw Teves open on the opposite side and sent him the puck. Left open inside the left circle Teves released a shot five hole for the win.

"This win means a lot. Last night was tough for us, we got scored on a lot," Veronneau said. "But to come back and get a win, our first conference win especially is nice.The power play was clicking tonight. It's been tough throughout the year, the power play, but tonight it came through for us. We had most of the momentum entering the third period so I knew it was just a matter of time before we scored."
 
Penalty trouble put Princeton in an early deficit as Rensselaer (3-14-1, 1-7) capitalized on both Cressey and Max Becker's penalties which both came at 1:54. Evan Tironese ripped a shot from the right point with Jared Wilson and Patrick Polino assisting on the 5x3 tally at 2:32. Jacob Hayhurst added a 5x4 goal 26 seconds later, coming off the wall to deliver a Mike Prapavessis pass past the glove of Phinney.
 
When the tables turned and Princeton was given a two-man advantage with two RPI penalties 42 seconds apart, the Tigers couldn't get anything going. The best chances came after the two power plays were complete with senior Ben Foster having two chances from the left side as RPI put two bodies on senior Ryan Siiro. A rebound popped loose for senior Garrett Skrbich and he had a nip at the right pipe.
 
Tigers got one back to make it a one-goal game with Cressey doing the work to get the puck off the boards and sending a shot on goal. Hallisey collected the rebound, skated behind the goal and fed Kuffner on the right wall. He sent the puck across the paint to Josh Teves who saw Veronneau open in the right face-off circle. He went five hole for his third goal of the weekend.
 
The Engineers regained a two-goal lead with the game's fourth power-play goal, at 18:36. Tironese won a face off back to Polino and he gave it to Jesper Ohrvall across the ice as he made his way to the left side of the goal. Ohrvall tossed it back across the slot and Polino fired past a diving defender and the stick of Phinney.
 
Princeton didn't relent and added two power-play goal exactly one minute apart. Hallisey net his fourth of the season circling from the extended right out into the face-off circle with Cressey and Teves assisting.
 
Right off the Cressey face off win following a bench minor for two many men, Veronneau got the puck at the left point and sniped a shot into the back of the net at 14:47.
 
The first even-strength goal of the game came midway through the third. Viktor Leljegren came around the back of the goal to put the puck five hole to expand the Engineers lead to 5-3 at 10:07.
 
The Tigers answered back four minutes later when Veronneau got the puck off a face off in the left circle and fed Hallisey in the high slot for the one timer.

Princeton outshot RPI 55-21, including a 30-3 differential in the final 23:03. Cam Hackett made 49 saves in the loss for RPI.

Princeton plays a home-and-home series with travel partner Quinnipiac next weekend. The teams will first face off at Hobey Baker Rink on Friday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., before playing at the TD Bank Sports Center on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m.
 
Notes:
Last time Princeton allowed four power-play goals in a game was on Jan. 10, 2010 vs. Rensselaer, a 5-1 loss
Last time Princeton scored four power-play goals in a game was on Dec. 29, 2009 in a 6-6 tie with Maine