By David Pavlak
The Rider hockey team came out aggressively this past weekend, putting on an offensive clinic as it took down the Violets of New York University and the Lafayette Leopards by scores of 7-2 and 8-3, respectively.
On Friday, Rider (8-1) squared off against NYU (1-6) and the Broncs knew the magnitude of this game prior to the puck being dropped.
“We knew that NYU is a super East team,” said freshman Dylan Duffy. “A win would boost our rankings. We went into the game ready to play.”
Rider fell behind in the first period when NYU scored on a power play. Despite the early deficit, the Broncs remained confident.
“After playing them in the first period and getting a feel for them, we knew we would be able to pull ahead coming into the second,” Duffy said. “We put the wheels into motion and took complete control of the game.”
Rider started the second period strong, rallying behind one another to tally four goals. Sophomore Frank Garvey scored a shorthanded goal as well as a power play goal, while sophomore Mike Junod and Duffy each scored once in the second period.
In the third period, the Broncs felt they had the Violets back on their heels. Freshman Tyler Deitrick scored another shorthanded goal, as did sophomore Steve Geffre, before Garvey scored his third of the night.
The penalty kill produced two shorthanded goals, an impressive feat for the Broncs.
“Our penalty kill is an aggressive one,” Duffy said. “We work the four-man box around the goalie, making sure to keep all their offensive men to the outside. Although we play a good defensive box, we also push to get right on the offensive attack.”
Riding high on the victory the night before, the Broncs came out skating hard and scoring fast against Lafayette (4-4), a fellow MACHA team. Rider scored five goals before the first period ended. Junior Connor Dragone scored two goals, while seniors DJ Nork, Mike Romono and junior Andrew Michael all scored one goal apiece. Garvey would score two more goals between the second and third periods and Nork capped the victory with a power play goal to send the Leopards back on the bus for a long ride home.
“Success comes easier if everyone works as a team and is in the right position on the ice,” Garvey said. “I think that was the case this weekend. Everyone played their role which allowed for better puck movement and more goal scorers.”
Garvey and Nork continually put points up on the board. Their touch has made an impact on the ACHA leader board. Garvey is ninth and Nork is 13th in total points in the league, forming a talented offensive duo.
Rider will compete at the Liberty Showcase this weekend with East Carolina (3-2), Rowan (5-2-1) and Liberty (11-1) in Lynchburg, V.a.