By Neil Kavanaugh
The Catholic University Hockey team played its first divisional game against Franklin & Marshall College this past Saturday, October 18 at Wheaton Ice Arena in Wheaton, Maryland, defeating the Diplomats 7-4.
The Cards went into this game with a 2-1 record, with their one loss coming from the American League Salisbury “A team” in which they fell 7-2. The Birds managed to defeat the Patriot Division Salisbury “B team” 11-0 and they beat the American University team 10-3.
This was the first game that the Cards have played in their new College Hockey Federation division. The division is stocked with teams that certainly pose difficulty for the team.
“Being in a new division creates a lot of new opportunities for our program,” said senior captain Connor Cassidy. “Playing schools such as Rutgers and University of Delaware will really provide the team with the competition we need to compete at a high level throughout the playoffs this year and potentially at the national stage.”
The Cards fought hard in the game from the second the puck dropped. It paid off for them when they scored their first goal off of a shot from freshman forward Dennis Genereau, just 11 minutes into the period. Sophomore forward Kevyn Rigatti added to the lead just 3 minutes later to make the score 2-0 Birds. The Diplomats refused to give up that easily, however, and came back to score two goals in the final five minutes to bring the score to an even 2-2 at the end of the first.
The second period started with another goal from Rigatti off of a 2-on-1 rush just 4:38 into the period. Senior forward Connor Cassidy added to the total with a goal of his own from the left hand faceoff circle to bring the score to 4-2 Cards. This would not last long though, as the Diplomats managed to sneak one goal in before the period ended to cut the lead in half to make it 4-3.
The third period was when the Cardinals really came into their own. Freshman forward Devlin Powell started the barrage of three straight unanswered goals throughout the period. Powell’s goal was followed by another 2-on-1 from Cassidy who faked the goalie and put one top shelf. Genereau put the final nail in the coffin, scoring a wraparound goal to bring the score to 7-3. Franklin and Marshall scored in the final two minutes, but it was too late to make a difference.
Sophomore goalie Joe Allegretti stopped 22 of 26 shots to put up a .846 save percentage. The Birds were 0 for 5 on the powerplay and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Catholic hockey team has many new faces on the team, and it is also bigger than it was the previous season. However, this is far from a problem for the team. One of the defensemen, sophomore Patrick Keegan, was excited to find there would be incoming players to bolster the roster.
“Our depth is so good that I feel any one of us defensemen could go out there on the ice in any situation and you would see the same shut down result,” said Keegan.
The Catholic University Hockey team has started their division play with a resounding 7-4 win over Franklin & Marshall College. The Cardinals play Rutgers University at Fort DuPont Ice Arena Friday, November 1st at 9:45 p.m.