Ben Halford joins the Tigers as the only goalkeeper in the freshman class. Halford, an Albany Academy graduate, spent the past several season with the Bay State Breakers. He holds the Breaker franchise records for wins and shutouts.
We caught up with Halford, and here’s what the goalkeeper had to say:
Why did you choose Princeton University?
Princeton had the complete package. I had the opportunity to attend a phenomenal school while playing in the ECAC and I couldn’t say no to that.
What are you most looking forward to?
I can’t wait to get on campus and have the chance to meet the team and get on the ice with everyone.
When did you get into hockey? What’s your earliest memory?
I started skating at a very young age because my dad played, and I remember learning to skate at the Warwick Twin Rinks in Warwick, Penn., about twenty minutes from Princeton. From there I started hockey, and by the time I was about seven I was a goalie.
What NHL team did you grow up rooting for and why?
Initially I was a Buffalo Sabers fan because of Dominic Hasek. He was by far my favorite goalie growing, up so it was easy to root for Buffalo. As Hasek’s career ran dow,n I started to really like the Minnesota Wild, again because of their goalies. At the time they had the duo of Manny Fernandez and Dwayne Roloson, who were always great to watch, and they have continued to produce great goaltenders.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?
My sophomore year of high school I was at a prep school and didn’t make the varsity team. This was definitely a big challenge and disappointment for me, but it was a good learning experience and has helped me to become a better player today.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen when playing hockey?
During my first year of juniors, a guy on our team went all the way through the glass. Then the rink didn’t have correct size glass, so they had to cut a piece to size, which delayed the game for a while.
Who’s the most influential person in your hockey career?
There are so many influential people to choose from, but if I had to choose one I would have to choose my dad. He’s the reason that I started playing hockey and he has always been there to support me.
What’s the most exciting experience you’ve ever had?
It was great to be able to be able to play for three seasons with the Bay State Breakers and I wouldn’t trade those three years for anything.
What do you plan on majoring in/what are your academic interests?
I plan on studying both economics and finance.
What do you hope your legacy at Princeton University will be?
I hope to be remembered as part of a team that always outworks our opponents. I want to be remembered for both a consistent presence on the ice as well as for being an asset in the community off the ice.