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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Senior Night prompts reflection on collegiate careers

Photo by Bryan Geenen
Jimmy Bertane (33) attempts to block a shot in Marquette club hockey’s win over Bradley Friday night.

With under a minute left, Marquette was down 5-4 in a chippy back-and-forth Senior Night matchup against Bradley University. After scoring an early goal Friday night, Marquette went down 3-1. Marquette then tied it at three, went down one, tied it at four and went down one again.

With students screaming, Marquette head coach Will Jurgensen was looking back and forth from the clock to senior goaltender Jimmy Bertane. “Now!” Jurgensen yelled, and Bertane left the ice to give the Golden Eagles a man-up advantage. Fifteen seconds later, Marquette’s club hockey team buried a shot into the net to tie the game. The student section erupted, and the team celebrated thoroughly before seeing the game into overtime.

Overtime was much of the same tense back-and-forth play with neither team breaking the deadlock. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in overtime, sending the game to a shootout.

Before the game started, RJ Deneweth, captain and senior in the College of Business Administration, talked about his future plans after hockey.

“Hopefully, I’m actually doing my master’s program next year for one year,” Denweth said. “After that, I hope to potentially work my way up into becoming a CEO of a manufacturing firm. Somewhere that provides a product or a service for people to make their lives better.”

Andrew Nasr, co-president of the hockey club team and senior in the College of Business Administration, said he will be moving to Chicago for a full-time consulting job.

Deneweth and Nasr played with each other for a tournament in high school but weren’t too familiar with each other coming into college, Nasr said.

“We knew each other from a friend of a friend. We met on Facebook, and we talked and decided to be roommates freshman year,” Deneweth said.

After becoming roommates, they both tried out for the club hockey team, as both played throughout their childhood. As they began playing at Marquette, they were introduced to two other now-seniors, Brendan Mahoney and Bertane.

As first-year players, Deneweth recalled the thoughts he had when he began playing at Marquette.

“When you first met (the seniors), it was quite a timid time,” Deneweth said. “You didn’t really know how to act with them, these guys look like men when you’re a freshman. You’re just a little baby coming out of high school, but the senior class was awesome — so welcoming and so inviting.”

Similarly to Deneweth, Nasr said he learned a lot in his four years. He mentioned the biggest thing he received out of club hockey was having seniors to look up to in the classroom and on the ice.

“You meet a lot of new kids on campus, it’s good to get away and blow off some steam,” Nasr said.

Drew Cassidy, assistant captain and junior in the College of Business Administration said there are many great leaders in this year’s senior class.

“They’ve been here all the years I’ve been here so they know the program, and they’ve really helped me get these young guys situated and accustomed to how we do it,” Cassidy said.

Jurgensen said the seniors are great guys who care about the program.

“They care about the future and the success of the program, all four of them,” Jurgensen said. “They’re just guys that are going to show up and give it their all.”

Deneweth spoke about what he would miss most about playing hockey at Marquette once the season ends. He said he loved seeing the crowd on Friday night. Deneweth played hockey since he was young, but he said he will miss the people he met on the Marquette club hockey team most of all.

“I’m going to miss being with the guys,” Deneweth said. “Just being with the guys on the weekends, road trips and whatnot. I’m definitely going to miss hockey but the guys are kind of what keep me going and really just keep me pushing forward to be the best I can.”

Nasr echoed Deneweth’s thoughts on what he would miss most.

“Just the guys in the locker room. If you talk to anyone who plays hockey, the locker room is one of those sacred places,” Nasr said. “It’s just a great place for us to joke around, mess around before games and practices. It’s where we truly developed relationships.”

For Jurgensen, this group of seniors will be a special group to remember.

“I’m incredibly grateful for everything that they’ve done for our program. It’s one of those things where when a kid comes to Marquette and has an opportunity to play hockey, we want them to be there all four years,” Jurgensen said. “I’m proud of the way they play, I’m proud of the way they represent Marquette. I think they’ve set a really good example for kids to look up to and continue to strive for.”

Deneweth noted the example they’ve set but also had some ideas in mind for the younger guys.

“Just enjoy it, soak it all up,” Deneweth said. “It may kind of suck in the now, you’re like, ‘Ah, I don’t want to go to practice, I don’t want to do this’, but looking back at it, that’s where all the memories are made. It’s what the sport gives you: memories and great friendships. People you will love and (hold) dear for the rest of your life.”

Marquette ended up losing by one goal in the shootout, but it’s hard to imagine any of those seniors will remember the score down the road.


This article was written by Bryan Geenen. He can be reached at [email protected]

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