Hockey preps for two-game stretch post Sandy

By Steven Eggert

After finishing its “Pink in the Rink” October fundraiser to support breast cancer awareness, the hockey team (6-2-1) will start November playing two games in two days.

On Nov. 2, the team travels to Delaware Gold Arena to face Delaware (6-4). The Broncs will end their slate of games on Nov. 3 when they travel to the Northeast Philadelphia Skatezone to take on Temple (7-6). The home game originally scheduled on Nov. 4 against Penn State has been canceled.

The team has not faced Delaware yet on this year’s schedule. However, the Broncs battled for a 6-2 win against Temple on Oct. 20.

Head Coach Sean Levin elaborated on the different challenges each opponent will bring.

“Delaware is the only team we haven’t played this season,” Levin said. “It seems like they improved since last year. Any time you’re away against a pretty good team, you never know. Temple is going to be a challenge. Any time you beat a team and play them not long after, there’s the bad taste you leave in one’s mouth.  So the strategy is to stay hot against Delaware and Temple.”

This week of preparation for the games has been a challenge because Hurricane Sandy forced the local ice rinks and Rider University’s campus to close.

As a result, Levin has put a lot of trust in his players to work out off the ice both mentally and physically. This weekend will be a true test of overcoming a lack of practice throughout the week.

“It’s been a pretty big challenge,” Levin said. “We knew over this past weekend that Monday was going to be washed, but we did not expect Wednesday to be a cancel as well. We have been in touch with the guys stressing mental and physical workouts or running in the gym. This weekend is going to be circled on our calendar. It’s a make-or-break weekend.”

The Broncs made it through October with a 4-0 record and are currently in the midst of a five-game winning streak.

Sophomore forward Pat Grilli leads the team with 10 goals and 17 points this season.  After starting the season 1-2-1, he feels that the team has started to click.

“We had a little bump in the road about the second week,” Grilli said. “But we’ve gotten things back on track, so we’re doing well.  We have our game plans and we’ve just got to keep working hard.”

 

Contact this writer at eggerts@theridernews.com

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