Blog: A Week of Travel and The Return

It took 17 hours and a trip that made me cross four states, but I managed to make it home from Madison last Monday just in time for Princeton’s game against AIC. (Long story short, I had three flights that were cancelled, one scheduled for Tuesday that I then thankfully got to switch back to Monday). I then went to Boston for Princeton’s game against Harvard and was lucky enough to go to Dartmouth as well. After watching the three games, especially the team’s losses to Harvard and Dartmouth, I have some thoughts on the team’s progress (and their shot chances/shot charts, which I’ll get to later).

Princeton coach Ron Fogarty wasn’t thrilled with the team’s effort against AIC, but they picked it up and he was  happy with the two efforts over the weekend, despite the losses.

“I will take that game every day, how we played,” Fogarty sad after the team’s loss to Harvard.

Where the team is now compared to November: These teams last met in November, and Princeton lost both. Back then, the Tigers weren’t happy with their first period against Dartmouth but played better the rest of the game and played very well against Harvard. Princeton is definitely a lot better now, and they’ve shown it through some impressive wins (Yale and Brown). Mostly it’s just Princeton’s stronger play, both defensively and offensively (although strong defensive play helps the offense).

This weekend, a lot of people were telling me Princeton looked really good and played well. It’s funny to hear since their performance didn’t surprise me. After watching this team over the past three years, especially how it’s progressed this year, I expect them to play like that.

Some of the best games of the season: Against Dartmouth in the third period, Princeton had a really good chance of scoring. Actually, both games were some of the team’s best offensive efforts (despite Princeton scoring just one goal.)

“When you’re on the road and you get plus-30 chances, 30 shots on goal, you’re showing progress because you have the puck more,” Fogarty said after the loss to Dartmouth.

It’s not just the chances, although Princeton did outshoot Dartmouth 37-23, but it’s where the chances were coming from. After the first, the Tigers attempted shots from everywhere in their offensive zone. Here are the shot charts from the first and second frames:

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