Hockey Heads Into Second Half

The Saint Louis University hockey team hasn’t made the best of transitions to the Division I club level. But the Billikens are on the verge of breaking out as they head into the second half of the season.

“We’re perceived as a talented team. I feel that we’re a step away from breaking through,” coach John Bosch said.

The Bills are 8-11-0, but their record does not show the team’s progress. “The record doesn’t reflect much,” Bosch said. “We’re ranked 17th nationally out of 35 teams.”

Bosch is confident about the team’s outlook for the rest of the season.

“We’re doing quite well as a first year Division I club,” Bosch said. “We need to stay in the top 20. We need to try to move into the top 12 teams, which make the playoffs.”

The Bills played Iowa State earlier this year in a tournament and lost 5-1. “But in the championship game of the tournament, Iowa State beat Illinois, which is a pretty established program, 7-0. Sometimes in loses, there are wins,” Bosch said.

The Bills defeated Marquette in their last two games, 8-3 and 10-3, two weeks ago.

“It’s good, when a team like ours plays a lot of one-goal games, to have a game where we lead by a few goals,” Boasch said. “Some guys who don’t get to play much got some playing time.

“We’ve learned that we play better five on five with other teams. Our power play is getting a lot better,” Bosch said. “The way we set up is very effective.”

Many players have contributed to the team’s success. Dan Chadakhtzian, an assistant captain, is 15th in the nation in scoring. He has 18 points in 19 games. “He was a power for us last year and has continued this year. He does everything from killing penalties to working on the power play for us,” Bosch said.

Captain Adam Brouk was asked to move from defense to forward this year. “He has played well. He forechecks hard, has a good scoring touch, and sets up his teammates well,” Bosch stated.

“Goalie Justin Stiehr has to be more pleased with his play now than earlier in the season. He is beginning to settle into a rhythm. He has come up big for us in big games. He made 48 saves against Iowa State,” Bosch said.

The Bills play Northern Michigan in two conference games at the U.S. Ice Sports Complex in Fairview Heights. The games are on Friday, Dec. 3 at 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday, Dec 4 at 7:30 p.m.

The Bills play the University of Missouri in the Missouri State Challenge. The games are at the U.S. Ice Sports Complex in Chesterfield on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 7:00 p.m.