Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Hockey breaks the ice with first wins of the season 

Elijah McWhorter
Alabama hockey player Parks Wallace (#33) skates around Wake Forest defenders with the puck.

Alabama hockey turned the tide with not one, but two victorious outings — its first win of the season and a thrilling overtime victory this weekend clash against Wake Forest. 

Thursday Night Game (9-4)  

Alabama broke its eight-game losing streak in a game against Wake Forest at Pelham Civic Center on Thursday night.  

The 9-4 victory showed the crowd the potential Alabama has, as the number of goals scored on Thursday makes up a third of the team’s total goals for the season thus far.  

The game kicked off with the Frozen Tide on the offensive, keeping Wake Forest’s defense on its toes. Forward Finn Parkman drew the first penalty for hooking just four minutes in, followed shortly by Wake Forest’s Eddie Kane. These early penalties reflected the aggressive tone of the game. 

Despite the initial penalties, the Frozen Tide quickly gained momentum. Left wing Greg Simmons capitalized on Alabama’s power play, assisted by center Chandelier Bilodeau and right wing Jenson Lopez. This marked not only Simmons’ first goal towards a hat trick but also his first of the season, a moment Coach Phil Tesoriero found memorable. 

“Greg Simmons getting his first hat trick, Jacob Harrison getting his first college win, and Bryce Dunnigan having his first win as goaltender were big,” Tesoriero said. “A lot of good things are going around, and we’re hoping for some more good things.”  

Forward Michael Kramer showcased his scoring skills, netting two goals through skilled play rather than capitalizing on power plays. He also played a key role in the eighth goal, assisting forward Cal Mansfield towards the end of the third period. Forward Jacob Harrison’s precise shot secured the second goal, reinforcing the Frozen Tide’s lead, assisted by forward Max Eckstein. 

In the closing moments, Bilodeau found the goal, with assists from Lopez and defenseman Parks Wallace, sealing a crucial play. However, Wake Forest managed one final goal from center Will Cahill, concluding their scoring for the night. 

The game concluded with one more goal from Alabama, as Parkman netted again, supported by assists from defensemen Ryan Matusik and Max Sextro. This pivotal play solidified Alabama’s first victory of the season. 

While Alabama’s offense maintained its effectiveness, Tesoriero emphasized the need for the team to focus on strengthening their defense.  

“Some takeaways are a little bit more in the D zone,” Tesoriero said. “I think we need to keep bringing that back to practice. There are certain areas that I’ve harped on that I feel like with a little bit of movement we’re getting confused.” 

The defense held strong in the first period, shutting out Wake Forest and denying them any goals. However, after the first intermission, Wake Forest came back revitalized, catching Alabama’s defense off guard and managing to secure four goals over the last two periods.  

Nonetheless, Dunnigan made an outstanding contribution, making a total of 33 crucial saves during the game and demonstrating a commendable defensive effort. 

Forwards Evan Brown, Parker King and Lopez took the lead in penalties for the Frozen Tide during this game. Brown found himself in the box for roughing and cross-checking, tallying up four minutes of penalty time. King got tagged with a ten-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior, while Lopez faced penalties for roughing and misconduct, resulting in a total of twelve minutes on the sidelines. 

Despite the team’s initial struggles this season, they’ve proven that the best things often take time. Throughout it all, they’ve remained a united front, pushing through challenges and ultimately reaping the rewards in the most gratifying way possible. 

“I’m most proud of how the guys stuck together,” Simmons said. “It’s kind of been a roller coaster of a season, so battling through the adversity is my key takeaway from this.” 


Friday Night Game (7-6)  

This win was not as cut and dry.  

This game went into overtime with Kramer taking the last shot to end the game to claim the Frozen Tide’s second win of the season.  

As the scoreboard reflects, this game was a far more demanding challenge for the team, both mentally and physically, in comparison to the previous night. Wake Forest not only exhibited a higher level of play but also displayed heightened aggression. The intensity manifested in several scuffles and collisions along the rink’s sides. 

In contrast to Thursday’s match where Alabama took an early two-point lead, Friday’s game unfolded differently. Wake Forest swiftly turned the tables, netting two goals within the initial three minutes.  

The scoring spree was initiated by Nick Azzarello, followed by a strike from Cahill. This ignited a fierce determination in the Alabama team to even the score. Forward Nate Biron, Kramer, and Simmons rallied, bringing the score to a competitive 3-2. 

However, just when it seemed the momentum had shifted, Tommy Albrighton managed to slip in one more goal in the first period, resulting in a tied game at the end of the first period. 

Alabama is known for its aggressive style of play, so it was somewhat unexpected for the first penalties of the game to be called well into the first period. Forward Grant Alheim received a four-minute penalty for holding and roughing, while Azzarello found himself in the penalty box for the same infraction.  

As the game progressed, a total of eight players ended up serving a combined 18 minutes in the penalty box.  

Friday night’s goalkeeper, junior Joe Hughes, delivered a standout performance, stopping an impressive 38 out of 44 shots on goal. In comparison, Wake Forest’s goalie, Owen Polombo, managed to save 28 out of 35 shots.  

Hughes made some remarkable saves, displaying an uncanny ability to anticipate the puck’s trajectory, even when it seemed that Wake Forest was unsure themselves. His last-minute save at the end of the third period prevented Wake Forest from taking the lead and potentially securing a win. 

However, this effort nearly fell short. As the third period came to a close, the score was deadlocked at 6-6, with Cahill notching the game-tying points for Wake Forest at the 19-minute mark. This pushed the game into overtime. Following a few minutes of intense back-and-forth struggle to determine who was in control, Kramer managed to break through and clinch the decisive shot for the Frozen Tide, securing its second win of the season. 

For Tesoriero, these games have shown both him and his team that they can compete and that although it may be hard to see progress, it is there.  

“I think our compete level has really risen since the start of the year,” Tesoriero said. “Every week we’re getting better and better. You’re watching guys slowly improve. We do have a young team, so development is very huge right now.”  

The team looks to extend its newfound winning streak and protect its home turf at Pelham Civic Center next Friday and Saturday. The team will host Illinois at 6:45 p.m. CST on Friday and 2 p.m. CST on Saturday. 

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