February 19, 2020

Princeton Men’s Hockey Gets Weekend Split As Senior Germain Saving His Best for Last

MAIN LINE: Princeton University men’s hockey player Jeremy Germain, middle, battles for the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, senior forward Germain scored the lone goal for Princeton as it fell 3-1 to No. 5 Clarkson. The Tigers, now 4-17-4 overall and 2-13-3 ECAC Hockey, play at Union on February 21 and at RPI on February 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton University men’s hockey team found itself trailing No. 5 Clarkson 2-0 heading into the third period last Saturday, Jeremy Germain and his teammates weren’t about to throw in the towel.

“The message was to keep plugging away,” said Princeton senior forward Germain.

“It was keep getting pucks on net, keep protecting the puck down low, and good things would happen.”

Germain made things happen, scoring a goal 2:09 into the period as Princeton made it a 2-1 game but couldn’t get any closer as Clarkson tacked on a late tally to prevail 3-1, dropping Princeton to 4-17-4 overall and 2-13-3 ECAC Hockey.

“Spencer Kersten made a really nice play, with backhand sauce to the front of the net,” said Germain, reflecting on his goal. “I just happened to be there and got a shot off.”

Coming off a 6-3 win over St. Lawrence on Friday, the Tigers were primed for a big effort against Clarkson.

“I thought we had a good start, building off yesterday,” said Germain.

“Obviously this year we haven’t had the results we have wanted today. We came out flying against a really good team. I thought we played pretty well, we didn’t get the result we wanted. We had a lot of effort in the third and just couldn’t put pucks in the net.”

Heading into the homestretch of his career, Germain is giving an extra effort.

“I try to savor it but at the same time you have to work hard every shift and keep doing the things you have been doing the last three years,” said Germain a 6’1, 185-pound native of Hamden, Conn., who has two goals and four assists this season, giving him 23 points in his career on five goals and 18 assists.

“I have gotten a lot of shots this year. I haven’t had a lot of goals but it was nice to get one today.”

Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty wasn’t surprised to see Germain come through against Clarkson.

“Jeremy, Luke [Keenan] and [Finn] Evans have been our best line for sure, collectively and defensively,” said Fogarty, who got two goals and two assists from Keenan in the win over St. Lawrence with Germain chipping in an assist.

“They play the whole 200 feet and are very accountable. I have a lot of trust in those three.”

Fogarty liked the way his team played against Clarkson as it battled back after yielding a pair of power play goals in the second period.

“The guys followed the game plan, we got pucks in deep, we weren’t turning pucks over in the neutral zone,” said Fogarty, whose team outshot the Golden Knights 33-32.

“It was a manageable game, they out-special teamed us and that was the difference. We responded well (to the power play goals); it wasn’t a dip in our play. That is a good shot indicator against a very good team. We were getting a lot of pucks to the net and we battled down low below the goal line. We did a great job winning the entries. It is a big strong team we played against.”

In assessing the weekend overall, Fogarty saw progress. “We played well this weekend from the second period of the St. Lawrence game,” said Fogarty.

“It was five really good periods of executing a game plan. We have got to make sure that we are going hard towards the net.”

With Princeton playing at Union on February 21 and at RPI on February 22, Fogarty wants his players to keep working hard.

“It was a win yesterday but losing tonight hurts,” said Fogarty. “From a big picture view, I like what we are doing. We are missing three parts of the puzzle with [Pito] Walton, [Corey] Andonovski and [Christian] O’Neil out. The guys that played tonight fully bought in.”

Germain, for his part, believes the Tigers can pick up some more wins down the stretch.

“A lot of guys are buying in and we are starting to really click more on offense,” said Germain.

“Even though we didn’t have the goals today, we had a lot of chances. If we keep playing like that, good things are going to happen in the next two weeks and the playoffs.”