By Kait Goodenough, Sports Editor
Photos by Adam Antor
Aquinas College Men’s Hockey faced Rochester twice last week, dominating its opponent in both games. The Saints finished the first game with a score of 6-2 on Friday, Nov. 15. The following game, on Saturday, Nov. 16, AQ put up a whopping 13 points to Rochester’s four.
After powering through a tough streak of losses, these two wins leave the Saints with an impressive four-game winning streak. The team currently sits at 6-8 in the overall season and 2-6 in WHAC play.
In the first match with Rochester, junior Kyle Truax hit the first shot of the game with an assist from sophomore Mason Stewart at the 2:41 mark.
With 20 seconds left in the second period, sophomore Brandon Rozema hit the second goal for AQ assisted by sophomore Nick Long.
Rochester responded to AQ’s lead with two goals in the second period, tying the game. Aquinas picked it back up and was able to score four more goals.
Freshman Darren Johnson hit one of these goals in the second period with an assist from senior Connor Barta. Three more Aquinas goals were scored in the third period; one unassisted by Freshman Alex Klekotka, another from junior Trent Kulczyk assisted by Johnson, and the last goal from freshman Brandon Schwandt assisted by Rozema.
In the second game, seven different Aquinas players scored goals for the outstanding 13-4 victory at their opponent’s home rink.
Darren Johnson hit the first goal of the game assisted by Truax and Stewart giving the Saints a 1-0 lead at 15:51 in the first. Long brought AQ to 2-0 with another goal at 7:27. Russell Shengulette took the lead up to 3-0 with assists from Ryan Wolfe and Conner Barta.
In the second period, Rochester tried to fight back with a goal bringing the score to 3-1. However, Klekotka came right back with his own goal, assisted by Brandon Rozema and Steven Nisbet, putting the Saints up 4-1.
Rochester attempted to close the gap with AQ, adding another goal, but the Aquinas offense wasn’t rattled and fought right back. Steven Gustafson and Greg McQuade each made a goal just before Rochester finished out the period with their own goal, closing the period 6-3.
In the third period, Rochester scored a goal early on, which would end up being their final goal of the game. The Saints continued to dominate, scoring seven more goals in the third. Rozema was able to seal a goal with the help of Klekotka and Gustafson. Johnson scored another and brought the score to 8-4. Not long after, Long and Klekotka each scored themselves a goal as well.
Within the last three minutes, Gustafson was able to secure two goals and Johnson scored another as well, ending the game with a solid 13 points for Aquinas.
The Saints are hoping to keep this winning streak alive as they face Concordia University in Ann Arbor on Friday, Nov. 22. You can get live stats on the Aquinas Athletics website here, or watch this game on the Cardinal’s live stream here.
The Men’s next home game will be against Concordia on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Byron Center, Michigan. Come support your Saints!