On Sunday afternoon the Shippensburg University ice hockey club beat Bloomsburg University 6-3 in the semi-finals of the Delaware Valley Colligate Hockey Conference.
The No. 2 Raiders came off a first round bye, and were led by Austin Rinck, who had a hat trick and also tallied three assists in the victory.
Also scoring for the Raiders was Bobby Lee who scored two goals and Matt Gerber netted one. SU also got some key stops from goalie Justin Decker who stopped 21 of 24 shots.
SU has developed a very intense and physical rivalry with the Huskies ever since they came into the league in 2010. Sunday afternoon was no different as SU used their physicality to control the puck in the Huskies zone for most of the first period. SU jumped out to a 2-0 lead after goals from Rinck and Lee.
After two costly penalties late in the first period BU came back with two quick goals to make it 2-2 going entering the first intermission.
“We haven’t been a first period team all year, but we were able to go into the locker room in between the first and second period and regroup,” head coach John Rinck said.
SU came out of the intermission hitting, and hitting hard. Austin was able to net a breakaway goal early to make it 3-2. Matt Gerber followed it up with a goal from the top of the face off circle to extend the lead to two.
After that, the Raiders never looked back. BU scored a late short-handed goal to make it 5-3 but SU answered 30 seconds later as Austin netted his hat-trick goal.
“This was a big game for the team. Our team chemistry finally showed tonight and we were able to come out with a big victory. I told the players before the game it’s not just about you, but its about the guy next to you and representing the university. The guys came out, played the system, and smart hockey. They didn’t retaliate and were able to dominate the game,” assistant Coach James Schorn said.
This weekend the Raiders will compete against Rowan University for the title.
They will start their three game series on Friday night in Aston, Pa., at Ice Works Ice Rink, and then will play at Power Play ice rink in Exton, Pa.