On Saturday night, the Shippensburg University ice hockey team celebrated its senior night by defeating the East Stroudsburg University Warriors,6-4, in front of a packed crowd at Hersheypark Arena.
The importance of the game was immense as SU needed a victory to secure a No. 2 seed and gain the necessary momentum for a strong playoff push.
ESU lit the lamp first after a turnover, followed by a goal by freshman Tyler Master. The first period ended at a tie 1-1.
The Raiders came out in the second period with a head of steam as freshman winger John Murrison scored on a power play goal to make it, 2-1. The Raiders did not look back as they got goals from sophomore Mike Romano and Matt Gerber making it,4-1,after two periods of play.
ESU then came out hungry in the third period and scored two quick goals before SU defenseman Kyle Gertz fired a slap shot from the blue line to make it, 5-3. Senior Greg Osmolenski added a goal late to close the game out, 6-4.
“We have been working very hard, and have been building momentum since we have returned from the Christmas break. Playoffs are one week away and things are about to get very serious and very fun,” coach Rinck said.
For the senior class it has not been an easy road. Two years ago the club was dischartered and not recognized by the university. Half of the team transferred or quit. It was left to believe that SU hockey would not come back.
“There are six seniors on the team, tonight’s game meant so much to each of us. This was also one of the last times all six of us will get to play together again,” Lovely said. “It was great getting to enjoy tonight’s game with six guys I have gotten to know really well.”
SU will continue to prepare for its playoff match up Sunday afternoon against either Bloomsburg University or Bryn Athyn College.