January 15, 2020

Junior Star Trainor Following Family Tradition As PHS Boys’ Hockey Produces 10-0-1 Start

OH BROTHER: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Colm Trainor, right, goes after the puck last Monday as PHS defeated Jackson Memorial 5-3. Junior forward Trainor, the youngest of four Trainor brothers to play for the PHS program, had two assists in the win as the Tigers improved to 10-0-1. PHS faces Lakeland Regional on January 17 at the Ice Vault in Wayne and then plays Hunterdon Central on January 21 at the Flemington Ice Arena. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Colm Trainor is savoring his last chance to play with one of his brothers on the Princeton High boys’ hockey team.

The junior forward is the fourth Trainor to play for the program, having been preceded by older siblings Anthony ’17, Robby ’19, and current senior Aidan.

“I have always played with some sort of sibling, first Robby and now Aidan,” said Trainor. “Next year is going to be interesting, I am the last one.”

Last Wednesday against Nottingham, the Trainor connection resulted in a second period goal as PHS prevailed 5-0.

“Whenever Aidan is on the ice, we have the same playing style and we know where each other are going to be,” said Trainor.

“That came off on the second goal. Aidan shot the puck, it went off the pad and I was there. He knew I was going to be there and that is why he shot off the pad.”

With PHS having rallied to a 3-2 win over Robbinsville on January 7, it didn’t produce its sharpest effort in the victory over Nottingham.

“You are supposed to come to the game in the right mindset,” said Trainor, who ended up with two goals and an assist against the Northstars.

“I think we did that today. We should have pulled through a little more but we did well.”

Trainor is assuming a greater responsibility this winter in helping PHS pull together.

“I am an upperclassman now, I have to be more of a leader on the team,” said Trainor.

“Especially with Aidan being here, he gets on me sometimes. I think we are still trying to find ourselves. We are kind of playing down to some of the teams that we play but we are doing good things. We are working hard, everybody is getting in and everybody is working.”

PHS head coach Joe Bensky acknowledged that his squad didn’t play its best against Nottingham.

“We were looking to keep things going and continue our success at the start of the season,” said Bensky, who is in his first winter guiding the Tigers.

“It was another big win on Monday against Robbinsville. We are trying to take one game at a time and Nottingham was today. We came out flat today but the bottom line is that we want to win and we were able to play a lot of our players today and we won 5-0.”

Bensky sees Trainor as a key to success for PHS. “Colm is one of our main guys for sure; he is a very, very talented player,” said Bensky of Trainor who contributed two assists as PHS defeated Jackson Memorial 5-3 last Monday evening to improve to 10-0-1.“He is very, very skilled with the puck. He knows what to do with the puck and he gets the puck to the net a lot.”

Having both Trainor brothers on the ice is a luxury for Bensky. “Everyone wants one Trainor, let alone two, so it is nice to have both of them,” said Bensky.

“I am sure they have played a lot growing up, they definitely can find each other on the ice. They look very good together.”

Sophomore John O’Donnell and freshman Nico Vitaro are showing growth for the Tigers.

“John has been playing very, very well for us; he is someone that just works extremely hard,” added Bensky, who got a goal from O’Donnell in the win over Nottingham with Vitaro chipping in an assist.

“He is an awesome young man, he is always looking to get better. Nico had some really good scoring opportunities. He has been very impressive this year, he has been getting better each and every game.”

While PHS is off to an impressive start, Bensky knows there is room for improvement.

“It is funny to say with this record but we want to get better each and every day,” said Bensky, whose team faces Lakeland Regional on January 17 at the Ice Vault in Wayne and then plays Hunterdon Central on January 21 at the Flemington Ice Arena. “That is our main focus so we can really make this season extremely special.”

Trainor, for his part, believes that PHS is poised for a special playoff run.

“The states and counties are definitely something we have to get ready for,” said Trainor, who helped the Tigers advance to the MCT final and Public B state quarters last winter.

“Playing these good teams is something that is going to get us ready and help us. We are hoping to go further than we have in the past. We have stayed in the same spot but this year I think we can do it.”