The Stevenson men’s ice hockey team is kicking off the start of the 2017-18 season with a four-game winning streak and a couple of 7-1 victories over Lebanon Valley and Chatham University on Nov. 3 and 4 for the first home game weekend.
Senior captain Mike Davis has high hopes for the team during his final season as a Mustang, and has no doubt that his team is capable of making it to the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) finals in March.
The team had their first glimpse of post-season play last year when they competed against nationally ranked Hobart during the first round of the ECAC West playoffs on Feb. 22. Unfortunately, their experience was short-lived as Hobart knocked the Mustangs out of the competition by a final score of 6-2.For just the second time in program history, the Mustangs have been mentioned among the best teams in Division III after receiving six votes in the latest USCHO.com Top 15 Poll.
Every player with the exception of one has returned to the team this year ready to finish what was started last February. Along with the 25 returners, a total of six freshman and one transfer have been brought on this season to make the 2017-18 Mustangs that much stronger.
Since the Mustangs first game against Morrisville State on Oct. 28, a total of five Stevenson players have been recognized as players-of-the-week by the Middle Atlantic Conference or the UCHC. Four of these honorees are the team’s only seniors: Mike Davis, Jordan Watt, Doug Rose, and Jacob Caffrey.
Head coach Dominick Dawes said, “Our seniors are some of our key components this season.” With the program only in its second season, having experienced players on the ice like these four, who have all had very successful college hockey careers, gives the Mustangs a step up over the competition.
The Mustangs are a part of both the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) and the Middle-Atlantic Conference (MAC) this season, where they will be playing against both new and familiar teams from last season. King’s College, Lebanon Valley College, and Manhattanville College are the three other teams the Mustangs are competing against for the MAC crown. Stevenson has already played all three teams once this season and has come out on top each time. The Mustangs are picked to finish second in the MAC this year but Dawes and Davis have bigger goals for the team this season.
The team’s goal is not only to win the MAC, but to also earn their spot back in the post-season and make it to the UCHC playoffs.
The team is coming out for this season determined to compete. Fans can keep up with the team on the Stevenson Athletics website where their schedule, roster, and live game statistics are listed. The Mustangs return to action Friday, Nov. 17 against Elmira College at 7 p.m. at the Reisterstown Sportsplex.