Apr 5, 2013, 4:51 PM EST
Well, this past weekend did not turn out quite the way the Irish hoped it would. The Fighting Irish just could not produce in their NCAA Tournament matchup against St. Cloud State. They simply had an off game at the worst time possible. On a stroke of bad luck, the Irish were matched up against a hot St. Cloud State who have since upset Miami (OH) and moved on to the Frozen Four. Regardless, one game rarely can effectively summarize an entire season. I’d prefer not to look back on this one game, but rather to reflect on the Irish Icers 2012-2013 season as a whole:
- Juniors stepped up and led this year. Coach Jeff Jackson could count on his juniors to step up big when the situation called for it. This year’s top line was a line made entirely of juniors on the team and they could consistently be counted on to produce. Anders Lee, the center and captain of this year’s Irish hockey team will not be returning next season as he will be joining the New York Islanders, but forwards Bryan Rust and Jeff Costello will be back itching for another shot at the Frozen Four.
- Set on Summerhays. Although the goaltender Mike Johnson will be graduating this May, the Fighting Irish will be returning starting goaltender Steven Summerhays. Summerhays was Coach Jackson’s go-to tender this year and should be the team’s stud as he enters into his senior year and final season as a member of the Irish hockey team. Playing on his head some nights, Summerhays was singlehandedly the reason for keeping some victories tangible.
- Bright future for freshmen. This year’s freshmen showed an extreme amount of promise. Mario Lucia stepped up as a major point-getter and spent a good deal of time on the power play. Thomas DiPauli, as I’ve mentioned before, was an impressive penalty killer and played with a whole lot of tenacity for a 5’11” forward. Freshman Steven Fogarty was a behind the scenes player, dressing all 41 games, and contributing both in the offensive and defensive zones. As a whole, it will be exciting to see the amount of progress and production this group will be able to put up next year.
Sure, the Irish did not end their season the fairytale way we always dream they will—but they had an extremely impressive run. With a 25-13-3 record and only graduating four players, the Fighting Irish have only one direction to look—forward.
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