‘Tis the season for joy and merriment and also a time for all good boys to make their wishes to the cherubic elf with hopes they will find stockings filled and presents under the tree.
Certainly all of the coaches in the ECAC East have been good this year, so why shouldn’t they expect to receive as well.
Santa, please, no coal for this group, but here is what they probably wish for their teams in the second half.
A 9-2-0 start should have everyone excited in Beaverland. At their best, Babson has been very good and one of the most difficult teams to score on with solid team defense and strong goaltending from sophomore Jamie Murray. So just what could coach Jamie Rice want besides world peace and better movie selections on the bus during road trips? How about a bit more offense for the team that scores timely goals, but to date, less than three per game, and that will put a lot of pressure on any team’s defense and goaltending.
The first half under new coach Steve Moffatt finished at 6-4-1 and saw some very good, some OK and some not-so good. So what is needed for the second half? Continued strong performances from seniors Ross Herzog and Colin Murray would be appreciated and more than anything, a better penalty kill along with fewer penalties would be a big help in the second half for the Spartans.
For some teams, the break shouldn’t come at all and coach Peter Belisle probably feels just that way considering the roll the Beacons are on entering the holidays. So what does the coach need for a team on a five-game winning streak where they have outscored the opposition by a 23-7 margin? One of the bright lights in the 9-2 win over Wentworth was Frankie DeAugustine, who scored four goals in the game for the Beacons. Santa, could you keep that magic happening in the second half for the talented sophomore? Belisle would sure appreciate it.
New England College
The 8-3-0 start overall must be a pleasant surprise for coach Tom Carroll. Continued offensive success from sophomore Cheyne Matheson would be a welcome present, as would some goals for junior James O’Reilly, who has just one entering the break. Not to be greedy, but that might also help the power play for the Pilgrims and that would be a great stocking stuffer for Carroll and the team in the second half.
One might expect that replacing such a star-studded senior class would find the Cadets struggling to put up their usual numbers, but not the case for coach Mike McShane’s troops, who enter the break atop the conference with a 7-1-2 overall record. For sure, the coach would like to be healthier in the second half of the season and probably would like to see more of the hot hands displayed by goal-scoring forward Chris Duszynski, whose 11 goals lead the team. No pressure Santa, but if there is room in the bag for a little better penalty kill, the coach would appreciate finding that under the tree, too.
At 3-4-4 overall, the Thoroughbreds are trying to find their stride entering the second half. In fact, it would be great, Santa, if you could bring coach Neil Sinclair a little recipe for home cooking to start the new year where they play two non-conference opponents before facing travel partner Castleton to open the second half of the season. It doesn’t get easier after that, so keeping the three seniors at the top of the scoring table would be helpful in posting more wins in the second half.
A 0-2-1 finish to the first half finds the Huskies at 4-5-1 overall and put a little downer on some bright spots for coach Jeff Beaney’s team. Freshman goalie Dylan Wells and freshman forward Kelby Lorenz have been very productive for Southern Maine. Some additional scoring would be a most welcome gift for the Huskies, who have scored more than three goals only three times this season.
After a very slow start, the Hawks finished the first half with a three-game winning streak to close at 3-3-2 overall. The goaltending tandem of Nick Dries and Robert Kang has performed as advertised while the young Hawks search for offense. Coach Ed Seney will probably be pleased if some more balanced scoring would show up to support the strong starts from Joe Tebano and Johnny Daniels. A few more goals and maybe fewer overtime games will be played in the second half.
A win, Santa please, a win for the Purple Knights would be the best present. Coach Damian DiGiulian’s very young team has played well enough in spurts, but not a complete game yet that included the requisite puck luck or opportunistic bounce to earn the season’s first ‘W.’ Experience is everything and the freshmen have the first half of the season under their belts so Santa, please help them translate that new experience into better and more consistent play in the second half.
University of New England
The giant-slaying Nor’easters certainly might think they received an early Christmas present in their final game of the first half where they posted a 3-1 win over nationally-ranked Babson. Coach Brad Holt’s team won’t be satisfied with just the one-game phenomenon, so Santa, could you find some back-to-back wins for this team that would greatly appreciate the results matching their output on the ice and give them something they haven’t seen all season, a win streak?
There are just a couple of weeks of downtime before holiday tournaments and nonconference games kick off the second half and the race to the playoffs.
Go easy on the egg nog, boys, and here is hoping all your wishes from Santa come true.