March 3, 2021

Writing Last Chapter in Family History for Program, Senior Trainor Leading the Way for PHS Boys’ Hockey

RUNAWAY TRAIN: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Colm Trainor, left, races up the ice last week against the Hamilton hockey co-op. Senior star forward and team captain Trainor tallied three goals and two assists to help PHS skate to an 11-1 win in the February 23 contest. The Tigers, who fell 8-2 to Princeton Day School last Wednesday to move to 3-1, face St. John Vianney on March 4 at the Jersey Shore Arena. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having not played a game since February 3, Colm Trainor and his teammates on the Princeton High boys’ hockey team were chomping at the bit as they faced the Hamilton hockey co-op last week at the Mercer County Park rink.

“As soon as we got on the ice, everybody got ready,” said senior forward and team captain Trainor.

“They had all of their stuff on, we came in here in the right mind. We were mentally prepared.”

The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the February 23 contest as two forwards on the team’s second line, sophomore Ethan Garlock and junior John O’Donnell, each found the back of the net early in the first period.

“They are a great group; when I am gone, I know they are going to help out everybody,” said Trainor.

“They are going to be part of the first and the second lines; they are already putting up points. When they are seniors, they are going to be doing great.”

In the second period, Trainor scored the third goal of the game. Combining with his colleagues on the team’s top line, junior John Zammit and sophomore Cooper Zullo, PHS kept rolling from there, increasing its advantage to 5-0 on the way to an 11-1 triumph.

“The first one is always a roller, it gets you going,” said Trainor, reflecting on his first goal.

“Cooper and John played really well, they move the puck really well. Cooper hit the crossbar a couple of times too many, I think I yelled at him a couple of times. He ended up putting it in a couple of times so it is alright.”

The trio of Trainor, Zullo, and Zammit has developed into a formidable unit even with a limited schedule this winter.

“At the start of the year, we were yelling at each other like nobody’s business, missing the puck and all of that stuff,” said Trainor.

“Now we are doing really well. I know we have only three games but each game we are getting better as a line.”

Things got better and better for Trainor that evening as he ended up with three goals and two assists in the victory.

“I started shooting more towards the open spots and less towards his stomach,” said Trainor.

“Their goalie Trevor [Malik] played really well, he had a great game. He is a great goalie, he is always standing us up.”

As the fourth Trainor to play for the program, having been preceded by older siblings Anthony ’17, Robby ’19, and Aidan ’20, the senior standout is looking to write a positive final chapter in the family history with the team.

“It is great, my two older brothers were really fun to watch together,” said Trainor.

“To play with Aidan and with Robby was really fun. Being the last one is a little upsetting. Aidan left me alone here. Cooper and John are doing pretty well to fill Aidan’s shoes.”

PHS head coach Dave Hansen is going to miss Trainor when he is gone.

“His hockey IQ is well beyond normal,” said Hansen of Trainor.

“His head is always up, he moves the puck really well. The line moves the puck so well, it is nice to watch.”

As the Tigers finally got to play a game, the team showed nice scoring balance in pulling away from the Hamilton squad, which includes players from Nottingham, Steinert, and Hamilton West.

“We had a practice last night and they were excited to get back on the ice,” said Hansen.

“We had a good skate last night and they couldn’t wait to play today. The good thing about tonight was that all of the guys contributed. It just wasn’t one line. I just kept telling them keep playing hard and we will score. The goalie is really good, we knew that coming in. Once you start getting guys in front of him, things start happening.”

Hansen saw good things all over the ice from his squad. “Princeton is a very unselfish team; it doesn’t matter who scores the goals, they are happy for each other and that is great to see as a coach,” said Hansen, whose team moved to 3-1 with an 8-2 loss to Princeton Day School last Wednesday and is slated to face St. John Vianney on March 4 at the Jersey Shore Arena.

“I felt like we played all three zones very well, defensive, neutral, and offensive zones. They all back check well. I kept saying don’t leave the zone early. If all five guys come out of the zone together, they are not going to be able to score. They got one past us; it happens.”

Trainor, for his part, is trying to positively influence the team’s younger guys.

“It is a rough season but as an upperclassman, I want to show the freshmen what it is like,” said Trainor.

“We are trying to get them into the groove and the sophomores too but they already had last year. Some of the freshmen don’t really know all that stuff because they are not used to having three games a week like last year and the year before.”