Boys ice hockey puts emphasis on junior lines for competitive edge

Brendan McCormick ’17 faces off against Nottingham on December 3 at Mercer County Park. Photo: Julia Ward

Brendan McCormick ’17 faces off against Nottingham on December 3 at Mercer County Park.
Photo: Julia Ward

While most of the student body is shedding layers and enjoying the oddly warm weather, the boys ice hockey team is gearing up and taking the ice, hoping to use its large freshmen class and experienced juniors to maintain pressure on opponent teams during games.

The team got off to a flying start, beating Nottingham High School 5–0 in its second game of the season, with two goals from forwards Brendan McCormick ’17 and Nathan Drezner ’16 along with one from Eamonn McDonald ’17. The team boasted 75 shots on goal, overwhelming Nottingham’s defense as the Northstars only managed 14 shots on goal.

Following the team’s win over Nottingham, the team went on to win its next two games against West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South and Lawrence High School—both times the Little Tigers won by margins of greater than three goals.

Both games were dominated by junior players and underclassmen. McCormick recorded three goals in both games and achieved a hat trick against Lawrence. He currently leads the team in goals with ten. Once again Princeton overwhelmed its opponents in terms of shots on goal. WW-P South could only manage ten shots whereas Princeton recorded 65. Similar to the game against Lawrence, shots on goal were heavily skewed toward Princeton— 55–18.

In addition to McCormick, goalie Sawyer Peck ’17 stood out during both games. He currently is at a career best 0.908 save percentage. The trio of juniors leading the team is rounded out with Tooker Callaway ’17, who leads the team in assists with five. All three have been starters since freshman year.

The team has been aided by young talent who, while young, have experience with the game from club teams. Robbie Trainor ’19 leads the underclassmen with two goals coming from the team’s victory against Lawrence and its loss to Hopewell Valley High School. Trainor is third on the team in terms of assists with three so far. Currently at a career best, Max Garlock ’18 recorded his sole goal of the season against WW-P South and has two assists.

“It has been a good start to the season,” Garlock said. “But we’ve played some of the weaker teams in our division. We have a lot of stronger teams coming up.”

The team is led by McCormick and Assistant Co-Captains Drezner and Callaway.  With only four seniors on the team, junior players round out a large portion of the roster.

“The juniors do a lot,” said Callaway. “We try to lead by example and be good role models for the younger guys, on and off the ice. Obviously, the freshmen, sophomores, and seniors contribute a ton.”

This season, the team is eager to compete game in and game out, and ultimately travel far into the Mercer County Tournament.

“Our goal is just to play as hard as we can every single game,” Callaway said.

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