By Derek Jordan
After a loss to Marist, the club ice hockey team was able to bounce back with a rout over Monmouth, 10-4.
Following Marist crushing Rider’s two-game winning streak on Feb. 12 at Loucks Ice Arena, a game that saw the Broncs commit seven second-period penalties and saw Marist capitalize on four of them, Rider bounced back with the victory against Monmouth to close out the regular season.
Rider (11-12) came out in the first period against Marist playing aggressively. Showing no signs of fatigue, the Broncs were all over their opponent, playing in their own end for almost the whole period.
Rider’s up-tempo play awarded it with a couple man-advantages in which it cashed in once. At 11:12 into the first, senior forward Pat Grilli put the Broncs up 1-0 on a sneaky wrap-around move, with the assists going to senior forwards Connor and Matt Fox.
“[Connor] Fox had the puck at the point, and I saw he had a shooting lane so I just went to the net,” Grilli said. “He made a great shot-pass right to my tape, and I noticed the goalie was out of position. I maneuvered quickly around the net and wrapped it in.”
The Broncs kept at it and continued with their assertive play. At 15:08 in the first period, Matt Fox tallied the second goal with help coming from Grilli and freshman forward Eric Bozzi.
“I got the puck going down the left wing and I noticed Matt open in the slot,” said Bozzi. “I quickly gave it to him and saw him put it home.”
Rider left the first period with a 2-0 lead.
The beginning of the second period is when the Broncs began to crumble. Rider committed seven second-period penalties, which put them at a disadvantage for the entire period. The Red Foxes took it to the Broncs, tallying 22 second-period shots and four unanswered goals.
Rider could not get anything going offensively in the third period. Despite firing 25 shots at the Red Fox goaltender, Rider would go on to lose.
Against Monmouth, Grilli opened things up with a goal with assists from senior forward Andrew Heinz and freshman forward Vincent Arlotta almost 10 minutes into the first period. About 40 seconds later, Fox was called for interference and the Hawks took advantage of the power play and tied the game up with 8:11 remaining in the first period.
After another Monmouth score two minutes later, the Broncs caught a break when the Hawks were given an unsportsman-like conduct call with a minute and 16 seconds left in the opening period. Arlotta scored on the ensuing power play to tie the game up at two goals each.
While the first period had both teams locked in a stalemate, the second was far from a competitive one. Rider scored six goals. The first two goals, scored by Bozzi and Matt Fox, were scored within a 32 second span.
The Broncs would then score four more goals in the second period before heading into the locker rooms with an 8-3 lead. After two periods, Rider had 38 shots on goal while Monmouth only had 14.
Even though Monmouth scored early in the third period, it was too big of an uphill battle for the Hawks to rebound as the Broncs closed the regular season with two more goals and won by a score of 10-4.
Rider will look to carry its winning ways as of late into next weekend as it takes on Rowan in the first round of the MACHA playoffs in Delaware on Feb. 19.