Cramping issue is frustrating Union men’s hockey goalie Murphy

FILE - Union College men's hockey goalie Connor Murphy looks behind the net during the season opener against RIT at Messa Rink in October.

FILE - Union College men's hockey goalie Connor Murphy looks behind the net during the season opener against RIT at Messa Rink in October.

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SCHENECTADY — Connor Murphy is getting frustrated.

The Union College senior goalie and Hudson Falls native was affected by cramping once again during Saturday’s ECAC Hockey game against Colgate. It was at least the third time this season that cramping has affected Murphy’s play. He had to leave games against UConn on Oct. 7 and Harvard on Nov. 12.

Murphy nearly came out of Saturday’s games. At one point, he was on his knees and struggling to stay on his skates. Union athletic trainer Cheryl Rockwood came out midway through the third period and talked to Murphy. Freshman goalie Kyle Chauvette began to stretch and prepare to replace Murphy.

But Murphy, one of Union’s three captains, remained in the game.

“I was struggling a little bit there towards the end,” Murphy said during Union’s media availability Tuesday at Messa Rink. “In my head, I was staying in the whole game. That’s just what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to have to come out again. But there’s a point where, I think to myself, ‘Do I need to come out? If it gets worse, then I’m going to have to come out?’

“It’s frustrating at times, but I’m trying to work on talking to people and talking to doctors and trying to figure out what the problem is here and trying to tackle it head on. I’m still trying to find some answers, but I’m working towards it and trying to figure some stuff out.”

Murphy made 31 saves, including 11 in the final period, of Union’s 2-1 loss to Colgate. When Rockwood came out to check on Murphy, he told her he wasn’t coming out of the game.

“She just informed me if it’s bad, then we’re going to have to take you out,” Murphy said. “I said, ‘I’ll be alright. I just need a minute to loosen up a little.’ Obviously, if I do need to come out, I have full faith in Kyle. I think everybody does. It’s good that we have somebody that is able to jump in if we need them to. Like I said before, it’s still pretty frustrating that it keeps happening. I’m just trying to try to get over it.”

Union head coach Josh Hauge sympathizes with Murphy.

“It’s frustrating that you just feel bad for him [that] someone’s got to go through this,” said Hauge, whose Dutchmen play at Brown on Friday and at Yale on Saturday. “He’s an important piece for us. You’d like everybody to feel perfect all the time. But we have other guys that have bumps and bruises that they kind of got to deal with. He’s got to deal with this, and we’re here to support him any way we can.”

That Murphy stayed in the game didn’t surprise any of his teammates.

“The whole team’s got full confidence and faith in ‘Murph,’” sophomore defenseman Cullen Ferguson said. “The guy never quits on any of us. He’ll never quit on a play. That’s why he’s got the ‘C’ on his chest.”

Murphy is trying to eat right and drink the proper amount of fluids. But the cramps are still an issue. He’s getting to the point where he’s asking why this keeps happening.

“I’ve been asking myself the same question for months now,” Murphy said. “That’s why I’m talking to professionals about it. I just had a doctor’s appointment [Monday], and I got a lot of good information. I’ve got some steps moving forward that, hopefully, will work in the future, some short-term and some long-term. We’ll see where it goes from here. But, hopefully, it goes in an upward direction.”

Contact Ken Schott by email at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @slapschotts.

Categories: College Sports, Sports, Union College

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