Although there may be no professional hockey played at the Garden this year, just down the street the Suffolk University men’s hockey team is hard at work in preparation for their upcoming season, which is thankfully not locked out.
Head coach Chris Glionna and his group of skaters are lacing them up for their 2012-2013 campaign, and hope to raise some eyebrows in the ECAC.
“We are optimistic that we can make a run at the playoffs. We feel like the team will be better this year. The ECAC Northeast is a very tough league so only time will tell if everyone else also got better. We also think the move to the North End Rink will be huge for the program. Students can now walk down to our games. It will give us a real feeling of home,” said Glionna.
This season will include a relatively young roster, with the majority of players being freshman and sophomores.
Sophomore Brett Roman, native of Rock Tavern, N.Y. will be the starting goaltender for the start of the season. In Suffolk’s first and only game of the young season, Roman was impressive between the pipes, saving 29 of 31 shots, allowing only two goals in the 5-2 victory over Assumption.
Coach Glionna is determining that this group will need to gel together and play as a team if they are to be successful.
“I would say what will define this team is chemistry. So far it has been a very team first approach. Guys like Dan Feyock and Steve Drago are providing great leadership.”
For the Rams, that leadership will be provided traditionally by the captains and assistant captains of the team.
Adorning the “C” on his sweater this season will be senior defenseman Dan Feyock.
His counterparts will be juniors Jon Stauffer, and Charlie McGinnis. These two assistant captains will be counted on during the season by their teammates and head coach to provide not just leadership, but also presence on the score sheet.
“Jon Stauffer and Charlie McGinnis will be major players for us once again this season.” Glionna said.
Before their first game of the year, coach Glionna pointed out two players who have much improved since last year, and they did not disappoint in the opening game.
“Dan Mazzei and Tim Sprague look to have really improved their game since last year,” he said.
Mazzei and Sprague combined for four points in Suffolk’s first game. Mazzei received first star honors, posting a goal and two assists, while Sprague assisted the eventual game winning goal, scored by Wes Bonnell.
Suffolk tallied a total of five goals in their season-opener, scored by five different players. The first goal of the year came short-handed and was scored unassisted by sophomore defenseman Creg Cook. Steve Drago and Mike Cherpark also netted a goal apiece.
Suffolk will play its first home game at Steriti Rink in the North End, just down the street from the TD Garden. The match will see Suffolk take on ECAC division opponent Wentworth on Saturday, November 17 at 4:25 p.m.