Hulahan Pitches Shutout on Senior Night against Siena College

John Fiorino, Entertainment Editor

Pioneer goalie, Jordan Hulahan’s second perfect showing of the year came on the final home game of the regular season, senior night. Thanks to a strong team effort, the Pioneers went on to win 6-0 in dominating fashion. The win on Saturday put the Pioneers overall record at 27-1-1 on the season, and 14-0 against Super East Collegiate Hockey League opponents.

Hulahan came up big when the Pioneers were on the penalty kill and when Siena was trying to gain some momentum to get back into the game. Despite some tough shots from the mid-slot and physical play in front of the net, Hulahan denied all of Siena’s opportunities.

“We came out in the third period knowing that they weren’t going to roll over and the defense definitely stepped up and did what they had to do and they made my job a lot easier,” Hulahan said.

A scary moment happened in the first period when Pioneers forward, senior James Karp, was hit hard along the boards and his head landed awkwardly. Karp did not move much and was slow to get up. To the referees, the hit which appeared to be led with the elbow, was dangerous enough to constitute a five-minute major penalty for the Siena defender.

“I thought I got interfered with on a hit before that so I wasn’t expecting it,” Karp said. “I went to get back in the play and he just stepped into me, elbow to the head, I didn’t see him coming.”

The call would hold a major impact on the game when two goals were scored on the man-advantage. William Paterson was buzzing in the Siena zone for much of the power play. Pioneers forwards senior Ryan Ertmann and freshman Walter Keiper struck to open the scoring.

Karp did return for his next shift but went off the ice towards the dressing room pointing to his head. He would return in the second period and go on to score two goals in the Pioneers effort.

“I knew my parents were here, this was definitely not a game I was going to sit out, so it felt good to get back on the ice and make an impact,” Karp said.

Similar ceremonies in past years, all seniors were honored by getting their name called out over the PA system and received a bag with commemorative items to celebrate their career. Included was a William Paterson hockey hoodie and action shots during games.

While the senior night victory is an accomplishment, there is still more to go for the Pioneers. From Feb. 17-18, William Paterson will be in Danbury, Connecticut in search for it’s sixth Super East Collegiate Hockey League (SECHL) title in nine seasons. Pioneers’ Head Coach Joe Ballance described senior night as “a great win, from start to finish, to build on.”

“It’s been a good four or five years for these seniors, it’s sad to see them leave but it’s a great day for them,” Ballance said. “We’re trying to win a Super East championship and a National championship and hopefully those guys remember that too.”

For the 10 seniors this year, they’ve been in this moment before, but the spotlight was never on them. Now that the time has finally come for this group to be honored, some seemed to be at a loss for words. Others were taking it all in after the game with their parents and taking pictures with family. Living through an event for someone else is one thing. When a major event is centered around you for the night, it’s humbling.

“It didn’t hit me until before the game, it’s really tough saying goodbye,” Cory Sala, Pioneers’ captain and defenseman said.

Moving towards the playoffs, some teams would try to adjust their game plans or styles of play. For William Paterson, its main focus is getting the few players that are out, back from injury.

“Overall, I think we’re all ready to go,” Sala said. “We’re just trying to stay healthy and once we get everyone healthy then we’ll all be ready to go.”