The men’s club hockey team had back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday, January 25 and 26. In the action on Thursday, they defeated Thomas College by a score of 3-2. On Friday, they dropped the game to University of New England 9-3. When asked about the weekend as a whole, senior captain Sam Levin ’18 says, “I was proud of the guys this weekend. We’ve been hit hard by injuries lately and the fact that the squad hasn’t been rattled by that speaks a lot to our character as a team.”
The game against Thomas on Thursday was a closely contested match, with Bates able to pull out the win in the end 3-2. After the first period, Bates was down 2-1 but did not give up, fighting through a scoreless second period and then rounding out the third with two goals while giving up zero, to finish out a come-from-behind win. Goals in this game were scored by David Katzman ’18, Andrew Cahill ’18 and Nicholas Barker ’18. On this win and the fact that injuries have been a problem for the team this year, Levin says, “We pulled into an opposing team’s barn Thursday night with a depleted squad and still managed to pull out a gritty win.” Levin also made a point of saying how impressive the goalkeeping was by Matt Flanagan ’20: “Flanagan was spectacular this past weekend. The guy was a brick wall against Thomas on Thursday night and he was a key reason that we went into the third period against UNE on Friday night with a shot to pull out the W.”
Friday’s game did not see the same results. At home against UNE, Bates dropped the game by a score of 9-3. Goals were scored by Barker, Alan Bisesi, and Ned Moreland ’19. Unfortunately, coming off of a great win, the Bobcats gave up nine and their three goals were not enough. Despite the result, the team played well through two periods, after which the score was 4-2. Things unraveled in the third, however. Levin says, “Friday night we played a team that was a lot deeper than we were and we held the line for two periods because we played a smart system. The end result wasn’t what we wanted, but the effort and mental toughness were there.”
Looking forward to the rest of the season, Levin thinks that the team can finish strong. The one improvement that needs to be made is penalties. “The key for the rest of the season is to keep playing our system and to stay out of the penalty box,” he says. “Between the past two games we committed fourteen penalties while the opposition committed only four. It’s hard to generate momentum when you spend that much time on the penalty kill.”
With this goal in mind, Levin looks forward to what remains of his last season playing club hockey for Bates. He says, “It drives you for sure to relish every second you have on the ice and to leave everything out there day in and day out, but to be honest I don’t think about it too much. I’m sure that after the end of the season it’ll cut pretty deep, but there’s no use dwelling on it when there’s still hockey yet to be played. For now, we’re just focused on preparing for the game this Friday.” With his focus on the next game rather than what has already happened, the men’s team seems ready to finish the season strong. They play next on Friday, February 2 at home.