The Xavier Ice Hockey team traveled to Western Pennsylvania over the weekend for our first real challenge of the season. Unfortunately, it was not a good weekend. Losing all three games played served as a wake up call for the remaining 2009 – 2010 season.
Friday night we played California University of Pennsylvania. The team did not arrive at the rink until 15 minutes before warm ups and had what we call “bus legs” from the drive from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh. This proved to be a major problem and Cal U jumped out to a 5 – 0 lead after the first period of the game. The legs came back and from there on it was all Musketeers as the team fought back and definitely out-played their opponent. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and lost 6 – 5. A real heartbreaker!
Saturday night we played the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburgh and I can only say our team defensive play was non-existent. It was an ugly 11 – 7 loss.
Sunday was a much better showing against St. Vincent College; probably the strongest team of the three games. Even in this losing effort the Musketeers played a great game stride for stride with SVC. Our defensive play was a totally opposite of the night before; and other than a couple bouncing pucks that went the wrong way, the game was dead even. We lost 4 -1 (empty net goal), but proved that we are a solid team.
In summary, other than one game this season, the team continues to build its reputation of being competitive and not to be taken lightly. We have proven that we can put the puck in the net. The entire team is contributing; from freshmen to seniors. If we can continue to improve defensively we will be tough to beat.
This weekend, the team travels to Louisville for Friday and Saturday games. Louisville is a Division 2 team and a couple of victories would enhance both our record and ACHA ranking. I am confident that the boys are up to the task and will to prove it to themselves and their fans!