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February 8, 2013

COLLEGE HOCKEY: Muise’s stellar night all the talk

February 8, 2013 7:00 a.m. MEADVILLE — The tale of Chris Muise and the 11-point ice hockey game just keeps getting taller.

“What I’ve heard is two natural hat tricks,” said Muise. “I think it was just one. I think the story has grown as the week went on.”

See, after awhile it all became a blur for Muise. He’s not real clear on the order of events. And there were so many “events” that he can hardly be blamed for being unable to keep track of them all.

What is known is that at the end of the Jan. 27 hockey game between the Allegheny College and St. Francis University club teams, a game the Gators won 19-0, Muise had 11 points on the score sheet — eight goals and three assists.

“On the last one I tried to hit the goalie and it still went in,” said the sophomore psychology major.

It’s not that Muise, a native of Topsfield, Mass., is some kind of master sharpshooter or anything. He said his highest previous output in a game was six points or so.

And it’s not that St. Francis is a particularly weak opponent. In fact, the night before St. Francis had beaten Allegheny 10-9 in a shoot-out.

However, the following morning, for whatever reason, things got weird.

“It had been such a hard-fought game the night before,” Muise said. “We assumed we were playing the same team. I don’t know. I guess they were the better team the night before, we were the better team in the morning. Maybe it was all the coffee we drank.”

Most of the damage was done in the third period. Allegheny led 6-0 after two. Then, according to Muise, “It all came in a rush. ... It seemed like no matter what we did we’d score.”

At one point, Muise’s teammates were looking to set him up, attempting to get him a rare natural hat trick — three goals scored in succession.

“For the first two periods they were kind of feeding me — ‘You’ve got to go get at least a natural hat trick.’ So we had that goal planned out. And the center pushed the puck forward and I took it behind defense and put it in.

“But after a certain point I kept trying to feed other people. But the puck kept ending up on my stick. And no matter what I did it went in.”

By the end, Muise was skipping the post-goal celebrations entirely. Not even a fist-pump.

“After the last goal, I kind of skated back to the bench because I didn’t want my teammates to do anything. ... After (the score) got to 12-0, it just became kind of nuts,” he said.

Should there be any hard feelings on the part of the St. Francis team, Muise and the Gators will soon find out. St. Francis will be coming from their home base in Loretto to skate against the Gators Saturday at the Meadville Area Recreation Complex. Face-off is scheduled for 11 p.m.

Muise is not expecting this outing to be quite as prodigious.

“I’d hope not,” he said.

He is hoping, however, to give the Allegheny fans something to celebrate

“It’s kind of gone around campus that we should do well this time,” he said. “Maybe not as ridiculous. But we’d like to do something for our fans.”

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