By Danielle Achin
The Framingham State Men’s Ice Hockey team suffered a hard loss against the Salem State Vikings Feb. 22.
In the first period, the Rams and Vikings were on their top defensive game, blocking the flurry of shots sent from both teams.
After an almost scoreless period, Salem State made it on the board in the last seconds of the frame for the 1-0 lead.
The Vikings extended their lead early in the second when Billy Falter sniped in a shot just over the glove of Rams goalie Trevor Stenberg to push the advantage to 2-0.
Despite his efforts, Stenburg managed to save four shots in the net for the Rams before the Viking’s broke through FSU’s defense again in the 13th minute, after Joe Smith sent one into the cage advancing the lead 3-0 for Salem State.
Just over two minutes later, the Vikings pushed their lead to 4-0 when Kevin Stoya finished off a pass from Richard Coyle and Kyle Waldusky for the assisted goal, sending the team into the third.
After another handful of saves by Stenburg, Salem State picked up a third period goal just nine minutes in on an unassisted Luke Day goal for the 5-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, after Stenburg blocked a shot at the left point, Luke Pepin came and cleaned up a rebound from Keagan O’Donoghue to extend the lead to 6-0.
In the final minutes, the Rams were finally able to sneak in a shot, scoring the lone FSU goal for the 6-1 result to reach the final margin.
Despite this hard loss for the Rams, Blake Carlson praised his team for the dedication and hard work it takes to stay motivated through tough times.
He said, “Despite losing, we do our best to address our shortcomings so that we can fix them for future games. Practices after hard losses generally have a little more energy to them as we try to battle back from the loss to regain some confidence.
“It has been difficult to bond this year because of all of the losses, but because of that I feel like we have, for the most part, developed a sense of empathy for one another. We all understand the situation we are in and have learned to pick each other up rather than degrade each other for our mistakes,” he added.
Carlson said the biggest takeaway for the team was learning how to battle through adversity. No matter the final score of the game, he said each person brings their own unique perspective to the game and life.
“All of the players on the team are skilled individuals who can play at this level, but with a lack of assistance and structure from within, it renders us helpless in our goal to win games and compete in playoffs,” he said. “We, as a team, need support and empathy from our peers in the worst way because we want to get better and be better. We are just still searching for the tools to do so.
“Our record does not reflect how hard we work at all. Most people outside of the hockey world do not quite understand how difficult and competitive D3 hockey actually is,” he added.
The men’s Hockey team look to capitalize in their remaining games starting with Fitchburg at the MASCAC Quarterfinals Saturday afternoon, Feb. 26.