Sean Bonar laughed as he told the story of the hovercraft Taylor Fedun built his senior year at Princeton.
Fedun, a mechanical engineering major, worked on his project the same season he captained the Tigers.
“He excelled both on the ice and off the ice and he was unflappable,” Bonar said on the phone.
“Fedun was a guy who came to the rink and saw it as his sanctuary from the outside world. No matter how his project was going, no matter how his school work was going, when he got to the rink it was time to focus and it was time for hockey.”
It was 2010-11 and Bonar was a freshman then, but now he’s looking back to those years for some leadership advice.
“I take my cues from the seniors that have come before me,” Bonar said.
“We always talk about within our class about how impactful our senior class [was]. … That class had guys like Taylor Fedun [and] Cam Ritchie who were awesome role models.”
Ritchie and Fedun were of two eight seniors who guided Princeton’s 10 freshmen that season.
“[Fedun] was an unbelievable captain and a leader and just a guy that couldn’t be rattled by anything,” Bonar said. “That’s certainly something that I admired in him.”
Bonar, who enters the season as Princeton’s only goalkeeper with collegiate experience, said he’s looking forward to his new leadership role.
“Your upperclassmen, your seniors are the ones that win your championships, they certainly take the lead in that,” Prier said.
“We’ve got really strong leadership in Jack [Berger] and he’s got a great support cast of guys that want to do what it takes.”
Bonar said he’s trying to teach the freshmen what wearing orange and black means — something he learned from the seniors before him.
“To me that means always working as hard as you can, doing everything the right way and that means taking care of your body, getting your work done, managing your time well and those are the things that I took away from those seniors I hope to impart to the freshmen.”
Princeton’s senior class includes Andrew Ammon, Andrew Calof, Eric Carlson, Will Ford, Jeremy Goodwin, Kevin Ross and Alec Rush. The nine seniors enter the 2013-14 campaign with 595 games of experience combined.
“I think they’ve learned a lot from last year and what it takes from a commitment standpoint and they’ve got a really strong culture and they’re gearing to it,” coach Bob Prier said of the upperclassmen. “They’re really promoting it and they’ve done a really good job with that early on.”