The St. Thomas Aquinas College Club Ice Hockey Team completed their 2017-2018 season on Sunday by defeating the Columbia University Lions 10-7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
For the second consecutive season, the Spartans were fortunate to conclude their campaign by participating in this highly prestigious event, held at the home of the National Hockey League's New York Islanders, and did not fail to disappoint the many maroon and gold fans in attendance.
In the first period STAC quickly got on the board when Patrick Burns tallied just under three and a half minutes into the contest to make it 1-0 Spartans. However, Columbia University was able to quickly tie things up, as Charlie Visconti scored approximately minute later. Back-to-back goals by Douglas Harrison closed out the opening period and pushed the lead to 3-1 in favor of St. Thomas Aquinas.
The second period was a wild see-saw scoring affair, as the teams combined for six total goals, beginning with the Lions getting their second goal of the game, by Andrew Dunn just seconds into the middle stanza. Fortunately for the Spartans, the next three goals came off of their sticks, as Matthew Briante, Zachary Teats and Pat Burns (2nd of the game) put the STAC back ahead at 6-2. The teams traded goals to close out the period with Daniel Cirminiello scoring for the Lions, followed by Zach Teats' second of the game making it a 7-3 contest after two.
As if the middle period was not already a goal scorer's dream...and a goalie's nightmare, the final frame of the season proved to be equally as chaotic, with the squads putting up seven total goals, starting with consecutive hat-trick tallies by first Zach Teats, then Doug Harrison to increase the Spartan's lead to 9-3. Columbia's Josh Koenig brought the Lions back within five with his first goal of the game, but STAC answered right back three minutes later when senior Ryan Griffin deposited a rebound right between the opposing netminders pads, drawing a roar from the home team fans and pushing the score to 10-3. Unfortunately, the Lions would not go quietly to defeat, as Dean Foskett, former Spartan Ed Nickoloff and Andrew Dunn (2nd of the game), made a comeback within reach at 10-7 late in the third. Solid defense and strong goaltending shut the door on those hopes, and St. Thomas Aquinas skated to victory in Brooklyn.
Shots on goal for the game were 25 for St. Thomas Aquinas and 34 for Columbia.
The Spartans close out the 2017-2018 season with a 6-13-1 record, and the future has never been brighter for this group of young, but talented men. Coach Matt Schuster and his staff will look to fill key needs this off-season through a robust recruiting campaign, in order to continue to build a squad that can reach the MCHC playoffs in the near future and for many years to come.
St. Thomas Aquinas College Club Ice Hockey players, coaches and staff would like to thank all of the many friends and fans of the program for all of their support this season.