Frozen Goal: Fordham Hockey Shoots for a Repeat

After Winning the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference, Rams Hope to Continue Their Success


Published: November 17, 2010

The Fordham University men’s hockey team hopes to provide the only worthy encore performance to follow up their 2009-2010 season as Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference (MCHC) champions, repeating as conference champions.

Last season the Rams breezed through the competition, outscoring their opponents 155-63 and finishing with a league record of 16-2-0-1 (wins-losses-ties-overtime losses). The Rams ended the dominant season on a perfect note, defeating Columbia University 6-5 in the championship game to capture their second MCHC title. “Winning the championship was awesome,” Fordham forward Terrance McGinley, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’12, said. “That was our goal from the very start of the year, and anything else would have been a failure.”

This year the road to the championship won’t be as easy. The Rams now have a bulls-eye on their backs as the defending league champions. “In the league we’re the defending champions and we’re getting everybody’s best shot,” McGinley said.

The Rams have already experienced this tough opposition, as they lost 2 of their first 3 league games this season. The difference in the team’s conference and non-conference record is notable, as the Ram are 5-1 in non-conference matchups but just 4-2 in conference matchups.  “Within the league our record could certainly be better; we’ve played some bad games,” McGinley said. “I like to think we’ll peak at the right time.”

These early season struggles can be attributed in part to sloppy play and slow starts. “We’re short on defense and we’ve got to work on getting the puck out of the zone better,” McGinley said. “We have to minimize turnovers and really, our biggest problem is some games we’ll have a slow start. It looks like we’re sleepwalking through the first period.  And it takes a while for us to wake up.”

The other part of the problem is many key members of last season’s championship team were lost to graduation. This season’s team is full of youth and as with any young team, it takes time for chemistry to build.

“This year there is a different dynamic,” McGinley said. “My first two years on the team there was great leadership from a lot of great upperclassmen. Now I’m one of the upperclassmen and it’s a totally different dynamic. We’re not as talented and we have to work to win our games. Last year we could kind of rely on some of our seniors to make a couple incredible plays and we could steal a win. But now if we’re not maximizing our efforts, we’re going lose. We’ve got to show up every game.”

Despite the slow start to the season, the Rams have begun to turn things around. They are riding a three-game win streak and are moving towards clicking on all cylinders. “We’ve been playing well recently,” McGinley said. “I feel good about the team.”

One of the strengths that has allowed the team to put together this winning streak is great goaltending. This will be vital if the team is going to continue to have success. “We have two great goalies, Pete Marion, the captain, and Craig Hoffman. With those guys in net we have a chance to win every night. It’s a good foundation to have a great goaltender.”

To add to the strength of the team, goaltending play has been combined with good depth in lines. “We’ve got some balance upfront,” McGinley said. “When I say that I mean our first two lines, maybe even our three lines. We can really roll and we really don’t have to worry about matching up. We can just roll the lines and let our forwards go to work.

The Rams will hope to build on the momentum of this winning streak, and with two-thirds of their league schedule remaining, there are still plenty of games to be played and a lot to be decided. If this team can keep up the pace they have been playing with as of late, a second straight championship is surely a possibility.

“I feel good about our chances to repeat,” McGinley said.