MIH: Colonels honor four for senior night celebration

In a celebration of teamwork, the Colonels honored four seniors on Feb. 11. during the second day of their doubleheader with Stevenson University.

Wilkes went 0-2 with Stevenson with a 1-2 loss in overtime for the first game and then lost in a shootout after a 3-3 score on senior night.

The seniors that were recognized were goaltenders Garrett Nieto and Michael Paterson-Jones and forwards Billy Berry and Nick Godfrey.

“This is an incredibly important senior class, to our current team and our program as a whole,” said head coach Tyler Hynes. “For most of their time here, this year’s senior class was overshadowed by the class of 19 student-athletes that graduated last season. But Billy, Nick, PJ and Garrett were handed the baton this year and they have done an outstanding job at the forefront. Each has been tremendous on the ice for us this season, driving our pace and guarding our gate. More importantly, they have been perfect role models of what it means to be Colonel.”

Nieto’s short time as a Colonel was prosperous as he recorded 408 saves and a .923 save percentage in goal. Nieto had a game-high of 37 saves in goal during the Colonels’ 4-3 win over Manhattanville College on Nov. 12., earning him the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Defensive Player of the Week award. Nieto also received the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) Goaltender of the week honors on Feb. 6. He also set the new record for saves in goal during a single game with 42 saves on Feb. 11.

Berry’s four years as a Colonel have led him to record 11 goals, 20 assists and 31 points, with six of his goals being scored this season. Berry has won 206 face-offs this year along with adding 20 blocks to date.

Godfrey also completed four full seasons for the Navy and Gold, scoring eight goals, assisting 20 and adding 28 points.

Paterson-Jones’ four years at Wilkes earned him many accolades: He recorded 1472 saves in goal with a .896 save percentage. 260 of those saves were recorded this season with a .906 save percentage. Paterson-Jones received the MAC Defensive Player of the Week award twice this season to date. Peterson-Jones also earned the UCHC Goaltender of the week honors on Nov. 28. for the sixth time throughout his career.

“While small in size, this group of seniors had a huge impact on our success as a hockey program,” said graduate- student Phil Erickson. “They absorbed our culture on day one and immediately began to enhance it. Overall, this class of seniors has worked hard, stayed patient, and taken advantage of the opportunities that they have earned. As leaders, they’ve helped push our culture forward and have set a great example for our young group of Colonels.”

While Erickson has been with these men throughout their entire careers, even first-year members of the team have noticed the impact and leadership of these seniors.

“I am very grateful to have met such a great group of guys,” said first-year Cam Lowe. “They built our program from the ground up and have gained the respect of everyone on the team, people around campus and many others in the Wilkes- Barre community. An incredibly hard-working group of guys have shown us what it takes to be a part of the Wilkes hockey culture.”

The Colonels will finish out their regular season game-play on Feb. 17. and 18. at Neumann University.


Photo/Julia Mazur