The consistent choice is the right choice

By Dominic Chamberlain

Sports Editor

As the season starts to wind down for the Griffs hockey team, the team needs to start looking at what areas of the game they need to improve on.

Offensively, I’d say the Griffs are fine. Shane Conacher and Ralph Cuddemi are playing great, freshmen Dylan McLaughlin and Felix Chamberland add some much needed offensive depth and as a whole the offense seems to do enough each game to remain competitive.

The defensive unit, while having its ups and downs, isn’t terrible either. The defense is excellent in blocking shots, most notably in Jack Stander who has 45 blocks on the year.

And while Coach Smith will tell you that areas such as special teams still need work, I want to focus in on the person standing in the blue paint.

As the season started Turner was going to be the Griffs go-to goalie. He started the year rather roughly allowing six goals to Penn State. Turner allowed at least three goals in each of the team’s first four games.

But in the fifth game of the year he recorded a shut-out, prompting everyone to regain any lost faith in the Griffs apparent starting goalie. But the very next night he allowed three goals in the first period and as a result Simon Hofley started the next game.

The Griffs then bounced back and forth between Turner and Hofley. For a while it seemed as if the Griffs had adopted the two goalie system that started to become popular in the NHL a year or two ago. It’s a valid strategy that works for some, but not all teams.

But just like how something clicked with Keegan Asmundson last year, something clicked with Hofley.  Hofley has played great ever since Jan. 3, where he led the Griffs to a 1-1 tie.

Since then Hofley has put on other stellar performances most notably against Holy Cross.

I asked Coach Smith last week if Hofley was now his go-to guy given that Hofley has started every game in 2016 except one. Smith didn’t directly answer the question directly but did say that Hofley has played “very well.”

You have to think Hofley is the Griffs man in net now even though Smith has not confirmed that. Barring a collapse on Hofley’s part he would be the person I want in the blue paint when the Atlantic Hockey tournament begins. Hofley has proved his ability to, if nothing else be consistent in the starter role. Thus far, his second half of the season hasn’t been as great as Asmundson’s spectacular run last year, but his numbers still don’t lie.

A 2.40 goals against average coupled with a .929 save percentage means the freshman Hofley has out performed his competition in Turner (3.42 goals against average and a .904 save percentage).
Hofley has proved his worth between the pipes. Allow me to channel my inner DJ Khaled; if this team wants to make a run at winning the AHC tournament so they can compete for a National Championship, Hofley’s consistent play will be the key to success.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


© 2013 The Griffin. All rights reserved.
%d bloggers like this: