The two opposing players square up against one another in the middle of the clear, gleaming ice, preparing to begin another fast-paced, action-packed hockey game. Flanked by two wings, backed by two defensemen and a goalie farther back, the player acts quickly, moving his stick with lightening speed as he valiantly fights for the puck in order to give his team the first possession of the game.
The Jesuit hockey team faced some tough teams throughout the month of November, delivering a sub par 1-2 record, beating McKinney 1-0, but losing to Coppell 0-5 and Plano West 3-4 in a shootout. Let’s take a closer look at each of these games to see the impactful players for the Rangers and what they had to say about their November stretch.
On November 5th, the Rangers faced off against McKinney High School, and, riding on the success of their last few games in October, placed a 1-0 shutout on the Lions. Despite scoreless first and second periods, Nic Colombo ’17 finally ended the drought with a goal with only three minutes left on the clock. Goalie Royce Allred ’18 fought hard, saving all of McKinney’s thirty two shots, adding another shutout win to his record. Senior Nick Mersch commented on the meaning of the hard-fought victory, saying that “Wins against teams like McKinney can really help us to perfect our offense and get us playing at higher levels of efficiency against some of the better teams in the league.”
A week later, on November 12th, Jesuit competed against Coppell, a high school powerhouse in hockey, which trampled over the Rangers, shutting them out 5-0. Coppell got on the board quickly, scoring three goals in the first period and carrying that lead throughout the entire game. Despite allowing five goals, Allred stopped an impressive forty-nine shots, showing signs of life for the Rangers even in the darkest depths of defeat. Coach Kevin Smith was able to learn from this devastating loss, however, noting that games like this one “show us that we have plenty of room to improve our game.” Carson Platt ’17, one of the veteran team members, reasoned that “The game got away from us and we started to play as individuals rather than as a team.”
Despite the hopeful attempt to improve in the next week, the Rangers lost a devastating rematch game to Plano West, a team that Jesuit had beaten earlier this season in a shootout, 3-4. Nicholas Gibbs ’18, Louis Helsen ’16 and Bryce Clark ’19 all scored for the Rangers, with Gibbs, Platt, and Colombo picking up assists on the goals. George McBey ’16 faced a tough Wildcat team, making twenty-four saves while allowing four goals. The Wildcats scored two goals in the third period to tie up the score and send the game into overtime, where neither team scored, sending the game to a decisive shootout, in which Plano West scored in the fourth round. Mersch contributed his thoughts on the loss, commenting that “The loss against Plano West in the shootout was a heartbreaker, but it taught us that we really need to finish and not let our guard down no matter how big our lead is.”
Be sure to come back to The Roundup next month for the summary of the team’s December games!