SU Club Ice Hockey Earns First National Tournament Win to Cap Successful Season
SALISBURY, MD---As the temperatures heat up in the spring, so does the pressure and competition in the cold-weather sport of ice hockey.
Salisbury University’s club ice hockey team made a historic run to the culmination of its 31st season, claiming the program’s first-ever win in a national tournament in 2023.
The SU squad qualified as the No. 7 seed in the eight-team field of the American Division in the AAU College Hockey Men’s Division III bracket. Though the start of the tournament in West Chester, PA, was not what the team hoped for – falling to the No. 1 St. John Fisher University and No. 4 seed University of Tampa - the Sea Gulls battled for their first tournament win in the final of three pool-play games.
Against the No. 6 seed University of New Haven, Salisbury found itself trailing by a goal with five minutes left in the game. Senior Derek Laudati positioned himself in front of the net and was able to capitalize on a loose puck in front of the New Haven goaltender, tying the game at 4-4.
It was another senior, Luke Sprague, who tallied the game winner with just 38 seconds showing on the clock. Proper positioning again led to the goal as Sprague cleaned up a rebound for the victory-sealing tally.
“Our team played so well and hard that we ended up pulling off the upset,” said Andrew Landry, who will return as a captain for the 2023-24 season. “This win was historic for our program because it marked the first ever victory in a national tournament.”
The work hasn’t stopped for the Sea Gulls just because the season has come to an end. The club is already prepping for next season and is putting in work to help the community.
The team currently is collecting donations for SU’s Relay For Life event to benefit the American Cancer Society, scheduled Friday, April 21. Donations are accepted at the team’s donor page.
Those interested in playing, coaching or being part of the support staff for SU club ice hockey should contact Landry by email.
Learn more about SU and opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at www.salisbury.edu.