Victor advances to state hockey semifinals with win over Syracuse

Moments after the Victor Blue Devils completed a 4-0 whitewash of Syracuse to earn a berth in the Division 1 hockey final four, Darius Rucker’s country hit Wagon Wheel blared in the dressing room.

Truth be told, Tim McGraw’s Humble And Kind would have been more fitting, considering senior forward Jack McCandless was the hero for the Blue Devils.

McCandless scored three first-period goals, staking Victor to the big early cushion in the state regional clash, but after the game he was deflecting credit better than Blue Devils goalie Pieter Bartelse deflects opposing shots.

“My teammates were battling and working hard,” McCandless said, “and it was nice to see the puck go in after all their hard work.”

That’s very true, since two of his goals came on rebounds. But still, someone had to barge his way to the net, someone had to be the first stick to those loose pucks.