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The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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MCLA Men’s Hockey Faces Rival, Plymouth State

The+MCLA+Mens+Hockey+team+preparing+to+make+substitutions+during+a+game+at+UMass+Dartmouth+%28via+MCLA+Athletics%29.
The MCLA Men’s Hockey team preparing to make substitutions during a game at UMass Dartmouth (via MCLA Athletics).

Last night, at approximately 7:00 PM on February 3rd, the bleachers of Peter W. Foote Vietnam Memorial Rink were filled with students raucously cheering for the MCLA men’s hockey team, as they prepared to face off against the goliath known as Plymouth State University. Students watched with bated breath while the seconds ticked down to puck drop with one question likely passing through all of their minds: would the MCLA Trailblazers be able to defeat this hulking team? 

For context, heading into this game, the Trailblazers were at a significant disadvantage. With a season record of 16-2-2, Plymouth State University is the 11th ranked D3 school in the entire country. On the other hand, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has not had a hockey team since 2003, meaning this is their first season having a hockey team in over twenty years. Even though they have made some impressive plays throughout their season, by the start of this game, they had a record of 4-15-1. To make matters grimmer, the last time the Trailblazers played against Plymouth State, they lost with a final score of 2-10. 

By the end of the first period, it seemed like things were trending in a bad direction as Plymouth scored three unanswered goals, making the score 0-3 by the time the buzzer announced the first intermission. However, the Trailblazers came back out into the second period with a new fire lighting them up, and they proceeded to score three straight goals interrupted only by one goal from Plymouth. All three of these scores were made by forward Cade Herrera, marking his second hat trick of the season. 

Just before the end of the second period, Plymouth scored another, making the score 3-5 heading into the second intermission. 

In the bleachers, spirits were soaring. One student, Cleo Murphy ‘25, had this to say: “It’s so crazy. Things were looking really bad for them and now, out of nowhere, they’re digging their heels in and bringing it back.” 

Their impressive second period of play was followed up by one more goal in the third period, scored by Quinn Murphy. Plymouth answered by scoring twice more, making the final score 4-7. 

It was a loss for the team, but they displayed an incredible amount of growth since their previous game against Plymouth, and student fans seem to agree with this notion. In an unofficial interview the day after the game, Ethan Wood ‘27, announced, “I am very happy with the outcome last night. Of course everyone wished for a win, but I think this game alone shows a growth period for the Trailblazers. Compared to our last game against Plymouth, we were able to bring it back and score twice as many goals.” 

Wood continued, saying, “I was never really interested in hockey before coming to MCLA and I am glad that I came in at the same time it came back. The excitement levels are extreme for everybody, and I’m proud of them.” 

In spite of their loss, the Trailblazers never took their feet off the gas and there were some incredibly impressive moments during the night. Take, for example, a shining star of the evening, goalie Mathew Gover. Gover blocked an impressive 70 shots on goal made by Plymouth State, making his save percentage for the evening 91% versus the other goalie’s comparably less impressive 81% save percentage. And, of course, there was Herrera’s hat trick. 

This team has been getting progressively better throughout the incredibly short course of them playing together and if one thing is for certain, it is this: if they keep progressing at this rate, their future at MCLA is bright. 

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Ainslie Lafko, Staff Writer

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    Carol HamiltonFeb 13, 2024 at 9:16 am

    Great job, Ainz!!!! Keep up the good work.

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