Rams shoot for strong campaign

Suffolk men’s ice hockey team drops puck for season

Hannah+Arroyo%2FAsst.+Sports+Editor
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Rams shoot for strong campaign

Hannah Arroyo/Asst. Sports Editor

Hannah Arroyo/Asst. Sports Editor

Hannah Arroyo/Asst. Sports Editor

Hannah Arroyo/Asst. Sports Editor

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This winter will mark the 14th season for head coach Chris Glionna, the winningest coach in the history of the Suffolk University men’s ice hockey program, with 107 victories. In the Rams second season as members of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), Glionna told Journal reporters that he plans to add to this tally.

“Our goal is to return to being a home ice playoff team,” said Glionna in a recent interview with The Journal. “I think early on in the season we are looking to make sure the team is progressing, we will put an emphasis on improving our scoring.”

In winning the seventh straight home opener, the Rams’ 38th season began on Saturday with a 5-2 victory over Assumption College at Emmons Horrigan O’Neal Rink. This marked Suffolk’s first win of the season. The Rams were led by an impressive two goal performance by freshman forward Matt Bucher in his Suffolk debut.

Bucher’s early strike, 3:47 into the first period, got the Rams rolling. This led to four more Suffolk goals before the Greyhounds cracked the scoreboard late in the second period. Bucher was the only Ram to score multiple goals, while junior forwards Tyler Scearbo, Connor Henry and Brendan Heinze scored the other goals.

Going into the 2017 campaign, the Rams were ranked ninth out of 10 teams in the CCC in a coach’s poll within the league. Coming off of what was a forgettable year, with a 7-13-5 record, the team will use last season as a form of motivation to move forward.

Pullquote Photo

We want to prove the whole league wrong and make a run at the playoffs.”

— J.B. Sweeney

“We want to prove the whole league wrong and make a run at the playoffs,” said senior forward J.B. Sweeney in a recent interview with The Suffolk Journal. “We brought in a lot of talented freshmen, mix that in with the guys we have coming back and we should be able to make some noise in the conference.”

Over the summer, Glionna made it a point to get his team into the best physical shape possible. He discussed with The Journal how the team took advantage of the “new and improved” facilities that Suffolk has to offer.

“This offseason we worked very hard on getting stronger,” said Glionna. “The Michael and Larry Smith Fitness Center and the upgraded varsity weight room has been a tremendous addition.”

Sweeney, a four-year forward, discussed how personal accolades are not important to him moving forward. The success of the team takes the driver’s seat this year, as this will be his last go around as a Ram.

“I’m more concerned about the team as a whole than I am about any stats,” said Sweeney. “We look to come together as a team more this year, we’re going against a lot of competitive teams and we will need to be consistent all season.”

The Rams will see movement this year against competitive intra-conference action. They will square off against foes such as Endicott College, who won 24 games last year, 14 of them coming in conference play. Other opponents for the Rams include Nichols College, The University of New England and Johnson and Wales University, all coming off playoff appearances last season.

“We have a one-game at-a-time mentality and don’t like to look too far ahead,” said junior sports marketing major Brendan Heinze in a recent interview with The Journal. “We have to become more consistent for the full 60 minutes, we can’t have five minute lapses, we have to stay sharp.”

As this team looks to put it all together for the season ahead, they have been able to become a close team off  the ice. Team chemistry will be an adhesive in linking the Rams to a successful season in 2017-18.

“The closer the guys are off the ice, the better chemistry we will have on the ice,” said Heinze. “We have a good group of guys in our locker room that are all focused on what the team wants to achieve this year.”

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