Men's Ice Hockey Two game series at Purdue
Returning from a two month stretch with no games, the No. 15 Men's Hockey Team headed to Fishers, Indiana to take on the 12th ranked team from Purdue for a two game series that could have serious regional playoff implications for both teams. The Ramblers got off to a slow start, going down 3-0 early then rallying back to 3-2 before Purdue took over and won the game 9-4.
A positive takeaway from this game was the play of the freshman trio Pat Myers, Matt Barnett, and Dominic Marcus. Their play lead to all four Loyola goals and would provide the key to jump-starting the team for the Saturday game.
Saturday's game got off to a much better start for the Ramblers. They knew that their performance from the previous night was not characteristic of the great strides they have made over the course of the season, so they proved to themselves that they are capable of playing with teams in the tightly contested North Region.
Pat Myers opened the scoring late in the first period of Saturday's game with an unassisted goal, and the period ended with Loyola leading 1-0. After a slew of penalties and stellar play from goalie Tyler Kovach, Purdue tied the game up at 1-1 midway through the second period. The game stayed tied until Freshman Dante Todaro scored on a high-rising shot with just under 8 minutes left to play.
Loyola and Purdue traded chances back-and-forth, but Kovach stayed strong in net until Purdue scored on a 5 on 3 powerplay to tie the game at 2. The game ended tied and both teams shook hands with bitter tastes in their mouths hoping the game could have been settled with overtime or a shootout.
Next on the schedule for Loyola is division-rival Marquette. One win against Marquette should propel them into the League Playoff picture for the first time in team history. Also, the team should finally get back Ross Cominsky, who has been recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in October. It will be the second semester debut of the Buffalo Sauce line consisting of Cominsky, Harrison Oates, and Dante Todaro. All native to Buffalo, New York and all ready to spice up the team's performance on the ice. With only four games left in the regular season, every shift will mean something special to the four seniors on the team, Tyler Kovach, Keegan Thornton, Jordan Hawkins, and Matt Evans. They look to leave a lasting mark on Loyola Hockey and set a good example for the next generation of players.
Matt Barnett after a four goal game on Friday, "Yeah it was pretty cool. I've never done that before."
Freshman Dominic Marcus on playing with linemates Matt Barnett and Pat Myers, "We have good chemistry, even though Matt and I are both Biology majors. We think similarly and just try to have fun out there."
Senior Keegan Thornton on his hockey career at Loyola winding down, "I've loved every minute of being a part of this team. Especially the fact that I have been able to continue playing the sport I love while earning an education that will prepare me for whatever comes next."
Freshman Matt Barnett was MVP of Friday's game scoring all 4 goals. Senior goalie Tyler Kovach was MVP of Saturday's game stopping 28 of 30 shots. The final score of each game was Friday 9-4 (loss) and Saturday 2-2 (tie).
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