By Scott Richter
The St. Michael’s men’s hockey season came to an end on Wed. March 3 with a 5-1 loss in the semi-finals round against Assumption.
The team posted a 7-17-3 overall record and a 3-1-1 record in the Northeast-10.
“I’d say we were underachievers and I thought our record would have been quite different,” coach Chris Davidson said.
The team did manage to post a 3-1 record in NE-10 conference play and beat Southern New Hampshire on Feb. 27 to get into the semi-finals against Assumption. Coach Davidson said the team had an overall good start to the season but the team lost some games they shouldn’t have.
A high point of the season came against Castleton State, when the team rallied to come back from a 3-1 deficit to pick up a 4-3 victory on senior day.
“I was real happy to get a win for the seniors,” junior Matt Rigtrup said. “The game really showed what our team was made of.” Rigtrup won his second consecutive NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year award this season and was also named to the All-Conference first team for his outstanding play this season.
“We were a much better team than our record showed,” Coach Davidson said.
Prior to Wednesday’s game against Assumption, sophomore Brady Earle believed that the team needed to change it’s game in order to win.
“We need to fix our mistakes from the beginning of the year,” he said. “We need to come out strong and finish strong.”
The team also needed to stay out of the penalty box and ignore the crowd, Earle said.
“We need to play our game,” Davidson said before Wednesday’s game. “We need to play hard for the entire game and don’t take any shifts off.”
St. Michael’s took an early penalty which Assumption capitalized on. From there, they just could not gain any momentum, Earle said.
This season was the final season for eight players on the roster. The seniors leaving the team will be missed, Earle said.
“Every one of them was a leader,” Earle said. “Every underclassman looked up to them; it’s unfortunate they couldn’t go out on top.”
All three goalies will return for next season, as well as sixteen skaters, when the Knights hope to again be an NE-10 championship contender.