Well it is that time of year again. Season’s greetings to all!! The semester break is upon us and the first half has closed out for virtually every team this weekend. There is still much to be done on the final weekend that may determine whether Santa puts your team on the naughty or nice list over the break. So, in the spirit of the season, here are some requests by conference for the Jolly Old Elf to consider as the New Year and second half of the season starts up after the Christmas holiday. Ho, ho, ho — to all the coaches and players — hope you find that special present under the tree to help make your season bright!
Nichols has made it to the top of the standings despite a not-so-great power play, so Santa, could you find a couple more man-advantage goals for the Bison in the second half?
Salve Regina is also right near the top of the standings and defense has been a key to their success, but if possible Santa, can you help the Seahawks make like Rudolph and light the lamp for the first goal a bit more often? When they do, they are a robust 5-0-0 this season, and only 2-2-1 when the opponent lights the light first.
Santa, yes Utica is unbeaten in conference play, but oh how they have struggled over the past few games to record a win. The Pioneers are 8-0-0 when leading after the first period, so how about some biorhythm technology to make sure the players are ready to play and get the early lead they are so comfortable playing with.
Offensively, Neumann looks like a contender, but Santa their penalty kill unit has surrendered nearly a third of their total goals against this season. A little help with the special teams and maybe some goaltending being the best penalty killer would be a most welcome stocking stuffer.
Santa, the Panthers at Plymouth State know they can score goals, but could really use some help with their young goaltenders getting more comfortable at the collegiate level and upping their save percentage above 90 percent — how about a little crease magic for the second half?
Massachusetts-Dartmouth certainly looks like they might make some noise in the conference, but giving up almost 44 shots a game is putting an awful lot of pressure on the defense and goaltending, so how about a little more possession time in the offensive zone, and, just in case, a new water bottle for the net of Drew Michals?
Santa, first and foremost can you please bring the spirit of giving to the hockey world and make sure the St. Anselm and St. Michael’s hockey teams (men’s and women’s) both have a league to play in next season?
How about a bringing a big star for Southern New Hampshire to shine as a beacon for a team that recorded 11 wins in the first half and hasn’t garnered very much attention around the hockey world? Goalie Ryan Slatky has a goals-against average of .949, and forward Joe Collins already has 26 points, so spread a little Christmas cheer their way for being very good boys.
Santa, you know the Babson team puts a lot of effort into their team defense, but could you help them with a couple of bounces or a little “puck luck” in the offensive end? They have scored two or fewer goals in seven games this season and just three goals in their last four games, so Santa bring a little Christmas warmth to the Beavers offense this holiday season.
It must be something about teams in New Hampshire flying under the radar screen, so Santa, how about another star or maybe some really great decorations to recognize a New England College team that is 7-3-0 and very much in the mix of the NEHC battle ahead of usual contenders Babson and Massachusetts-Boston.
Santa, here is a Jumbo request. No really, for Tufts can you keep the special teams extravaganza going as both the power play and penalty kill have been outstanding and continue to deliver results like you do with presents every Christmas Eve?
Santa, as hard as every team works, being winless despite the effort is a burden no team should suffer, as nobody has been bad enough to merit a doughnut in the win column. Yes, I know like the children getting presents they need to earn it on the ice, so please help Middlebury find a bit of the tradition and magic from ghosts of the program past to help coach Sinclair and his young team be successful in the second half.
Santa, sometimes it seems that teams misunderstand the season of giving, so please help Brockport build on a great finish to the first half and cut down on the first-period goals-against and power-play goals in the second half. Matt Schneider looks like the real deal in goal, so help out with the penalty kill and the Golden Eagles getting off to better starts in games in the second half.
Santa, the Plattsburgh Cardinals need your help in rekindling the home ice magic that has made playing at Plattsburgh so challenging for visitors over the years. The first-half schedule was loaded with home games, where the Cardinals went 4-4-0, so please help bring back the home-ice advantage starting with the Cardinal Classic at the end of the month.
Santa, most importantly, please make sure all the players, coaches, students, and their families enjoy a safe and wonderful holiday season filled with the joy of the season. The first half has been great, and like Christmas morning filled with great surprises and maybe even a lump of coal or two for teams looking to get on the nice list in the second half. So to all, joyous wishes for the holidays and hopes that all your teams get what you need to have a great second half of the season!