Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 50
Happy Holidays!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
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(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

ORANGE CRUSH: Princeton University women’s hockey player Sasha Sherry goes after the puck in a game earlier this season. Last weekend, Sherry contributed a goal and two assists as Princeton swept a two-game set with visiting Syracuse, winning 4-2 on Friday and 5-0 a day later. The victories over the Orange extended Princeton’s winning streak to three and improved the Tigers to 4-6-1 overall. Princeton is currently on a holiday hiatus and will return to action when it hosts Boston College on December 31.

Senior Star Sherry Showing Sense of Urgency as PU Women’s Ice Hockey Surges Into Break

Bill Alden

Sasha Sherry and her teammates on the Princeton University women’s ice hockey team were determined to get off to a hot start last Friday as they hosted Syracuse.

Princeton flew out of the gate, outshooting the Orange 14-8 in the first period and taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by freshman Sally Butler.

“We wanted to set the pace early; we wanted to make them match our speed and not vice versa,” said senior defenseman Sherry.

“We had a lot of quality shots and the goalie was playing well. It was important to get that first goal and open the floodgates from there.”

Sherry made a quality play in the second period to set up Princeton’s second goal, blasting a shot on a power play that bounced off the Syracuse goalie and then was driven home by freshman Denna Laing.

“We have been struggling in the power play and getting a power play goal is just a huge momentum booster,” said the 6‘0 Sherry, a native of Lehighton, Pa. “When the power play produces, it usually sets us up for a big game.”

The Tigers went on to have a big weekend as they topped Syracuse 4-2 and then blanked the Orange 5-0 on Saturday to sweep the two-game set.

Sherry, who contributed a goal and an assist on Saturday to go with her assist in the opener, has been making a concerted effort to be more productive offensively.

“I am stepping up and trying to get into the rushes a lot,” added Sherry, who now has 10 points on the season with two goals and eight assists.

“We worked on offensive entries a lot in practice this week so I think that helped a lot. The forwards looked good on the rush; they were moving their feet and making good plays.”

Sherry is having fun playing with Princeton’s trio of freshman forwards, Butler, Laing, and Olivia Mucha.

“The freshmen forwards are great,” said Sherry. “They are all goal scorers. They work hard; they can keep the puck. They are crafty and they are good stick handlers. They are great to play with.”

Princeton’s good weekend extended its winning streak to three and improved the Tigers to 6-10-1 overall as they head into the holiday break with no games until they host Boston College on December 31.

In Sherry’s view, finishing well before the holidays should give the team a lift.

“The win loss ratio here has been very inconsistent,” said Sherry, a three-time All-ECACH selection who played for the U.S. National Under-22 Select Team this summer and helped the U.S. to gold in 2008 at the IIHF Women’s U-18 World Championships.

“Going into break, this game was huge. I think the break is good for us. People can go home and step away from the team and spend some time with their families. They can train on their own a bit and then come back fresh and ready to get going. We have a lot of hockey to play.”

Princeton head coach Jeff Kampersal likes the brand of hockey he has been getting from Sherry.

“Sasha is a great leader; she is doing everything on the ice and off the ice,” said Kampersal of Sherry who now has 65 points in her career on 18 goals and 47 assists. “She has been an absolute workhorse and a leader by example. I can’t say enough about her.”

Kampersal has a lot of good things to say about his freshman forwards.

“They are playing great; in the first two periods tonight they were all over the puck,” said Kampersal who got two goals from Butler and one from Laing in the win of Friday and then got a goal apiece from Butler and Mucha the next day.

“They hustled; they were tough on it. They went to the net. They are really starting to come together and be difference makers for us. Those three freshmen have brought it on offense and we really needed it.”

The Tigers also got some much needed production on their power play.

“Anything we can get on special teams is great,” said Kampersal, who got a power play goal from Sherry on the win on Saturday. “We are starting to show signs of life which is encouraging.”

Another encouraging development for the Tigers is the recent scoring surge from junior forward and co-captain Paula Romanchuk, who has four goals in the last three games, including two on Saturday.

“Chucky works hard all the time,” said Kampersal of Romanchuk who how has six goals on the season. “She wins her faceoffs; she gets her shots. She battles out there and also leads by example.”

Kampersal knows that his team is in for some battles when it returns from the holiday break.

“All our games are going to be battles; there are no easy wins,” said Kampersal, whose team will host Quinnipiac on January 3 after the clash against Boston College on New Year’s Eve.

Sherry, for her part, is looking to produce a big finish to her stellar career.

“The games are going by fast,” said Sherry. “Sometimes you just need to take a step back and realize how few games you have left and try to make the most of every time you are out there.”

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