Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 2
 
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
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MARK OF EXCELLENCE: Princeton University men’s hockey star Mark Magnowski glides up the ice in a game earlier this season. Last weekend, sophomore forward Magnowski helped the Tigers post a critical weekend sweep as they topped Dartmouth 5-2 on Friday and then edged Harvard 2-1 a night later. The wins left Princeton at 8-8 overall and 6-4 in ECAC Hockey League play, tied for first in the league standings with Harvard and Clarkson. The Tigers will look to keep on the winning track when they play at Yale on January 11 and Brown on January 12.

Magnowski’s Two-Way Excellence a Big Spark as PU Men’s Hockey Ties for ECACHL Lead

Bill Alden

It was the last game of 2007 and the Princeton University men’s hockey team appeared headed to its ninth loss in its last 11 games.

The Tigers trailed 2-1 at Nebraska-Omaha heading into the third period.

But over the next 20 minutes, Princeton’s workmanlike sophomore forward Mark Magnowski took matters into his own hands, scoring a goal and adding two assists to spark a come-from-behind 5-3 win.

The win over Nebraska-Omaha helped the Tigers recommit to their overriding team philosophy coming into 2008 according to Magnowski.

“We committed to working hard,” said Magnowski, who was later named the ECAC Hockey League (ECACHL) Player of the Week for his efforts.

“The motto of our team is to come and work hard everyday. We had a good week of practice.”

That hard work paid off last weekend as Princeton started 2008 with a bang, skating past Dartmouth 5-2 last Friday before rallying to edge Harvard 2-1 a night later.

While Magnowski didn’t make it onto the score sheet last weekend, he played a vital role in the wins with his contributions all over the ice as Princeton improved to 8-8 overall and 6-4 in ECACHL play.

Princeton’s big weekend vaulted it into a three-way tie with Clarkson and Harvard atop the ECACHL standings with each team having piled up 12 points in league play.

Magnowski, for his part, thinks scoring goals is a secondary concern as he looks to keep the Tigers on the winning track.

“I take a lot of pride in my defensive abilities and shutting down whomever I’m up against,” said Magnowski, a 5’11, 175-pound native of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“I like being a plus player. I try my hardest in the defensive end; there is no better way to contribute than to play defensively and then get some goals for your teammates.”

After a solid freshman campaign which saw him contribute 23 points on 10 goals and 13 assists as Princeton advanced to the ECACHL quarters, Magnowksi looks to make an even bigger contribution to the Tigers this winter.

“It was a difficult transition,” said Magnowski, who missed four games earlier this season due to a separated shoulder but has still scored five points this season.

“I will be playing in this league for four years. You know what you have to do; you have to keep working hard and mature as a player and as a person.”

In Magnowski’s view, the team is maturing as it moves up the league standings.

“We’ve been trying to upgrade every year,” said Magnowski. “A couple of years ago we were at the bottom of the league. Last year, we were in the middle of the pack. Hopefully, we’ll be in the top four this year and be one of the contenders in this league.”

For Princeton head coach Guy Gadowsky, the win in Omaha was critical in that it showed that the Tigers could get scoring from a variety of sources.

“I think what was important from that was that we had other lines that got the offense going,” said Gadowsky.

“Obviously tonight was a pretty good testament to having a lot of different guys score.”

In the win over Dartmouth, Princeton got goals from Dan Bartlett, Landis Stankievech, Mike Kramer, Brett Wilson, and Kyle Hagel. A night later in the win over Harvard, the Tiger scores came from Matt Arhontas and Kevin Kaiser.

To help promote scoring balance, Gadowsky recently split up his main scoring line which has consisted of Lee Jubinville, Brett Wilson, and MacIntyre. He put MacIntyre with Magnowski and Bartlett while Wilson and Jubinville were joined by freshman Kramer.

“The thinking was that we wanted to get more lines going,” said Gadowsky.

In Gadowsky’s view, Magnowski gets things going for the Tigers in a variety of ways.

“It’s something a lot of people won’t realize it; as a coach behind the bench, having a guy like Mags organizes your team,” said Gadowsky.

“He kills penalties; he’s a great power play guy; he’s great on face-offs; he plays the 4-on-4. He’s a defensive guy who can score. He really gives you a lot of options. He’s a really important part of our lineup.”

Other players are emerging as important components for the Tigers.

“Kevin Lohry is right on the cusp of exploding; he makes things happen every game,” said Gadowsky, whose team is 4-0 against Ivy League foes so far this season.

“He was probably our best forward against Omaha using his speed. He did it again tonight, what a tremendous play to Landis. Kramer is a guy who typically does well in the second half of the season; putting him with guys like Jubs (Jubinville) and Willie (Wilson) certainly doesn’t hurt.”

The Tigers hurt their opponents last weekend by producing a consistent work rate.

“I think you really have to give them a lot of credit,” asserted Gadowsky, whose sophomore goalie Zane Kalemba was named the ECACHL Goaltender of the Week after compiling a total of 53 saves in the sweep of Dartmouth and Harvard.

“That comes from the leadership and what they demand from themselves. I’m pretty happy with the consistent work ethic they showed tonight.”

If the Tigers are to remain in title contention, they will have to bring that consistency on a nightly basis.

“It is a dogfight,” said Gadowsky, whose team plays at Yale on January 11 and at Brown on January 12.

“I don’t think you can ever be happy with your position. You’re not going to say hey we’re finally here, we can coast.”

Magnowski believes the team is focused on bringing its best every weekend.

“We really concentrated on starting this season off really strong,” said Magnowski.

“These are huge weekends. These are our first ECAC games in a while; every weekend is as important as the next.”

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