No. 15 Princeton Extinquishes No. 17 Bucknell 8-7 in Eastern Championship Third Place Game

Kurt Buchbinder reacts to an ejection
Kurt Buchbinder reacts to an ejection

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Tim Wenzlau (So., Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) recorded a hat-trick to accompany pairs of goals by Matt Hale (Sr., Atherton, Calif./The Menlo School) and Mike Helou (Jr., Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall College) as No. 15 Princeton University built an 8-4 lead with 5:15 left in the fourth period to put an end to both the Tigers' and host Bison's seasons with an 8-7 victory in the third place game of the 2010 CWPA Eastern Championship.

The victory improves the Tigers to 4-1 against Bucknell as Princeton previously handled the Bison 9-6, 7-4 and 8-6, while falling 9-4 in their final regular season meeting.

In a game that featured 28 ejections, three misconducts, two yellow cards and a red card, neither team was able to convert on their 6-on-5 chances as the squads combined for a 5-for-28 performance.

Tied 3-3 with 2:56 remaining in the second period following a man-up goal by Richie Hyden (Sr., Melbourne, Australia/Greenwich (Conn.), Princeton took the lead for good as Southern Division Rookie of the Year Kurt Buchbinder (Fr., Long Beach, Calif./The Chadwick School) lined a shot into the cage with 28 seconds remaining in the first half to make it a 4-3 game.

Princeton grew the lead to 6-3 slightly more than two minutes into the third period as Wenzlau scored at even strength (6:33) and Helou cashed in a man-up opportunity at 5:51.  Bucknell cut the lead to a pair before the end of the period as Spencer Richley (Jr., Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor) broke down the left side of the tank and fired a crossing shot into the corner of the cage at 3:22.

Following a misconduct to Beau Caillouette (Jr., Newport Beach, Calif./Sage Hill School) along with a misconduct and red card to Hyden at 6:06 of the fourth period, the depleted Bison were unable to stymy the Tigers' attack as Wenzlau (5:55) and Hale (5:15) registered six-on-five tallies to push the margin out to 8-4.

However, Bucknell refused to go down without a fight as Daniel Schwartz (Jr., Miami Beach, Fla./Ransom-Everglades) chipped in a natural marker at 3:20 and Nick Barnett (Jr., Houston, Texas/Clear Lake) registered a 6-on-5 goal with 32 seconds to go to slice the deficit to 8-6.

On the heels of a Bison goal by Brian Barron (So., Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) with six seconds left on the game-clock, Princeton corralled the ball and ran out the remainder to end Bucknell's comeback bid one score shy of success.

Hyden led the Bison in scoring with a pair of goals as the Bison wrap-up the year with a 13-15 record.

For Princeton, the star of the game was goalie Mike Merlone (Sr., Atherton, Calif./The Menlo School) who registered nine blocks, including four in the fourth period with a pair of five-meter penalty shot stops in the game, as the Tigers wrap-up their season with a 19-8 mark.

1 2 3 4 -- Final
No. 15 Princeton University 2 2 2 2 -- 8
No. 17 Bucknell University
2 1 1 3 -- 7

Bucknell Goals: Richie Hyden (2), Nick Barnett, Spencer Richley, Howie Kalter, Brian Barron, Daniel Schwartz

Princeton Goals: Tim Wenzlau (3), Matt Hale (2), Mike Helou (2), Kurt Buchbinder

Saves: Bucknell - Miles Gilhuly (3) ; Princeton - Mike Merlone (9)

Exclusions: Bucknell - 14 ; Princeton - 14

Advantage Opportunities:  Bucknell - 2-for-14 ; Princeton - 3-for-14

Sprints: Bucknell - 3-for-4 ; Princeton - 1-for-4

Cards: YC - Bucknell (Paul Rave, HC), Princeton (Bench) ; RC - Bucknell (Richie Hyden)

Officials: Val Vasilchikov, Eddie Ajuz

Spencer Richley scores against Mike Merlone

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