Tag Archives: IceGaels

Ice Gaels have their sights set on a championship run

When people our age think of MSJ sports, it’s most often football or basketball. Many people forget that the ice hockey team won 9 straight MIAA championships from ‘99-’07 and another in 2011. Yet everyone knows about that win in 2017 against Calvert Hall that went to overtime, resulting in another MSJ championship. Most people who understand the legacy that St. Joe hockey has, see it as one of the most underrated sports here because of how competitive the team has been for a while.

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Class of 2018, Noah Blonder, saluting the fans after a playoff goal against Calvert Hall. (Photo Credit: Denise Garvin)

In an interview with Michael Garvin, senior Tier I ice hockey player, he was asked certain questions to further explain and show why MSJ ice hockey is so important to the people who care about it and to exploit the hype around the team this upcoming year.

High expectations can easily get the best of you and put your confidence through the roof. Usually you do not play as hard as you would when you’re the underdog. You have to push to win and last year the Ice Gaels had too much confidence. An overwhelming, and self-defeating confidence. But this year, the men in purple are ready for battle and have been looking forward to this for quite some time. Coming up short in the MIAA finals really took the spirit out of the team for a bit. That seems to be the way it is for a couple of players but now it’s back and they are more ready then ever. The magic is hopefully back at the Mount and it is ring season for the ice Gaels, once again says Michael Garvin. “There’s definitely some motivation… we’re gonna be going for it this year.” Michael Garvin declared.

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Getting ready to take on Spalding – The calm before the storm (Photo Credit: Denise Garvin)

Tryouts for the team just concluded and the new recruits are looking strong. They seem to know how much this means to the upperclassmen and they’re willing to give it whatever they can. With a strong, deep offense, powerful and skilled defensive core, and great goaltending from Connor Churko, senior goalie, the Gaels are looking stronger than ever. The team just won its opener against Marriotts Ridge on Monday night, 5-2. Opening the scoring, for the Gaels, was Sophomore forward, Jorrdan Osafo, on the penalty kill. A few minutes after Senior forward, Frankie Gregorini, came out of the penalty box, after a 5 minute major for a monster hit, and scored 10 seconds after the penalty expired giving the Gaels a 2-1 lead late in the second period. Senior Connor Churko went 16-18 saving shots on goal to seal the win.

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Senior goalie, Connor Churko, stopping a shot against Gonzaga (Photo Credit: Denise Garvin)

The one major thing that the Gaels can pride themselves on is their top of the line student section. They bring the life every time they come. However, not as many students show up for ice hockey like they do for some of St. Joe’s other sports. The Ice Gaels have plenty of big games and the more people that come, the more intensity the guys play with. Ethan Hall, the team manager from last year, said “Some games can be mellow but the big games are why I love the sport so much more than just the game.” He continued to talk about his experience. “All the students are involved and rally behind each other (with) every check and every chance on the ice.”

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Michael Garvin carrying the puck up the ice (Photo Credit: Denise Garvin)

Off the ice, the guys are hard at work during school hours. There are a number of guys with GPA’s above a 4.0 such as Michael Garvin, Connor Flynn, and starting goalie, Connor Churko. When asked about balancing a hard work schedule and a hefty hockey schedule, Garvin simply said, “It’s not fun, but it has to be done.” They know what it takes to be a true student-athlete. The demands of a long season are something that every player on the team feels.

Looking forward to the season, the team knows that they can play a great game and they are expected to do well. More support and attendance from the student body is what they are in desperate need of. With some wins and some publicity, the team is hoping the fans come out in droves as the season progresses. Anything less than an MIAA championship this year will be a letdown for all the people involved.

8D5A6D96-4B91-4C8F-B277-9E790B5CAC3AFrank Gregorini is a senior and a member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

 

IceGaels Get it Done, Bring the MIAA Title Back to St. Joe

We knew Cross Country was going to win. We knew basketball was going to sit atop the conference. What we did not foresee was senior captain Alec Pupshis hoisting up the championship plaque in the middle of a sea of celebrating students.

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Senior Jay Davis holding the MIAA Championship trophy. Photo Credit: MSJ Hockey

The Hockey team defied any and all expectations thrust upon them in the biggest way possible. I talked to senior Jay Davis back in December and asked him about his expectations for the upcoming season. I was unsure how competitive the IceGaels would be, and when Jay replied to me with, “We are definitely better than last year, and I expect to see us in the championship game.” Now we know Jay was spot on, as they not only appeared in the championship, but upset the #1 seed to take home the title.

Meanwhile, the game itself was as good as it gets and suspenseful up until the very end. Our notorious student section showed out in a big way, undeterred $8 dollar admission fee, and the energy matched the team’s effort on the ice the entire game. It did not take long for the Calvert Hall Cardinals to take a lead. They had a man alone with the goalie, and took advantage of it, scoring early in the first period.  This goal tested the spirits of the students, but they did not let up, and neither did the guys on the ice. Towards the end of the first period, the puck got loose near Calvert Hall’s goal, and in the effort to possess the puck, a man pile of skaters formed, providing a perfect distraction for St. Joe to score (I don’t think anybody had any idea what happened when that goal went in). All I remember from that moment was the silence of students waiting for something, anything to happen. It was not until the referee’s whistle blew, and a couple St. Joe players threw their arms into the air did the crowd erupt into cheering and a very poorly coordinated yelling version of the beginning of Chelsea Dagger.

After an action packed first period, I expected more of the same through the next. However that was not the case. The goalies and their defenders took over for both teams. Personally, I have never been to a hockey game before, but the numerous saves the goalies had on both sides left me stunned. The defense would carry through the rest of game, as the third period ended with the score still tied at one-to-one.

As the overtime period started, the crowd was electric in an unprecedented way. It took only two minutes for the Gaels to score the final goal of the game. While the crowd was loud before, when the puck crossed the goal line, it erupted even louder than I could have imagined. I was standing in the third row of the stands. It took about five seconds of people pushing and shoving for me to be pushed up against the glass in the middle of a tidal wave of people yelling.

The Tier-1 Ice Hockey team gets to take home the MIAA plaque, taking part in possibly the best season of athletics we have seen in years. We have seen Indoor Track win, Wrestling win, Ice Hockey win, and also Basketball win the MIAA Championship. It surely has been a spectacular season for St. Joe athletics!