By Luke Mich, Sports Editor
The regular season has officially ended for the Saint Vincent College men’s hockey team, the Polar Bearcats. With playoffs looming ahead, goalie Shane Stone, junior criminology and law and society major, reflects on the season so far.
“The season started off very well, as we went 6-0 to start the [season]. As the season went on, we had some injuries and suspension and we now [as of Feb. 17] sit at a record of 11-8,” Stone said.
Beginning shortly after the start of the fall semester, the team held bi-weekly practices at the Palmer Arena in Delmont, Pa., with the first such practice on Sep. 12. About a month later, Stone and the Polar Bearcats opened their season with a victory against IUP on Oct. 1, a victory that propelled them into a six-game winning streak.
After their smashing start, the Polar Bearcats faced a mid-season struggle, losing their next four games and entering winter break with a record of 6-4. The team rebounded with a few wins in January, but the team has had a losing record since their opening six-game stretch of victories.
“A few games just haven’t gone our way recently,” Stone said. “Everyone has something to prove going into the end of [the] season.”
The Polar Bearcats played their final regular season game this year at home facing off against Robert Morris on Feb. 20, which was also the team’s Senior Day. Now that the regular season has concluded, playoffs are fast approaching.
“We are in the playoffs. Top four teams make it, and while we wait for official seeding, we know there will be a semifinal with 1st seed playing 4th seed and 2nd seed playing 3rd seed.” Stone said.
The semifinal games will take place on Feb. 26, and the championship match will be played on Feb. 27 at 2 p.m.
Two wins removed from winning the championship, the team is determined to end the season not just on a high note, but as champions.
“The team is ready to finish the season well. To finish strong, we need to work on consistency. When our team plays well, we give ourselves a chance at a win every game,” Stone said.
The Polar Bearcats are set on accomplishing their goals and plan to enter spring break with a win to finalize their season.