Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 1
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011
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PALLIS SUITE: Princeton University men’s hockey player Derrick Pallis takes the puck up the ice last Monday against visiting Quinnipiac. Junior defenseman Pallis scored a second period goal to give the 19th-ranked Tigers a 1-1 tie with the Bobcats.

No. 19 Tiger Men’s Hockey Ties Quinnipiac 1-1; Extends Unbeaten String to 6, Takes 1st in ECACH

Bill Alden

Rediscovering the freewheeling mojo that has made it an ECAC Hockey power in recent years, the Princeton University men’s hockey team ended 2010 with a bang.

Piling up 40-plus shots in five of its last six outings, the Tigers ended the year on a five-game winning streak.

Last week, the Tigers culminated the 2010 portion of their schedule by winning a title, taking the championship at the UConn Hockey Classic.

Showing its propensity for winning games in different ways, Princeton overcame a 2-0 deficit to Bowling Green in the opening round last Wednesday to pull out a 4-2 victory.

In the championship game against host UConn the next day, the Tigers showed their balance as four different players scored on the way to a 4-1 triumph.

Over the course of the tourney, 16 different Tigers scored a point as Princeton improved to 10-5.

Last Monday, as Princeton started 2011 by hosting Quinnipiac in a critical ECACH contest, the 19th-ranked Tigers appeared to pick up where they left off last year.

Princeton came out flying, outshooting the Bobcats 10-5 in the first period. But unlike their sharp play in the winning streak, Princeton suffered a lapse in the second period, surrendering a goal seven minutes into the second period to fall behind 1-0.

Junior defenseman Derrick Pallis acknowledged that the Tigers let their guard down. “We came out fast; we just let up a little bit and they scored,” said Pallis, a native of Medfield, Mass. “We know we got to keep going hard the whole time.”

The 6’1, 175-pound Pallis worked hard to get Princeton back in the game as he scored a goal just over eight minutes later to knot the contest at 1-1.

“Everyone was going to the net; there was a lot of traffic in front of the net,” said Pallis, referring to his goal.

“I think it hit a bunch of their guys; it was like a pinball game. That is everyone going to the net and taking the goalie’s eyes away.”

The Tigers, though, couldn’t solve Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell in the third period as the game headed into overtime at 1-1.

“We had some good shifts in the third period,” said Pallis of the Tigers who outshot the Bobcats 8-7 in the third period and 34-26 in regulation. “It looked like we were going to get a few. We had some good chances but we just never capitalized.”

In the overtime, Princeton had a great chance but couldn’t convert on a Mike Kramer breakaway and the game ended as a 1-1 tie.

“We would rather win in regulation but overtime is fun because everyone gets the chance to be the hero,” said Pallis of the Tigers, who jumped into first place in the ECACH standings with the tie, moving to 10-5-1 overall and 6-3-1 in league play, just ahead of top-ranked Yale (12-1 overall, 6-0 ECACH). “We just couldn’t put it in; it was one of those nights.”

Recently, Pallis has been having some big nights, scoring nine points in his last seven games.

“It is just that everyone is playing Princeton hockey so it gives us opportunities to jump up into the play,” added Pallis, who now has 10 points on the season with four goals and six assists. “You know you have got teammates backing you up so we are playing our game. Everyone starts contributing.”

In the early stages of the season, Princeton wasn’t playing its game as it started 0-3.

“It is just everyone meshing together,” said Pallis, reflecting on the team’s recent surge. “It took a little longer than we hoped but it seems like we are all coming together right now for the long haul.”

Pallis is hoping that the Tigers can keep things together as they host Cornell (4-8-1 overall, 2-4 ECACH) on January 7 and Colgate (3-14-1 overall, 0-5-1 ECACH) two days later.

“Cornell is a fun game; we have to play a full 60 minutes,” said Pallis. “We can’t come out like we did today and play 10 minutes hard and then sit back. We have to play the whole 60 minutes. We have a whole week of practice; we are going to take advantage of that and get ready.”

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