It hasn’t been the same since last year when senior captain Nate Farrington hoisted the conference trophy over his head with the rest of the team. After a change in culture, the seniors on the Springfield men’s hockey team this year have been trying to spread the championship mentality to the incoming players. Coming off the team’s triumphant 2016-2017 campaign, it’s been a tough season for the Pride. However, with big wins against MIT and UNH, it seems like the team still has life and a chance to turn this season in the right direction.
The hunger for a ring has started to fester for the freshman, and the quest for another has set in for the veterans.
“We had a special team last year. This year has felt different, but I believe in every guy in our locker room,” said senior defenseman Steve Young.
The team has been without teammate James Baker due to an injury for a couple of weeks. Getting Baker back has proved to be a major upgrade for the offense, especially when the thirty-year-old buried a game winner against MIT last Friday.
The seniors want to cement their legacy with one more championship win.
“I want to go out on top as a senior, but we have to take it game by game,” said Murphy.
Both Young and Murphy are just a couple of the seniors on the team. The squad is missing one essential senior in Jake Barnacle.
Barnacle has been sidelined with a shoulder injury for the majority of the season so far.
“[Barnacle] is a grinder, he’s the guy that gets in the trenches and fights for the puck,” said Murphy.
Barnacle would have been a big help at certain points in the third period this season for the Pride. The third period has been the team’s kryptonite.
“Our focus this past weekend was ‘finish’ and our boys did a damn good job of doing that,” said Young.
Each game there has been a goalie shake-up whether it has been Nick Lupi or George Matteo. Both have played at a competitive level and haven’t made it easy for head coach George Johnson to make the final decision on who starts before every game.
One thing the hockey team needs to do is to continue to ride its current win wave. A season that has been stricken with injuries has turned into a promising one. No one said it’d be easy to put another ring on the finger of the veterans, but with the drive and focus of the Pride, anything is possible.