Millersville Tripped Up By Princeton

Millersville’s Homecoming was soured by the visiting Princeton Tigers which stormed Lancaster Ice Rink, handing the Marauders a 3-2 overtime loss.

Princeton only fielded 11 skaters, but their conditioning paved the way. Millersville dominated early in the game until about five minutes into the first period, a breakdown in coverage and an inability to clear the puck led to a rebound goal for Brooks Hallin. The goal gave the Tigers the early lead, and the it led the crowd out of the euphoria.

The lead didn’t last long. Just a few minutes later, Hyde denied Carpenter on a 2-on-1, but the Marauders held the pressure. Sean Nielsen, re-inserted into the lineup after missing a month with a separated shoulder, held the blue line against Alec Bingaman to push the puck deep. Read Bohon held the puck behind the net and fed Nick Mullarkey for his second goal of the year to tie it at one.

“I scored last week, that got me going a little bit,” Mullarkey said. “I was in a little drought, and got another one today, which was good.”

Nielsen continued to make his presence known. After stealing the puck from a Princeton forward, he charged forward on the right wing. He faked his defender, did a 180 spinaround pass to Gaetan Juliano all alone in the slot, and he cashed in to give Millersville a 2-1 lead.

It was Juliano’s first goal in over a year.

“It was a pretty good feeling,” Juliano said. “Nielsen rushed the puck up, I did call for it, and he threw some through-the-legs pass at me. Coach was telling us to put everything on net, I put it on net, and it went in. I know all the guys were excited.”

Nielsen felt good after his first game back after a month with two assists in this game.

“It was good to be back out there with the boys,” he said. “The puck just seemed to fall in the right places.”

That lead didn’t last long either. Minutes later, the Tigers worked the puck low. Leonidas Tolias snuck out from behind the net and worked a tricky backhander on goal which Jagiela could not handle, and tied the game at two.

A literal stalemate continued for two periods. Millersville shot the puck 43 times in two periods, but no goals were scored on either Jagiela or Hyde, who held their respective forts.

No penalties were called until about five minutes left in the game when Bohon was flagged for an elbowing call. Princeton had a chance to seal the game away with their deadly first line, but the penalty killers did their job and regulation came to an end with the score knotted at two apiece.

Under GNCHC rules, if no goals are scored in a five minute 4-on-4 overtime period, the game comes to a tie. The Marauders continued to pepper Greg Hyde with shot after shot.

Nielsen carried the puck into the zone and fed Reaser who was denied by Hyde for the 59th shot of the night. The 60th was his best. On the rebound of the Reaser shot, Chris Collins was left wide open and he slammed it on goal. Hyde flashed the glove to rob Collins and keep the Tigers alive.

Millersville continued to shoot shot after shot, but they either missed, or couldn’t connect with a one-timer. All it took was one shot to end it for Princeton. Sally lugged the puck in after the faceoff outside the zone, and was wrestled to the ground by Nielsen. He couldn’t clear the puck, and it landed on Hallin’s tape in the high slot. He fired it to the net, Jagiela made two big saves, but the rebound ping-ponged out to Katz who slammed it home for the overtime winner.

“Lacksidasical,” coach Ryan Behnken said of his team’s effort. “This is an unhappy loss. They shouldn’t have skated with us. We’re a better team than that. It was lazy.”

“For 65 minutes we wasted all of the work we’ve put in so far. The guys have to reset and come back.”

Millersville totaled 62 shots on net, and could only score twice. A lack of finish and questionable shot selection throughout the entire game contributed to the loss.

“We got a lot of shots, but we could have done a lot better where we placed the shots,” forward Cyle Knopf said. “It comes down to putting more pressure on.”

The Marauders off to the Skatium next week to take on another foe in St. Joe’s. The team has done historically well against the Hawks, and the team hopes that this will turn the fortunes of the club around in a hurry.

“We did play our type of hockey for the most part,” defenseman Kyle Lane said. “We just gotta learn how to finish.”

“You try to build off of [the loss]. We’re young, and we have plenty of time,” Behnken said.

The puck drops Saturday at 5:30 at the Skatium. Millersville drops to 1-1-0 in GNCHC play.