Princeton Day School boys varsity hockey looks to a great season

Tyler Coffey, Contributing Writer

On Monday, November 9, 2015, the Princeton Day School boys varsity ice hockey team began its annual quest for a NJISAA Prep B State Championship and a stronger showing in the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League. Along the way, matches against nearby rivals, the Lawrenceville School and the Hun School will help pave the way for great competition and provide a way to unify the boys both on and off the ice.

The only senior on the squad, Connor Fletcher, is known for his determination, strong work ethic, and powerful leadership. He plays every game like it is his last, which is exactly the type of person the Panthers will need to help guide them to a championship this winter. Junior net minder and assistant captain Logan Kramsky is a stalwart between the pipes. Kramsky is one of the top goaltending prospects in the Northeast, and is always ready to steal a game for the Panthers with his lightning reflexes and sharp thinking. Assistant Captain, junior Keith Asplundh, dedicated his spring and summer months to honing his skills and visiting the weight room to make sure he was ready for this season. His dedication and quiet leadership will surely help the mighty Panthers succeed. All three captains lead by example both on and off the ice. Coaches Scott Bertoli and Adam Shemansky are excited to begin a new season with a hard-working, talented, and experienced squad. The coaching staff knows that this year’s squad is loaded with travel hockey players who are anxious to don the royal blue and white Panther sweater.

The Panthers will be without a few notable names this season, including captains Will Garrymore ‘15, Will Wright ‘15, and Harrison Latham ‘15. Lost transfers include Chris Hemlinger (Notre Dame), Kyle Weller (Holy Ghost Prep), and Eugene Yoon (Phillips Andover). Mark Anarumo, the furthest transfer is now stopping pucks in Turkey. Incoming freshmen include fleet footed forward Coby Auslander and defenseman Chip Hamlett. Losing seven players will provide opportunities for other players to step up and play greater roles, which should contribute to the Panthers’ overall success.

Coming off a 3-16-4 season, expectations are high. The word on Great Road is that the Panthers are bigger, stronger, faster, and much more experienced. Last season, the team was overloaded with freshmen and sophomores. The varsity rookies logged plenty of ice time and learned how to compete against seasoned upperclassmen in the area. For the Panthers to achieve their ultimate goal of competing in the NJISAA Prep B State Championship and the Mid- Atlantic Hockey League, they must remain healthy and continue to work hard on the ice and in the weight room with strength trainer Darius Young.

Unlike most New Jersey schools, the Panthers are fortunate to be able to walk to daily practices at the Lisa McGraw Ice Rink, led by a dedicated coaching staff. Most teams are only able to practice a couple times a week, and at inconvenient times. This advantage should help the Panthers develop a greater team chemistry, something that hopefully plays a role on the ice. Most importantly, their greatest advantage comes from having an enthusiastic fan base in the Zoo!

The highlights of the 2015- 16 Boys Ice Hockey schedule include the Panthers hosting the Hun School on December 7. Tournament play includes traveling to the prestigious Albany Academy Tournament on December 11 through the 13, followed by hosting the Annual Harry Rulon Miller Invitational Tournament on December 18th and 19. The annual battle against Lawrenceville Prep is on Wednesday, January 13, 2016, and will be a game to see. Be sure to come out and support your 2015-2016 boys ice hockey team.