Coming into the season with high expectations for themselves, the John Carroll University ice hockey team knew that they had to make a statement in their first two games of the season this past weekend. The Blue Streaks traveled to Syracuse, NY to begin the 2011 campaign against the host Syracuse University Orange.
The team’s first game of the season came on Friday, Sept. 23 following a five-and-a-half-hour bus ride to Syracuse. The Blue Streaks lived up to the high expectations and hype as they defeated the Orange in a dramatic victory, winning the game 5-4 in a shootout.
Sophomore right winger Louie Morici had the game-winning goal in the shootout to clinch the win for the Blue Streaks in their season opener. Sophomore Dan Brick played like a brick wall in net for the Blue Streaks on the day, stopping a flurry of shots on goal, helping to lead the team to a win over a talented Syracuse team.
Freshman newcomer Tyler Rhodes also made big contributions on the ice for the Blue Streaks as well, netting two goals on the day for JCU.
“It was great for our team to get that first win under our belts. It was a step in the right direction,” said Morici, who finished with two assists on the weekend as well. “We know we have what it takes to win no matter what happens. Whether we’re winning or losing, we have a chance to win every single night.”
After starting the season with an impressive 5-4 shootout win on Friday, the Blue Streaks faced off against Syracuse again on the following day in their second game in less than 24 hours.
Once again, JCU came away with the win over the host Syracuse Orange, winning the game by a score of 5-3. Rhodes scored two more goals for JCU in the second game of the weekend, giving him four goals total on the weekend.
“I was very pleased with our overall performance. We had a lot of freshman in the lineup and they played well,” said head coach Chris Wilk. “Syracuse was 22-7 last year and returned a large portion of their roster. Those were two good wins. We have a good group of core guys and it was a good team effort this weekend.”
With an early season record of 2-0, the Blue Streaks will look to continue their winning ways this weekend when they face off against Western Michigan University at Gilmour Academy on Friday, Sept. 30.
“We’ll focus on us and what we have to do. This early in the season it’s hard to plan for an opponent, but we need to learn more about ourselves,” said coach Wilk. “We’ll be sure our special teams are ready to go. They will be key this weekend.”