By Rob Rose
The ice hockey team defeated Army, 3-2, behind a two-goal game by junior forward Vincent Arlotta on Nov. 3. The Broncs took both games against the Black Knights, also beating Army on Sept. 24.
The first time the two teams met, it took a shootout for Rider to skate off with a victory. It was a back-and-forth game, in which Arlotta and fellow junior forward Cole Moskal scored decisive goals. Moskal gave the Broncs a 4-3 victory with a shootout goal.
Much like their first battle, this game started out in similar fashion. Army got on the board first, scoring in the game’s first minute.
Junior forward Jake Lukis evened things up shortly, scoring a goal assisted by senior defenseman JJ Santagata and junior defenseman Mark Fisher.
Arlotta gave the Broncs their first lead of the game with less than five minutes left in the first period, assisted by Moskal and freshman defenseman Michael Jinks. At the end of one period, Rider led 2-1.
In the second period, Army tied the game on an unassisted goal by Matthew Riehl. After two periods, the game was tied 2-2.
Between the pipes for the Broncs was junior goalie Angelo Perri. After the injury to junior goalie CJ Lineman, Perri has seen increased ice time as the team looks to establish a new rotation.
“We’re lucky to have two strong, talented goaltenders,” said Head Coach Sean Levin of Perri and junior Carter Siani.
Arlotta gave Rider the advantage again midway through the third period. The 3-2 lead was all Perri needed, as the Broncs’ defense locked down the Black Knights’ offense to secure the victory.
In its second game of the weekend, Rider faced off against Liberty.
The Broncs got on the board first when junior forward Nicholas Leelum sent a shot from the point that was deflected by senior forward Michael Katz. For Katz, it was his fourth goal in his last five games, including a two-goal performance against Bridgewater State on Oct. 28.
“[Katz] has scored some big goals for us. He adds a little bit of a spark offensively and in order for us to keep winning down the stretch, he’s going to have to keep bringing his game,” said Levin.
Liberty tied the game before the end of the first period, and the teams headed to the locker room knotted at 1-1.
The Flames dominated the second period. Penalties taken by the Broncs gave Liberty opportunities to score on the power play.
A common theme for Rider this season, in victories and defeats, has been its ability to stay out of the penalty box. Against Army, there were no penalties in the third period and the Broncs escaped with a victory. Against Liberty, it was an entirely different story.
Physical play is part of the game of hockey but must be managed or the opposition can use the emotions of another team to create undisciplined play that leads to penalties.
“If guys still take it upon themselves to take themselves out of the play, there will be some disciplinary action in terms of lack of ice time,” said Levin.
Santagata, who was recently named team captain said, “We talk about [penalties] every week and we continuously find ourselves behind because of it.” Freshman forward Michael Klein scored his second goal of the season but after two periods, Liberty led 3-2.
Perri was in net for the Broncs again and was unable to stop the Flames’ attack. Two more goals in the third period gave Liberty a 5-2 victory over Rider.
The Broncs are now 7-6 this season and take the ice on Nov. 10 at 8:30 p.m. against Marist at Loucks Ice Center.