Kneeling (L-R) Jeff Fondl, Paul Patricoski, Danny Morris, Mike Bernacki, Ken Glinka, Denny Brunetta, Keith Coon, Joe Doerr.
Standing (L-R) Bob Farrell, Andy Vahaly, Coach Al Reinshagen, Joe Burick, Gerry Solon, Tom Ruane, Chris Carlton, Dave Vance, Lenny Hohenfeld, Mike Kaleina.
“The Longest Season”
1973 – 1974
“The 24 Game Schedule”
By the 1973-1974 school year, the ice hockey team had become a solid citizen of the sporting community at St. Vincent College. With a host of underclassmen and a few seniors and juniors, the team embarked on the most ambitious schedule of its 5 year existence. Mike Bernacki, assumed the reigns as Director of the team and along with Assistant Director and Captain Lenny Hohenfeld created a 24 game schedule for the Polar Bearcats.
With Labrasca no longer a part of the team, goaltending responsibilities were shifted to Ken Glinka. Over the next three seasons “Soda” became a fixture in the nets for the Polar Bearcats. During the 73-74 season, he collected two shutouts, faced a grueling number of shots, and logged enough minutes to qualify for almost two seasons worth of play in regular years. But Glinka was not the only story of the year. Dave Vance became the first player in SVC history to score 30 goals in one season, a record that would stand for 25 years, and an amazing 54 points, a record that extended beyond even his 30 goal mark. Team Captain, Lenny Hohenfeld also passed the 20 goal mark with 21 marking the first time in the team’s history when the club sported two 20+ goal scorers. Additionally, the team had more depth than at any time in its existence as the Sophomore class of Morris, Vance, Donatelli, and Doerr was bolstered by a large group of incoming Freshman that included Bob McNamara, Bob McDaniel, Paul Patricoski, Chuck Ruzick and Joe Burick, and of course it was the first year of play for the team’s greatest ringer, defenseman John McQuillan.
As Al Reinshagen entered his 4’th year as head coach, Bob Farrell, one of the team’s founders in the 1969-1970 season came back to be an assistant coach. The season became one of peaks and valleys. There were some memorable moments: a 4-0 blanking of Penn State McKeesport; two spectacular games by Ken Glinka, both losses in heroic efforts stopping 59 of 63 shots against CMU and 45 of 48 shots against Pitt; a last second goal by Denny Brunetta to beat Penn State McKeesport; a 1-0 win over IUP on a short handed goal by Chris Carlton; a tough hard fought 7-6 loss to WVU; and of course the grand finishing brawl against St. Bonaventure.
The season was the last campaign for two great team leaders, Captain Lenny Hohenfeld and Assistant Captain Mike Bernacki. As in previous years the torch was passed, Danny Morris assumed the role of Director, Andy Vahaly became Assistant Director, and Ken Glinka headed up Public Relations. So the group waited until next year.