Hockey team makes finals for first time in school history

After the first game of the semifinals in the Spartans’ series against SLUH ended in a tie, the team had to bring their absolute best to the second game. The game at 8 p.m. on Feb. 26 came, and the Spartans showed SLUH what they were made of with a shutout victory of 3-0. After two scoreless periods, a goal scored by sophomore forward Brennan Anderson propelled the game into a win from FHC.

“It was pretty amazing,” said Anderson. “I felt like I was carrying the team for a while.”

After Anderson’s goal in the end of the second period, starting the third period 1-0 gave the Spartans the motivation they needed to finish strong, according to Coach Tom Mueller.

“I told the team in the locker room it was our time, and they responded,” said Coach Mueller. “Going into the third period with the lead helped settle the team and the rest of the game belonged to us.”

The second goal came from senior forward Jalen Krogman, and the third goal came seven minutes later from Anderson in a set of unusual circumstances.

“[Anderson] shot the puck, and it was deflected up in the air just in front of the net. One of the SLUH defensemen attempted to swat it out of the way, and it hit off his hand and into the net,” said Coach Mueller. “They don’t need to be pretty; they just need to count.”

After the goal was given to the Spartans, it was announced that senior forward Andy Ruhlman had taken the shot. According to Coach Mueller, the referee came and asked him who shot the puck, but because he did not know, the referee made a guess. Upon later review, Anderson was found to have taken the shot, which ricocheted off the glass behind the net and was indeed hit into the goal by a SLUH defenseman.

The game ended with 43 total shots made against junior goaltender Zachary Grabowski, who did not let a single one past him.

“Had it not been for the outstanding play of Zach Grabowski in the net, we may have been in serious trouble,” said Coach Mueller. “Without a doubt, Zach was the MVP of the series, only allowing one goal in the two games.”

The Spartans say they are both excited and nervous for the upcoming championship game against CBC, which has been its toughest opponent in the Challenge Cup in past years.