PRINCTON, N.J., Feb. 18--In recent years the varsity hockey team has clearly outskated Princeton. As expected, the Crimson did it again today before a fanatic Alumni Day crowd at the Hobey Baker Rink. The final score was 5 to 3.
But the varsity's skating superiority was almost outweighed by an inspired brand of hockey. The Tiger sextet hustled tirelessly, backchecked furiously, and covered Crimson forwards beautifully. For two periods it was an even game. Princeton led twice and went into the final stanza ahead, 3 to 2.
In that last period Captain and goalie Charlie Flynn made 12 of his 33 saves, several of them on shots from point-blank range. His fine performance was as important to the victory as the Crimson's three late goals, because it broke the Tiger spirit.
For Princeton, it was undoubtedly the biggest game of the year: a victory would have given the Tiger sextet an even chance to dethrone the Crimson as Ivy League champion. The defeat, however, marked an end to Princeton hopes for the championship.
After Brown's 3-1 win over Yale today, the Crimson is the only undefeated team in the League, with a 5-0 record.
Princeton scored first when defenseman Bill Smith coverted a rebound at 4:36 of the opening period. Bob Cleary tied the score exactly five minutes later on another rebound shot, and Lyle Guttu put the varsity ahead at 15:00 when he tapped in the puck after goalie Dave Robinson had gone to the ice to make a save.
Princeton tied the game again at 17:05, Robinson then shut out the Crimson in the second period, making 13 saves, as close covering and hard backchecking kept the varsity from organizing many rushes. Wing John Butsch put the Tigers ahead with his deflection of a long shot at 16:22.
Terry O'Malley, playing on the second line for Joe Crehore, who had received a ten-minute misconduct penalty for arguing, began the third-period Crimson outburst with his tally at 2:06. The winning goal by Cleary seven minutes later was the prettiest of the afternoon: Mario Celi shot from the left, and Cleary converted the rebound. Bob Owen added the fifth at 15:37.
The J.V. team also won, trimming the Tigers, 5 to 3