After suffering a 6-9 loss at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) on Jan. 28, the Bison club ice hockey team returned to action at home on Jan. 29 against Dickinson College. On the back of a hat trick from Tim Patwell ’20, the Bison scored nine goals to take down F&M 9-2.
The dominating win can be credited to a well-distributed offensive output, with five players combining for nine goals. In addition to Patwell, scorers included Michael Bennett ’20, AJ Albanese ’19, Owen Klinger ’19, and Henry Girardi ’20.
This high-scoring power also stemmed from unselfish team play, resulting in 12 assists. Nick Cummings ’19, Klinger, Julian Bolton ’18, Tim Johnson ’17, Girardi, and Scott Chambers ’18 all recorded assists in the match-up. Chambers led all players with four assists.
Head coach John Ptacek recognized Girardi as a first-year standout performance in the game. After just joining the team this semester, he posted a four-point night with two goals and two assists, a surprising output from a defenseman.
Goalie Tim Polglase ’20 led the defensive effort, holding the Dickinson offense to only two goals. The strong defensive play in front of him held the opponent to few shots on goal, but Polglase had exceptional rebound control on the shots, denying Dickinson any second-chance opportunities.
The victory caused the Bison and Dickinson to split their season series at one win apiece.
“Dickinson beat us in our first match up: physically they beat us up and they won the game. [We] showed a great deal of grit and played one of its best games of the year. Dickinson was never in the contest and the team never let up,” Ptacek said.
“Coming off a loss on Saturday, we knew that the game was very important for us. We were able to come out fast and carry our momentum through the rest of the game,” Patwell said.
Unfortunately, the club’s previous defeat at F&M eliminated them from contention for postseason play, but Ptacek was pleased with his team’s determination and effort in coming back strong from that disappointment.
“At this stage it is looking like we will end the season with our best record in the past six years. So despite being eliminated from playoff contention, I hope the team members feel good about the record and the time that they were able to spend together,” Ptacek said. “Since we are out of the playoff hunt, my hope is that the players enjoy being on the ice together playing a game that they love. We have a cohesive group of players who get along really well on and off the ice.”
The Orange and Blue will carry the successes from this win into their final three games of the season. The Bison will face Messiah College and York College Feb. 3–4 in their final two road games of the season before closing out the year at home at Sunbury Ice Rink against Mount St. Mary’s University. Given the team’s previous performances against their remaining opponents, Ptacek said that he expects to close the season with more wins and a program-best record is within their reach.