Hockey team hopes to return to championship game soon
After club hockey watched the LaSalle Explorers take the championship ring right off their fingers last year at the Great Northeast Collegiate Hockey Conference Championship, the Leopards looked to return stronger than ever.
But they’ve had a tough go-around. After losing this past weekend to Wagner, the Leopards fell to 3-9 on the year. With only three games left in the season, it is virtually impossible for them to make the playoffs. Still, they’re not giving up.
“Win out.” That’s the goal, junior forward Graham Thomas said. Thomas, along with junior captain Sam Komrower and sophomore Parker Gaglione, are the only Lafayette players to have double-digit points on the year. The Leopards have relied a lot on their offensive production and their ability to make clutch plays throughout the season.
“We have shined in our ability to produce offensive dominance and shot production, along with our ability to comeback after being down a few goals,” Thomas said. “We’re going to miss Max Fink with his ability to put the puck in the net when it counts most.”
Fink, a senior, is tied for fourth on the team in goals with four. However, one of those was a game-winner in overtime to beat Scranton, which is currently third in the conference.
The team will miss Fink, along with goaltender Alex Hope and forward Chris Kelly, both on the ice and off.
“Hope’s commentary is probably his most valuable asset,” junior defenseman Nick Segar said. “He’s great at keeping the locker room light.”
Segar, who has still yet to register a point this season or score a goal in his collegiate career, provides stability on the defense along with Fink, junior Matt Goldsworthy, freshman Ted Granbois and sophomores Nolan Fearon and Joe Kenney.
With the team’s chances at making a run for the title very slim, it may be time to look at how the team is shaping up for next year’s competition. One of the positives this season is the growth and unity of the team.
“I think the team camaraderie is definitely way up this year compared to years past,” Segar said.
There are a handful of freshman and young players that look to contribute even more next year. Granbois, who is third on the team in goals with six, is one of them.
“I’ve been anchoring the blue line with Ted Granbois this year and he’s been great,” Segar said.
Other possible contributors next year include freshman P.J. Webb, who netted two goals in five games, and freshman Spencer Reynolds, who tallied seven points in 13 games played.
“Ted, P.J., and Spencer have been major assets all around,” Thomas said. “They’re definitely going to have a big impact on the team next year.”
Also with Hope leaving, sophomore Eric Herbst is going to have to make the jump to full-time starting goalie after platooning for most of the year. If the team has any hope of winning the championship next year, it’s going to rely on Herbst’s play.