Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 3
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
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REST PERIOD: Hun School boys’ hockey star Steve Norman takes a break between shifts in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, Norman notched the game-winning goal as Hun rallied to a 4-3 win over Pennington to improve to 5-3-1. The Raiders are currently on exam break and are next in action when they head to Maryland to play at the Landon School on January 23 and at Calvert Hall on January 24.

Senior Star Blackburn Displays Intensity as Hun Boys’ Hockey Edges Pennington

Bill Alden

Although the Hun School boys’ hockey team trailed Pennington 2-1 going into the third period last Wednesday, Harry Blackburn wasn’t worried.

“At the end of the second period, I think we had them on their heels,” recalled senior forward Blackburn.

“We said let’s come out hard and just keep doing what we are doing and the goals will come to us.”

Once the third period started, the goals did come from Hun as the Raiders scored three goals in the first 5:39 of the frame on the way to a 4-3 victory.

Blackburn’s younger brother, Peter, got the barrage going for Hun as he scored with 14:20 left in regulation. Then after a Pennington goal put the Red Raiders back ahead 3-2, the senior Blackburn found the back of the net to knot the game at 3-3.

Hun got the game winner when Steve Norman scored with 9:21 remaining to put the Raiders up 4-3.

After that, Hun senior goalie Travis Potts held the fort, turning away Pennington on his way to a 29-save effort as the Raiders hung on for the 4-3 triumph and improved to 5-3-1 on the season.

In Blackburn’s view, Hun’s outburst was just a matter of time. “I think we were getting the shots before; we just weren’t putting them in,” said Blackburn.

“We finally started finishing some chances and it worked out for us. One goes in and it all builds up.”

In assessing his score, Blackburn admitted it was more luck than skill “I got kind of lucky,” said Blackburn with a sheepish grin.

“It just came off the boards and I was in the right place at the right time and I just tapped it in. It was a good feeling plus I just came out of the penalty box.”

After having lost 4-1 to powerful Notre Dame in its previous outing, Hun needed to rebound.

“I think this is a huge boost for us, a win is a win,” said Blackburn. “We have exams next week and we have to take this into exams. Then the following week, we need to keep practicing hard.”

Featuring a roster stocked with battle-tested veterans, Hun knows the value of hard work.

“We have three captains but I think all the older guys are leaders for us,” said Blackburn, who is one the captains along with Brendan Gallagher and Steve Norman.

“We know that everyone is going to come out hard no matter what. We have a couple of other seniors who really help out. Obviously Travis as the goalie is hugely important.”

One of the younger players that has been giving Hun a lot of help is Blackburn’s younger brother, high-scoring sophomore forward Peter.

“Playing with Peter is fun,” said Blackburn, who played with older brother, A.J., in his first two years with Hun.

“He has a lot of skills; he is going to be a great hockey player. I think he enjoys it as much as I do. It’s nice after a practice or a game to talk about it in the car ride home and see what we could have done better.”

Hun head coach Francois Bourbeau thought his team should have done a lot better in the early stages of the game against Pennington.

“I don’t think we came out mentally prepared and it showed,” said Bourbeau, whose team fell behind 2-0 minutes into the game.

“I think one of the reasons is that my kids look too much at the newspaper; we beat PDS and Pennington lost to PDS so they think we should be better than them. I think Pennington is a good team; I give them credit, they played well. On my side, I am not too happy with my guys’ attitude.”

The seventh-year head coach, though, was happy with how his guys battled back in the third period to ultimately pull out the win.

“They came out more intense; they now knew what they were up against and they played like they were supposed to,” said Bourbeau.

“Hopefully they are going to learn from it; no matter what the stats are, I don’t care, you should play the Hun way every single time, day in, day out.”

Bourbeau appreciates the way Blackburn performs, day in, day out.

“This is his fourth season with me; he has always been a hard worker,” said Bourbeau.

“Harry has always been a model player; he does not retaliate. He always listens to the coach; he is always well behaved in practices, at games, and in the dressing room. I think my younger players are going to learn from him.”

The connection between the Blackburn brothers has been an asset for the Hun program over the years.

“I think it helps; I have had a good thing going with all the Blackburns,” asserted Bourbeau.

“A.J. was a good player; we had Harry and A.J. Now we have Harry and Peter. They are both doing well; they are both good examples.”

In Bourbeau’s view, his team’s 4-1 win over Princeton Day School in December is an example of how good the Raiders can play.

“I think if they play like they did against PDS, I think we have a good chance to go really far with this team,” asserted Bourbeau, whose team will next be in action when it heads down to Maryland to play at the Landon School on January 23 and at Calvert Hall on January 24.

“It’s not up to me. They know my system; they know my strategy. It is all up to them and how they want to apply it and how intense they want to be.”

Blackburn, for his part, is committed to keeping up the intensity.

“I think if we play our best, we can go all the way, no doubt about it,” said Blackburn.

“I think all the guys in the locker room believe it. I know the coach believes it. If we keep playing hard, we are going to take it all the way.”

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