By Tom Albano
The Rider ice hockey team is getting ready for two big games this weekend as it takes on its crosstown opponent, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), followed by a rematch against the University of Maryland.
The Broncs defeated Maryland (1-2) 3-2 last weekend, improving the team’s record to 2-2-1.
“I was pleased with our overall performance,” Head Coach Sean Levin said. “There are still some areas that need to be worked on, but it was great to see the team respond after going down 1-0 in the first period. We did a great job of making adjustments between periods and staying positive.”
Levin is in his first year as head coach and is looking to continue the winning tradition set before him.
“I think there is always pressure to win,” Levin said. “Coach Ted Gerry, Coach Bob Baumen and Coach Ted Gerry Jr. had successful careers and it is my goal to continue moving the program forward. We are no longer satisfied with just making the postseason. Our goal is to play for a championship and continue to move up in the rankings for regionals and nationals.”
This mission for success and a championship continues tonight and Saturday, starting with a game versus TCNJ (3-3-1). Coach Levin is excited about this competition because of how near the school is to Rider and the history between them.
“There’s an added element when playing TCNJ,” Levin said. “Sharing the same ice facility and the close proximity of our campuses creates a great rivalry. One major key is staying out of the penalty box. We cannot afford to play a man down against good teams. It’s going to take a team effort to win on Friday, and each player will have a significant role in the game’s outcome.”
Levin is also excited that the Broncs are able to take on Maryland again after facing them this past weekend.
“Both teams played hard last game and we were fortunate to come out with a win,” Levin said. “I’m sure Maryland will make adjustments and look to defend their home ice.”
Sophomore goaltender Nate Kholodenko has his own ideas about what the team needs to work on, but is confident coming into this weekend’s games.
“We have to get used to being consistent as a team early in the season,” Kholodenko said. “We are very confident coming into this weekend and know we can win both games. No game in this league is easy, but we have the right mindset where we think we can beat anyone we go against.”