Scranton's Rallying Cry: "One More"
Scranton was in a pinch in the middle of April. With a 5-7 overall record, and more importantly, an 0-3 mark in the Landmark, the Royals were on the verge of not qualifying for the four-team conference tournament.
"Going into the Goucher [regular season] game, we knew that our backs were against the wall and we changed our philosophy to 'One More,'" said Scranton head coach Jim Rogalski. "We would get one more. That's the way it has been the last couple of weeks and we're going to continue to ride that philosophy in the playoffs."
It has worked. Scranton beat Goucher that day in overtime, beat Catholic in the regular season finale, and then proceeded to beat both teams in the league tourney to snatch the automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament – the first time the Royals earned a bid. Now Scranton travels to Gettysburg to take on the Bullets on Wednesday afternoon.
For a lot of rookie NCAA teams, drawing a traditional power like Gettysburg would be daunting, but Rogalski and the Royals feel they're ready.
"We've upped our schedule and revamped the schedule and we try to play the best teams out of conference we possibly could to prepare us for a playoff run," said Rogalski. "We've played St. John Fisher, Nazareth and Stevenson. I think at this point we're ready to play anybody."
It's heady talk for a first-time program with a first-year head coach, but Rogalski believes he has the ingredients to be a tournament threat.
"I knew we had a good faceoff guy and two solid goalies," he said. "In a playoff run, if you have a hot goalie and a good faceoff guy, you are getting some extra possessions and that has really gotten us through the past couple of weeks."
Senior Pat Cefalo is Scranton's ace on faceoffs, winning 62.4 percent (221-of-354), and Jeremy Dowiak (11.09 GAA) and Ben Worthington (8.39) gives the Royals a pair of seasoned goalies.
Rogalski knows what he is getting with the Bullets, however.
"Gettysburg has a lot of tradition," said Rogalski. "I know they are going to have a lot of fight and I know they are playing well. But I think we match up well."
They just need one more.