The loud buzzer rings throughout the spacious, gleaming rink, signaling the end of another tough match for the hockey team. Climbing over the boards to go shake the opponents’ hands, the players reflect on their efforts in the game. They know that they left it all out on the ice and that they have to be satisfied with their play, regardless of the win or loss.
Jesuit hockey faced another tough stretch of games in December, winning one game and losing two, their season record now 5-6. The Rangers faced off against three physical teams and showed signs of strength in competing with them. To summarize the month’s games, Jesuit lost to Plano East/Lovejoy 1-5, lost to Frisco 1-5, and finally beat Coppell 5-3. The Rangers will continue to play their season’s games in the next few months, but first, let’s take a closer look into December’s games.
First, on Thursday, December 3rd, the Rangers faced off against Plano East/Lovejoy, a team that they had previously lost to in a shootout, but it seems that this time the Rangers couldn’t find their firepower as they lost the game 1-5. Veteran center Carson Platt ’17 summarized the loss by saying, “We did not come ready to play against Plano East; it’s as simple as that.” It was a tough loss, but Coach Smith still believes in his team’s potential, commenting that “with a young team, the only way to gain that experience is to go through the process and grow each time we are one the ice as a group.” With this loss, the Rangers regrouped in order to prepare for next week’s opponent.
A week later, on Thursday, December 10th, Jesuit suffered another devastating blowout loss to Frisco, 1-5, continuing their streak of woes. The lone goal scored by the Rangers came from breakout senior Michael Schmidt, off of a pass from Louis Helaen ’16. Goalie George McBey ’16 made 32 saves in net, but the team couldn’t counteract Frisco’s powerful offense. Senior Nick Mersch called the game a “kick in the pants loss,” while Coach Smith noted that the Frisco team “wore us down over the course of the game and capitalized on our mistakes.” Headed into their last game before the Christmas break, the Rangers learned from the last two rather disappointing weeks and prepared themselves for their final game of the month.
On Thursday, December 17th, coincidentally the last day of December Assessments as well, the Rangers came out firing on all cylinders as they played the best to their ability, and came out with a win to end their four-game losing streak. Early on, Mersch and Helsen both scored in the first period to take the lead into the second period, but Coppell came back and soon the Rangers were trailing behind 3-2 heading into the final period. As time ran down, the Rangers became more and more frantic as they tried to score, but Schmidt found the net with just under two minutes to play to tie the game. With the momentum in the Rangers’ favor, they quickly struck back with Helsen scoring the game-winning goal twenty-five seconds later; additionally, Gibbs then scored an empty-netter to secure the win for the Rangers. It was a well-earned win, as Platt noted that “beating Coppell was a huge confidence booster for sure” and possibly attributed the win to the “pregame Christmas music [that] brought a cheerful, happy, and loose atmosphere before the game.” Mersch agreed, saying the game was a “great morale win.”
Be sure to support the Jesuit Rangers hockey team as they roll into the final months of their season!