Cardinal hockey team staying upbeat in face of losing streak

Lawrence ice hockey

By: Jim Green
   Considering the fact the Princeton High School ice hockey team has been blowing out all its opponents this season, it’s no surprise Lawrence coach Andy Borowsky was able to find some bright spots in his team’s 8-1 loss to the Little Tigers on Nov. 14.
   "We had a lot of positives," he said. "We played them tight the majority of the game."
   In fact, the Cardinals trailed only by two goals most of the contest. They came out slowly and fell behind 2-0 quickly, but some great play by goalie Zyon Zate assured Princeton would not pull away until exploding for three goals in the final two minutes of the second period.
   "We came out flat and fell behind two-nothing right away," Borowsky said. "We kept it there until we had a bad stretch in the last two minutes of the second period. It’s tough to come back from five-nothing against a team like Princeton. We need to work on our focus. The guys were positive after the game. We’re looking to stay positive."
   The Cardinals are staying positive despite a 1-3 start and a three-game losing streak. They will face a tough Notre Dame squad at 5:15 p.m. today (Thursday) at Ice Land in Hamilton before visiting Manasquan for a competitive out-of-conference game. After that, they will take part in the Nottingham High School Holiday Tournament, which also will include Hamilton and Ewing.
   "The good news is the schedule gets easier as the season goes along," Borowsky said.
   The brightest spot for the Cardinals this season has been the play of senior forward Evan Fruscione, who has scored in every game and has a total of five goals and one assist. Overall, Lawrence has tallied 11 goals in four games.
   "He’s really an all-around player," Borowsky said. "He’s our captain. All the guys on our team and all the guys around the league, I think, know why he’s our captain. He’s a great leader. He gives everything he’s got on and off the ice. He wants to have a successful senior season before he graduates. He knows this is the best team we’ve had since he’s been here. He’s really stepping up. I can’t ask for more from him."
   Another senior who is stepping up is Zate, who finished with 42 saves in the loss to Princeton.
   "He’s playing great," Borowsky said. "He kept us in that Princeton game for a long time. His expectations are high, being a senior also. He wants to see the team do what it is capable of."
   The Cardinals will have a chance to start straightening things out this week with their games against Notre Dame and Manasquan.
   "Notre Dame’s always Notre Dame, so that’s going to be a tough game," Borowsky said. "Manasquan’s a little better this year. That’s not going to be an easy game. If we can do what we need to do, hopefully, we can come away with a ‘W.’"