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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Men’s ice hockey looks to continue success in playoffs

Senior Captain Andrew Sarre takes the ice in an early season game. PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL GERKE

The St. Joe’s men’s club ice hockey team has officially secured the eighth seed in the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League (ACCHL) playoffs. After finishing 11-7-1 in the regular season, winning seven games at home, the Hawks will play North Carolina State on Feb. 15 to open up their post season.

Senior Captain Andrew Sarre said Head Coach Matt McGarvey has created an environment that brings out the best in players.

“He has built a great culture and has implemented great systems for us to succeed,” Sarre said.

Sarre and fellow senior Captain JT Tarantino are veteran leaders on the team, both of whom played all four years of their respective collegiate careers. Offensively, Tarantino leads the team with 20 goals and 34 points. He also has nine power play goals with three game winners.

Tarantino was awarded ACCHL Defensive Player of the Year last season and ACCHL Player of the Month earlier this season.

Despite these accomplishments, the team as a whole has faced adversity this season with multiple injuries. Three players are out for the remainder of the season, while three others have had their playing time limited due to injury, according to Sarre.

Tarantino said that although the team has had to fight through the injuries, it has been a successful year nonetheless.

“We’ve remained ranked in the region for almost all of the year, which is something that we’re really proud of as a group,” Tarantino said.

Senior defenseman Griffin Pierce

Tarantino said the additions of senior Griffin Pierce and freshman Tyler Finerty have made a difference. 

“We’re definitely becoming a stronger team in the area,” Tarantino said. “[The new additions] have definitely made the team come closer together. Those two are great locker room guys.”

Pierce said the whole team was on the same page in terms of winning before the season even started.

“The team really bought in, and we were able to put together a decent record,” Pierce said. “It is better than people thought we were going to do.”

Pierce stepped up and played on defense, a position he never played until this year. He said it was challenging to make that transition.

“It was a huge adjustment for me since I have played offense my whole life,” Pierce said. “I was pretty frustrated all year, but any success that I did have should be attributed to my defense partner Andrew Sarre. He was always providing me with positive feedback on what I could work on and always encouraging me when I was down about my play.”

The team has not only had an impact on Pierce with their performance on the ice, but their camaraderie off the ice has been just as special.

“They are a great group of people to be around and never fail to bring a smile to my face when I am having a bad day, whether it’s on campus or at the rink,” Pierce said.

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