MARSHALL, Texas – As the holidays approach the first part of the East Texas Baptist University hockey season has come to end. Playing since the end of August, ETBU finishes with an 8-7 record in the first half of their schedule. They will pick up with the second part of their season in the middle of January playing nine games in January and February.
Starting out 0-5 is a tough start for any program, much less a first year program. Although some may expect that kind of start, that most certainly was not the goal. The team had just two practices before their first games against Texas Christian University and four practices before they faced the toughest team of their season, University of Arkansas. Under the leadership of their coach, former Shreveport Mudbug, Jason “Soupy” Campbell, the team started turning things around after clinching their first win against Texas State University, 7-6. After their first win, the team started coming together as they swept the University of North Texas, 12-0, and, 6-0, in the following weeks. Then ETBU traveled to Louisiana State University and continued their wins sweeping another two games, 10-1, and 5-4. That is what is called a winning streak and the Tigers were now a very hot team.
After LSU, ETBU continued their hot streak by sweeping the University of North Texas, again, 4-2, and 6-3, improving their win streak to six games. Heading into the final fall weekend of play, ETBU split their series with Dallas Baptist University ending the winning streak but finishing 8-7 overall. DBU won the first game, 5-1, but ETBU bounced back for a 6-1 win the following day. After starting off 0-5, ETBU finished strong winning eight of their last ten games.
ETBU has gathered quite the team of skilled players for their first year. Mike Garvie is leading the team with 34 points, Skyler Spiller is close behind with 31 points, Dylan Legarie has 28 points and Carson Combs is at 27 points. The team also wouldn’t have had as much success as they’ve had without their goalie Nick Bozzuto, who has really come into his own. He has been lights out with two shutouts in his 11 starts which is remarkable for a rookie collegiate goalie. Every player has contributed in key ways as Nicholas Salazar has been a shutdown defensemen. Brendan Sedgwick, Alec Shea and Drake Evans have all scored key goals in big games for the team, too. Lastly, Quentin Pennington, Colt Bouma, Brandon Davis and Kris Perry have been key components on the ice, too.
ETBU will continue their season in the spring facing Texas State, LSU and Southern Methodist University again and then will end the season in a series against Tulane University. The Tigers will look to keep their winning record as they compete in six of those eight games at home at Georges Pond in Hirsch Coliseum as they expect to finish the season strong.