2007-08 Season Recap
The 2007-08 season was a rollercoaster ride that would begin with high aspirations. The club had just come off of one of its best seasons in its existence, gaining national attention and newfound respect from opponents throughout their conference and the region. A celebration of the team's 15th season as a club sport brought fond memories of the program's history, and ended with a triumph that was long in coming, setting the foundation for continued success in the future.
Gettysburg had just come off a year in which the club made enormous strides in organization and competitiveness. In their first full year of ACHA affiliation, they rocketed up the rankings to finish ranked 9th in the Atlantic region. New dark away jerseys had been rolled out early in the year, and the team was building around a core of players that were dedicated to the team and meshing well on the ice. In honor of their 15th season as an official club, Coach Esser started the "15k for 15 years" campaign, an effort to drum up increased awareness and support among parents, friends, and alumni. The first ever Gettysburg Hockey Alumni Game was held in early February, and many players from the past 30 years of Gettysburg Hockey returned to play. The main goal of all of this was to reconnect with the past and build for the future, all to help bring the team to the next level of competition; a berth in the ACHA regional tournament, and more importantly, a Mason-Dixon Conference championship.
With the increased funds, organization, and support, the team loaded up its schedule with the toughest opponents faced in the history of the program. Playing as few as 12 games just two seasons prior, the team would play 28 contests by the time the playoffs ended in late February. Nine seniors formed a core that would carry the team over the grueling season. Assistant captain Luke Archambault teamed with linemate Phil Deyette to form one of the most prolific scoring lines in the entire ACHA. Senior Rich Sommerkorn turned in consistent goaltending between the pipes, and ACHA Academic All-American Jackson Ferguson lead the team as captain and played a standout two-way game on a line with fellow senior and assistant captain Ben Flint. Gettysburg battled through four showcase tournaments, a much improved MDCHA schedule, and numerous injuries and roster turnovers, and they fell just short of their goal to break the ACHA top ten, finishing the season ranked 13th. But it was in late February in the MDCHA playoffs that the team's finest moment finally arrived.
Gettysburg had made the MDCHA playoffs for over four years in a row, each time advancing just a little further towards the championship. The previous season they had come just short, falling in the championship game to long-time rival Loyola. This year they had to go into the playoffs with a depleted roster and against much improved competition. They narrowly edged newcomer Bucknell in a shootout in the first round, and then overcame Salisbury (who they had just beaten in a shootout the previous week) in the semifinals. But they would match up against powerhouse Alvernia in the championship. Alvernia came into the game red-hot, having beaten Gettysburg in their last matchup. With Alvernia shutting down Archambault and Gettysburg's top line, it was secondary scoring from the other lines, combined with shutdown defense from a depleted blue-line. Most of all, goaltender Sommerkorn elevated his game and took home playoff MVP honors as Gettysburg defeated Alvernia and captured its first ever conference championship.
Final Record: 17-11 (12-2 in conference play)