The crowd waved glow-in-the-dark sticks to cheer on the SIUE hockey team Jan. 20 at the East Alton Ice Arena, which ended in a close loss to Bradley University.
The game was neck and neck until the end of the third quarter, which concluded with a 4-4 tie. The five-minute playoff period was also a close call, with Bradley University scoring a goal in the final minute, bringing the score to 5-4.
Christian Perry, a senior forward on the team from Peyton, Colorado, said that hockey is a game of mistakes.
“If you make a mistake you’ve got to make sure they don’t happen again, so it’s kind of important that you work as a team and cohere together and make the least amount of mistakes,” Perry said.
Perry said events like the Glow Game bring in everybody. He said that events like this or the teddy bear toss is when the team has had their most exposure. The teddy bear toss allowed fans to bring a stuffed animal that the team then donated to local organizations.
“I think putting up special games like that is going to be the best opportunity to bring in more students,” Perry said. “There was a pretty big crowd, so I think this, and the teddy bear game was another big one.”
Daniel Verhaar, sophomore forward from Troy, Illinois, said that if they all work together as a team and keep the energy up, that they can finish high on the stat sheet.
“If we play like we did before this last game and keep the mistakes to a minimum, I mean we can come off with possibly a bye in the playoffs, and I mean we just gotta keep working the way we were before today,” Verhaar said.
The team’s Head Coach Tyler Elbrecht said that he thinks the team played well overall but that they have got to learn how to close out games.
“I think we need to figure out playing a full 60 minutes. I think we played hard hockey, we played good hockey, but this time of year we need to play a full 60,” Elbrecht said. “I think the turnout was awesome. We had probably 700 people so we did a good job about spreading the word about games, so we’ll just continue to do that.”
The team plays their next game against Saint Louis University on Feb. 3, 2023.
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