As the regular season draws closer to its end, the Stevenson men’s ice hockey team is hopeful to finish out the regular season with three more wins.
This season marks the first year of the team as it competes in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) West division. The team’s creation followed after the success of the women’s ice hockey team, which began in the winter of 2012, with a successful 16-8-1 record. Dominick Dawes was named the head coach for the men’s team in August 2015.
Prior to Stevenson, Dawes served as assistant coach at Hamilton College, and as head coach led the Neumann University Knights for seven seasons, compiling a 107-62-25 record, which made him the highest winning coach in the program’s history. This season marks his eighth as head coach.
Dawes says that his philosophy is that “anyone who has the privilege of being a part of the program must work hard in the classroom on and off the ice. As a young team, the one thing we can control is how well we do in the classroom, we were happy with our guys and have a team GPA of 3.3 in the first semester.”
“We play three periods, so we do not have halftime. But pregame at home is usually busy with getting the locker room and rink prepared. Post-game usually consists of some video and getting ready for the next day,” said Dawes, when discussing the team’s schedule.
For the month of January, the team compiled a record of 4-4-1 with key wins over conference foes Lebanon Valley and Elmira. In the Mustangs 6-3 victory over the Dutchmen of Lebanon Valley, six different Mustang players scored as they had 44 shots on goal while winning 40 faceoffs.
In the game against Elmira, junior Mike Davis scored the game-winning goal in overtime as the Mustangs defeated the Soaring Eagles 4-3 in a rematch from Nov. 4 that had the Mustangs of the losing side of 4-3 overtime defeat. Davis led the scoring for the Mustangs with two goals while junior goalie Jacob Caffrey had 42 saves on the night.
While Dawes hopes to become a better coach every season, the team’s goal is to improve with every game. Seven overtime games this first season, including two wins and two ties, indicate the team’s tenacity and drive.
“Our goals have been simple from day one: Work hard to get better every day,” said Dawes.