Thirds hockey took to the ice Wednesday night for the final time this season to face the Rifles, a bantam squad that played a disciplined, well-structured brand of hockey. The game marked the end of Nick "Great Wall" Greco's Berkshire career, and he acquitted himself admirably, giving up only one goal in his one and a half periods of work. The Bears made the most of their limited scoring opportunities early in the game, as they moved out to a 3-1 lead at the end of two periods. Charlie "Knuckles" Erdmann, '16, knocked one in from a scrum in front of the Rifles' net, then Richie "Wrecker" Riegel, '15, lit the lamp with just over a minute left in the first.
Early in the second, the Bears launched a 3 on 0 attack, which finished with Jackson "All Star" Aldam, '14, tickling the twine on a lovely feed from Jeffrey "Inheritor of the Earth" Meeker, '14. A Rifles goal sent the teams to the locker rooms with the Bears up 3-1. Upon their return from the locker room, however, the boys in green were unable to stop the Rifles' offensive attack. Erdmann scored his second of the game before being ejected late in the period, but the visitors scored early and often to take home the victory.
Despite its downbeat ending, the game did highlight some of the progress players made over the course of the season. Eric Smith ended as the team's leading scorer, the blue line corps of Matt "Beans" Spaniol, '16, James "Donny" Donovan, '15, Richie "Wrecker" Riegel, '15, and Charlie Quaintance, '15, grew into a solid and dependable defensive force, and Luis Echeverria, '13, became a leading contender for the Venezuelan national team. Thanks to Head Coach for Life "Minnesota Mike" Bjurlin for his endless patience and creativity, and to all the fans who came out to support us at home and on the road. Although the threat of a lockout always looms, we expect to see you all next season!