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Strong and steady,Peter Zavodny patrols the blue line for men's hockey

If you look at the score sheet after the game you probably won't see his name.

Actually, if you look at all the score sheets for the entire season, you still won't see his name. But points are not what make junior defenseman Peter Zavodny an integral part of the men's hockey team.

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The only Tiger with over ten games played who hasn't scored a point during the season is this tough junior who exemplifies the role of the stay-at-home defenseman.

"My role is to bring stability and toughness to the ice," Zavodny said. "I've never been a scorer."

The toughness Zavodny and his defensive partner, senior Darren Yopyk, bring to the ice makes them a tough pair to score against. With his six-foot, one inch, 202-lb. frame, Zavodny has never been afraid to throw his weight around on the ice.

"Pete's never afraid to throw a hip check which keeps the forwards off-guard," Yopyk said. "His size and toughness bring a lot to our defense."

A native of Toronto, Zavodny played two years of junior hockey for the St. Mike's Jr. A Buzzers and the Caledon Canadians. The defenseman played an important role on the Canadians' run to the finals of the Metro Junior Hockey League in the 1996-97 season. However, he sees differences between Juniors and College hockey.

"You can't really be an enforcer in college since there isn't any fighting," Zavodny said. "It's not like Juniors."

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The pair of Yopyk and Zavodny is often put up against opponents' top offensive lines. This twosome brings a physical presence that keeps teams from being comfortable in the offensive zone.


Even though his main contribution to the team is on defense, Zavodny helps the offense by simply playing a tough brand of hockey. The junior is able to intimidate and make room for the offense to work.

"I try to make room for the other guys to take over on the ice," Zavodny said.

Zavodny has had to work for his playing time throughout his career with the Tigers. As a freshman, the defenseman did not even suit up for three of the first seven games of the season, and was only given limited minutes on the ice. But after proving his worth, he suited up for 18 of the next 19 and each of the Tigers seven playoff games during Princeton's Cinderella run to the NCAA tournament.

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"Winning ECACs my freshman year is one of my best memories," Zavodny said. "Getting to be a part of that team and learn from guys like [Steve] Shirreffs '99 and Jackson [Hegland] '99 was a great experience."

Those former defensemen who taught Zavodny the intricacies of college hockey also helped him develop into one of the hardest workers on the team. That work ethic won the junior both playing time and the respect of his teammates.

"Pete's a good role model for the young guys who aren't playing much now," Yopyk said. "They can see him and realize that it's possible to move up and become a leader on the team.

"He's taken on a bigger role each year, and now he's one of the old guys who anchors us back on defense."


While working hard on the ice, Zavodny is not afraid to lighten up a little off of it. Known as one of the practical jokers on the team, he is able to keep the mood in the locker room light even during tough situations.

"One of his biggest assets is his sense of humor," Yopyk said. "Even during a tough time like this slump, he's able to keep everyone in a good mood."

While you might not see his name in the sports pages for scoring the game-winning goal, Zavodny can set the tone of a game and give the Tigers a definite advantage without ever firing a shot on net.

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