Fresh off their win against the Bethel Royals in Blaine, Minn. on Friday, Nov. 13, the Saint Mary’s men’s hockey team welcomed the Royals to the Cardinal nest the following night for the season opener to finish the two-game series.
In Friday’s game, five different players scored and sophomore Jay Heinle achieved his first collegiate hat trick to defeat Bethel 10-2. Needless to say, the anticipation was high for Cardinal hockey fans as they prepared to watch the first home game of the 2015-2016 season.
And the Cardinals did not disappoint. In front of an enthusiastic home crowd, the game saw nine goals from seven players wearing a Cardinal sweater as Saint Mary’s completed the sweep of Bethel with a score of 9-1. Saturday’s goal-scorers were Taylor Portner (Jr), Bob Kinne (Jr), Joey Van Antwerp (Sr), Chad Cesarz (So), Nick Albergo (Jr), Marty Gruse (Jr), and Jared Johnson (So). Goaltender Phil Heinle (Jr) had 25 saves on 26 shots to secure the Cardinals’ decisive victory.
Cardinals celebrate a goal in their 9-1 win over Bethel University.
Photo by Donny Nadeau
“It felt great being back at home after the first five games on the road. I think there’s always a lot of excitement and anticipation for the first home game. Being back in front of our fans was definitely a boost,” said Johnson.
Johnson, who notched his own first collegiate hat trick against the Royals, said he is excited to see how the Cardinals, who were MIAC conference finalists last year, progress this season. “I think the biggest factor for our team this year is how many returners we have. We have a lot of guys that know how to win from last season which is a huge plus. I’m definitely looking forward to playing our best hockey as we begin more conference play.”
The Cardinals are back on home ice during the Thanksgiving holidays as they host Aurora University on Nov. 28 and 29.