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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 '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Men’s ice hockey goes unbeaten in regulation through first four games

The Hawks beat Univeristy of Delaware 2-0 on Nov. 13 PHOTO: KELLY SHANNON ’24/THE HAWK

The St. Joe’s men’s ice hockey team has remained unbeaten in regulation throughout their first four games this season, earning two points against Georgetown University, James Madison University and Richmond University, and earning a point in their overtime loss against Wake Forest University. 

Goalie and captain Troy Stefano ’23 said that the team is playing with the understanding that every game is getting them one step closer to their goal of a championship season. 

“This team believes that we can win the whole thing,” Stefano said. “The first step is to gain these critical points.”

First-time Head Coach  J.T. Tarantino ’19 said that the team has shown up to each practice ready to put in work and he believes the results will show. 

“The overall dedication is much better,” Tarantino said. “It is something I’ve really been happy with.”

Forward Kris Massanova ’24, said that the team has focused on being difficult to play against and playing with the mentality that what happens in the game is up to them.

“We could beat anybody but we could also lose to anybody depending on how we play,” Massanova said. 

According to Tarantino, the team has also been focusing on how the culture they create off the ice translates to how they play in game. 

“We’ve talked about trying to create a culture of accountability and hard work,” Tarantino said. “I think they’ve really done that well.”

Stefano said that by focusing on the team’s culture they have created a tight bond that helps them play better as a team.

“We have given the effort in practice, and it has paid off in games,” Stefano said. “We just want to win.”

The Hawks first win came on Oct. 2 when they defeated Georgetown, the defending conference champions. They won 1-0 with a 31-save shutout performance from Stefano. Tarantino said that starting the season with a win against one of their top competitors was motivating for the team.

 “It’s always been a tough game [against Georgetown],” Tarantino said. “That win is huge for the team morale.”

The game against Georgetown showed the team’s defensive skill this year according to Tarantino. However, Massanova also credits the team’s offensive power for wins like the 6-5 come from behind win against James Madison on Nov. 5, where he scored both the tying and game winning goals for the Hawks in the third period. 

“We’re a really deep team,”  Massanova said.“Everybody contributes on offense.”

Tarantino said he enjoyed seeing how the team refused to quit during that game and continued to play tough. 

 “It was good to see us in a back-against-the-wall situation,” Tarantino said. “That was my favorite game so far this year.”

Stefano said that the team is aware of how important upcoming games are for their playoff aspirations. 

“We’re treating every game as a must-win,” Stefano said.  “That’s moving the team to play their best.”

Although the team has been performing well so far this season, Tarantino said the team still has a lot of work to do. 

“We’re built to win big games,” Tarantino said. “I’m excited to see what they can do down the stretch and once we get to playoffs.” 

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Mia Messina
Mia Messina, Sports Editor
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