Even though the Princeton High boys’ hockey team mustered only one goal on 15 shots against Hightstown in the first period last Thursday, Spencer Reynolds wasn’t concerned.
“We knew going in that they had a short bench so it was just a matter of wearing them down,” said PHS senior star Reynolds. “I think everything was clicking; we were getting shots on net.”
In the second period, Reynolds got some shots in the back of the net, tallying twice in a span of 3:18 as PHS jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back on the way to a 7-0 win.
“I definitely think that gave us some momentum,” said Reynolds, reflecting on his two tallies. “It got everyone fired up.”
A night later, the Little Tigers kept rolling as they topped Lawrence 5-2 to improve to 3-0.
In Reynolds’ view, getting three wins in the first week of the season has helped get PHS get into a rhythm.
“We can get a feel for each other and get some energy going,” said Reynolds, who scored a goal in the victory over Lawrence. “It is a lot easier coming back to practice when you are winning games. It is pretty tough when you are losing them.”
Reynolds is looking to give the Little Tigers a jolt in his senior year with the program.
“My role is bringing speed and energy,” said Reynolds. “I like to play physical but I like to keep myself in control. This is a last chance to make things happen.”
First-year PHS head coach Terence Miller likes the way Reynolds has been making things happen so far this season.
“Spencer has been skating well for us and has been moving his feet well,” said Miller.
“He was originally a defenseman but we moved him to forward. He has got really good speed and he is a great skater so we try to use his speed and that stuff on the forecheck and let him loose on the wing.”
In reflecting on the win over Hightstown, Miller had a feeling his team would eventually break loose from the Rams.
“As I told their coach, their goalie was lights out in the first period; he really stood on his head there and kept them in it,” said Miller. “We just had to keep pressing and stick to our guns. We weren’t trying to change anything. We just had to keep it simple. I told the guys we just had to get traffic in front of the net and keep firing away.”
Senior star defenseman Patrick McCormick got PHS fired up as he tallied the fourth goal in the win over Hightstown, skating end-to-end through the Rams and then flying through the air after his shot, a la Bobby Orr.
“Patrick brings that to the table,” said Miller. “He is always a threat to attack from the back end. That was a nice goal to help separate us from them there and build up that lead.”
A trio of freshmen, Tooker Callaway, Brendan McCormick, and Eamon McDonald, have gotten off to a nice start for the Little Tigers
“Tooker has done well; he is a big, strong kid,” said Miller. “He is a good skater; he has really helped solidify us on the back end there along the blue line. I think young Brendan McCormick has done well. Eamon McDonald at defenseman is another guy I have been happy with early on here.”
While it is very early in the season, Miller is happy with how PHS is looking. “We have to keep plugging along,” said Miller, whose team is slated to play WW/P-S on December 11, WW/P-N on December 12, and Hopewell Valley on December 16 with all three games to take place at the Mercer County Park rink.
“It is going to get tougher and tougher as we go along. We are going to have keep improving and stick to our guns; keeping it simple and playing hard. We have gotten our feet under us in the first two games. It is going to take some more time. We are off to a good start and we are just looking to keep it rolling.”
Reynolds, for his part, believes that the Little Tigers are going to have a good time this winter.
“I think we have just a few minor kinks that we have to work out and we will be able to build up some speed and make some more progress,” said Reynolds.