Christian Herzog had the sense that his Princeton High girls’ hockey team was ready to take care of business as it played at Academy of New Church (Pa.) last Wednesday.
“I heard some chatter on the back of the bus with some of the players saying ‘girls we need to be serious with this,’” said Herzog, whose team entered the game with a 0-6 record.
“We had a close game with them last year, we pulled the goalie and they got a late goal.”
ANC, though, got an early goal to take a 1-0 lead on Wednesday, leaving Herzog with a bad feeling.
“When we fell behind, I was a little concerned,” said Herzog. “I was thinking are we going to let another one slip away.”
Instead, the sister act of Lucy and Maggie Herring triggered the offense as PHS seized the momentum and pulled away to a 4-1 victory. Junior star Lucy scored all four Little Tiger goals while freshman standout Maggie assisted on three of the tallies.
“The Herrings are really good about looking for each other,” said Herzog. “Lucy played incredibly; she has the skill set. I have been telling her to break more towards the center of the ice and she did that against ANC.”
The Herrings helped execute Herzog’s offensive strategy. “We were keeping it deep in their zone,” said Herzog, who got two assists from junior forward Isabelle Sohn in the victory with junior defenseman Julia DiTosto adding another helper as PHS outshot ANC 48-8.
“Once the Herrings realized one could go behind the net and they could play keep away, we really clicked.”
Herzog noted that sophomore forward Sophia Corrodi has been helping the PHS offense click.
“Corrodi is a figure skater and she is playing for Nassau,” said Herzog “She is getting the game, all credit to her. She is playing every other shift. While other girls are sucking wind, she is ready to go.”
Sophomore goalie Callie Urisko was ready for the challenge last Wednesday.
“Urisko played well, she has been coming out and playing the puck more,” said Herzog.
With PHS having not won a game against a varsity foe since December, 2011, the Little Tigers let loose with an outpouring of emotion when it was all over.
“After the game, the girls celebrated like they won the Stanley Cup,” said Herzog. “The gloves and sticks were flying.”
While PHS fell 9-1 to Summit on Friday, Herzog feels the breakthrough win will be a confidence builder for the Little Tigers.
“That’s the hope,” said Herzog. “The girls were so excited. We had a little bit of a letdown against Summit.”
Herzog believes his team will be up for another big effort when the Little Tigers host a rematch with ANC on January 24 at Baker Rink on the campus of Princeton University.
“We have senior night on Friday,” said Herzog, whose team also has a road game at the Hill School (Pa.) on January 22. “The girls are hoping for our biggest crowd in years.”