Princeton’s Hobey Baker Rink is far from home for most of the Colorado College Tigers.
It’s a welcomed trip for Middletown, N.J., native Mike Haviland, among others.
“We like to go back East,” he said. “We’ve got guys that are from there, including me, and (assistant coach) Leon (Hayward) spent some time out there.”
Defenseman Zach Berzolla’s hometown of Howell, N.J., is about 40 minutes away. He went to a few games and played at Princeton’s rink once in high school. Princeton’s Tigers weren’t very good back then and sit 1-6-3 this season, having not won since their season opener against then-No. 16 St. Cloud State.
“In college hockey, everyone’s good and they’re probably looking for a couple wins,” Berzolla said. “We’ve got to come ready to play our game.”
Berzolla and Greenlawn, N.Y., native Patrick Cozzi have a contingent of about 10 each coming to support Colorado College, which features a handful of East Coasters.
“It’s going to be pretty cool to play in front of my friends and my family for probably the first time since high school,” Berzolla said.
“I’m really excited.”
The Tigers (4-5-1, 2-3-1 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) are coming off a sweep at the hands of Minnesota Duluth, which included a heartbreaker and a blowout. But if someone had told Haviland CC would go 2-2 against two-time defending Penrose Cup winner St. Cloud State and two-time defending national champion Duluth on back-to-back weekends, he might have signed off.
“Maybe you would have taken that. I don’t know,” Haviland said. “We want to get back on the winning ways, that’s the bottom line.”