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Vol. LXII, No. 7
 
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
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IN A RUSH: Princeton University men’s hockey star Lee Jubinville splits the defense in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, Jubinville assisted on the game-winning goal as Princeton rallied to beat visiting Brown 3-2. A day later, Jubinville chipped in two assists as Princeton topped Yale 4-2 to post its eighth win in its last nine games.

Ignited by Jubinville’s Speed, Playmaking, PU Men’s Hockey Surging in ECAC Race

Bill Alden

Lee Jubinville and his teammates on the Princeton University men’s hockey team had reason to be concerned as they found themselves trailing Brown 1-0 heading into the third period last Friday.

But the junior winger felt that the Tigers hadn’t shown Brown its A-game. “We knew we didn’t play our best two periods,” said Jubinville. “We knew we had to get back to our game — skating, outworking them, and staying mentally focused.”

It didn’t take long for Princeton to get things working in the third as Cam Ritchie scored 3:36 into the third period.

Less than two minutes later, Princeton took the lead as Mark Magnowski found the back of the net.

Then Jubinville got into the act, assisting on a Brett Wilson goal as the Tigers built a 3-1 lead with 10:01 left in the period.

While Princeton surrendered a late goal it was able to hold off the Bears, winning 3-2 and sending a Baker Rink crowd of 1,765 home happy.

Jubinville enjoyed being part of the Tigers’ third-period surge. “We came out flying in the third period,” said Jubinville who chipped in two assists a night later as Princeton topped Yale 4-2 to improve to 14-9 overall and 11-5 in ECAC Hockey League play. “Every line was coming out hard and creating chances.”

With Princeton having posted four come-from-behind wins in its last nine games, Jubinville said that team doesn’t fear late deficits.

“We just work hard in practice, we are well conditioned,” explained Jubinville. “If we’re down we have confidence that we can come back.”

A key factor in Jubinville’s productivity has been his confidence in his line.

“I have two great linemates; I have to give credit to them,” said the 5’10, 175-pound Jubinville, who is currently playing with classmate Wilson and freshman Mike Kramer.

“I’m giving them the puck and they are finding the back of the net. At the start of the year I was playing with Wilson and Mac [Cam MacIntyre], each of them are great shooters and scorers. With Kramer now, he takes great shots.”

Jubinville has a special connection with Wilson. “There is a good chemistry there, we were actually roommates last year,” said Jubinville, the team’s leading scorer with 28 points on seven goals and 21 assists with Wilson next at 25 points.

“We played juniors against each other growing up so we know each other’s games. We had a good freshman year together; we just know where each other is going to be. We are both good playmakers and I think we can put the puck in the net.”

In Jubinville’s view, his offense starts with taking care of his defensive duties. “I try to play my game and take care of the defensive zone number one,” said Jubinville, a native of Edmonton, Alberta.

“Playing good d-zone creates offensive chances. I use my speed to explode in the d-zone and create chances off of that.”

Jubinville’s focus on doing the defensive dirty work fits in well with the team’s collective commitment to working hard.

“Everybody bought into it from day one,” asserted Jubinville, referring to the team’s work ethic.

“In the preseason in captains’ practices the guys worked hard. We conditioned ourselves with no coaches being there, The guys worked hard over the exam break. We stayed in shape and took care of exams at the same time.”

Princeton head coach Guy Gadowsky liked the way his team took care of business in the third period on Friday.

“They handled the message themselves,” said Gadowsky. “They decided they were going to find a way to be successful.”

It looked like the momentum had swung against Princeton late in the second period when the Tigers failed to score on a 5-on-3 power play and the Bears responded by cashing in on a 5-on-3 of their own.

“I thought we had a lot of chances and good looks,” recalled Gadowsky, referring to his team’s power play.

“I don’t think we could do anything different on it, give Rosen [Brown goalie Dan Rosen] a lot of credit. I also credit them for scoring when we couldn’t. I still thought we were penalty killing pretty well. We felt pretty confident that the guys were doing a good job. Obviously, your best penalty killer is your goaltender.”

With Princeton’s recent success in the third period, Gadowsky is feeling pretty confident in his team’s ability to close foes out.

“As the guys say in the locker room, good teams find a way to win,” said Gadowsky, who got 26 saves from sophomore goalie Zane Kalemba in the win over Brown.

“That happens a lot in the third period. If I could choose one period where we would be successful, that would be it.”

In winning eight of its last nine games, getting balanced scoring has been one of the main ways Princeton has been using to win.

“If you look at our record after Christmas, that’s the way it has been,” said Gadowsky, whose team is now 7-0 against Ivy league opponents.

“Prior to Christmas, we had success by having a few guys score. After Christmas, in the games we have been successful, we have had multiple lines scoring and that’s the way we want to play.”

The Tigers’ recent hot streak has turned heads with Princeton emerging as a ECACHL title contender, currently tied with Quinnipiac for second, just two points behind league leader Clarkson.

Gadowsky had a good feeling about this group long before its move up the standings.

“With the quality of the guys we have, I always feel something special,” asserted Gadowsky, whose team plays at Harvard on February 15 and at Dartmouth on February 16. “They are such high quality guys.”

Jubinville, for his part, feels the team could be headed to a quality finish. “From the first game on, I felt like we have a great group of guys,” said Jubinville, who now has 67 points in his Princeton career.

“We have hardworking guys and we want to pick up wins late in the season and get some more confidence going into playoff time. The ultimate goal is winning the ECAC and getting into the NCAA tournament.”

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