The Gustavus Men’s Hockey team’s season came to a close on Saturday with a 6-3 loss to Hamline. They finished the year with a 6-14-5 record overall and a 5-8-3 record in the MIAC. Although not the season they wanted, the Gusties are returning all but two skaters next year. Unfortunately, seniors Gavin Tufte and Darren Lapic have finished their careers in black and gold.
“The season had its ups and downs. Being a senior I realize that we have high expectations as a team due to our teams past success. We didn’t come through when we needed to, missing the playoffs. Disappointing but you have to look to build as a team and as individuals. Focus on the things you can control as a player,” Lapic said.
The season was not one without its positives, no matter what the record states.
“My favorite memory from the season was the Augsburg OT game winner by Jared Docken with a saucy assist from Tim Donahue to win it. It was nice to come out with a win after three periods of grinding,” Lapic said.
Lapic is especially grateful for his time on the team, and at Gustavus.
“Hockey has meant everything to me, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for hockey. I never lived on campus, all of my friends and roommates have been hockey players. Throughout the years the team bonds closely and blend with the rest of the students on campus. I wouldn’t be where I am today without hockey,” Lapic said.
When asked what legacy he hoped he left behind with the team, Lapic kept humble.
“Legacy is a big word to just throw around. But the competitiveness that I brought everyday is something that I hope rubbed off on someone. That’s something I feel we have struggled with the last two years. Hopefully I made good impressions on the younger guys and that we can keep in touch,” Lapic said.
As for advice for next year’s team, Lapic kept his message short and to the point.
“That good s**t doesn’t come easy. Starting in the summer, make sacrifices that will make you and the team better. Enjoy it, have fun with the guys while you can,” Lapic said.
In order for the Gusties to achieve their goals of making the playoffs and winning a MIAC championship next year, they will have to look to new leaders such as top scorer junior Sam Majka, and sophomore forward Colin Hernon. Another year of excellent play from freshmen forwards Van Sullivan and Evan Erickson will also be key to Gustie success.