November 8, 2017

Freshman Goalie Ferland Earns 1st Shutout As Princeton Men’s Hockey Ties Colgate 0-0

NET GAIN: Princeton University men’s hockey goalie Ryan Ferland makes a save in recent action. Last Friday, freshman Ferland earned his first career shutout, making 36 saves as Princeton skated to a 0-0 tie against visiting Colgate. The Tigers, now 1-1-1 overall and 1-1 ECAC Hockey, play at Union on November 10 and at Rensselaer on November 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Ryan Ferland didn’t feel sharp as he took the ice for the Princeton University men’s hockey team last Friday against visiting Colgate but it didn’t take long for the freshman goalie to get into a rhythm.

“I actually didn’t have a great warm up but I felt good after the first few shots,” said Ferland. 

“It is kind of big when I feel like that in the beginning; it usually translates to the rest of the game.”

Things translated well over the rest of the night as Ferland went on to make 36 saves, earning the first shutout of his career with the teams skating to a 0-0 tie.

“I was definitely coming in a lot calmer than last time; in the first game you are going to have those jitters,” said Ferland, a 6’0, 175-pound native of Franklin, Mass.

“But in this game still even by the end you get a little nervous because it is still a close game. I definitely held on in that game. I thought we played well; we got a tie at least.”

The contest turned into a battle of goalies as Colgate sophomore net minder Colton Point made 43 saves, several of them point blank.

“He played unbelievable; I definitely felt a back and forth,” said Ferland.

“I thought we had a few of them but he made some unbelievable saves. It was really fun.”

Ferland is having fun dealing with the challenges of college hockey.

“The biggest thing is that anyone can score from any angle,” said Ferland, who found that out the hard way as Princeton fell 5-4 to Cornell last Saturday to move to 1-1-1 overall and 1-1 ECAC Hockey.

“In juniors if it is from the outside, chances are they can’t really put it in the net. Everyone is so big and strong here, every shot can go in so you have to be ready.”

With senior Ben Halford and junior Austin Shaw also vying for time in goal, Ferland has to be sharp every day.

“We all get a lot better from competing for the job because there is not one starter,” said Ferland. “It helps a lot.”

As Ferland has gotten to start, he has been helped by Princeton’s corps of veteran defensemen.

“That is huge, Joe Grabowski and the seniors are playing really well,” said Ferland.

“Everyone is playing solid. The defense is clearing pucks out and more importantly clearing people out in front of the net, which has been big.”

Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty credits Ferland with giving the Tigers a big lift.

“He stops the puck, that is his job,” said Fogarty. “He is doing a great job; he is making it look easy. We have a couple of capable guys behind with Halford and Shaw, they have been playing great too. He has taken every opportunity to run with it.”

In reflecting on the tie with Colgate, Fogarty was happy with how Princeton generated scoring opportunities.

“I thought it was an entertaining 0-0 game too, we had a couple of chances at the end,” said Fogarty.

“Unfortunately the breakaway doesn’t go in. I thought we played well enough to win. We have to keep improving on some support issues that we had in the second period.”

Keeping the Raiders off the scoreboard required Princeton to come up big when Colgate had chances.

“The defense was good.  I thought we played well,” said Fogarty.

“Colgate had some big pushes, we got back and collapsed at the right times to get the loose pucks away from Ryan. It was an up-and-down game; it wasn’t a hold on to the puck and dump it out 0-0 tie. There were chances on both ends.”

While Princeton ultimately didn’t pull out the victory, Fogarty still saw progress.

“We didn’t win but we got the tie,” said Fogarty, whose team heads north this weekend to play at Union on November 10 and at Rensselaer on November 11.

“You have to bank points in the ECAC. We banked one out of two so that is good for us. We made a good start; it is a lot quicker than our start from last year.”

Ferland, for his part, is looking to build on his solid start. “I definitely felt more confident than I did in the beginning but there is a long way to go,” said Ferland, who has a goals against average of 2.27 and a save percentage of .929.

“Every team we play is really good and especially with our season last year, everyone wants to beat us. I will definitely get more confidence as the games go on; I am excited to play.”