ADRIAN, Mich.--The Adrian College men's hockey team will square off against NCAA Division I opponent Princeton University on Saturday (7 p.m.) in a road exhibition game at Hobey Baker Rink. Admission is free. The Tigers, who are coming off an ECAC Hockey championship and berth in the NCAA Tournament, are coached by former Adrian bench boss Ron Fogarty (2008-14).
Adding to the intrigue is that Bulldogs fifth-year head coach Adam Krug '12 played his final two years (2007-08) at Adrian under Fogarty after transferring from Division I Wayne State. Fogarty built the AC program from scratch, compiling a 167-23-10 overall record in a span of seven years that included four trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament. In addition, Krug will be coaching against former Wayne State teammate Stavros Paskaris--skating together from 2004-06.
"Of course, we'd like to thank Ron Fogarty, his staff, and Princeton Athletics for the opportunity," commented Krug. "It will be a lot of fun to see Ron and Stavros (also Forgarty's assistant coach at Adrian) on the opposing bench.
"Personally, I'm looking forward to the trip. I've never been to Princeton, as we know, it's one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world. It should be a good trip for our guys, too. Hopefully we do a little bonding and accomplish some work while we're at it."
Although Saturday's contest does not count on either team's records and statistics, Adrian has defeated a Division I team in its only such encounter. On Jan. 4, 2013, the Bulldogs won on the road against at Alabama-Huntsville by a 4-2 score.
Adrian returns 16 skaters and two goalies from last season's squad that finished 24-6 overall and 17-1 for first place in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association South Division. The Bulldogs won their fourth-consecutive NCHA Peters Cup regular-season championship and advanced to the conference tournament final for the 10th time in 11 seasons of their existence. Adrian also made its sixth NCAA tournament appearance in a row and eighth in school history.
Three-time All-America defenseman Cory Dunn returns for his senior campaign, leading five Bulldogs who have earned all-conference at some point in their careers. Dunn has racked up career scoring totals of 18 goals, 79 assists and 97 points in 88 games played, including 3+27=30 in 30 a season ago. Senior left wing Trevor Boyd hopes to regain his All-America form of two years ago after posting 17+11=28 totals as the team's top returning goal scorer from 2017-18. They are joined by All-NCHA performers senior goalie Kevin Entmaa (16-4 W-L, 1.88 GAA, .932 Save%, 1114:36 MP), senior right wing/center Bryan Yim (8+11=19) and senior center Connor Armour (1+5=6; limited to nine games because of injury).
The team welcomes 12 newcomers including a pair of NCAA Division I transfers coming closer to home in junior right wing Bryce Van Horn (Port Huron, Mich./Colorado College, NCHC) and junior right defenseman Niko Coffman (Chelsea, Mich. /Bowling Green State University, WCHA).
"We're looking to take this opportunity to implement some our systems, form some chemistry, and ultimately see what we have to identify some strengths and weaknesses with such a large incoming class," stated Krug, who has led his alma mater to a 92-21-6 (.798) overall mark, four NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship appearances, four NCHA Peters Cup regular-season titles, two Harris Cup championships and a conference record of 67-7-2 (.888).
The defending ECAC Hockey Champion Princeton has been selected second in the 2018-19 preseason coaches and media polls. The Tigers captured their first ECAC title in 10 years and earned their first NCAA tournament bid in nine last March. This is the highest pre-season ranking for the Tigers since 2008-09 when the squad was select as No. 1.
Last year Princeton (19-13-4 overall) was selected to finish fifth by the coaches and landed at No. 7 in the final standings, before knocking off the No. 10 seed Brown (8-2, 7-1), No. 3 seed Union (5-3, 3-2), No. 1 seed Cornell (4-1) and No. 2 seed Clarkson (2-1 OT) to win the title. The Tigers finished the season with the nation's best power-play unit, converting on 36 of 130 chances (27.7 percent), and had two of the top five leading scorers in the nation. Ryan Kuffner and Max Véronneau both captured second-team All-America honors, with Véronneau leading the nation in assists per game, while Kuffner was second in the nation in goals - as both had 50+ point season. Josh Teves led the nation's defensemen in scoring (1.06 ppg) as Princeton finished second in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 3.64 goals per game.
On Thursday, Oct. 18, fans can catch a glimpse of the new Adrian team for the annual Black and Gold intrasquad game at Arrington Ice Arena. The regular season starts in earnest on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27, when the Bulldogs will travel to Utica (N.Y.) College for a pair of games.