Tag Archives: Garrett Skrbich

Ryan Siiro Named Captain At End of the Year Banquet

Ryan Siiro was named the new captain on Saturday night, while Tommy Davis, Garrett Skrbich and Joe Grabowski were tabbed as alternates.

The year-end banquet also featured five awards. Kyle Rankin won the Vaughan Cup for dedication and perseverance, Grabowski won the Tucker Ironman Award, Siiro the 1941 Championship Trophy, Max Veronneau the Hobey Baker Trophy as the team’s rookie of the year and Colton Phinney the Blackwell Trophy as the team’s MVP.

Princeton also honored its four seniors – Mike Ambrosia, Kevin Liss, Kyle Rankin and Michael Zajac.

Princeton vs. Brown 2.27.16 Photos (Senior Night)

Colton Phinney tries to clear the puck before Tyler Bird's goal

Here are photos from Princeton’s 2-2 tie with Brown last Saturday night, which was also senior night:

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Princeton Travels To Clarkson For ECAC Playoffs

Eric Robinson goal 8Princeton men’s hockey will travel to Clarkson for the first round of the ECAC playoffs. It’s the second time in the past three years the Tigers will be making the trip, as they fell to the Golden Knights in three games in the 2013-14 season.

“[We had] 29 pop quizzes going into the main test,” Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty said. “This is the main test. Our goal this year was give ourselves an opportunity to win a playoff series and we’re trying to do everything from Day 1 to now to put us in the best position to make that occur.”

The teams split the season series. Princeton came away with the 3-0 win at home in November and dropped a 5-2 decision at Clarkson in February. Freshman defenseman Josh Teves has three points against the Golden Knights and Max Veronneau has two goals.

“Our underneath positioning was poor [in February],” Ron Fogarty said. “They had a couple one hitters, rushes down the ice and we were out of position, so we have to make sure that our five guys are really patient positioning this weekend.”

The Tigers just snapped a nine-game losing streak with a season-ending tie to Brown. Princeton’s last ECAC win was Dec. 5 against Yale, when the Tigers swept the Bears and Bulldogs. Despite the losses, many of Princeton’s games this season have been close.

“Because the core has improved, it’s brought everyone up a level here,” Fogarty said. When I look back at even our first games this season in Trenton compared to now, I just see great improvement from all. And that’s important that the group continues to improve.”

Clarkson is on a two-game winning streak after sweeping Harvard and Dartmouth. The Golden Knights posted a 11-5-1 record in January, partly thanks to Greg Lewis’ play in net. Lewis has a save percentage of .924 and has been the team’s starter since January. The Golden Knights allow 2.50 goals per game

“I mean they’re a hard-hitting team, they have good defensemen, they like to jump up in the play and they like to pinch down the wall,” co-captain Kyle Rankin said. “You got to give credit where credit’s due, but at the same time it’s going to come down to who wants it more. Our forwards are going to have to find a way to outwork those guys.”

The Tigers have had some success against Clarkson lately, splitting last year’s season series as well. And the Tigers also pulled out to a 1-0 series lead two years ago in the playoffs with an overtime win.

“The one positive that this group has is Colton Phinney won his first playoff game up in Clarkson,” Fogarty said. “So they’re familiar with that and winning, how to win and hopefully we can duplicate that twice this weekend.”

Clarkson’s offense averages 2.68 goals per game, led by Sam Vigneault’s 11 goals and 25 points.

“They have guys that can finish and we have to make sure that they’re going to travel 200 feet and they’re going to have to work for the scoring opportunities,” Fogarty said. “And that’s where we have to make sure that we’re patient in the zone and don’t double up and then once we get the puck that we maintain.”

The Tigers average 1.93 goals per game. Ryan Kuffner and Max Veronneau lead Princeton in scoring with 1 and 15 points, respectively. They form a line with classmate Alex Riche, who doesn’t score as much but has been playing better the second half of the season.

“He had two great scoring chances there against Brown,” Fogarty said. “He’s taken ownership of that line more. Obviously his number’s don’t support that, but his effort is much better the second half and better the last quarter.”

In net, Phinney has started every game but one, missed due to an injury. The recently named Second Team All-Ivy selection has a career-high save percentage of .923 this season. Princeton allows 3.21 goals per game.

Phinney recorded his first career shutout in the 3-0 win against Clarkson. He was also in net during the loss to the Golden Knights, but wasn’t healthy.

“They were two of our better games,” co-captain Mike Ambrosia said. “It was 2-2 going into the third period and they had three quick goals, obviously some nice plays. We let up some second chances and we know that Colton’s going to stop that first puck almost every time, he’s a fantastic goalie and that’s an advantage that we have.

“But we need to make sure that we don’t give up those second, third opportunities, because then he doesn’t necessarily have a shot if we do that. So if we play sound defensively and if we can bury some pucks, we have a good chance of winning.”

Another key for Princeton will be faceoffs. The Tigers are the worst team in the country on faceoffs, winning 40.8 percent of their chances.

“That’s been one of our attention to detail this week in practice and moving forward this week,” Fogarty said. “That’s so important to get that first possession off of a faceoff and put people in a set position. That has to improve.”

The Tigers also may not have a full roster heading into the playoffs, as they were shorthanded on Saturday night. They dressed 16 players and defenseman Matt Nelson let the game with an injury, reducing the roster to 15. Forwards David Hallisey, Max Becker and Spencer Kryzcka missed the game. So did defenseman Tommy Davis, who was suspended by the ECAC, and Kevin Liss. To fill in, Stuart Pomeroy played forward and Marlon Sabo played returned to the blue line.

On Wednesday, Fogarty said Friday’s roster hasn’t been set and that some players are day-to-day.

“We’ve had some defense who’ve played forward and yeah some forwards have seen some shifts on D,” Rankin said. “Everyone has got to step up a little when there’s injuries. It’s nothing uncommon in hockey. And you have to kind of expect it at this point of the year. Overall I’m just most pleased with the willingness of guys to play wherever and do whatever they can to help the team win.”

The Tigers haven’t won a playoff series since 2008-09, which was also Princeton’s last NCAA tournament appearance.

“There’s a really good morale in the locker room,” junior Garrett Skrbich said. “I think we get along really well and play for each other and I think we’ve got some really skilled guys, we’ve got some consistent guys, we’ve got a well-rounded team. I think that our record doesn’t show how well we’ve been playing this season.”

Princeton’s Siiro-Skrbich-Rankin Line Will Be “The Difference”

Kyle Rankin reacts to Garrett Skrbich's goal

After practice on Wednesday ended, Ryan Siiro was the only player left on the ice. Coach Ron Fogarty was there with him, passing pucks from the corner to the slot, where Siiro tried shooting them into this net.

Scoring this weekend will be important for Siiro’s line if the Tigers want to defeat Clarkson.

“That line will be the difference,” Fogarty said. “If they’re playing to what they can do and they can produce, we’ll have a pretty good shot.”

Siiro and his linemates Kyle Rankin and Garrett Skrbich form one of Princeton’s most reliable, defensive lines. They account for almost one-third of the Princeton players who’ve skated in every game this season. And lately, Fogarty has been playing the trio against opposing teams top lines when he can get the matchup.

“You need guys to play consistently, get pucks in, get pucks out, get pucks on net, play defense, penalty kill roles, all the little things on the ice that kind of add up throughout the game,” Skrbich said. “You have to try to lead by example and try to just make all the little plays correctly.”

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The Siiro-Skrbich-Rankin line has been Princeton’s shutdown line. Of all the Tigers who appeared in more than 15 games and Rankin, Skrbich and Siiro do have the team’s highest plus-minus ratings with minus-3, minus-4, minus-5, respectively.

And they’ve done it against the top lines in the ECAC.

“Recently we’ve been trying to shut down the other team’s top line while producing. A lot of times that is us in the offensive zone not letting them play offense, “ Siiro said.

“It comes from working together as a line, a lot of low play, a lot of hard work. You won’t see our line making too many dipsy-doodle plays. [We get] the puck to the net and grinding it out in front which has been nice. [We] also have two guys low and one guy high to reload and keep the pressure on.”

They’re not the team’s highest scorers – that goes to the freshmen Ryan Kuffner and Max Veronneau – but Siiro, Rankin and Skrbich have contributed 23 points. The line was instrumental in the sweep of Yale and Brown in December, when Siiro had a goal against Brown and two points again Yale – including the game-inning goal. Skrbich had a goal against Yale and the game-winning goal against Brown, while Rankin had two assists against Brown.

“Those three have probably been the best improvements since day one, those three guys collectively as a line,” Fogarty said. “They know where each other are on the ice, they trust each other to do their jobs so the other guy can pay attention to the play away from the puck.”

The season started with just Siiro and Skrbich skating together, but Rankin joined the pair Nov. 20 against St. Lawrence. The three have played together in every game since, except the 4-3 loss to Holy Cross.

“We just have a lot of chemistry together,” Skrbich said. “They’re both great hardworking guys. We really seem to know where each other are on the ice and we’ve just got the line feeling you get with some guys.”

Fogarty said the line’s biggest improvement comes from their play down low.

“Ryan Siiro’s a big strong player and now he’s moving his feet when he gets the puck,” Fogarty said. “Before he was trying to use leverage to get to the net, but [now] he’s moving his feet. Skrbich’s faceoffs have improved and Kyle Rankin’s very consistent and he’s brought his game up to a different level.”

Skrbich has six points this season, a new career high. The Minnesota native has seen an increased role over the last two years after playing in 10 games as a freshman. He’s also taken the most faceoffs on the team and holds a .400 faceoff percentage.

“The role on the team is very consistent player and I think having a lot of young guys on the team we need to work on our consistency,” Skrbich said. “As a team, that’s one of our most vital things and when we’ve won games we’ve played very consistently so I think that’s something I’ve worked on.”

His classmate, Siiro has been in the lineup regularly since his rookie year. While the junior is three points off his career point mark, set last season, he’s been playing better.

“My biggest improvement is just knowing my limitations and knowing what I can do personally,” Siiro said. “[I’m] just trying to get better at what I’m good at, getting better at what I’m not good at and trying to become an all-around good player.”

The line has had its scoring chances but hasn’t registered a point since Sirro’s goal at Union on Feb. 19. Rankin and Skrbich haven’t scored since Feb. 5 at Colgate and the Tigers have scored seven goals in the last seven games since that loss to Colgate.

“I really enjoy playing with them,” Rankin said. “They both work so hard and they’re very smart on the ice. They always make good decisions with the puck. I do feel a lot of games we’ve had a lot of good chances. If you look at the shots on net we’re generating and the responsibility for 200 feet of ice, I’m really happy with a lot of things we’ve done.

“Come playoff time everyone’s got to step up. The team’s going to need some goals from us in the playoffs and we know that and we’re ready to contribute.”

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Princeton vs. Cornell 2.6.16 Photos

Hayden Anderson and Dwyer Tschantz

Here are photos from Princeton’s 1-0 loss to Cornell on Saturday:

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Princeton vs. Colgate 2.5.16 Photos

Kyle Rankin reacts to Garrett Skrbich's goal

Here are photos from Princeton’s 5-4 loss to Colgate on Friday:

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Strong Start Not Enough As Princeton Falls To Colgate

Rankin SkrbichPRINCETON, N.J. – When the puck dropped on Friday night, Princeton jumped on the puck. In just one minute, Alex Riche had scored his first collegiate goal to give Princeton a 1-0 lead over Colgate. By the end of the period, the Tigers were ahead 3-1.

But it didn’t last.

“[It’s like] one of those songs, ‘I’m Henry The VIII I Am.’ Second verse same as the first. We wished [the] third verse was [the] same as the first,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said.

After struggling in the second and third and allowing two goals in the last frame, Princeton fell to Colgate 5-4 at Baker Rink.

“That was an exhausting loss,” Fogarty said. “[We] just played so well, it was a great effort and we just compounded our mistakes in the third. Their skilled players made a great play and then we all tried to recover instead of just continuing to do our job.”

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Kevin Lough’s go-ahead goal in the third, where he picked up a rebound and shot it past Colton Phinney, capped off three unanswered goals from the Raiders.

“You’re ging to have a breakdown, just don’t let the second and third happen,” Fogarty said. “[We need to] just recover. Our recovery wasn’t good.”

After Riche gave Princeton a 1-0 lead, Colgate’s Evan Peterson tied the game 5:55 minutes later. But Eric Robinson gave Princeton the lead 11:07 minutes into the period, and Garrett Skrbich then directed the puck in from the slot to give the Tigers a 3-1 advantage.

“I just dropped it to Max [Veronneau] and kind of got knocked over and Max shot it and [it] tipped off my stick and somehow found the way into the net,” Riche said.

Scoring slowed down early in the second, but at the 12:26 mark the Spink twins broke the puck out shorthanded. Tyson Spink sent the puck to Tylor Spink, who cut the deficit to 3-2. Just over a minute later, Veronneau converted on a tic-tac-toe play on a 5-on-3 man advantage to return Princeton’s lead to two. Defenseman Joe Grabowski sent the puck to Mike Ambrosia who tossed it to Veronneau for the goal.

“We had some good puck movement and [were] just trying to get pucks to the net,” Ambrosia said. “Because the last few games we struggled to even get shots on the power play. We don’t have to be too cute.

“We just need to find those openings, get guys in front because these goaltenders are great in this league when they see the puck. But if you get guys in front, traffic in front, move them side to side, we have a better chance of scoring. We’re just focusing on making plays, executing our passes and getting pucks on net and hopefully the power play will start turning around because especially in the playoffs special teams seem to decide games.”

After scoring the power play tally, the Tigers found themselves on the penalty kill less than four minutes later. The Raiders, who had been 0-for-3 on the man-advantage earlier in the game, made this one count. After the third-goal second, the Tigers held a 4-3 lead.

But Colgate and the Spink twins struck early in the third, with Tyson Spink tying the game 1:12 minutes into the third. Lough scored 4:07 minutes later. Princeton couldn’t respond and had trouble getting to the net in the third despite generating quality chances in the first two periods. Colgate’s Charlie Finn made 28 saves in the game.

“Finn’s had our number for the last, I guess it’s three years he’s had our number,” Fogarty said. “And we came out, executed, got pucks on the net, got traffic. I thought we did a great job and I think we did a good job of that. When you score four goals you got to have a better result too.”

The Raiders out shot the Tigers 45-32. Colton Phinney made 40 saves on the night, while Ambrosia and Grabowski netted two assists. The loss demoted Princeton to sole possession of 11th in the ECAC, two points behind Colgate and one point ahead of Brown.

“This last month we proved to ourselves that when we do play well 5-on-5, when we do stay out of the box and don’t give other teams odd man chances, that we can play with anyone in the nation,” Ambrosia said. “We played with Quinnipiac a couple periods and so just internally like that we know that if we do play our game for a full 60 minutes that we’ll definitely have a chance to win.

“But we have to do that and that’s what we’ve struggled with and so we’re going to continue to work hard and look forward to tomorrow.”

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Princeton at Harvard 1.29.16 Photos

Mike Ambrosia hits the post

Here are photos from Princeton’s 4-1 loss at Harvard on Friday night:

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Princeton Defeats Yale, Sweeps The Weekend

For the second-straight night, Princeton found itself tied 2-2 in the third after relinquishing a two-goal lead. And for the second-straight night, Princeton earned the win.

“You want those tangible results,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said. “You put a string together of three straight ECAC wins, the guys get more confident and it’s easier to come to the rink and makes it easier to continue to learn.

With less than four minutes left, Siiro powered the puck past several defenders to give Princeton the permanent lead en route to a 4-2 win. It marked the first time since March 3, 2012. With the win, Princeton swept the weekend – marking the first time since February 2013 the Tigers accomplished the feat.

“It was huge,” Fogarty said. “It’s the first time we swept Brown-Yale since 07-08.”

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Siiro finished the game with two points, including an assist on Garrett Skrbich’s game-opening goal.

“[They’re] predictable to each other,” Fogarty said. “The players know where they’re going to be in our structure so they can jump on pucks. Siiro’s goal tonight was a fantastic goal and a great response to Yale tying it up on the power play.”

Skrbich’s goal came less than five minutes into the game, and freshman Spencer Kryczka struck 10 seconds later for his first collegiate tally.

“It was awesome,” Kryczka said. “A big weight lifted off my back. I’m not 100 percent a scorer by any means, but it’s always nice to get the first one out of the way.”

After a scoreless second, Yale scored both its goals in a 2:06 minute span in the third period. John Hayden tied the game on a power play, the only man-advantage tally Princeton allowed on the night.

“We’re playing consistent and we’re playing against good teams and we know they’re going to score goals with opportunities,” Fogarty said. “We just stayed the course and became predictable to each other with our systems and our structure.”

Princeton, which killed off three penalties, has the nation’s fifth-best penalty kill.

“Our PK’s been awesome all year,” Kryczka said. “We [had] four forwards up front that are doing a heck of a job killing and we got all our D working and blocking shots and that’s a big thing. Everyone’s just buying in, so that helps on the PK when everyone’s on the same page.”

Yale outshot Princeton 39-31, and Colton Phinney finished with 37 saves in his 12th career win. He made 10 stops in the third period.

“I just want to stay calm and try to not give up any rebounds and just be confident out there, but the mindset doesn’t really change,” Phinney said.

Princeton, which travels to Penn State next Friday, hasn’t won three games in a row since January 2011.

“We have to enjoy this for a day and get ready for a tough opponent in Penn State,” Fogarty said.

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Princeton Defeats Brown

In the third period, Princeton held a 3-2 lead over Brown. The Tigers were trying to earn their first road win since March 7, 2014. But the Tigers needed to fend off some quality Brown chances, including several on the power play.

“The big story tonight was the penalty kill there in the third period, [we] did a good job of limiting opportunities in front of the net,” Princeton coach Ron Fogarty said.

The Tigers were a perfect 2-for-2 on the kill, and it propelled Princeton to a 4-2 win over the Bears on Friday. The win was Princeton’s first road victory in over a year, and the first time the Tigers scored four goals since last year’s 4-1 win over Army on Jan. 28, 2015.

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The Tigers, who improved to 3-8, are undefeated at Brown in its last three games.  This is also the earliest Princeton has reached three wins since the 2013-14 season.

Princeton jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to Ben Foster and Ryan Kuffner. But the Tigers were unable to hold it, and an individual-effort goal from Mark Naclerio tied the game early in the second period.

“Brown fought back. and our composure throughout the first half of the game and in the third period was outstanding,” Fogarty said.

Garrett Skrbich scored the game-winning tally 6:55 minutes into the second period, while Ryan Siiro added an empty net goal. Kyle Rankin had two assists on the night.

Colton Phinney finished with 36 saves, including 15 in the third, en route to his 11th career victory.

“Our guys played great in front of him,” Fogarty said. “There’s no question. He’s able to see the shots and we got in the shot lanes and took away the back door.”

Kuffner’s goal was his fourth of the season, tied with his linemate Max Veronneau for the team lead. Kuffner now has a team-high eight points, and has continued playing with Veronneau and Alex Riche for an all-freshman line.

“They’re learning together,” Fogarty said. “They still have a long way to go, but they’re creative and they’ve meshed well so far. So we’ll keep monitoring them and hopefully can continue to have scoring opportunities throughout their career here.”

Princeton also netted a power play goal, bumping Princeton’s conversion rate to 14.7 percent.

“We spent a lot of time on that in practice,” Fogarty said. “Obviously when you have struggled to score you have to cash in on the opportunities with a man up.”

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