Hockey faces off against Iowa to start season

Trib File Photo
Trib File Photo

The Marquette men’s hockey team will look to build off last season’s success in its first series of the season on the road against Iowa at the Coral Ridge Ice Arena.

Last season’s matchup with the Hawkeyes featured a thrilling, 5-4 victory for the Golden Eagles. But the current Marquette team is much different than the one who pulled out the come-from-behind victory last October. This year’s Golden Eagles team features a large turnover of members in the organization, starting with the coaching staff.

Will Jurgensen starts his first season as head coach, replacing Joe Cocking, who was head coach the last three seasons. Jurgensen captained the Golden Eagles for three seasons, including the 2012-13 team, which made their first national tournament appearance in club history.

Along with coaching turnover, four of Marquette’s top six scorers graduated from last season’s squad. Marquette will depend on sophomores Corey Quinn and Will Podewils to increase their collective point totals. As freshmen, the two combined for 20 goals and 21 assists in 54 combined games of action. Marquette also returns senior Tyler Schwichtenberg, who is the team’s leading returning scorer with 34 points.

Defensively, the Golden Eagles return senior Matt Vuoncino and sophomore Matt Poli. Poli split time on offense and defense last season for the Golden Eagles and will provide an offensive touch should he spend time on the blue line once again. Vuoncino is a great puck-moving defenseman who should hit double-digit assists once again.

Upon John Foley’s departure in goal, sophomore Alejandro Anderson and junior Thomas Place will duke it out over the starting position. Whoever wins will have big skates to fill as Foley’s 2.77 goals against average was nearly a goal better than Anderson’s or Place’s. Place only made two appearances in net last season after joining the team in the middle of the season, but only gave up 3.50 goals per game, while Anderson played more games and finished with a 3-4, but gave up 3.94 goals per game.

Along with the trip to Iowa, the road season includes matchups against Miami, Xavier, Oakland, Northwestern, Missouri State, Arkansas, Wisconsin-Platteville, and Notre Dame.

As for the home schedule, Marquette will play its first home series Sept. 19-20 when the Golden Eagles host the Bradley Braves.

Following Marquette’s first home series, the other home matchups are games against Illinois State, Northern Illinois, Robert Morris-Peoria, Lewis University, Loyola-Chicago, and Aurora University, spanning from September to February. The team’s longest homestand will go from Oct.24 through Nov. 15, when they play four weekends at home in a row.