Vol. LXII, No. 9
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
LOW RIDER: Princeton University freshman forward Kevin Lohry races up the ice last Saturday in Princetons 2-1 win over Cornell. A night earlier, Lohry chipped in a goal and two assists as Princeton routed Colgate 7-2. The weekend sweep clinched home ice for the Tigers for the March 14-16 ECACH quarterfinal weekend. Tickets for the playoff series are currently on sale at the Princeton ticket office in Jadwin Gym.
Kevin Lohrys debut season with the Princeton University mens hockey team didnt get off to a flying start.
Plagued by a groin injury, the 511, 195-pound freshman forward played in only two of Princetons first nine games this season.
Lohry registered his first career point with an assist against Union on December 1 and notched his first goal on January 29 against Robert Morris.
Last Friday, Lohry took a major step forward, notching a goal and two assists to help 14th-ranked Princeton thump Colgate 7-2 before a crowd of 2,185 at Baker Rink.
The Tigers took a big step forward collectively the next night, beating Cornell 2-1 to move to 17-10 on the season and 14-6 in ECAC Hockey play. Princeton, which has now won the most games in a season since it went 20-12-2 in 1998-99, stayed in second place in the league standings and clinched home ice for the March 14-16 quarterfinal weekend.
For Lohry, the performance against Colgate exemplified the progress he has made since his slow start.
Coming in I was pretty confident, then I had the injury, recalled Lohry, a native of Sioux City, Iowa who now has 10 points on the season with two goals and eight assists. Every week has been better for me; Im getting my confidence.
The Tigers collectively showed plenty of confidence as they peppered Colgate goalie Mark Dekanich, who came into Friday having posted three shutouts.
We heard all about Dekanich, said Lohry. We didnt thank about that too much; we thought about the positives we can do. Thats what we worried about, getting to the puck and getting to the net.
Lohry helped Princeton solve Dekanich early, assisting on Mike Kramers goal 5:20 into the first period. I think that first goal humbled him a little bit, said Lohry, who recorded three shots on a night which saw Princeton outshoot Colgate 43-17 and eventually knock Dekanich out of the contest. It told him we were coming at him all day; it showed that he wasnt indestructible.
After a lull in the second period, the Tigers erupted for four goals in the third period. I think we got our composure back after the second period, we took some penalties there we should not have had, said Lohry. We got our focus back in the third, we went back to our game plan and went to the net.
Lohry kept coming all night for the Tigers. I played better today, added Lohry. I was moving my feet better today.
Princeton head coach Guy Gadowsky likes the way Lohry has been moving in recent weeks. You are going to see many more goals from Kevin, said Gadowsky.
We were talking this week and I said I think he has probably been one of our best forwards the last month. Not only defensively but offensively he creates so much with his feet.
Gadowsky knew it was critical to create offense early to keep Dekanich from getting into a rhythm.
I thought that first goal by Kramer was huge, said Gadowsky. You start to wonder whether Dekanich is ever going to give up a goal. It was a great effort by Mike.
In Gadowskys view, junior forward Lee Jubinvilles blazing speed helped put Colgate on its heels all evening.
Even if Lee Jubinville didnt score one goal tonight, you would say he is unbelievable, asserted Gadowsky of Jubinville who tallied two goals and an assist in the win over Colgate.
I mean this in the nicest way, he is a freak, the way he skates is not normal. He is the fastest guy we have ever timed. He can fly but his hands are so calm. I dont know how he does it but hes an unbelievable talent.
While the offense got the attention Friday, Princeton sophomore goalie Zane Kalemba still showed his talent.
In a game like that, you wouldnt say your goaltending is a big thing, said Gadowsky of Kalemba who had 15 saves against the Raiders and then followed that with a 23-save effort in the win over Cornell.
Zane made a couple of huge saves when the game was still close. I thought that if he lets them in, its a totally different hockey game.
While Princeton has now won 12 of its last 14 games, Gadowsky still remains cautiously optimistic as the playoffs approach.
I think we are moving in the right direction, said Gadowsky, whose team will look to keep on the winning track when it plays at league leader Clarkson on February 29 and at St. Lawrence on March 1.
Hockey is such a complex game, its really hard to say. You need to be really good in a lot of areas. We have some areas that we have to improve on but we also did some things very well tonight.
Lohry, for his part, thinks the team has the chemistry and work ethic to keep rolling right into the playoffs.
In the locker room, we dont feel anyone getting down, no one gets on each other, said Lohry.
We pride ourselves in working harder than every other team. We do the little things on the ice; we have goals that will help the team out.
It looks like Lohrys debut season could have a stirring conclusion.
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