Princeton Gets Swept At Maine

Princeton men’s hockey dropped both its games at Maine on the weekend, falling to 2-8 on the season.

“We gave ourselves an opportunity to win both games,’ Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “We played some solid hockey the second night. [We went] down 2-0 in a pretty great college environment [and] we found a way to get back into the game and tie it up and give ourselves a chance to win it as well.”


On Friday, the Black Bears struck first thanks to Nolan Vesey. But David Hallisey tied the game for the Tigers before the period expired. Maine took the lead again in the next period, but Hallisey tied it again – giving the sophomore his first two-goal night. Ryan Kuffner gave Princeton the lead with over 10 minutes to go in regulation, but Andrew Tegeler tied it for Maine and Will Merchant scored the game-winning goal with 57.7 seconds left in regulation. Colton Phinney finishd with 38 saves in the loss.

The next night, Maine held a two-goal lead entering the third period. But freshmen linmates Max Veronneau and Ryan Kuffner scored less than 10 minutes apart in the third to tie the game for Princeton. Blaine Byron scored the game winner for the Black Bears in overtime. Phinney made 47 saves in the loss.

On Friday, the Tigers limited Maine to one power play on four chances but converted on two of their own. Princeton followed by killing off five of six penalties on Saturday.

“We scored on a couple of them and we had a lot of penalty kills, especially [the] second night,” Fogarty said. “We did a great job of that as well. [I’m] extremely pleased how the special teams have been working over the last three games.”

While the Tigers were unable to string together a winning streak this weekend, Princeton has scored two or more goals in the last three contests in a row. 

“It’s easy to start cutting corners or to deviate from the system and structure, but we’ve come a long way and the wins will come,” Fogarty said. “[We] just have to keep doing the things correctly.”


Several Princeton Recruits Named To Canada’s WJAC Selection Camp Roster

Princeton hockey recruits Jackson Cressey, Matt Thom, Derek Topatigh and Colin Tonge were named to Canada’s World Junior A Challenge selection camp rosters.

Cressey, a member of the BCHL, was named to the Canada West camp roster. Thom, Topatigh and Tonge were all named to Canada East’s roster.

The World Junior A Challenge will take place in Cobourg, Ontario from Dec. 13 to Dec. 19.

Corey Andonovski Commits To Princeton

Corey Andonovski has committed to Princeton hockey, he announced via Twitter. The forward currently plays at St. Andrews Collge with current Princeton recruit Reid Yochim.

The ’99 forward is committed for the 2018-19 season. He  has three points this season.

Princeton has one more player with St. Andrews College ties committed – alumnus Matt Thom.

Princeton vs. Clarkson Photos 11.21.15

Here are photos from Princeton’s 3-0 win over Clarkson and Colton Phinney’s first shutout:



Colton Phinney Bounces Back From St. Lawrence Loss With First Career Shutout

PRINCETON, N.J. – In the third period, Colton Phinney remained in his net, watching the puck cycle in front of him. He was less than one period away from earning his first collegiate shutout, but Clarkson wasn’t making the bid easy.

The Golden Knights controlled possession in the last frame, attempting 31 shots.

“[It] got pretty hectic at the end,” Phinney said. “I started thinking I was never going to get one.”

But Princeton kept most of the attempts away from the Grade-A scoring areas, and Phinney was able to keep the rest out with 12 saves in the last frame for the 3-0 win. And after the game, Phinney’s teammates surrounded him in a postgame hug before completing their first home stick salute for the season.


“[The] guys made a lot of blocks, got a couple lucky bounces,” Phinney. “But [it] definitely feels really good.”


Phinney made 31 stops overall in the victory, which was Princeton’s first shutout since Feb. 9, 2013. The shutout also came nearly one year after Phinney earned his first Division I win, which was coincidentally the last time Princeton defeated a ranked opponent.


The defense held the theme of limiting quality scoring chances for the entire game, including a first period where the Tigers allowed just five shots against.

“We did a pretty good job of keeping them to the outside, but at the same time [Phinney] had a heck of a night, got his first career shutout,” co-captain Kyle Rankin said. “So we’re really proud of him. He keeps us in every game and he deserved that shutout big time.”

Phinney, the backbone of Princeton for the last two seasons, has started every game this year for the Tigers. Before the season, Phinney said he wanted to work on playing the puck, something he still wants to improve.

“[I] haven’t really done much with it, [I] kind of let the guys take care of it in back, they’re much better than I am,” Phinney said. “But I definitely need to still work on that and try to help them out more.”

Even without playing the puck, Phinney’s .943 save percentage is seventh in the country. Last night, though, Phinney was pulled in a 5-1 loss to St. Lawrence after allowing four goals on 34 shots.

“He responded great from being pulled last night,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “For him to bounce back with that type of effort showed great professionalism.”


Princeton Defeats Clarkson, Earns First Shutout Since 2013

PRINCETON, N.J. – Princeton created the start it needed. But on Saturday night, the Tigers also got what they struggled to find recently – the first goal. And that goal was all the Tigers needed to blast some upbeat songs in the locker room after their second win of the season.

“We had a last minute panic attack and threw on Danza Kuduro,” co-captain Kyle Rankin said. “But that’s about it. We’ll work on it.”

Rankin had one of Princeton’s goals in a 3-0 win over Clarkson on Saturday night. The victory was Colton Phinney’s first career shutout and Princeton’s first shutout since Feb. 9, 2013 – a win over Cornell.

“[It] definitely feels good, kind of a relief,” Phinney said. “[It] got pretty hectic at the end. I started thinking I was never going to get one. But guys made a lot of blocks, got a couple lucky bounces.”


The win over Clarkson also marked Princeton’s first ECAC win of the season. The Tigers are now tied for 10th in the league with Union and Clarkson.


Eric Robinson opened the scoring at the 12:55 mark of the first period, burying the puck into the net. Robinson’s goal cemented a first period where the Tigers outshot the Golden Knights 10-5.


“When we scored the first goal that we could stay under the same structure and we did,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “The third man high tonight did a great job which resulted in the minimal opportunities against. Zero 2-on-1s, maybe a couple of odd man rushes.”

Princeton didn’t give up many Grade-A chances, and Phinney finished the game with 31 saves.

“We did really, really well the entire game, kind of kept them to the outside, took care of rebounds, blocked a lot of shots,” Phinney said. “When we got the lead we played even better, which was nice to see.”

The Golden Knights outshot the Tigers 31-24 on the night, and Clarkson’s Steve Perry made 21 saves. Clarkson pressed in the third period, but Max Veronneau added an inusrance goal in the third for the Tigers.

“If there’s anything we learned about playing in this conference, the first goal is really important considering how tight each and every game is, how similar all the teams are,” Rankin said. “So getting that first goal was huge and getting two and three as insurance makrers were a big help for us as well.”

Veronneau’s goal was the second power play tally for Princeton this season. The Tigers converted one of five  power play chances, while it killed off both opposing power plays. Princeton is nearly perfect on th penalty kill this season and leads the nation. Princeton’s power play has struggled this season but improved over the weekend.

“I just think guys are in better spots for each other, [there’s a] lot more communication [and] puck movement’s been a lot more crisp,” Rankin said. “Same with the zone entries. It’s a work in [progress] but I mean staying on special teams, Our penalty kill does a fantastic job each and every night.

“I think we’ve let in one goal all year on the kill and it was an empty netter so doesn’t even count.”


In Return From Injury, Max Becker Scores First Collegiate Goal

Becker puckPRINCETON, N.J. – After a standout career at Shattuck St. Mary’s, Max Becker hasn’t had an easy hockey path.

Becker spent a season in the BCHL, where injuries cut into his playing time. As a freshman at Princeton last year, the forward was limited to 10 games because of injuries. And, Becker missed playing time this year because of ailments.

“[I’m] trying to stay healthy. That helps,” Becker said. “Obviously last year I was hurt quite a bit so this year I think just trying to stay on the ice and play my game how I know I can play.”


Becker began the season healthy, over six months after a bad hit in a January exhibition took him out of last year’s season. He played on Oct. 31 and then again at Cornell on Nov. 6, but didn’t play last week.

On Friday’s loss against St. Lawrence, a healthy Becker returned to the lineup. It was just his third game of the season, but he scored his first collegiate goal in the second period.

“Ryan Kuffner just gave me the puck from the slot and I just fired it on Kyle Hayton, who was my goalie at Shattuck and that’s kind of funny,” Becker said. I mean it was a great play by Spence [Kryzcka] and [Kuffner] I was just the beneficiary of some [work] by those guys.”

It was just the second point of Becker’s career, nearly a year after he recorded his first collegiate assist.

“He put himself in some great areas to score. It was a result of Spencer being strong on the puck on the forecheck and Kuffner right there to help him out and at least put us back into the game,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said.

“[He’s] stronger on the puck. He got banged up [in] one of the last games and now he’s healthy again so [he] just took advantage of an opportunity of a chance and cashed in.”

His mother and one of his sisters attended Friday’s game and saw Becker’s first goal, Princeton’s only tally of the night.

“[The puck will] probably just go back to my room … I don’t know it’ll eventually make [its way] back to California,” Becker said.



Despite Strong Start, Princeton Falls To St. Lawrence

PRINCETON, N.J. – Princeton found the start they wanted against St. Lawrence. The Tigers dominated the opening minutes.

“We came out, we had a great start,” forward Max Becker said. “We didn’t have such a great start last wee,k so we preached that in practice this week, just taking our warm up as our first period. We tried coming out hot and I think we did that.”

The Tigers outshot the Saints 17-9 in the first frame.

“You execute the game plan set froth from Monday, and the first four shifts, you can’t ask for anything more besides a goal,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “We were on top of them, kept the puck in [and] they had to chip it out. … The first four shifts and even the eighth shifts were, if you clipped them, you looked back, it’s exactly what you want the next game.”


Despite Princeton’s dominance, the Saints were the ones who struck first when Ryan Lough put one past Colton Phinney. Lough’s goal, and a two-goal second period, was almost all St. Lawrence needed to defeat Princeton 5-1 on Friday night at Baker Rink.

“We outshoot them 17-9 in the first we had some great chances, and they scored on three of the first five odd-man rushes to go up 3-0,” Fogarty said. “That’s a big thing, they capitalized on that. And then we had a couple opportunities and we just didn’t score.”

The Tigers still outshot the Saints 42-40 and created some quality scoring chances in the later frames, but struggled to score.

“We haven’t had that great bounce,” Fogarty said. “We put ourselves in spots for great bounces. And patience is the lost virtue for everybody. [We] have to remain patient and keep going. … It’s waves, it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. If you keep doing things well, it will come.”

Princeton’s only goal of the game came from Max Becker in the second period, his first collegiate goal. Becker converted a pass from freshman Spencer Kryczka for the tally. Becker’s goal cut the deficit to 3-1.

“He put himself in some great areas to score,” Fogarty said. “[It] was a result of Spencer being strong on the puck on the forecheck and Kuffner right there to help him out and at least put us back into the game.”

After Becker’s goal, St. Lawrence responded with two tallies in the third. Colton Phinney made 29 saves for the Tigers, while Ben Halford made six saves and allowed a goal as a replacement late in the third.

Princeton is now winless in ECAC play and occupies the league’s last spot. The improvement has been evident, but the Tigers haven’t won since Oct. 31.

“You got to stay the course. We knew coming in it’s going to be three-to-four years,” Fogarty said.

“You have to look at the finer details within the game to see if you are progressing and we are. And it’s human nature for the quick fix and you have to keep building the foundation.”

Princeton will host Clarkson on Saturday night, its last regular-season game at Baker Rink until Dec. 29.

“[We have to] score one more goal than they do,” Fogarty said. “Same start. It’s going to come.”