The Tigers lost nine skaters to graduation but quickly rebuilt their lineup. Eighteen games into the grueling 29-game regular season, they were 11–6–1 overall and 7–4–1 in ECAC games. Princeton made a brief appearance in the national top 20 and entered January’s exam break in second place in the ECAC behind Yale, the country’s No. 1 team.
“We are only just over the halfway point in our league, and there is still a lot of hockey left to play, so it’s premature for us to rate the season,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “However, we are very pleased with the improvement of our team so far. All of our 10 freshmen have contributed and many are playing key roles, which has happened a lot sooner than expected.”
Leading the way in the freshman class is forward Andrew Calof, whose three goals and 16 assists gave him a team-best 19 points. Calof’s 13 points in league play have made him the scoring leader among all ECAC players. The forward line of freshmen Andrew Ammon and Matt Farris, centered by junior Brodie Zuk, has contributed intensity and offensive spark to the squad, with Ammon and Farris each tallying four goals and three assists.
Seniors Mike Kramer and Kevin Lohry have been Princeton’s veteran leaders, with Kramer contributing five goals and nine assists and Lohry scoring a team-high eight goals. Freshman goalie Sean Bonar has posted a 5–2 record, a .944 save percentage, and a 1.28 goals-against average. Sophomore Mike Condon, who has split time in net with Bonar, provides solid support for the young team.
Princeton started the season losing games to rivals Dartmouth and Brown in the Ivy Shootout, an annual tournament that does not count in the ECAC standings. The Tigers also dropped their ECAC opener to Yale, 5–3, before stringing together four consecutive wins in early November to bring them above .500. The third win in that four-game streak came at Cornell Nov. 13, where forward Will Ford ’14 scored his first collegiate goal to break a 1-1 tie in overtime.
The Cornell win “really united our team,” Gadowsky said. “It gave our team an injection of assurance in what they are doing.”
After the victory at Cornell, the Tigers were 8–3–1, with important conference wins against Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence.
Most recently, Princeton entered the exam period with a 5–4 win over Colgate. The game was a back-and-forth battle, with Princeton scoring the opening goal before falling behind, 2–1, late in the first period. But the Tigers stormed back in the second, scoring two goals to take the lead into the final period. Lohry scored his second goal of the game at 4:27 of the third period to give the Tigers a 4–3 lead, and the team would tack on one more score for the victory in its second five-goal performance against an ECAC opponent.