By The Numbers: Millersville\\\'s 2017-18 Year in Review

- Andrew Mossbrooks (February 2018)

The ACHA’s Division II Millersville Marauders came up short in their quest for the Colonial Cup at the end of the 17-18 season, but this was without question a successful campaign for the group of young men who spotted the black and gold throughout the year. Several highlight statistics put up by Ville indicate this season has set the bar for further expectations in the coming years for a club hockey team that has made tremendous strides in its’ development.

Quick hits:
Including playoffs, Millersville’s ice hockey club skated in 30 games over the course of the season. In that time, the team scored an impressive 125 goals, with 85 of them coming in league plays. This stat resulted in a 19 goal improvement from the previous season (106 in 16-17). On the other side of the puck, MU allowed 13 fewer goals this year despite playing two more games than last season. By finishing 10-5-2-1 in the CSCHC regular season, Millersville earned the third spot in the Colonial Cup Playoffs. The third seed marks the highest Millersville finished in the standings since the inaugural CSCHC season back in 2014-15. While teams never like to be down a man, the Marauders proved resilient in the shorthanded situations with a terrific 87.5% penalty kill, tied for second in the CSCHC. Millersville also managed to score three times shorthanded.
Historic start:
At the end of the opening month, Millersville stood at 4-2-1 through seven non-league contests. The September record matched the best start to a season in a decade, going back to 2008. This included a win over NC State in the two teams’ first ever meeting at Lancaster Ice Rink, along with beating formerly ranked Army and Navy. Millersville also took the Division I Temple Owls to overtime to kick off the season. The black and gold would end September with back to back wins, beginning a season-long stretch of seven consecutive games without a loss in regulation, including earning points in the first five league contests of the year. One of those contests sported a 4-2 Millersville win over the Penn Quakers, who were 8-0 at the time.

Depth Numbers:
Millersville had an incredible 12 players finish the season in double digits for points. That’s tied for second with Scranton in the CSCHC. Of those 12, five of the Marauders’ six defenseman are included and three skaters finished with over 10 goals. Four finished with 20 plus points. Millersville Senior Troy Potts finished the regular season with 11 points, giving him a double digit season in three of his four years with the Marauders. Chris King and Nick Capasso now have back-to-back seasons in the same category.

The Big Three:
Austin Baty, Troy Potts, and Connor Dericks each finished their tenures with Millersville amassing over 100 games played. Baty led the Colonial Conference among active players with games played after skating in his 108th game against Scranton in the Colonial Cup Semi-finals. That same game was Potts’ 102nd and Dericks’ 101st. For these three blueliners to have stayed healthy and acted as ironmen for the Marauders over their four year stay is truly remarkable. Injuries are hard to avoid in hockey and common on many teams. Between balancing school, practice and games along with everything else life has to bring, it is a true accomplishment for each of these three individuals who combined for 311 games played, scoring 35 goals and 114 points.

Blue Line Legion
Millersville elected to start the season with the minimum requirement: six defensemen. While concern of injury may have been a thought in the minds of some, the defense core stood their ground and remained healthy, while eating up minutes and piling on the points. As of the final game played against Scranton, the Marauders back end combined for an insane 537 man games played across their ACHA careers. Co-Captain Ben Flocken finished just under 100 games played, skating in number 97 in the semi-finals. They were a force on the penalty kill, helping the team boast some of the best PK numbers in the league. The six skaters added 87 points over the course of the season to their resumes.

Goaltending Gallery
Credit Jeff Pelkowski for lowering his GAA to under 4.00 even though he played over DOUBLE the minutes he did a year ago. Pelkowski was in the crease for over 1000 minutes during the 17-18 campaign and earned 10 wins, a career high in a season for him. Millersville also solidified their future in net by adding goalies Hayden Folfas and Matt Schroeder to the crease. Folfas perhaps shined his best in a loss against Georgetown in January when he made 70 saves and allowed just four goals. While Schroeder only saw the net three times, he made the most of his opportunities stopping 103 shots and earning his first ACHA win back in November when the Marauders beat the George Washington Colonials, who were ranked #14 in the Southeast division at that time.

Co-Captain Comebacks
Both Matt Iehle and Ben Flocken saw their seasons cut short in 2016-17 due to long-term injuries. Iehle skated in just 11 games, while Flocken played in just nine. Any concern that the injuries would affect these players’ abilities when the season began were almost instantly put to bed. Both Iehle and Flocken had career highs in points. Flocken led all defenseman on Millersville with eight goals and 23 points. Iehle crushed his previous high in points from his rookie year (29) when he clobbered home 24 goals and 44 points in the season, including playoffs. Iehle finished the year fourth in the conference for scoring and he and fellow Co-Captain Flocken skated in all the Marauders’ games this season.

Until Next Time…
Millersville will be forced to address some concerns headed into the 2018-19 season, specifically with their defense. Austin Baty, Connor Dericks, Troy Potts and Ben Flocken all will be graduating in May, leaving skates to fill for two thirds of the Marauders’ defense. Up front, both Noah McQuillan and Dalton Bideau will part ways with the team as well. Six tremendous skaters played their hearts out for the Millersville flag on the front of their jerseys throughout their tenure with the team. The Millersville Ice Hockey Club has proven in years past that their ability to recruit young players who can contribute consistently is something they take pride in. The bar has been raised once more for Millersville and while the team will look to find new bodies on the ice, the personalities of these six players will be kept around in the memories of the remaining Marauders who had the privilege of skating alongside them.