Jack Berger got his final weekend of action at Baker Rink for the Princeton University men’s hockey team off to a good start.
The senior star forward and team captain scored a second period goal last Friday as the Tigers drew to within 2-1 of visiting Colgate.
“Mike Ambrosia made a real good play getting it into the zone and then Alec Rush did a great job getting it down low and moving his feet,” said Berger, reflecting on his tally.
“I was able to get open our front and Rush made a great pass and I tried to bang it in five-hole and it went in for me.”
But things went south from there for Princeton as the Tigers fell 6-1 to the 19th-ranked Raiders.
“I think we felt pretty good through the first two periods, I thought we could have brought it a little more than we did but we were happy with it,” said Berger.
“We wanted to come out and have a good third but it didn’t turn out the way we wanted but we will be ready to go tomorrow and have another good effort.”
Princeton made a valiant effort on Saturday on the program’s annual Senior Day but fell short, losing 4-1 to No. 13 Cornell in the home finale, dropping to 5-22 overall and 4-16 ECAC Hockey.
While the senior weekend didn’t go as planned, Berger has enjoyed his Princeton experience.
“I have been really lucky to have so many great opportunities here and I have loved every minute,” said Berger, whose classmates on the squad include Andrew Ammon, Sean Bonar, Andrew Calof, Eric Carlson, Will Ford, Jeremy Goodwin, Kevin Ross, and Rush.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to have been able to wear that jersey so many times.”
Berger is also thankful to have had the rare chance to serve as a two-time team captain.
“It has been great, it has been really humbling and I have learned a lot about myself,” said Berger, a 6’3, 210-pound native of St. Louis, Mo., who has 53 points on 20 goals and 33 assists in 122 games for the Tigers.
“It has been a great experience, I have been really thankful to have had that opportunity and be able to work with such a great group of guys.”
With Princeton playing at Clarkson on February 28 and at St. Lawrence on March 1 before hitting the road for a first-round ECACH series, Berger is determined to keep working hard to the end.
“Obviously you want to be really thankful to get to play every game but at the same time I don’t want to be too nostalgic,” said Berger.
“I want to come out and treat it like any other game and give it everything I got and try to get a ‘W.’ At the end of the day, we want to be ready for the playoffs and playing our best hockey then.”