Pirate Hockey Gets Back to Action

After the long wait since last year, Seton Hall Prep Hockey is back in action. After losing to Don Bosco Prep in last year’s State’s Semifinal, Coach Atkinson’s squad looks to make another run for the Gordon Cup. Seton Hall was ranked seventh in the state and first in the National Conference in the preseason.  

Seton Hall Prep’s first opponent of the season was the sixth ranked team in the state Morristown Beard. The Pirates came out fast, and Dale Campbell ’23 was able to find the back of the net on a powerplay with the first goal of the season. The Pirates went into the first intermission leading 1-0. However, Morristown Beard came out blazing in the second period. Noah Jones and Manu Verpoucke scored past goalie Patrick Ackerman ’21 making the game 2-1. With 46 seconds left in the period, Ryan Rodrigues ’21 generated a defensive zone turnover and elevated the puck over Morristown Beard goalie Luke McManus’ glove to tie the game at 2. With both defenses and goalies playing well, goals were hard to come by in the third until Hudson Gorski ’23 ripped a wrist shot into the top right corner to regain the Pirates’ lead at 3-2 with 4:3seconds left in the game. With 1:52 seconds left, Seth Kaplan maneuvered through Prep defenders and scored, tying the game at what would be the final score,3-3.  

Seton Hall got right back on the ice to take on Saint Augustine the next day. Deaglan Kelly put the Hermits on top in the first period with a goal and found the back of the net again in the second. However, Seton Hall Prep’s powerplay executed in back-to-back games as Rodrigues found Aiden D’Urso ’22 to put the Pirates on the board. Going into the third period the Pirates were down one goal. Seton Hall struggled to score in the it looked like Coach Atkinson’s squad were going to experience their first loss of the season. With twenty-four seconds left Thomas Klochklov ’23 attacked a loose puck in front of the net and jammed it in with seconds remaining in the game. Klochklov’s late-game goal led to a 2-2 tie with the fifteenth ranked hockey team in the state.  

I was able to talk to Thomas after the game. He said, “The late-game goal played a big role in the team’s confidence ending with a tie instead of a loss. It was a character tie for us as a team, moving forward we will build off this game and keep finding momentum, making a push for Gordon Finals this year.

This is Thomas’ second year on varsity as he played as a freshman. This year Thomas has new goals in mind for the team and for his sophomore campaign. “I expect us to be a top team in the Gordon Conference this year,” Klochklov stated. “I am hoping to be a big part of the team on the stat sheet and setting an example for the younger players so that when I graduate, we have a solid backbone.” The Pirates were back in action on yesterday, February 4 against Princeton Day. Stay tuned.