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Thread: What is wrong with Princeton?

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    What is wrong with Princeton?

    Of all six Ivy schools playing hockey, only Brown has a worse record than Princeton over the past 20 years. Except for a couple of appearances under Guy Gadowski and an appearance in 97-98, Princeton has only made the NCAA tournament three times in its history.

    So that got me thinking, what is the problem at Princeton? Why are Cornell, Yale and Harvard able to have some decently sustained success while Princeton seems to wallow near the basement among Ivy schools? Small budget? Poor scouting? Crappy facilities? Doesn't want to open the wallet for coaches? Lack of priority from the athletic director?

    I'm not as up to speed on the nuances of ECAC hockey as I am the "western" schools, so it would be interesting to learn from those who follow East Coast hockey closely and see what you all think.
    Last edited by Dirty Dream No. 2; 11-20-2016 at 03:16 PM.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    Hobey Baker rink is one of the worst in the league along with Brown's rink. Harvard, Yale and Cornell seem to have better fan support putting money into the program that Princeton doesn't have.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    It's in New Jersey.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    With Princeton it's mainly a problem of the administration not seeming to care very much. And yes, Hobey Baker Rink is an old (albeit historic) facility, but I don't think that's the thing keeping talent away. Brown and Dartmouth have had their problems for a long time, but Princeton is on a whole other level when it comes to futility. It's all the more ironic too considering we have a major award named after one of their former players.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    Part of it is the coaching. When Guy Gadowski was the coach he made the Tigers relevant in the ECAC. He took over in 2004-05, and once the team was made up of mostly his recruits, they experienced success, winning the ECAC tournament in 2008, then earning an at-large berth to the NCAA's in 2009. The 2009-10 team was also supposed to be successful, but injuries plagued them throughout the year and resulted in an 8th place finish.

    Gadowski then abruptly left Princeton for Penn State in 2011, and basically the program fell into disarray for 3 years. Ron Fogarty took over as head coach in 2014, and since then Princeton's been in rebuilding mode. We'll see if there's a turnaround in 2018-19 when the team is made up entirely of Fogarty's recruits.
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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    Even with a new coach, it's a tough sell to get the top recruits who are smart enough to get through Ivy league admissions. There's a only a small sample size who fits that criteria, and the top players will tend to go to Harvard, Yale or Cornell for hockey before taking a chance and seeing if Princeton's rebuilding process will have success.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    Quote Originally Posted by Game0n View Post
    Even with a new coach, it's a tough sell to get the top recruits who are smart enough to get through Ivy league admissions. There's a only a small sample size who fits that criteria, and the top players will tend to go to Harvard, Yale or Cornell for hockey before taking a chance and seeing if Princeton's rebuilding process will have success.
    This too, although even Cornell has seen their struggles on the recruiting end recently. Harvard has the benefit of being located in the talent hotbed of Massachusetts and Yale has underwent a complete turnaround ever since Allain became coach. That being said, Cornell is still in a better spot than Dartmouth/Brown/Princeton.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Hockey View Post
    This too, although even Cornell has seen their struggles on the recruiting end recently. Harvard has the benefit of being located in the talent hotbed of Massachusetts and Yale has underwent a complete turnaround ever since Allain became coach. That being said, Cornell is still in a better spot than Dartmouth/Brown/Princeton.
    PU is invisible...no recruiting presence in northeast, outside of NJ. the coaches focus elsewhere - so probably would need to attend at least a few midget/prep/junior showcases, tournaments and camps to at least let east coast kids know PU is serious.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Hockey View Post
    This too, although even Cornell has seen their struggles on the recruiting end recently. Harvard has the benefit of being located in the talent hotbed of Massachusetts and Yale has underwent a complete turnaround ever since Allain became coach. That being said, Cornell is still in a better spot than Dartmouth/Brown/Princeton.
    Allain is a huge part of the Yale turnaround, but the expansion of the Ingalls Rink and refurbishment and expansion of the Payne Whitney Gym have also had a positive effect on recruiting, although Yale usually only has 2 or 3 draft picks on the roster post improvements. It would be cool if Princeton could build a modern facility next to Baker Rink, and keep Baker as a practice/community/museum type of facility. D-1 schools with tiny rinks will tend to get passed on by todays recruits. Not ECAC, but Sacred Heart recently saw the light and is playing in an AHL rink trying to improve it's image, even though they hardly ever sold out the 600 seat high school rink the were previously in.
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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    BC fan here who lives on Staten Island, NY, and occasionally takes in a Princeton game. Spot-on comments in this thread. The administration doesn't give a **** -- hockey is behind a host of other sports on a campus that isn't really gung-ho about sports to begin with -- and Baker has one of the most funereal atmospheres in D-I. Even the decent coaches they had, Toot Cahoon and Guy Gadowski, found themselves swimming uphill. Fortunately there's a nice art museum on campus and some neat shops and restaurants on Nassau Street so a trip to see a game isn't a total loss.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    It's interesting to me that Princeton can consistently draw crowds that are close to a sellout despite the team's futility and the administration's general indifference to the state of the program.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    Is it possible that the kids at Princeton are there for a reason other than hockey? Cornell, Harvard, and Yale are more about the athlete while Dartmouth, Brown, and Princeton seem to be more about the student. I think that even in D-I, there are some rare cases where winning isn't everything.
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    Good luck tonight and welcome to your team from northern Minnesota. If you know as little about our team as we do yours... watch for the Fitzgerald triplets. Always entertaining. Great hockey weather here at 34 degrees and a few inches of snow on the ground. The game is available on WCHA online and our announcers are very decent and fair compared to many I've heard.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    I don't think any of us in this thread support Princeton. Actually, I have yet to see any person on this board who does.


    Quote Originally Posted by MarkEagleUSA View Post
    Is it possible that the kids at Princeton are there for a reason other than hockey? Cornell, Harvard, and Yale are more about the athlete while Dartmouth, Brown, and Princeton seem to be more about the student. I think that even in D-I, there are some rare cases where winning isn't everything.
    I see your point, but believe me there are definitely students who go to Cornell, Harvard, and Yale for the academics and career connections just as much as they go for the athletic programs. All six of those schools offer quite fine experiences for the students (albeit each being unique), but clearly not all six of the schools have committed as much to winning in recent decades.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    Nice Win Tigers !!!! Knocked off #10 .... can you do it again?
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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
    Nice Win Tigers !!!! Knocked off #10 .... can you do it again?
    Congrats! The Tigers played with a great change of pace, whether it is was coming out fast, or plugging it up around your goalie. I hope your team does not repeat this performance tomorrow.
    Last edited by Andrew J Carter; 11-26-2016 at 12:34 AM. Reason: add the word it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
    Nice Win Tigers !!!! Knocked off #10 .... can you do it again?
    Looks wildly for a Princeton fan to congratulate. Realizes this thread has no Princeton fans.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    Thanks for your comments. One person mentioned not much alumni support for PU hockey. I did some digging and I couldn't find an active booster program for PU. I saw a non-active organization called Friends of PU Hockey, but it seemed to be dormant.

    Another thing I was wondering, which someone touched on, doesn't sound like PU makes many academic exceptions for hockey players. You either qualify or you don't, and as already mentioned, that is a small and competitive sample size.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty Dream No. 2 View Post

    Another thing I was wondering, which someone touched on, doesn't sound like PU makes many academic exceptions for hockey players. You either qualify or you don't, and as already mentioned, that is a small and competitive sample size.
    It's the Ivy league. Of course that is how it is. Can't have Joe Hockey going and just majoring in scoring goals, but coming out with an Ivy league degree.

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    Re: What is wrong with Princeton?

    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyplayer1015 View Post
    It's the Ivy league. Of course that is how it is. Can't have Joe Hockey going and just majoring in scoring goals, but coming out with an Ivy league degree.
    LOL, yeah, I get that.

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