Wednesday, January 13, 2016

An Amazing 20 Seconds From Josh Teves

For about 20 seconds Friday night at Baker Rink, Josh Teves was the greatest hockey player who ever lived.

Okay, maybe that's a little strong. Still, what Teves did in the third period of what became a 4-4 tie against Union was incredible.

With the score tied 3-3 and little more than six minutes left, there was a scramble in front of the Princeton net. Colton Phinney, the Tiger goalie, was to the left side when the puck squirted in front and then was tipped towards the open net.

TigerBlog was in the press box at the time, almost directly above the goal. The puck was going in. There was no way around it.

Or so it appeared.

Then out of nowhere came Teves, a freshman defenseman from Calgary. At the last possible second he dove, fully extended, and slapped the puck into the corner.

TigerBlog, who firmly believes that press boxes are no places for cheering, didn't quite cheer. He did let out a "wow," he's pretty sure.

That play alone was incredible. What happened next elevated it greatly.

Teves got up as play continued. He skated behind the goal and then started up the left wide, where he got a pass from Ryan Kuffner, skated into the Union end and ripped a shot for his second career goal.

In one sequence he stopped a sure goal at one end and scored at the other.

In a weird way, even as Teves was still in the Princeton zone, TigerBlog had a sense he was going to go down to the other end and score. He's not sure why he thought that, but it just seems like it was preordained or something.

When TigerBlog saw the replay off the Ivy League Digital Network, which didn't do the play justice. It wasn't until TB saw the overheard video Monday that he really appreciated what Teves had done to stop the goal in the first place.

You think TigerBlog liked it? Check out the kid in the Princeton Varsity Club t-shirt.

It was an incredible play. It's a shame that there wasn't immediate access to the overheard feed, because that was definitely worthy of some SportsCenter Top Plays recognition.

As it turned out, Teves' play was honored by the NCAA's website as the top play in college hockey last week.

If you check out the video, the save at No. 2 is pretty incredible too. That one was by Air Force goalie Shane Starrett, who made two saves on the same shot.

But hey, Starrett didn't get up and skate down the ice and score.

In most weeks, Starrett's save would have been worthy of No. 1. Not this week.

Teves' play got TigerBlog thinking about the greatest plays he's ever seen by a Princeton athlete.

The ones he usually goes with are the ones with the most historical significance, like Gabe Lewullis' layup to give Princeton a 43-41 win over UCLA in the 1996 NCAA men's basketball tournament or Andy Moe's OT goal against Syracuse in 1992 to give Princeton the first of its six NCAA men's lacrosse titles. Hey, four of those titles came in overtime.

Maybe the best individual play TigerBlog has seen was the play against Penn in the second overtime in football in 2006, when Princeton had a fourth-and-goal at the 1. You remember the play.

Rob Toresco took a handoff up the middle and was stopped once, then again. Then he pitched it back to Jeff Terrell, the quarterback, who ran around the right side for a touchdown.

The historical significance? Princeton doesn't win the 2006 Ivy title without it.
 It's harder to think about great moments like Teves' that simply occurred in the course of a season.

TigerBlog's first thought takes him to Ed Persia, who beat Monmouth in men's basketball in 2002 with an, oh, 80-footer at the buzzer. The incredible thing about that shot was that TigerBlog remembers full well thinking it was going in the second it left Persia's hand.

There was also a save that Tyler Fiorito made against Cornell in men's lacrosse in the 2012 regular-season finale. Princeton was in complete control of the game at the time, but Fiorito made a ridiculous play on a shot.

Yeah, that was a great one.

There are so many other great plays that TigerBlog has seen. In so many sports here.

Thinking back now, it's hard to remember them all.

The one that Teves made the other night? That'll be hard to forget.

TigerBlog ranks that up there with any moment he's seen at Princeton. That's saying a lot.

But that's also how great a play it was.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These videos for your top plays are great. Keep 'em coming, please.

One of the best things about the Toresco pitch back to Terrell is the Princeton announcer very excitedly yelling while the part of his brain responsible for speech remained entirely calm: "THAT WAS ONE OF THE. . . better plays I've ever seen!"