By Tommy Witt ‘24
On Jan. 18, the Brother Rice Crusader hockey team took the ice vs the third place Benet Redwings. The Crusaders lost two prior meetings to Benet, but were determined heading into Thursday night’s game.
Senior Jacob Surma said, “It was a great week of practice. We felt prepared and ready to play that night and the outcome speaks for itself.”
The Crusaders trailed early after a Redwing goal, but the Crusaders did not falter. Senior Jack Keaty beat the Benet defense and put it past the goalie to tie the game. The teams ended the first period knotted at one.
As the second period began, the Crusaders were all over the Redwings but were unable to find the back of the net. Then, sophomore James Esposito entered the zone and shot one past the Benet goaltender.
Esposito said, “It felt really good to get one, especially in that game. It was really important to win this one.”
A couple minutes later, freshman Charlie Wiers led the rush and capitalized on the odd man rush to give the Crusaders a two goal lead. With the 3-1 lead, the Crusaders locked down defensively and held Benet scoreless for the rest of the second period.
As the Crusaders headed to the locker room up two the coaching staff preached discipline and how important the next goal would be.
As the Crusaders started the third, they continued to dominate, eventually finding the net for the third time. Michael Wingard’s shot from the point gave the Crusaders a three goal lead.
As time ticked away in the third, the Crusaders stifled the Redwings, eventually winning by a score of 4-1.
Junior alternate captain Nathan Wilczak said, “Great win felt great to beat a top team in the CCHL.”
The Crusaders have been red hot winning four straight CCHL games with wins over Providence and St. Rita twice. The Crusaders will now head into playoffs with confidence, playing the same Providence team they just defeated in a best two out of three series.