February 8, 2023

PDS Boys’ Hockey Loses at Lawrenceville But Displays Competitive Fire to the End

LOW RIDER: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Brady Logue, right, goes after the puck in a game earlier this season. Last Thursday, freshman standout Logue scored a goal in a losing cause as PDS fell 8-2 at Lawrenceville. The Panthers, who lost 4-1 to Delbarton last Monday to move to 6-8-3, will be starting action in the Gordon Conference tournament on February 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a new venue but the same excitement as the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team faced local rival Lawrenceville School last Thursday evening.

Playing in Lawrenceville’s gleaming new rink, the stands were packed with some fans overflowing to the balcony and others lining the glass. Both student sections were in full voice, chanting at each other.

Fueled by the electric atmosphere, the foes produced a rollicking first period, filled with end-to-end rushes, bone-crunching hits, scraps, penalties, and goals.

“It is tremendous, this is why so many people come out to this game,” said PDS head coach Scott Bertoli. “It is an event for both schools, for both communities. The kids get excited to play in the this game. You don’t get this in any other hockey environment at the high school level, you are not replicating that at the club level. For our kids to have that experience, it is so important.”

Lawrenceville jumped out to a 2-0 lead but PDS answered back with a goal by freshman standout Brady Logue. After the Big Red added another goal to go up 3-1, the Panthers responded with a tally by senior star Rosh Nissangaratchie. Lawrenceville tacked on two goals in the last 3:42 of the period to extend its advantage to 5-2.

“I thought we played great, there were some unlucky bounces,” said Bertoli. “I loved our first period.”

While Bertoli didn’t love the way the rest of the game want as the Big Red pulled away to an 8-2 win, he saw some positives from his team’s effort.

“I thought we played well in the second period,” said Bertoli. “We were down early in the second period two of our top three defensemen, that put us at a pretty significant disadvantage. We had to move two of our better forwards back. I was happy with the way our kids competed.”

Freshman star Logue exemplified the competitive fire displayed by the Panthers against the Big Red.

“Brady is good, our freshmen can play,” said Bertoli. “He is a kid who likes to be around the net, he can score goals. Even at the end, he is down here hounding the puck. He is relentless, I love the way he plays.”

Bertoli liked the way his team kept plugging despite the deficit.

“I loved a lot about what we did today,” said Bertoli. “I told the guys we are not getting back in this game in terms of the scoreboard but you can play the game the right way. I give Lawrenceville credit too because they buried pucks when they had opportunities.”

With PDS starting action in the Gordon Conference tournament on February 9, Bertoli is hoping that his players will raise their game.

“We just have to find ways to win games, nothing is going to be easy going forward,” said Bertoli, whose squad lost 4-1 to powerhouse Delbarton last Monday to move to 6-8-3. “We are playing a bunch of very, very talented, deep teams. We have to figure out a way to win hockey games. We need to build off of this, I think there is a lot to take from with the way we played.”