By David Pavlak
The Rider ice hockey team just completed a pair of home matches against rivals TCNJ and Monmouth. The hockey team has had a consistently strong season, leaving them at 8-6-1 overall with one game left to play in the regular season.
Against TCNJ, Rider could not catch a lucky bounce. Outshooting its cross-town rival 60-26, Rider could not find the back of the net. TCNJ put two goals past junior goaltender Joe Nalbone before Rider got its first goal in the third period. Soon after, though, TCNJ scored three more to put the possibility of a comeback out of reach, ending the game with a score of 5-1.
“I wouldn’t really call the game on Friday versus TCNJ a downfall,” said senior captain Tom D’Aurizio. “We were a better team in the game and we dominated the play, but the fact of the matter is, we couldn’t bury the puck and we ran into a hot goaltender. We outshot them 60-29 and anytime you do that, you shouldn’t lose.”
A true sign of a quality team is the ability to shake off adversity and fight hard everyday. The Broncs did just that the following night when they took on Monmouth. Earlier this season, Rider won an exciting 6-5 game versus the Mountain Hawks. This time around, Rider left no time for Monmouth to hang around. After a quick goal in the beginning seconds of the game, Rider never looked back, scoring seven unanswered goals, and defeating its opponent 7-1.
“A win against Penn and we will secure second place in our division,”said Head Coach Ted Gerry.
With the successes of the season still fresh in mind, and with one more game left in the regular season, the team is looking forward to the playoffs.
“We are not a team that relies on one line or player; we beat teams with our whole squad, and each line plays its part in our victories,” said senior captain Nick Savaiano.
D’Aurizio has the right mind-set for the postseason.
“For us to have successful playoffs, we have to continue to work hard, be disciplined, and continue to play the way we have been playing,” he said. “We can’t develop bad habits because mistakes kill you come playoff time.”