After the administration made the decision not to continue with the hockey team earlier this month, the Stags have been able to bounce back and play some of its best hockey of the year.

Fairfield started out the month with a 4-2 win at Canisius. The win marks the first ever over the Griffs at Buffalo State Ice Arena.

After winning their most impressive game of the season, the Stags learned that the team would be cancelled. The next day the Stags had the difficult task of putting the administration’s decision behind them for a rematch with Canisius.

The Stags did not show nearly the intensity of their first meeting and fell to the Golden Griffs 4-2.

With the decision clearly still on their mind, the Stags continued to slip with a loss to Mercyhurst 4-2 Friday Feb. 8.

In both losses, Fairfield out-shot their opponents, but did not make the most of their opportunities. While Fairfield played good defense for most of the game, mental breakdowns led to easy goals for Canisius and Mercyhurst.

Fairfield came back strong on Friday Feb. 14 with a convincing 4-2 victory over Army at the Arena at Harbor Yard. Steve Calderara continued his stellar play with the eventual game winner at 5:05 in the second period. Calderara is among the league leaders in points for a defenseman.

The Stags followed up their win with a disappointing 4-2 loss to the Black Knights. Fairfield again dominated the flow of play and out shot Army 37-26. Despite the loss, Fairfield’s Ray Metz collected goals number 50 and 51. Both goals came in the first five minutes of action.

Fairfield’s trend of dominating its opposition and losing continued in a game against American International College Friday February 21st. The Stags took 25 shots, but were shut out by the Yellow Jackets. The Fairfield defense only faced 15 shots but three got past sophomore goalie Andrew Martin.

Fairfield got its revenge in a rematch on Saturday with a decisive 5-1 victory over AIC. Freshman Sammy Vatrano registered two goals and an assist to lead Fairfield to victory. Craig Schnappinger, ’04, looked solid in net making 22 saves for the Stags.

Fairfield is currently 7-20-2 overall and 6-14-2 in the MAAC. The 2002-2003 season has been a struggle with tough, close losses and unfulfilled expectation. However, with games coming up against Bentley, Sacred Heart, and Iona, Fairfield can end their final season with a great deal of pride.

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