Princeton Hockey Lands 21 Players On ECAC All-Academic Team

Princeton hockey had 21 players earn spots on the 2014-15 ECAC All-Academic team, including 2015-16 co-captains Mike Ambrosia and Kyle Rankin. All six seniors – Aaron Kesselman, Aaron Ave, Tom Kroshus, Tucker Brockett, Tyler Maugeri and Ryan Benitez – also made the ECAC All-Academic Team.

Here’s the complete list:

Mike Ambrosia Jr. (Economics)
Hayden Anderson So. (Economics)
Aaron Ave Sr. (Economics)
Max Becker Fr. (Undeclared)
Ryan Benitez Sr. (Public & International Affairs)
Tucker Brockett Sr. (History)
Ben Foster So. (Economics)
David Hallisey Fr. (Undeclared)
Aaron Kesselman Sr. (Philosophy)
Tom Kroshus Sr. (Molecular Biology)
Kevin Liss Jr. (Economics)
Jonathan Liau Jr. (Chemistry)
Tyler Maugeri Sr. (History)
Matt Nelson Fr. (Undeclared)
Kyle Rankin Jr. (History)
Stuart Pomeroy Fr. (Undeclared)
Quin Pompi So. (Molecular Biology)
Marlon Sabo So. (Operations Research & Financial)
Ryan Siiro So. (Operations Research &
Engineering Financial Engineering)
Garrett Skrbich So. (Chemical & Biological Engineering)
Michael Zajac Jr. (History)

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Getting To Know the Freshmen Tigers: Spencer Kryczka

Spencer Kryczka Freshman Q&ASpencer Kryczka spent the last four years playing in the AJHL, where he split his time between Okotok and Camrose. In his last season, Kryczka appeared in 61 games with Camrose and recorded a career-high 40 points (17g, 23a), helping Camrose to the AJHL playoffs. The Calgary, Alb., native finished his AJHL career with 91 points (38g, 53a) over 242 games.

Eye On The Tigers caught up with Kryczka to see what the incoming freshman had to say:

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Why did you choose Princeton University?

I chose Princeton University because it has world-renowned education and because the hockey program showed the most interest in me, more than any other hockey program in the NCAA. After a visit to Princeton, I was absolutely sold. The campus, the culture and the hockey atmosphere made it an easy decision for me.

What are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to experiencing the culture of college, especially such a special place like Princeton. I cannot wait to put on the skates and the don the Princeton Tiger colours in such a historic rink like Hobey Baker.

When did you get into hockey? What’s your earliest memory?

I began playing hockey when I was about three years old. My earliest memory is playing on the outdoor rink, learning to skate by holding onto a pylon and having my dad teach me how to push off correctly.

What NHL team did you grow up rooting for and why?

I grew up rooting for the Calgary Flames. Being from Calgary, and having my entire family and many friends cheering for the same team is a great thing and watching them play live at the Saddledome is something I will always cherish.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?

By far the biggest challenge I faced playing hockey was being sent down half way through a hockey season. I was playing Midget AAA as an underage and after about 20 games out of 30 total, they decided to send me down to play with kids my own age. It was heartbreaking, as I felt like I had failed. It helped me grow and develop mental toughness, and I think that without that experience I wouldn’t be heading in the direction I am today.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen when playing hockey?

While playing against the Brooks Bandits, I was still with the Okotoks Oilers. One of my good friends Mitch Collett, who will be playing for Holy Cross next year, got a puck stuck in between his nose and his visor. He was skating around during play with the puck attached to his face, and our entire bench just cracked up. Hilarious and strange moment.

Who’s the most influential person in your hockey career?

My dad is the most influential person in my hockey career. He has always supported me in every decision I make and is there to talk hockey or just support me when I need it.

What’s the most exciting experience you’ve ever had?

With hockey being a major part of my life I am going to go with a hockey experience. I would have to say scoring a hat-trick in game 6 of the past South Alberta Final in the AJHL would be one of if not the most exciting events of my life.

What do you plan on majoring in/what are your academic interests?

I plan on majoring in Engineering, I have always been a math and science guy, and figured that this would be a good combination and something that will be useful in the future.

What do you hope your legacy at Princeton University will be?

I want my legacy to be someone who was a hard-worker, someone who was a leader on and off the ice, and someone who helped to lead Princeton hockey back to the top, and hopefully a championship.

Other Class of 2019 Q&As: Alex Riche | Josh Teves | Austin Shaw | Ryan Kuffner | Max Veronneau

See also: Princeton announces 2015-16 incoming freshmen

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Getting To Know the Freshmen Tigers: Alex Riche

Alex Riche Freshman Q&AAlex Riche joins Princeton hockey after spending his last two seasons in the OJHL. After playing one game for Oakville in 2012-13, Riche joined Milton the next season, recording 58 points (20g, 38a) over 56 games. He began the 2014-15 season with Milton, and was traded to Cobourg early in the season. Through 62 games last year, the Oakville, Ont., native recorded 59 points (25g, 34a). Riche finished his OJHL career with 117 points (45g, 72a) over 119 games and was also named to the CJHL Prospects Game.

Eye On The Tigers caught up with Riche to see what the incoming freshman had to say:

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Why did you choose Princeton University?

I chose Princeton because of the opportunity to get to play college hockey at the highest level along with getting a great education from a great university.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m most looking forward to meeting my new teammates and hopefully having a great season and school year.

When did you get into hockey? What’s your earliest memory?

I got into hockey by watching Hockey Night in Canada on TV as a young kid and wanted to play myself.

What NHL team did you grow up rooting for and why?

I grew up rooting for the Detroit Red Wings because Steve Yzerman was my all-time favorite hockey player.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?

In my early teens I had a tough time when I ran into a couple years of bad luck injuries.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen when playing hockey?

The strangest thing was one time during the pre-game national anthem, one player from the opposing team started skating around less than halfway through the anthem

Who’s the most influential person in your hockey career?

The most influential people in my hockey career are my parents due to their sacrifice and all the help they’ve provided me.

What’s the most exciting experience you’ve ever had?

My most exciting life experience would probably be vacationing in Nevada and seeing the Grand Canyon

What do you plan on majoring in/what are your academic interests?

I plan on majoring in Math or Economics, and my academic interests are data management and analysis.

What do you hope your legacy at Princeton University will be?

I guess I would want my legacy to be a good hockey player, student and friend and hopefully have a NCAA hockey championship

Other Class of 2019 Q&As: Spencer Kryczka | Josh Teves | Austin Shaw | Ryan Kuffner | Max Veronneau

See also: Princeton announces 2015-16 incoming freshmen

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Princeton Hockey Announces 2015-16 Incoming Freshmen

In 2015, Princeton hockey will welcome six freshmen – goaltender Austin Shaw, defenseman Josh Teves and forwards Spencer Kryczka, Ryan Kuffner, Alex Riche and Max Veronneau. Kuffner and Veronneau spent the last two years in the CCHL for the Gloucester Rangers, while Riche played in the OJHL, Teves in the BCHL, Kryczka in the AJHL and Shaw in the NAHL.

Here’s some more information on the incoming class, including a statistics table and interactive map at the bottom.

Spencer Kryczka (F, Camrose Kodiaks): The 20-year-old enters his freshman year at Princeton after spending the last four years in the AJHL. Over his time with Okotok and Camrose, Kryczka appeared in 242 games and recorded 91 points (38g, 53a). Kryczka committed to Princeton in April 2014, and recorded a career-high in points (40), goals (17) and assists (23), helping the Kodiaks reach the playoffs.

Read More: Q&A

Ryan Kuffner (F, Gloucester Rangers): Kuffner played in the CCHL for two seasons, recording 45 points (22g, 23a) over 49 games his first year. Last season Kuffner averaged over a point per game with 70 points through 49 contests. He also recorded a career-high 33 goals and 33 assists and was selected for the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge. Kuffner, along with Neil Doef, made the WJAC Canada East roster. The forward committed to Princeton in October 2013.

Read More: Q&A

Alex Riche (F, Cobourg Cougars): Riche spent the past two seasons in the OJHL. He played for Milton Icehawks in 2012-13, where he netted 58 points (20g, 38a) over 56 games. He began the 2014-15 season with the Milton, but was traded to Cobourg during the season. The 19-year-old, who committed to Princeton in October 2014, was also named to Team East for the CJHL Prospects game. Riche recorded 59 points (25g, 34a) last year. In total, the forward netted 117 points (45g, 72a) over 119 games.

Read More: Q&A

Austin Shaw (G, Wichita Falls Wildcats): Shaw arrived at Wichita Falls without much fanfare, but his play early on earned the goaltender attention from schools. After making the team, Shaw earned a commit to Princeton in November. In his only season in the NAHL, Shaw played in 48 games and recorded a .902 save percentage.

Read More: Q&AFeature

Josh Teves (D, Merritt Centennials): The 20-year-old defensemen just completed his first full season in the BCHL, where he played in 61 games for the Merritt Centennials. Over that season, Teves finished with 35 points (5g, 30a). Teves played in the KIJHL in the 2013-14 season before appearing in two games with Merritt. The defenseman committed to Princeton in December 2014, and won the RBC National Junior A Scholarship.

Read More: Q&A, Teves Earns RBC National Junior A Scholarship 

Max Veronneau (F, Gloucester Rangers): Veronneau also spent the past two seasons playing for the Gloucester Rangers, where he skated with Ryan Kuffner. Veronneau, who committed to Princeton in March of 2014, missed much of the 2014-15 season due to injury. In the 33 games he played in, Veronneau netted 40 points (17g, 23a). He was also selected for the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge, but an injury kept Veroneau out of the games.  In the 2013-14 season, the forward recorded 80 points (41g, 39a) over 61 games.

Read More: Q&A

 

 

Player Position Year Team GP Goals Assists Points PPG
Spencer Kryczka F 95 Camrose Kodiaks 46 11 19 30 1.036
Ryan Kuffner F 96 Gloucester Rangers 49 33 37 70 1.429
Alex Riche F 96 Cobourg Cougars 52 24 30 54 1.038
Josh Teves D 95 Merrit Centennials 57 5 28 33 0.579
Max Veronneau F 95 Gloucester Rangers 27 14 22 36 1.333

 

 

 

 

Player Position Year Team GP W-L-T-OTL SV% GAA
Austin Shaw G 96 Wichita Falls Wildcats 43 26-9-0-3 .902 2.88

 

 

Zoom out of the map to see where the class of 2019 hails from.

Colton Phinney Takes Away Importance Of Skating From Devils Development Camp

Princeton's Colton Phinney stops Union's Kevin Shier

NEWARK – Colton Phinney’s biggest takeaway from New Jersey’s development camp was skating.

“It’s kind of like a lost art and I need to work on that, because if you work on that it can help your overall game,” Phinney said. “Basically just the importance of that, and the faster you can get to a spot, the more time you have [and the] easier it is to make a save.”

[bctt tweet=”‘(Skating is) like a lost art. … It can help your overall game.’ – Colton Phinney”]

During practice on Friday, one of New Jersey’s coaches skated over to Phinney after a drill, speaking about the same concepts.

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“It was about getting my feet set and just getting to spots quicker as well as leading with my stick,” Phinney said.

The week-long session was Phinney’s first development camp, capping off a sophomore season where Phinney recorded a .910 save percentage over 1675:25 minutes of playing time. Phinney said getting used to the speed at development camp was the biggest on-ice challenge.

“Every practice, every drill, games too, everything is happening so much faster whether it’s the shots, passes or skating,” Phinney said.

In addition to the on-ice portion of camp, which includes drills, practices and scrimmages, the attendees participated in tests like the 300 yard shuttle, vertical jump testing, core tests and body fat testing. The goaltender said he learned about skating, different techniques and off-ice training like nutrition.

“I think definitely getting some information from the goalie coaches about playing in the NHL,” Phinney said. “They were both also previous college hockey goalies. I think to obtain as much information as I can from them, and also playing with the top guys and see [what] they do and then take that back for the year. And then hopefully [I can] gain some confidence if I do well and try to learn some things.”

Phinney started for Team White during the camp scrimmage on Saturday, allowing zero goals during a 25-minute period of play. On Wednesday’s 3-on-3 tournament, Phinney backstopped Team White to two wins.

“The Phinney kid, I think he did a real good job,” Devils’ GM Ray Shero said following the scrimmage.

Phinney found out he would attend Devils’ development camp in May.

“I was obviously really excited,” Phinney said. “I was hoping to go to camp this summer, it’s pretty convenient it’s a Devils camp. Growing up in New Jersey, going to a lot of Devils games [and] we played at the Prudential Center this year and last year so I was really excited.”

Phinney also won several state championships at the Prudential Center as a netminder for Delbarton. While the rising junior isn’t a Devils fan anymore, he grew up cheering for the red and black team.

“I think the fact that a lot of family and friends from around here also like the Devils adds to it,” Phinney said. “When I got here and kind of looked around the locker room and saw all the trophies and saw the history, it definitely kind of added to it and brought back some memories of when I used to be a Devils fan.”

Phinney is the third Princeton hockey player who’s attended New Jersey’s development camp over the past three years. Former captain Jack Berger attended in 2012, while current co-captain Mike Ambrosia was at Devils’ development camp in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

This offseason, Phinney is living in Connecticut where he trains daily with former Princeton hockey forward Aaron Kesselman.

“We’re both living there together so I go there every day,” Phinney said. “It’s been a pretty productive summer.”

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The New Eye On The Tigers – Important Information

The New Eye On The TigersOn this day two years ago, I made Eye on the Tigers – a small blog with just a few posts – public. Shortly after, I ran the first Q&A’s – starting with then-freshman Ryan Siiro. I didn’t know what I wanted from the blog, or what I wanted it to be. I just knew I wanted to make it the No. 1 source for Princeton hockey news.

I was really committed to the idea, and continued my project from the summer into the 2013-14 season. As my first post-grad year, it was an interesting adjustment to cover a different team in a different league. I spent that first season mostly getting to know the program, its history, the players and the staff. There were some challenges that season, and there were even more challenges this season.

But I’ve really enjoyed covering the team these past few years. So when I decided last May that I wanted to continue (barring something unexpected) I figured it was time to finally have a self-hosted site. It’s a much bigger challenge, but having a self-hosted site gives me a lot of customizable options – including embedding interactives. Continue reading The New Eye On The Tigers – Important Information