Winter recess will not stop the men’s hockey team from looking to find its form heading into the second half of the season. The Tigers (3-11 overall, 2-7 ECAC) will play a total of four non-conference games in the Florida College Hockey Classic and the Great Northwest Showcase — an exhibition event — in British Columbia.
The squad will travel to the Germain Arena in southwest Florida to take on the University of Maine the afternoon of Saturday, Dec. 28. Depending on the outcomes of the day’s contests, the Tigers will face either Ivy League rivals No. 14 Cornell or the University of New Hampshire — the leading vote-getter among unranked teams — the following day.
Maine’s Black Bears (7-6-1, 4-2-1 Hockey East) currently hold a 1-2-1 all-time series lead. UNH’s Wildcats (9-9-1, 5-5 HE) overcame Princeton in the only game of the series. Cornell ( 7-4-2, 4-3-2 ECAC) has a 28-79-8 advantage in 115 games.
The last time Princeton participated in this annual four-team tournament in 2009, the Orange and Black came in third place behind Maine and Colorado College.
Burnaby, British Columbia’s Bill Copeland Sports Centre – just east of Vancouver – will host Princeton’s men’s side the following weekend. The approximately 3,000 mile trek marks the largest distance traveled week-to-week in the program’s history. Three Tigers hail from British Columbia: senior goaltender Sean Bonar, senior defenseman Kevin Ross and freshman defenseman Marlon Sabo.
Teams participating in this exhibition showcase include Princeton and the University of North Dakota, as well as Canada’s Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. Princeton will face the two schools from Canada’s westernmost province on Friday, Jan. 3 and Saturday, Jan. 4.
Currently on a four game losing skid, the Tigers have appeared overmatched a number of times throughout the season. Cumulatively, Princeton keepers have faced 478 shots and allowed 60 goals, while the offense has managed 370 shots and netted 31 goals. Additionally, facing 67 man-down situations the squad has conceded 16 goals, netting 10 on their 63 power play opportunities.
The next opportunity to catch Princeton men’s hockey on campus will come the Friday of reading period, with the Tigers matching up against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute once again in the rematch of last Saturday’s 5-2 loss in Troy, N.Y.