Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 1
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010
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HAT TRICK HERO: Princeton University men’s hockey player Dan Bartlett races up the ice in a game earlier this winter. Last Monday, Bartlett scored three goals, including the game winner in overtime, as Princeton beat No. 8 Quinnipiac 4-3. It was the first hat trick of Bartlett’s Tiger career and left him with a team-high 17 points on 11 goals and six assists. Princeton, now 6-8-2 overall and 3-6-1 in ECACH play, hosts No. 17 Union on January 8 and Rensselaer on January 10.

Senior Star Bartlett Explodes for 1st Career Hat Trick as PU Men’s Hockey Nips No. 8 Quinnipiac in OT

Bill Alden

Last winter, Dan Bartlett emerged as a go-to scorer for the Princeton University men’s hockey team.

After scoring a total of 22 points in his first two college seasons, the Portland, Me. native broke out with a team-high 28 points in 2008-09.

In the early going this season, though, Bartlett struggled a bit to pick up where he left off, scoring two points in his five outings. With injuries mounting and the offense out of synch, the Tigers faltered collectively, getting off to a 3-8-1 start.

With Bartlett regaining his scoring touch in recent play, things have started to turn around for the Tigers.

Coming into last Monday’s game against No. 8 and ECACH-leading Quinnipiac, Bartlett had four points in Princeton’s last four games. The Tigers were 2-1-1 in that span, with wins over nationally ranked Massachusetts-Lowell and Cornell.

That recent surge, however, was a mere prelude for the heroics the 5’10, 185-pound forward produced against Quinnipiac.

With the Tigers knotted in a 0-0 tie with the Bobcats after the first 20 minutes, Bartlett took matters into his own hands in the second period.

Showing his amazing hands, Bartlett directed two goals into the net within a 2:06 span. Later in the period, he showed his passing skill, slotting a superb feed on a Mike Kramer tally which gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead.

In reflecting on his second period outburst, Bartlett said it was a matter of following the game plan.

“One of our goals is always to get as much traffic in front of the net as possible,” said Bartlett

“On those first two, I was just trying to get to the net. Good things happen when you go there and luckily it worked out.”

Things didn’t work out so well for the Tigers over the rest of regulation as the Bobcats scored two unanswered goals to knot the game at 3-3 and force overtime.

Capping his brilliant evening in style, Bartlett notched the game winner 2:45 into overtime, thrilling the 1,221 fans on hand at Baker Rink and lifting Princeton to 6-8-2 overall and 3-6-1 in ECACH play.

Bartlett and his teammates weren’t fazed by having to go overtime. “I think we have played quite a few overtime games lately this season,” said Bartlett, whose tally improved Princeton to 3-1-2 on OT contests this season and dropped the Bobcats to 13-5-1 overall and 7-4 in ECACH action.

“I think our style of play fits overtime pretty well. We just try to get as many pucks to the net. The defense did a good job of keeping the puck in and it just bounced to me in the open.”

It was the first hat trick of Bartlett’s college career and the first for Princeton since Cam MacIntyre scored three times in a 6-2 win over Yale on October 26, 2007.

Although he has seven points in his last four games, Bartlett said he hasn’t made any major changes in his game recently.

“I am not doing too much different; the puck seems to be going in right now, said Bartlett, who has a team-high 17 points on 11 goals and six assists. “I think everybody has really picked up the play.”

Despite his sparkling numbers, Bartlett doesn’t see himself as a go-to scorer. “Everybody plays the same way; everybody tries to chip in offensively,” said Bartlett, who now has 67 points in his Princeton career. “Overall we are starting to find our offensive game and getting a lot more scoring chances.”

Princeton head coach Guy Gadowsky believes that scoring is just part of what Bartlett gives the Tigers.

“Dan is Dan; those were three beautiful goals and a tremendous assist,” said Gadowsky, who also got a goal and an assist from junior forward Mike Kramer.

“He has a tremendous knack for scoring. The thing about it, I give him full marks for working so hard on other aspects of his game. He is a complete hockey player. You look at his plus/minus and that will show you he is not just a scorer. He does a lot of other things; he is probably the safest highlight reel player you will see.”

Since few leads have been safe for Princeton this winter, Gadowsky was thrilled to see his team come through against the Bobcats.

“It wasn’t frantic in overtime; I really liked how the guys were acting on the bench,” said Gadowsky, who earned the 150th win of his college coaching career with the triumph.

“It was an excellent hockey game. Obviously, it could have gone either way but we certainly didn’t deserve to lose. I think you have to give the team a lot of credit; I thought they played really well.”

In Gadowsky’s view, his team’s 3-2 win over No. 9 Mass-Lowell started some momentum that carried through its play in the Florida College Classic last week and the Quinnipiac win.

“We played two men down and played very well and ended up with the win,” said Gadowsky, whose club is 3-0-1 in its last four outings with all three wins coming against nationally-ranked teams.

“That was one of the best wins I have had here in six years at Princeton. It gave us a little confidence; it seems to be hanging on. We tied Maine, we beat Cornell and now an excellent Quinnipiac team.”

With Princeton hosting No. 17 Union on January 8 and Rensselaer on January 10 before going on exam break, Gadowsky knows his team will need to tap into its reserve of confidence as it deals with ongoing injury issues.

“I will tell you this is the first time I think I have ever said I can’t wait until the break gets here,” asserted Gadowsky.

“We are playing well but we are just struggling right now to get healthy bodies on the ice. I thought we straightened that out at Christmas but that didn’t happen. We had a couple of more injuries in Florida. [Kevin] Kaiser and [Jody] Pederson both go down and MacIntyre is still out. We have no captains playing; believe me the exam break is very welcome. If we can go through something like this and keep our heads above water, I think in the long run it can be a real confidence booster.”

Bartlett welcomes the challenges presented this weekend. “We are playing two of the better teams in the league right now so we are going to have to come focused,” said Bartlett. “We will rest a little bit and then come ready to play again and hopefully we get a few more points before we head into finals.”

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