Matt Bacon Sports Editor + Christopher Bergin Journal Contributor
The Suffolk University men’s hockey team has gotten off to a much better start this season, and they are currently competing for a playoff position. The team is coming off a 6-1 victory over Nichols College (6-3-0), making them 4-4-2 overall and 2-2-1 in conference play. This is a tremendous improvement over last season, as going into finals week of the fall semester they have already won more games than they did all of last season.
Adding to the optimism, one of their losses was to nationally ranked Bowdoin College. The Rams fell 5-2 to Bowdoin (6-0-1) at home, before bouncing back with a 4-4 tie at Curry College and the 6-1 victory against Nichols College.
With only nine conference games remaining, the team has the ECAC North East playoffs in their sights. Head Coach Chris Glionna is positive with the direction the team is heading, stating, “We think the team continues to get better every week as they work very hard in practice.” He adds: “The ECAC Northeast is one of the toughest leagues in the country. With nine league games remaining, the [playoff positions will be determined] in the last week of the season.”
Junior Charlie McGinnis leads the team in points with eleven (10 GP, 4G, 7A). Sophomore forward Tim Sprague leads the team in goals with seven in ten games. Blue-Liner Andrew Ball (Sophomore, 10 GP, 0G, 7A) is the the team leader in points amongst defensemen with seven. Junior Jon Stauffer has also been a key presence on the Ram’s defense.
Suffolk comes into this season with 14 freshmen on the roster, making them one of the youngest teams in the nation. The incoming players have wasted no time in contributing to the team’s success, with freshmen forwards Mike Cherpark (10 GP, 5G, 1A) and David Lazaro (7 GP, 4G, 1 A). With that said, the leadership of seniors Dan Feyock and Steve Drago has also had a tremendous impact on the team.
Home ice advantage has also played a key role in Suffolk’s success this year, with games being held at Steriti Rink in the North End. Glionna went on record saying, “Having all our home games at the North End has been helpful. We encourage the students to come down to a game soon.” Next up for the Rams is a key matchup versus Stone Hill College on Wednesday, December 5 at Steriti Rink (7:25pm).