After our disappointing trip to Pittsburgh, the team has re-bounded by winning 4 of their last 5 games. This makes our overall record in the ACHA of 6 wins and 3 losses for a total of 12 points and definitely in the top 10 schools in our region.
Last weekend, the team won two away games against Louisville, a DII team; and this weekend continued their solid play winning 2 of the 3 games played.
Friday night was a thriller against Eastern Kentucky, another DII team, with the game momentum going back and forth. The Musketeers would not let up on their offensive and defensive play and came out on top with a 5 – 3 victory. The win was especially gratifying since it was the first time Xavier has beaten EKU!
The Saturday and Sunday games were against Denison University, another team that has consistently beaten the Musketeers. On Saturday, Denison came out on top with a 6 – 5 win. The team started the game flat and could not get a solid flow going until late in the game. Denison at one point jumped to a 6 -3 lead, but Xavier kept fighting back. Unfortunately, a number of late penalties killed the Musketeer chances. The team was extremely discouraged with their play of the evening and was determined to turn that around.
Sunday was a total change and the boys skated extremely well. There was no doubt that they wanted to prove they were a better team than the previous night’s showing. The speed of Denison was countered with solid defensive play and our offensive strength was too much for Denison to handle. The result was a 9 -3 win.
It is hard to single out individual players since the entire team was instrumental to our success the last two weekends. Scott Caine continues to be outstanding in net; and Brian Campbell finally scored on a break away! Scott Chesnek showed the true meaning of the word “hustle!” The defensive players continue to improve their team play and are adding to our offensive success. Our forwards likewise, are getting quicker and our freshmen are having a positive effect on our overall effectiveness.
That said, we are about to go into the major part of our schedule and our most difficult challenges. The boys know that they need to continue to improve both their individual skills and team play. We will be facing a tough opponent when we travel to Flint to play the University of Michigan at Flint for a 2 game series. This will be followed by Holy Cross, Cincinnati, Indiana and Canisius; all must win games in our quest to grow the ice hockey program.
Hope to see you at the rink,