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Club Ice Hockey launches streaking season

Over a month into the season, Princeton's own men's club ice hockey team has sustained an impeccable start to the season. Prior to this weekend, the team had not lost a single game after facing 10 unique opponents. Though the Tigers suffered a 2-6 defeat to TCNJ this weekend, the club's success so far is undeniable.

The season hit an early high note when the club claimed the Ivy championship by defeating Penn, 5-4, in the final match of the Ivy tournament on Oct. 9, which also included Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth, and Columbia.


The team kicked off the busy first day of the Iv y tournament with a landslide 15-2 win against Columbia. They went on to add another victory under their belts and ensure their placement into the knockout stage with a 6-2 finish against rival Harvard.

The Crimson, however, earned a semifinal rematch. After highly contested play, the Tigers defeated their opponent for the second time of the day with a narrower 3-1 margin that eliminated Harvard from the tournament.

On Sunday, Princeton played a competitive championship match against Penn. After back-and-forth play for much of the game, senior forward Peter Kuenne slammed the puck into the net to put his team in a 5-4 lead.

The captain trio of senior forward Antoine Crepin-Heroux, senior defender Mac Hugin, and junior defender Dennis Guo led the Tigers to this victorious conclusion of the weekend.

Sophomore forward Drew Bennett, freshman goaltender Evan Majic, sophomore goaltender Coleman Merchant, senior forward Alex Vukasin, senior goaltender Graham Turk, and junior forward Andrew Zhou also made significant contributions that clinched Princeton an undefeated tournament.

Coached by John Bullis and Colin McCollough, the team also now holds a dominant 11-1-0 seasonal streak in the Colonial States College Hockey Conference (CSCHC) of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


Turk, who anchored the defense against Penn with 29 saves and serves as the club’s president, attributed this success to simple hard work and team cohesion both on and off the ice. “We’re a really a close-knit team. We spend a lot of time together. Our schedule is roughly two practices a week, two games on the weekend, and an off-ice workout every week,” stated Turk. “I’ve been best friends with the five other seniors on the team since I was a freshman, so it’s a really good community where we’re always together, always having each other’s back. There’s a lot of inter-class bonding where you meet people who you otherwise wouldn’t have crossed paths with based on their majors or other activities.”

Their accomplishments and toil, however, don’t come without costs. “Injuries is a big one. It’s a very physical sport, and at our level especially, we play a lot of big, fast, strong teams,” Turk commented. “In all of my four years, we’ve had major injuries, so it’s a lot about stepping up into roles and being more close-knit and being accountable so that we’ll always be able to put a team on the ice and compete. As the season lags on, the tiredness factor is also big. It wears you down, so it’s about trying to stay fit off the ice and continuing to do conditioning workouts, so that when we’re deep into the season, we’re the best-conditioned team.”

Looking ahead, the Tigers will be focused on conference play for the remainder of the season. Until the mid February, Princeton will be taking on the likes of Rutgers, Seton Hall, and Monmouth just to name a few. Given the current success the Tigers have exhibited, hopes are high for the remainder of the season.

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