Marquette Hockey Alumni defeat Current MU players at Fire Ridge Pond Hockey Tournament

February 15th, 2021

Grafton, WI - February 14th 2021 The Grafton Gazette Chronicle - By Smitty  

 

With the current Marquette Hockey season on hold due to the pandemic, a handful of current players took their game outside for the 8th Annual Fire Ridge Pond Hockey tournament in Grafton, WI.  The Geagles were made up of 8 current players including 5 seniors (Adam Romanski, Drew Cassidy, Justin Klatt, Nathan Farias & Ethan Stoudt), 1 Junior (Trevor White) and 2 Sophomores (Patrick Sweeney & Christopher Deneweth).   On paper this young group of finely tuned players was destined for greatness and their swagger entering game one did everything to confirm such.  It wasn’t until the Geagles arrived at the pond for a Friday night showdown against the Roman Coin that they realized they had a lot to learn about playing outdoors. 


In all fairness, it was a tough first round draw for the Geagles as they were no match for the 4 time Fire Ridge Pond Hockey Champion Roman Coin.  The Coin squad, made up entirely of Marquette Hockey Alums and one friend, is nothing more than a group of pond hockey veterans repping dad bods and a modest determination to show the young bucks what they have to look forward to after graduation. 


Roman Coin brought experience and a well seasoned strategy to Friday nights game under the lights.  When asked to shed some insight on the team's strategy, Tony Jazek class of 09’ said, “We grind and we sub.”  Taking that well thought out game plan one step further, Tim Benson class of 08’ added, “We try to bring a dump and bump mentality to each game.  It worked for us back in 2013 and we see no reason to change things today.” Tim went on to say, “as long as (teammate) Mike Detrich (class of 09’) turned his sauna up before the game, I’m willing to push my body a bit further knowing a recovery session is in my future.”  When Mike was asked if he had fired up the sauna he replied, “Sauna is heating up, dad bods are required, now we just need to score some goals and get on out of here.”


At last the puck was dropped and as promised, the Roman Coin squad delivered a grind, dump, bump and sub game that had the Geatles in a frenzy.  Strong defensive performances from Scott Stroud and Patrick Finn, class of 08 & 07’ respectively, kept the Geatles to only 1 goal in the games first half.  Scott had this to say about the teams quick start, “Usually I like wearing my sunglasses during these pond hockey games.  Unfortunately this game is taking place at night and therefore I elected to not wear my sunglasses.”  Finn quickly stepped in, “I’m not a big sunglass guy but I did decide to play this tournament in leather gloves instead of my hockey gloves which I believe contributed to our fast start.  You do realize it’s 2 degrees outside right,” Finn added, “Yea I’m not here to win any style points with the younger Marquette guys.”  The Coin was led by an offensive charge from the only non-marquette player on the ice, Ben Heiser who explained, “look my wife and kids are out of town visiting relatives.  I’m just happy to be here.”  The first half would come to a close with Romain Coin taking a commanding 9-1 lead over the Geatles.


It was clear that the Geatles have had tremendous coaching during their years at Marquette because you could see the team making mid-game adjustments during the pause in play.  Senior Ethan Stoudt was overheard telling the team that they needed to, “spread the heck out a bit and pick up the physicality.”  Drew Cassidy, who never shies away from a good chirp, shouted across the ice at the Roman Coin bench, “Hey Boys, there is still half a game left to be played,” to which the Roman Coin players nodded in agreement that those were in fact the rules of the tournament.  The Geatles did face a significant setback however as Junior Trevor White broke his stick and was sidelined for the remainder of the tournament. 


The second half saw a strong surge by The Geatles and what some may refer to as their great awakening to the game of pond hockey.  The younger Marquette squad picked up the intensity, began to rely less on their hands and more on their bodies as they began to build a small second half lead.  Roman Coin player and current Marquette Hockey Head Coach, Will Jurgensen class of 13’, was impressed with what he saw out of the Geatles second half.  “I’ve been telling these guys for years that the stuff that works at the local park pond or their parents outdoor rink doesn’t work out here at Fire Ridge.  It was good to see the boys in awe of the Alumni and begin to mimic our play a bit.”   While a strong second half push was a step in the right direction, it wasn’t enough as the Geatles fell to the Roman Coin in game 1 by a score of 21-10.


The Geatles would battle hard their next two games and eventually find themselves in the Championship game Sunday afternoon.  Who would they face you may ask….it was the Roman Coin squad fresh off of two more wins waiting for a rematch!
While the game began just as game 1 ended, the Coin’s experience and hand warmers again out matched The Geatles with a final score of 16-9.   The Roman Coin would capture their 5th Fire Ridge Open Division Championship and the Geatles would gain priceless experience on what it takes to be a true pond hockey champion!

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