Katz scores game-winner in 3-2 victory over Bears
By Rob Rose
Senior forward Michael Katz scored twice, including the game-winning goal, to give Rider a 3-2 victory over Bridgewater State. The Broncs lost their second matchup of the weekend, 6-5 against Providence.
Coming off a 7-0 victory at home over Siena, Rider faced off against Bridgewater State in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Starting in net for the Broncs was junior goalie Carter Siani. After an injury to fellow junior goalie CJ Lineman, Siani made his second start of the season against the Bears.
“Losing CJ for the season is a big loss,” said Head Coach Sean Levin. “He’s been our guy for the past two seasons during our playoff runs.”
Siani would prove to be up for the task, earning the praise of his coach after the victory. “Thanks to his performance, we were able to get the win,” said Levin.
Junior defenseman Mark Fisher gave Rider an early lead, scoring an unassisted goal, his first as a Bronc.
Katz would add another goal in the second period, pushing Rider’s lead to 2-0.
The Bears would answer with two goals of their own, and at the end of two periods, the score was 2-2.
In the third period, Katz found the back of the net for the second time, putting Rider ahead, 3-2.
In only his fourth game back from injury, Katz has provided much-needed offense for the Broncs.
“Mike has been a nice spark since coming back from an off-season back injury,” said Levin. “As a senior, Mike understands the college game and what it takes to compete against teams in the MACH.’”
A late surge by the Bears wasn’t enough and the Broncs held onto the win.
In the rematch against Providence, junior goalie Angelo Perri was between the pipes.
The first time the two teams met, it was a disappointing result for Rider. After two-hard fought periods, Providence added five more goals in the period, handing the Broncs a 7-0 loss. The Broncs weren’t looking for revenge against Providence but had a “sense of being aware who we were playing and learning from our mistakes last game,” said senior defenseman JJ Santagata. “We came to play.”
Once again the Friars got on the board first, scoring moments into the game.
Their lead wasn’t safe for long, as freshman defender Michael Jinks answered with his first goal of the season.
Providence would retake the lead shortly after Jinks’ goal, in what proved to be a back-and-forth game throughout.
The Friars committed a tripping penalty with three minutes left in the period, giving Rider a power play. The Broncs would take advantage, as Santagata scored from the point to tie the game at 2-2.
Providence scored a minute later and ended the first period with a 3-2 lead.
Thirty seconds into the second period, senior forward Chris Johnson scored to tie the game at 3-3.
Rider would take its first lead of the game when junior forward Jake Lukis scored his first goal of the season, assisted by junior forward Jared Roy.
Providence would tie the game at 4-4 with a power play goal after penalties to Lukis and junior forward Cole Moskal.
Penalties have been a lingering problem for Rider this season and were an issue against the Friars.
“Unfortunately, we made some of the same mistakes that hurt us in the first game, such as penalties,” said Levin.
The Friars would add another goal and ended the second period leading 5-4.
After Providence increased its lead to 6-5, Johnson scored his second goal of the game.
With 7.8 seconds left, the Broncs pulled Perri for an extra attacker with a face off in the Friars’ zone for one last scoring chance, but the game ended, 6-5.
The Broncs’ record is now 5-4 and their next game is at Army on Nov. 3 at 3 p.m.