Vol. LXII, No. 5
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)caption:
BLUE SKYE: Princeton Day School freshman forward Skye Samse, left, battles for the puck in recent action. Last Friday, Samse notched two goals as seventh-seeded PDS blanked No. 10 Pennington in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament. PDS, now 9-3-2, hosts Portledge on January 30 before facing Pennington again on February 4 in the state Prep semifinals.
Skye Samse is realistic about his role on the Princeton Day School boys hockey team.
I know Im not one of the first line players but I just want to contribute as much as I can, said the freshman forward. Whenever I get my chances, I want to make them count.
Last Friday, Samse made the most of his chances, notching two goals as seventh-seeded PDS topped No. 10 Pennington 3-0 in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament (MCT).
Samses scores both came on the power play as the Panthers fine-tuned their approach in extra-man situations.
On our power play, we played an umbrella toward the end which put guys in front of the net, said Samse. Our team took shots and I stood in front of the net and tried to get goals on the rebounds.
With the game knotted at 0-0 late in the second period, Samse knew the Panthers needed a lift.
It was getting a little frustrating because we wanted to get out and take the early lead, recalled Samse, who broke the tie with less than three minutes left in the period to give PDS a 1-0 lead going into the final 15 minutes of the contest.
We had a lot of scoring chances; I think we hit the post six times tonight. That was great to go into the break knowing that you had a lead. A one-goal cushion is not much but it was good to break through.
Samse added his second goal with four minutes to go in the third period and John Inman added an empty-netter with 1:46 left to close out the scoring.
PDS head coach Scott Bertoli was relieved to see his team win on a night when it didnt play their sharpest against a Pennington squad the Panthers had beaten 5-2 in December.
I didnt think we played very well, said Bertoli, who got two assists from sophomore defenseman Brooks Herr as the Panthers improved to 9-3-2 on the season.
Pennington had a lot of chances; it was a good game. It was 1-0 with four or five minutes to go.
In Bertolis view, the team may have a let down in the wake of their dramatic win over powerful Bergen Catholic on January 22 when PDS overcame a 2-0 third period deficit to pull out a 3-2 win.
We came off a pretty big win Tuesday, said Bertoli, referring to the victory over Bergen Catholic, which was ranked third in the state coming into its clash with the Panthers. I think we had a bit of a letdown from that game.
Bertoli credited Samse with not having a letdown when he got his scoring chances. He was in the right place at the right time, said Bertoli, whose team hosts Portledge on January 30 before facing Pennington again on February 4 in the state Prep semifinals.
He stands in front of the net on power plays and hes going to score those kind of goals.
Bertoli liked the way goaltender Nick Jabs played as he kept Pennington from scoring.
He played well, said Bertoli. I dont know that he faced a lot of shots but he made a couple of big saves when he needed to.
It was a big night for PDS as it made its return to the MCT after opting to not play in the competition for the last several years.
The kids wanted to play, a lot of the kids have friends on the various teams throughout the county, said Bertoli, noting that the annual PDS Invitational was moved to up to December from its usual spot in February. We thought this was a nice way to get involved; the kids were excited about it.
Samse is excited about the teams prospects as it looks forward to playing No. 2 Notre Dame in the MCT quarters on February 25.
In the end tonight, we just kept fighting through adversity and pulled it off, asserted Samse. We are playing Notre Dame next. They are a great all-around team but I think we have a good chance.
And if Samse can keep taking advantage of his chances, PDS will be tough for anyone to beat.
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