Although Princeton Men’s Hockey Has Started 1-2-1, Fogarty Believes Tigers Headed in Right Direction
BIG JAKE: Princeton University men’s hockey player Jake Paganelli skates near the boards in a game last winter. Last Saturday, junior forward Paganelli scored a goal in a losing cause as Princeton fell 3-1 at Dartmouth. The Tigers, now 1-2-1 overall and 0-2 ECAC Hockey, will be seeing their first action this season at Hobey Baker Rink when they host RPI on November 15 and Union on November 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Although the Princeton University men’s hockey team opened its ECAC Hockey campaign last weekend by falling at Harvard and Dartmouth, Ron Fogarty is far from discouraged.
“I like where this team is at; we have four lines that are doing well,” said Princeton head coach Fogarty, whose team is now 1-2-1 overall and 0-2 ECACH. “All of the guys, to a man, are playing hard and smart.”
Despite playing hard in New England, Princeton fell 3-0 to Harvard on Friday and 3-1 to Dartmouth a day later.
“Last weekend was a tough two games score-wise but I liked how we played,” said Fogarty.
“The team is very similar to the team that we had in our third year; the team that beat Colgate on overtime in the playoffs and then lost to Union. We are doing a lot of great things in the game. We just weren’t rewarded this past weekend. I really like the direction we are going.”
Princeton’s top line of sophomore Corey Andonovski (4 goals, 1 assist in 2019-20) senior Jackson Cressey (2 goals, 4 assists) and sophomore Christian O’Neill (3 assists) has done some good things in the early going.
“Corey is playing well; that line is getting a lot of opportunities,” said Fogarty.
“They went a little quiet this weekend. They still had a lot of great chances and great opportunities to score. If you are getting the opportunities, eventually they will go in. It was a great start (going 1-0-1 against St. Cloud State) and a little bit of a slow weekend for them.”
As for the Tiger defense, Fogarty has seen flashes of great play. “There were a couple of lapses, we just have to keep playing tough,” said Fogarty.
“I like where our gapping has been. We are playing tighter in the neutral zone than in years past where we have been a little more lackadaisical in the neutral zone. For the most part, probably 10 of the 12 periods so far, I have been really happy with how we have played defensively.”
In goal, junior Ryan Ferland (3.05 goals against average, .906 save percentage in 2019-20) and freshman Aidan Porter (3.91 GAA, .877 save pct.) had been solid as they have shared the duties between the pipes.
“They have been good. They have given us a good chance,” said Fogarty.
“The games have been close because of some pretty good saves. You will probably see [Jeremie] Forget soon. We are going to give all three goalies an opportunity here. It is unique situation. We have three goalies that are very capable and unique in style.”
With the Tigers seeing their first action this season at Hobey Baker Rink when they host RPI on November 15 and Union on November 16, Fogarty is looking for his team to put away their chances.
“We just have to keep building on what we have been doing – playing hard between the dots and gapping without the puck,” said Fogarty.
“Our go-to this year is to create options and take away options. We want to create options with the puck and if we don’t have it, to take away the opposition’s options quicker so we can get the puck back and be a possession team.”