Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 33
 
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
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(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
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MAKING THE CUT: Sasha Sherry, left, controls the puck in action last winter for the Princeton University women’s ice hockey team. The 6’0 Sherry, a rising sophomore defenseman, was recently named to U.S. Women’s Hockey Under-22 Select Team. She will be in action this week as the select team participates in the USA Hockey Women’s National Festival in Lake Placid. After that, Sherry and her U.S. teammates will head to Pierrefonds, Quebec, for a three-game series with Canada’s U-22 team from August 20-23.

PU Star Sherry Uses Aggressive Approach, to Make U.S. Women’s Hockey U-22 Team

Bill Alden

Sasha Sherry knew that she had to be aggressive in order to get selected for the U.S. Women’s Hockey Under-22 Select Team.

Playing at the U-22 try-out camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. in late June, the Princeton University sophomore defenseman didn’t waste time making an impression.

“We had our first game halfway through camp and I had a good game,” said Sherry, who had helped the U.S. to a gold medal this past January in the Under-18 World Championships in Calgary, Alberta.

“I think it was my best game of the camp; I think I established that I could play.”

The 6’0 Sherry apparently caught the eye of the U.S. coaches as she was ultimately selected for the squad.

As a result, Sherry will be in action this week as the select team participates in the USA Hockey Women’s National Festival in Lake Placid. After that, Sherry and her U.S. teammates will head to Pierrefonds, Quebec, for a three-game series with Canada’s U-22 team from August 20-23.

Sherry was happy with her preparation as she hit the ice for the try-out camp. “I was up in Boston training four days a week with Body by Boyle,” said Sherry, referring to a rigorous program run by nationally-known strength and conditioning expert Michael Boyle.

“I was also skating with Paul Vincent who has helped the Boston Bruins. I felt pretty good coming into camp, there is always room for improvement. I hadn’t seen a lot of the girls so I didn’t know how things would go. Once I got there and skated with them, I felt confident.”

It also helped Sherry’s confidence to have Princeton teammate Katherine Dineen at the camp.

“She was on the other team so I was going against her in the day,” said Sherry of senior Dineen, who did not make the U-22 final roster. “In the evening we talked a lot and encouraged each other.”

Sherry was initially discouraged as the U.S. coaches announced their selections for the team.

“Our last game was on a Tuesday and they brought us in after the game and called out the names of the girls who had made the team,” recalled Sherry.

“At first, I didn’t realize that they were calling out the names in alphabetical order. I heard five names of defensemen and I was getting nervous. I was thinking my name wasn’t getting called. I was happy and relieved when I heard my name. I had a big smile on my face.”

“Every time we go against them, it’s a whole new challenge,” said Sherry, noting that the U.S. topped Canada in the championship game of the U-18 World Championships.

“We have been going back and forth for years; right now we have the upper hand. We won the U-18 and the senior world titles. It’s always real intense, the games are the highest level of women’s hockey you can see.”

In order to excel at that level of competition, Sherry acknowledges that she has to fine-tune her game.

“I think I need to have better game awareness,” said Sherry, a native of Lehighton, Pa. who scored 21 points on five goals and 16 assists this past winter in a debut season for Princeton which saw her make the ECAC Hockey All-Rookie team.

“I need to be making the smart plays and not trying to do too much. I’m trying to make great breakout passes.”

If Sherry can have a break-out series against Canada, she’ll be that much closer to her goal of someday playing for the U.S. Olympic team.

“This is a major step,” said Sherry. “It proves that I’m moving up that U.S. hockey ladder.”

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