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Hockey handles business against Rockwood Summit, prepares for tough stretch of games

The St. Louis U. High hockey team faced off against Rockwood Summit in their only game this week. In a game that was closely contested to the last period, the Jr. Bills slipped out of the Fenton Ice Rink with a 5-2 win, improving their record to 6-1-1. Trailing only CBC in their division, SLUH looks to capitalize on a strong second half of the season in order to claim the top playoff spot. 

Rockwood Summit took the lead 5:21 into the first period. However, less than 30 seconds later, senior captain Max Sextro tied the game up with a backdoor tap in. 

“We didn’t panic after they scored,” said Sextro. 

However, the deadlock did not last for long. Rockwood Summit reclaimed the lead 7:26 into the first, and although it looked as if SLUH and Summit would be exchanging goals all night, Summit had just scored their last goal while junior Wyatt Gotschall played the final two periods like a brick wall, letting nothing in. 

“After the first period, he literally yelled across the bench, ‘Those are on me. I am not letting up another goal,’” said Walters. “He was very focused after that.”

Trailing by a goal, SLUH turned on the jets in the remainder of the first, scoring two goals in the last few minutes. Junior Luke Gund tied the game up and then senior Zack Petlanksy put the Jr. Bills up with an assist from his brother, sophomore Logan Petlansky, and junior Curtis Bruen. 

“We started out that game with a couple really good shifts,” said head coach Steve Walters. “We started taking some risks that allowed them to get some odd man rushes and scoring chances which they capitalized off. We took a break at the end of the first period and just simplified our game.”

After a lively start to the game with a five-goal first period, the second period appeared much less action-packed with no goals being scored. 

“It was really just a back and forth game,”” said Sextro. “There was a couple minutes when we would dominate and then they would dominate. It was just an action-packed game.”

Heading into the third period up by one, the Jr. Bills added two more goals for good measure. Sophomore Daniel Sendobry added his goal 7:24 into the final period while sophomore Henry Unger scored his first varsity goal with only a minute left in the third to bring the final score to 5-2 SLUH. 

We had one roster spot left open, and Thursday night, the coaching staff decided to call Henry to fill the spot,” said Walters. “He was very excited and the way he played the whole game, the team got rallied behind him.”

Heading into the second half of the season, the Jr. Bills are looking to continue their run of success, hoping to secure the top playoff spot over CBC. 

“We are happy with the way we have played,” said Sextro. “We have had some iffy games, but I think we know what we can do, and what we are capable of. We showed it in the De Smet game and are just trying to get to the point where we can show that day in and day out.”

Before Christmas break, the Jr. Bills will take on Vianney twice, Chaminade once, and Francis Howell once before enjoying a few days break before the second half of the Road to the Cup fully gets underway. 

“December is always a crunch,” said Walters. “They always load a lot of games in there. And we are in that stretch now. We have a lot of very important games. What we are focus on now, I know it sounds cliche, is just one game at a time.”

With all the hype surrounding the second half of the season, the Jr. Bills released their annual hockey hoodie this week. The hoodies have been on sale all week and will be again today at lunch. The student body has received the 2022 sweatshirts with positive reviews

“I really like the return of the baby blue color,” said senior Mark Wappler. “It is my favorite SLUH hockey color and I like the little pucks symbolizing the state titles the team has won.”






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