By Gabby Goodwin || Sports Editor
While throughout the 2017-2018 seasons, the Diplomats have been notorious for Centennial Conference Championship wins, Diplomat Ice Hockey followed suit last Saturday when they won the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference. As the 2016-2017 Champions, the Dips reclaimed their trophy in a back-and-forth championship game against Gettysburg. Sophomore forward Dan Jussaume, now part of two back-to-back conference titles, says that it was “a great year and it was awesome to go undefeated in the league.”
Dominating the game from the start, the Dips came out strong with a slap shot from F&M’s Billy Bauckham just 4 minutes into the game. While slow play proceeded to follow, a shot from F&M’s Collin Bailey at 9:53, followed by a follow-up shot from F&M’s Sam Schroeder seconds after sparked a push toward goal for the F&M Ice Hockey team. One close shot after the next, the Dips seemed unable to finish, until a goal from Bauckham at 6:39 gave the Dips a 1-0 edge.
Gettysburg came back out strong and got a shot off at 5:58, just seconds after a Diplomat goal. However, F&M’s goalie, Luke Groff, was not about to let the Bullets tie it up. With an amazing save on a breakaway with just 16.5 seconds left, Groff closed out the period strong for the Diplomats.
At the start of the second, nearly one minute in, the Dips showed that they were not here to settle. A goal by F&M’s Pete Reinhardt at 18:57 gave the Diplomats a 2-0 edge. In the following minutes, just falling short of their opportunities, a breakaway shot by Bauckham went just wide, followed by a slap shot from Collin Bailey at 15:46 that rolled across the net, and was unable to be finished by Reinhardt.
A Gettysburg transition into the Dips half was strongly matched with the determination to not to let the Bullets concede. Despite their efforts, however, Gettysburg scored off a slap shot at 13:01, bringing the match score to 2-1.
Minutes later, a Diplomat penalty from Jussaume at 11:12 forced him to serve some time in the box; however, F&M was able to stand their ground with just 5 players until Jussaume got back. To close out the period, a great sequence of events, consisting of a turnover and a fake to the right, on Gettysburg at 2:58 by F&M’s Harmar Rappoport, resulted in a saved shot, but a great play for the Dips.
In the third, the Dips came out strong with a pair of shots at 18:47. Obtaining control of the puck shortly after, however, the Bullets attempted at a shot on net, that was blocked by F&M’s Kevin Dwyer, given back to the Diplomats, and produced a Bailey goal at 17:50 to make the score 3-1 for F&M.
A shot from F&M’s Sam Appleby was matched with a reaching save by the Gettysburg goalie at 13:36. However, with Bullet control of the puck, determined to score, F&M faced a lot of trouble in their half until Gettysburg’s #24 got a penalty at 10:40. Capitalizing on a Bullet five-man defense, F&M’s Andrew Dzenis brought the Diplomat score up to 4-1 with a goal at 8:26.
Near-end play consisted of three consecutive saves by the Gettysburg goalie, one timeout, and a great save by Groff with just 1:08 left in the game. While the season may be over for F&M Ice Hockey, come out and support them next season to see what the Dips on ice are capable of.
Sophomore Gabby Goodwin is the Sports Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.