St. Paul's won its first JV Hockey MIAA Conference Championship on Wednesday, Feb. 8, defeating regular season champion Mt. St. Joseph, 3-2. As he has all season, David Hudak scored the key first goal off a quick shot just off the side of the crease on a feed from TJ Talbot and Owen Knott. To close out the period, TJ Talbot scored a goal that was deliberately bounced off him as he went to the net. The Crusaders practiced this play for the first time the day before. At the end of one period, St. Paul's was up 2-0.
In the second period, St. Paul's struggled with penalties, and Mt. St. Joseph did scored a power play goal, narrowing the score to 2-1 after 2 periods.
In the 3rd period, SP was tested in nearly every way possible, killing five penalties, at times going two men down. Jordy Kaplan made some spectacular saves to maintain the lead. At one point, after a diving save, the puck lay right in front of an open net and in the mad scramble, the Crusaders kept it out. With 10 minutes left in the game, and after just killing off a two man down scenario, Zach Zeisler got the puck to Owen Knott who rocketed a snap shot too quickly for the MSJ goalie to close down the 5-hole. This put SP up 3-1 and gave some breathing room.
With 8 minutes to go, the top line of Jackson Woodward, TJ Talbot, and David Hudak got the puck deep in the MSJ zone and managed to grind nearly 4 precious minutes off the clock. This was textbook cycling and seemed to be the finishing move. However, it was not going to be that easy. The Crusaders took their last penalty with just over 4 minutes left in the game, and again went back on the penalty kill. Again, SP stood them up at the blue line each time. However, with just 26 seconds left, MSJ scored to make it 3-2. They called timeout, pulled their goalie for a 6th attacker, but St. Paul's was able to run out the clock for the victory.