By Drew Schoenbauer
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With only two weeks left to their regular season, the SJU Hockey team is currently sitting third in the MIAC and only four points away from first place. The Johnnies have a 13-6-2 overall record and an 8-4-0 record in
conference play.
“We had a really good start, and I’d say it’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster season,” Head Coach Doug Schueller said. “We have a good record, but some of the losses that we’ve had are against teams that we feel we should’ve beaten. I think a little bit of our consistency could be better, but overall I think that we’ve had a really good season so far. We’ve put ourselves in a position to chase a MIAC Championship.”
Senior captain Huba Sekesi is having another solid season with 12 points in 16 games.
“I think we’ve played a solid season so far and have only lost a one or two games that we should have won,” Sekesi said. “We have quite a few freshmen in the line-up and they have adapted well and played really well so far. Goaltending has been solid and the returning guys were also able to meet or even exceed expectations on their personal performance.”
Despite the solid season, it is far from perfect.
“I think the team has struggled with playing at the same level consistently throughout the season,” Sekesi said. “We have one or two games in a row that we play in a way that no one can beat us and then we drop a game that we absolutely should have won.”
Schueller had almost the same response when asked what he thinks the team needs the most work on.
“I think just consistency night in and night out. I’d say look at this past weekend where we lost Friday and won Saturday. If we want to win the MIAC, we have to win all four games down the stretch here,” Schueller said. “It starts Friday, but we’re going to have to string together two good games in a row. We can’t take night off the rest of the way.”
Consistency is definitely something the team will need this coming weekend when the Johnnies take on the No. 1 team in the MIAC, St. Thomas. This series against the Tommies is decisive for the regular season MIAC championship with the Tommies only four points ahead of the Johnnies.
Getting two wins would put the Johnnies in great position for a first place finish.
“It’s a good rivalry and we really like it. It’s a lot of fun,
especially when the student crowd comes out for these games,” Schueller said. “St. Thomas is hot right now. I think they’ve won about eight in a row, so they’re feeling good about themselves. But my favorite thing about this weekend is that our guys get excited for this game because the students come out for it.”
The Johnnies take on the Tommies this Friday, Feb. 9 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, and the following evening at the St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights.