December 12, 2018

Nelson Showing Leadership With Scoring Surge As Hun Boys’ Hockey Gets Off to 3-2 Start

FULL NELSON: Hun School boys’ hockey player Brian Nelson, right, battles for the puck in recent action. Senior forward and team captain Nelson has been triggering the offense this season for Hun as it has gotten off to a 3-2 start. In upcoming action, the Raiders were slated to host Lawrenceville on December 11 and Princeton Day School on December 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Brian Nelson soaked in some valuable lessons over his first three seasons with the Hun School boys’ hockey program.

Looking up to such stars and team leaders as Blake Brown, Tanner Preston, and Kyle Mandleur, Nelson was ready to follow in their footsteps when he was named captain for the 2018-19 season.

“It is a huge honor,  it is something I wanted to do since I was a freshman,” said Nelson, reflecting on assuming the role of captain. “It has been great to follow them, I definitely learned a lot.”

Showing his leadership with a sizzling start offensively, Nelson scored five goals in a 6-2 win over Bergen Catholic on December 3 and added two goals in a 5-3 loss to LaSalle College High (Pa.) last Thursday.

“I have just been lucky, the bounces have been going my way,” said Nelson, who plays club hockey for the Princeton Youth Hockey Association (PYHA) Tigers.

“I am feeling it right now. I have been working hard in practice. I have been in good form, it is nice to put the puck in the net. The wins are more important, that is what I am looking to get.”

Last Friday against Malvern Prep (Pa.), Nelson kept up his hot start, tallying a goal and an assist, but it didn’t result in a win as Hun fell behind 2-0 by early in the second period on the way to a 5-2 defeat.

“We just didn’t come out ready to go,” said Nelson. “We had a tough loss yesterday; we should have come out better.”

With Hun trailing 2-0, Nelson cut the lead in half, tallying a goal with 4:37 left in the second period.

“We set it up nice on the power play; I was just sneaking back door, tapping my stick looking for a pass there and then Alexis [Landry] tossed it over and I was able to get a quick one timer,” said Nelson.

“It was a good play all around. We have been working on the power play this year. We just need to get more chances and some goals.”

In the third period, the Raiders took a timeout with 7:15 remaining in regulation as head coach Ian McNally tried to light a fire under his players but Malvern was able to hold off Hun and add a goal on a counter attack to take a 4-1 lead on the way to the victory.

“We needed a quick goal there; the shifts were too long,” said Nelson, who picked up an assist on a goal by Aidan McDowell late in the third period. “I don’t know what went wrong; we didn’t have the energy today.”

With the Raiders slated to host Lawrenceville on December 11 and Princeton Day School on December 18, Nelson knows that Hun has to bring energy from the start.

“We could have won that game; we just came out sloppy,” said Nelson. “We know that we can’t take any team lightly. It is just, bear down and play for your brothers. We have just got to  work on our team chemistry and get goals all throughout the lineup. We have to stay out of the box, that is another big thing. LaSalle was 3-for-4 on the power play and Malvern was 2-for-3 on the power play today.”