PHS Boys ice hockey play at the Hobey Baker Memorial Rink

Hockey

photo: Ben Drezner

     This year, the PHS boys ice hockey team has been able to drive a positive mindset throughout the season. The team has been given the opportunity to play at the Hobey Baker Memorial Rink, the home rink of the Princeton University Tigers, for the past few years now. The Little Tigers play most of their games at Mercer County Park.

     According to goprincetontigers.com, in December 1921, blueprints were laid out to build a rink after former Princeton hockey star, Hobart “Hobey” Baker, who died in World War I. In addition, Baker Rink is the second oldest active National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I rink, behind only the Matthews Arena at Northeastern University. Baker Rink is such a prestigious venue that the opportunity to play at the rink is an opportunity that no hockey player would refuse.

     “It’s a great place to play, [and] one of the best rinks around here.” said Captain and forward Brendon McCormick 17. “Whenever we invite teams to play, it’s like they’re happy to come over and play there. It’s a good atmosphere and a great place to get all the fans to come out and watch.”

     This season, the team was led by a group of several juniors. Goalie Sawyer Peck 17 was consistent throughout the season with a 0.924 save percentage. McCormick led the team with 32 goals and 51 points. Tooker Callaway 17 and Eamonn McDonald ’17 made up the first defensive tandem for the team that competed against the opposing team’s best players each game.

     With a close group of young men, the Princeton Li’l Tigers look to have an inspiring season once again next year.

     Recently, the 2015-2016 PHS hockey team celebrated “Senior Night” and its win against Nottingham High School, acknowledging Nathan Drezner ’16, Matt Cirillo ’16, Earl Humes ’16, and George Seneco ’16. This was a night of remembrance of all of the efforts, time, and sweat that the seniors poured into the game. The team lost its seniors to graduation when the season ended on February 19. But with a promising young core, the team is also prepared for more solid years on the ice.

     “We had a great team this year,” McCormick said. “We had a good group of guys and great leadership from the seniors on the team.”

     This season was highlighted by a 3–2 Mercer County Tournament Quarterfinal victory over Hopewell Valley Central High School.  McCormick scored the game-winning goal in overtime, making it the second time the team had defeated Hopewell within a week.  However, during the semifinals, the team came up short against Notre Dame High School, losing 8–4.

     “I think our highlight must have been beating Hopewell by a goal two separate times in a week,” said Peck. “They’re our rival. They beat us the first time we played in the year and that gave us a lot of confidence to go out and beat them two other times.”

     With the season over, the team looks to next season with many goals in mind.

     “Next season, our goal is probably to beat our rivals Hopewell, Notre Dame, and Lawrenceville,” Peck said. “We will also look to make it further in States and make it to the Mercer County Finals.  We have a lot of younger guys, so we’ll have much more success.”

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