The Rice Memorial Prep hockey team completed it’s 9th season with an overall record of 13-35-3. A season that has gone from September to end of February seems like a very long stretch. The season compiled of 51 games that included 2 New England Prep Tournaments at Albany Academy (NY), St George’s School (RI), and the Cegep St. Foy Dynamique Cup (QC). All in all I believe the season was one, where the players grew both on and off the ice, understanding what it takes to consistently play at a high level of hockey, while maintaining a rigorous academic schedule.
The Rice Prep hockey team found out right away that this season was going to be one played against strong competition, but was able to jump out to a 7-4-1 start in the first 12 games. The team was playing strong as a team but still trying to mixing in some new faces added in to new roles. Moving into November, Rice hosted the first MPHL weekend in Burlington and the Knights were able to see once again how competitive the MPHL was going to be. The Knights were up and down for the rest of the first half of the season leading up to Christmas break.
Coming back from the break, the Knights struggled in the MPHL Crossover weekend in Cleveland, OH. Typically, it is usually a little difficult to come back from break, and get right back full speed in to the swing of things. After a tough losing streak, the boys were able to finish the season with a gritty Tie vs. Vermont Academy, Win vs. Bridgton Academy, and a Win vs. Blyth Academy.
Overall, the season results may not have been what the team had hoped for, but the players seemed to understand that their hard work and effort had started to show down the stretch and in the MPHL playoffs.
The record for this team does not really show how they had finished the season on such a strong note. Many of the team’s losses (13) came by a 2 goal differential, and 8 of the losses were 1 goal losses. The forward group was one that showed a lot of balance, getting scoring from everyone up and down the line-up. This group had 9 of their 12 forwards that finished the season in double digit points. This group of forwards really stuck with it all season even when things were not going well, they were able to get contributions from everyone.
The defense benefitted from the returning 5 players in the lineup from the previous season and found ways to help with scoring. The defense also had 5 of the 6 in double digit points and finished the season doing a better job of defending when needed.
As with most teams, the goaltending was one of the most important parts of the team because of the stress that was placed on them when the team was having difficulties ways scoring goals. Throughout the season the three did a very good job of keeping the puck out of the net and giving the team a chance to win every game. The trio combined for a save % of .900 and a Goals Against Average of 3.61. We all know being a goalie is not easy, and these 3 did a great job improving throughout the season.
We want to thank everyone that was was involved with the program this season. From the players, families, host families, strength and conditioning coaches, goalie coaches, etc. and can’t wait to begin our 10th season of Rice Prep Hockey.