Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 33
 
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
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YOUNG CAMPER: Princeton University women’s hockey star goalie kristen Young makes a stop in a game last winter. Playing nearly every minute in Princeton’s 32 games last season, Young posted a 2.04 goals against average and recorded seven shutouts. Building on her strong campaign, Young, a native of Calgary, Alberta, was invited to participate in the Canada Women’s Under-22 team selection camp this week at York University in Toronto.

PU Goalie Young Benefits From Busy Season, Gets Invite to Canada Women’s U-22 Camp

Bill Alden

Kristen Young kept plenty busy this past winter for the Princeton University women’s ice hockey team.

The star goaltender started all 32 games for Princeton, playing in 1,945 of 1,954 minutes, only leaving the ice when Princeton was in empty net situations.

Young became the Princeton iron woman when expected back-up goalie Brittany Parisi had to give up the sport prior to the 2007-08 season due to back injuries, leaving converted lacrosse player Meg Murray as the lone reserve goalie.

For Young, carrying that burden helped make her a stronger player.

“I worked on being aggressive; tried to be more confident,” said Young.

“I know where to be, it was a matter of going for it and getting the save. The whole experience of playing every minute was different; it’s different when you can’t get pulled than when you are afraid of getting pulled. I realize what I do is what my team is going to get.”

Princeton got a lot for Young as she went on to post a sparkling 2.04 goals against average and posted seven shutouts, setting a program single-season record.

The 5’8 native of Calgary, Alberta, was awarded the Elizabeth English Trophy as the team MVP.

This week, rising senior Young is looking to show her value to the Canadian national program as she participates in the Women’s Under-22 team selection camp at York University in Toronto.

The camp is being used to select the 22 players who will face the U.S. U-22 team in a three-game series in August and then play in the MLP Cup in Ravensburg, Germany in January, 2009.

Young earned her chance at national glory after participating in a Team Canada conditioning and goalie camp earlier this summer.

In Young’s view, she was able to build on the sharpness she gained from being Princeton’s last line of defense, night in, night out.

“Playing in all those games helped me; there is nothing like games,” said Young.

“I tried not to focus on the score; I focus on the puck. I find things go better when I have that focus. I was more worried about keeping us in the game, we had a lot of 0-0, 1-0 games.”

Despite her progress, Young wasn’t expecting to get invited to the U-22 selection camp.

“I was really excited; I was a little shocked,” said Young, who was one of four goalies invited to the try-out camp.

“It’s such a high level of competition; I can’t see what separates us. Last year I got cut after the conditioning camp.”

Young feels she is bringing a high level of preparation into the try-out camp.

“I’m training six times a week off-ice with Kelsey Adams, the Canadian team strength coach,” said Young. “I am also working on ice two or three times a week; I’m in the best condition of my life.”

For Young, the camp will benefit her even if she doesn’t make the team.

“I have nothing to lose,” asserted Young. “If I don’t make the team, I still have a season left as a Princeton Tiger. I will grow as a goalie whether or not I make the team. I want to have fun and just play. The choice is out of my hands.”

If Young is chosen for the squad, it will be a special moment for her. “It would be an honor to wear the Canadian jersey,” said Young. “The country is so obsessed with its national hockey teams.”

Making the team would lead to a special confrontation as Princeton sophomore defenseman Sasha Sherry was recently named to the U.S. U-22 team.

“It would be fun to go against Sasha and see what I could do,” said Young with a laugh. “She will be sending some bombs from the point.”

Looking ahead to next winter, Young is primed to combine forces with Sherry and the rest of the Tigers.

“I’m going to try to be more consistent and coordinate my efforts with the team,” said Young.

“It seemed when they were scoring well, I wasn’t making as many saves and when I was making a lot of saves, they weren’t scoring a lot. We all need to be more consistent; we’re going to figure it out. We just need to play hard every day and not focus on the outcome.”

After last season, Young certainly knows the benefits of playing hard every day.

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