Men’s hockey finishes 1-4, hopes to build around strong ’16 class

The men’s hockey season came to a thrilling conclusion last Saturday night, as the Scots fell 8-7 in a dramatic shootout at Drake Arena before a rowdy handful of devotedly drunken fans. Though the loss dropped Mac to a 1-4 final record on the season, the boys quite literally refused to go down without a fight, as tensions between the two teams escalated into violence in the second period.  Leading the Scots into the fray and subsequently the penalty box was charismatic senior team captain Jacob Greenberg ’13.

“The last game was lot of fun,” Greenberg said. “It was a really intense game on the ice, and it got nasty in the second period. It was great to see the guys standing up for each other and coming together.”

In the loss, the team’s unfailing cohesion and chemistry was not only representative of the team’s 2012-13 season, but also embodied the time-honored Macalester athletic tradition of Scot fighting spirit amid heartbreaking defeats. Furthermore, it demonstrated why Greenberg, despite the team’s struggles this year, believes the men’s hockey program has great potential for the future and may be headed for a level of success not reached at Mac in recent years. Mac’s performance in the tight game, as it has all season, revolved around a freshman class that Greenberg says is the most impressive he’s ever seen at Mac.

“We’ve got six freshmen: Three are polished players and the other three are really raw but talented,” he said.  “The three polished guys—Greg Helget ‘16, Danny Halloran ‘16, and Coleman Egertson ‘16—are three of the best we’ve had in my time here. All six play really hard and are really the core of the team. They scored almost all of our goals this season.”

Though the team ended the year with a disappointing record, they frequently came out on the wrong end of close, winnable games, e.g. Saturday night’s slugfest. This competitiveness gave much evidence that things are starting to turn around for the program and that there are many good things to come for the underclassmen.

Acknowledging that the season was frustrating at times, Greenberg said that it was definitely a step in the right direction.

“We were a much more serious program this year with the enthusiastic young guys,” he said. “In three of the games, we had leads which we lost in the third period. This team could easily have gone 4-1.”

As experience comes to the young squad, victories in such tight games will surely follow. The prospect of increased win totals is certainly an exciting notion, as is the team’s potential for success in future in-game brawls. According to Greenberg, certain members of the youthful roster have a particular talent for such fisticuffs, making him confident that the program will carry on his legacy of toughness.

“Billy Sell ‘16 had a huge hit in the third period of the last game,” Greenberg raved.  “He’s our biggest player and it would be nice to see him drop the gloves next year.”

While the team’s plethora of young talent holds much promise for the future, an important question still looms: With elder statesman Greenberg having finished the fourth and final year of his legendary Macalester career, who will attempt to fill the shoes of the departing superstar?

“I think that’s kind of up to the guys,” said Greenberg. “It’ll depend on who wants to come in and lead this team when I’m gone. Someone’s going to grab it by the horns though.”

Regardless of who takes the reigns, there will undoubtedly be many goals scored and haymakers landed in the future seasons of the ascendant men’s hockey team.