After six year drought, hockey returns Silver Skate trophy to Lancers

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Photo courtesy of Logan Bayless

The Lancers pose after winning the Silver Skate game against Marquette on Dec. 31. It was their first win in the annual event against the Mustangs in six years.

Sophia Scheller, Staff Reporter

Before Dec. 31, 2020, the Lancer hockey team had gone 0-1-1 this season to their rival Mustangs. This time though, the Lancers had their eye on earning back the Silver Skate trophy, which they haven’t possessed in six years.

“The games against Marquette are always tough,” Head Coach Jim Carrico said. “They work hard, they are disciplined and well-coached. The past few years have all been tough games.”

So, on Dec. 31, 2020. Things changed.

Going into the third period tied 2-2, junior Shane Robinson deflected the puck into the goal to give the Lancers a lead with about four minutes left in the game.

“They pulled their goalie in the last minute to give them an extra skater. [Senior] Justin Sprague was able to score from our zone twice in the final minute to seal the game 5-2,” Carrico said.

Although Sprague dominated the score sheet with four out of the five goals for the Lancers, winning the game took a complete team effort.

Sprague’s first goal came on a 2-on-1 break with just over nine minutes left in the first period. He had another goal in the second period and then added a pair of empty-net goals late in the third period.

“I think we all had to step up, and I think we did,” senior Matthew Brodsky said. “It took every player on the bench that night to win.”

In part for his work in the Marquette game, Sprague was also named the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Player of the Week last week. He currently leads the Mid-States Municipal Conference in scoring with 16 goals and five assists.

For seniors like Sprague and Logan Bayless, this game was their last opportunity to bring back the Silver Skate.

“[It] meant a lot being a senior and winning this game my last year,” Bayless said. “It felt really cool being apart of [bringing the Silver Skate back]”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic at last year’s Silver Skate game, there were over 1,000 fans in attendance, which Carrico believes makes the game more special to the athletes playing in it.

“It has been six years since we have beaten Marquette for the Silver Skate Trophy,” Carrico said. “The Silver Skate game between Marquette and Lafayette has been going on for the past 20 years.  The players know about it and look forward to the game every year.”

With a loss to CBC on Jan. 8, the Lancers move to 6-5-3 on the season with high aspirations of pushing through late in the season to make a playoff run.

“We have our sights on playing for the high school Championship and winning.  We have the team to compete and we believe we can get there,” Carrico said.

The Lancers face Vianney at Centene Ice Center on Jan. 15 at 9:45 p.m. Vianney knocked the Lancers out of the Challenge Cup last year in the semis in a third game decision that went to a Shootout. They are also looking to avenge a 5-8 loss to the Golden Griffins earlier this season.