Men’s Hockey national bound

Story by Crysta Paganelli, Reporter
Photo courtesy of Andris Visockis

On February 13, the Men’s Hockey squad defeated Hope College in the second round of the MCHC Tournament with an overtime 1-0 win. With 3:45 left in overtime it was first-year Austin Kuch who had the winning goal for the Saints. After losing to the Flying Dutchmen twice in the regular season, it was a huge win for the men’s squad as it puts them into the MCHC West Division finals.

“Winning the second round of the MCHC tournament was great and of course we would love to win the conference but there’s been a sense among the guys since day one that we have something special here and we really want to run with this as far as we can. We’re expecting nothing but the best from ourselves,”  senior Carson Miller stated.

With the season quickly coming to a close, for eight seniors it is almost time to say goodbye. Senior Jonathan Edwards shared his thoughts about what he hopes to take away from his journey as a Saint.

“I hope to take away the disciplinary aspect that I have learned to use both on and off the ice. Many times throughout my past four years here, I have found myself always relating back to the structure and foundation that hockey has given me.”

For the seniors on this team, they got to be a part of making history. They were the first class to play on the team its first official year as a varsity sport back in 2012. Miller shared what it has meant to him being one of those seniors.

“I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. You really won’t find a tighter knit group of guys. A big factor in that is the seniors have been together now for four years. We’ve been together since the inception of the program and have really grown with it over the years. With something so big in common it really helps unite in the locker room.”

Last Friday at Farmington Ice Arena, the Saints overpowered Lawrence Tech University 3-0. Scoring for the Saints was first-year Tyler Layle, junior Zach Grover, and senior Doug Zelenka.

The Saints returned for competition the next day to defeat Grand Valley University 6-3. First-year Nathan Aloisio, Zelenka, sophomores Jason Wrbelis, Bill Warren, Hunter Jenerou, and Domenic Fusco all put the puck in the back of the net for the Saints. With these two huge wins, the Saints will advance on to the ACHA National Tournament that will take place at their home rink, Southside Ice Arena starting March 8.

“My hopes would be to graduate knowing that myself, as well as the other seniors, left everything out on the ice. As much as a championship title is ideal, the thought of knowing that we gave it our all is what’s truly important,” said Edwards. The thought of winning a national championship at our own home rink my senior year is a thought that words cannot express.”

This weekend the Saints squad will take on the Calvin College Knights to determine who will advance on to the MCHC Championship game.

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