Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 9
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
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MAKING A MARK: Princeton University men’s hockey senior star Mark Magnowski controls the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, Magnowski scored two goals and had two assists as Princeton topped Brown 7-3 in its regular season finale. The win, which improved Princeton to 12-14-3 overall and 8-12-2 in ECACH play, gave Magnowski and his classmates 67 wins in their career, the most for any class in program history. The Tigers will look to pick up some more wins as they host Harvard (7-19-3 overall, 7-12-3 ECACH) this weekend in a best-of three ECACH opening round playoff series starting on March 5.

With Seniors Looking to Make Final Mark, Tiger Men’s Hockey Primed for Playoff Run

Bill Alden

Things didn’t get off to a good start for senior forward Mark Magnowski and his classmates on the Princeton University men’s hockey team as they played their final regular season weekend at Hobey Baker Rink.

On Friday night, Princeton fell 7-4 to fourth-ranked Yale, squandering a 4-1 lead as the Bulldogs reeled off six unanswered goals.

The loss left the Tigers in a dogfight for eighth place in ECAC Hockey and home ice for the upcoming playoffs. Ninth-place Princeton needed to win its regular season finale against Brown and then hope that Harvard lost later that night to St. Lawrence.

As the Tiger seniors were getting ready to be introduced one by one before the contest against the Bears, Magnowski felt a special sense of urgency.

“It didn’t hit me until we walked out before the game that it could be my last time walking through the tunnel and hitting our shield on the way out,” said Magnowski.

Fueled by those emotions and a desire to bounce back from the loss to Yale, the Tigers were determined to walk away with a victory.

“We let that one yesterday slip away from us,” said Magnowski. “We were hoping to control our destiny, especially on senior weekend. We had no choice, we had to play our best against a team that never quits.”

Magnowski responded with one of the best games of his career, scoring two goals and assisting on two others as the Tigers pulled away to a 7-3 win.

The victory coupled with a Harvard loss earned Princeton the eighth seed and at least two more games at Baker Rink for Magnowski as the Tigers will host the Crimson in a best-of-three ECACH opening round series this weekend, starting on March 5.

In reflecting on his big performance against Brown, Magnowski spread the credit to his junior linemates, Matt Arhontas and Mike Kramer.

“I’ve got two wingers who work so hard,” said Magnowski, who now has 26 points this season on nine goals and 17 assists.

“They can shoot, they can pass, they keep their heads up; they are hockey players. It’s just fun to play with those guys. Every shift is fun; you don’t know what creativity we can manage.”

The Tigers had plenty of fun collectively as they outshot Brown 53-23 on the game.

“I was actually surprised with the number of shots after the second,” said Magnowski, noting that Princeton piled up 41 shots through the first two periods.

“We had pressure on; that’s our game. We get pucks to the net and we crash the net. We can score pretty goals but if we score garbage goals, we will take them. We’ll just take whatever we can get.”

Magnowski and his classmates have achieved a lot of goals in establishing themselves as the winningest class in program history, having posted 67 victories, two more than the Class of 2009.

“It means a lot, especially coming from a university like this with so much history and so much tradition,” said Magnowski, whose class has helped Princeton win an ECACH championship and make two NCAA tournament appearances.

“Playing in Hobey Baker Rink and leaving here as the most winning class ever is just unbelievable. We are just so proud that we have been able to be part of such a historic team.”

Princeton head coach Guy Gadowsky was proud of how his players rebounded from Friday’s disappointment.

“I think it was really important for us to come out and win battles because I thought that is what we lacked yesterday,” said Gadowsky, who also got goals from Arhontas, Will MacDonald, Taylor Fedun, Marc Hagel, and Derrick Pallis in the win over Brown as the Tigers finished the regular season at 12-14-3 overall and 8-12-2 in ECACH play.

“It was quite evident regardless of the score, I thought we had a vast improvement in that area.”

The contribution of the senior class to the program’s success has been quite evident.

“That is a very significant statement; that is huge,” said Gadowsky, referring to the group’s record for wins.

“They don’t just do it with their play on the ice; they have done it with their commitment and work ethic off the ice. The standards they set on and off the ice and in the classroom have been tremendous.”

For Gadowsky, Magnowski and defenseman Brad Schroeder stood out among their classmates in the Brown victory.

“Mark was in on everything; he was great defensively,” said Gadowsky, whose group of seniors includes Dan Bartlett, Tyler Beachell, Kevin Crane, Kevin Kaiser, Zane Kalemba, Cam MacIntyre, and Jody Pederson.

“Mark is a heckuva player. It is nice to see anyone have a game like that, especially as a senior who has meant so much to the program. I thought Brad Schroeder was unbelievable on defense; he was physical, he won battles for the pucks, he blocked shots. He made good, quick plays with the puck. He played one of the best games I have seen him play.”

Gadowsky is confident that there are some more good games left in the seniors as they start their final playoff run with the series against the Crimson (7-19-3 overall, 7-12-3 ECACH).

“They certainly have the ability for it; they have surprised us for four years, why stop now,” said Gadowsky

“I think we are in a good position because this is the first weekend in a long time when we have had 20 skaters and that makes a big difference, especially to the tempo of the game and the way we play.

Magnowski, for his part, believes the Tigers can play their game at the right time.

“Hopefully, everything is starting to click right now; this is the first time we have had a full lineup in a month and a half,” said Magnowski, who now has 86 points in his Tiger career.

“We know what to expect, our juniors and seniors have been the farthest Princeton has gone. We understand what it takes and we are trying to pass on some of this to our younger guys. Hopefully, they’ll jump on the bandwagon with us and we’ll just give it a go and see how far we can take it.”

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