Cardinal Men’s Hockey Earns Split with Tommies

The Saint Mary’s Men’s Hockey team has had a long, and troubled history with Saint Thomas.  Coming into the game, SMU had defeated Saint Thomas just once since 2004.  The Tommies came into the weekend #15 in the country, and tops in the MIAC.

The night before, SMU was in good shape, leading 4-2 after 2 periods of play.  However, Saint Thomas did what they always do – find a way to come back.  They led 5-4 late, but Bob Kinne scored a shorthanded goal to force overtime.  The extra session would last just 32 seconds, as Saint Thomas escaped with a 6-5 OT win.

All of that was likely in the head of every SMU player as they hosted Saint Thomas on the back-end of a home and home series.  SMU came out of the locker room on fire, peppering Tommie goalie Ben Meyers with shot after shot.  However, it was the Tommies who would strike first, as Cullen Willox would get one past SMU goalie Aaron Davis at 12:26 of the first period, for his 5th goal of the season.  Willox was assisted by Thomas Williams.

Just 47 seconds later, the Cardinals would level the game, when Martin Gruse re-directed a blast from Bob Kinne in front of the Tommie net to score his second goal of the season, and tie the game at 1.  It was the 7th assist of the season for Kinne, tying him with Jared Johnson for the second highest assist total on the Cardinal team.

SMU would take control of the game in the second period, when Kinne would strike again, with a slapshot at 11:40 of the second period.  It was the 10th goal of the season for Kinne, tops on the Cardinal squad.  Kinne was assisted by Jay Heinle, his 3rd assist of the season.

That was all Davis would need, as he shut down the Tommies for the rest of the game.  Davis finished with 24 saves, and picked up his third win of the season.  Myers stopped 29 shots on goal for the Tommies, losing for just the second time this season.

See game highlights here.

The Cardinals will have a little time to savor their win over St. Thomas, the first MIAC loss of the season for the Tommies, as SMU will take the ice next against UW-Stevens Point on the road on January 13th.


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