Rink goes pink for breast cancer

Sophomore Nick Leelum pushing the puck upwards during the Broncs’ game against Penn State on Nov. 5.
Sophomore Nick Leelum pushing the puck upwards during the Broncs’ game against Penn State on Nov. 5.

By Shanna O’Mara

On Nov. 5, the Rider club ice hockey team hosted Penn State’s club team at Louck’s Ice Arena for a Pink in the Rink game, raising money for breast cancer awareness.

“It’s a great turnout,” said team manager Stefanie Roche. “It’s been a very consistent fundraiser for us over the last four years. The month of October in the [National Hockey League] is a big Pink in the Rink month, so we took that, and that’s something we do now at the college level. It’s also something that’s done across our league, that we see throughout the teams we play, too.”

During the afternoon game, Penn State hit the ground running, posting two shots on goal in the first three minutes of the game. They scored the first goal eight minutes in followed by another five minutes later.

Rider cut the opponent’s lead in half with a goal by  junior forward Christopher Johnson, assisted by senior defenseman Brett Ansbacher and senior forward Larry Walker, in the last thirty seconds of the period.

Sophomore goalie C.J. Lineman blocked nine of the Nittany Lions’ 11 shots on goal.

Tension ran high during the second period, as the Broncs began with a penalty against junior defenseman J.J. Santagata for cross-checking at the end of the first. The Nittany Lions increased their lead with another goal two minutes into the period, increasing aggression on the ice. Two Penn State penalties left three men against Rider’s five, and a scuffle soon ensued between Johnson and Penn State’s freshman forward Andrew Moscone.

Walker and sophomore forward Jay Furst of Penn State duked it out following a goal by Penn State three and a half minutes into the third period, leaving eight men on the ice. After spending time in the box, Walker scored off a feed from sophomore forwards Cole Moskal and Vincent Arlotta redeemed himself by adding a point to the scoreboard, making it a 4-2 game still in favor of the visiting team. Penn State retaliated with a goal with less than nine minutes left, ending the game three points ahead of the Broncs.

The Nittany Lions outshot the Broncs 33-17. The Broncs have now lost their two games against Penn State. The first loss was on Nov. 4, when Rider lost 3-2.

Head Coach Sean Levin said the team committed several errors that contributed to the two losses.

“We continued to make some mental mistakes which led to a few of Penn State’s goals,” Levin said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to bring the same level of play Saturday afternoon like we did for most of Friday nights game. We had a rough start to Friday night’s game and gave up three quick goals.  I was very pleased with how we battled back to cut the lead to one only to come up short in the end.”

The Broncs take on Villanova on Nov. 11 at Hatfield Ice Works in Pennsylvania. Forward Christopher Johnson said the team will work on all facets of the game to prepare for the Villanova game.

“I look forward to our three practices this week, fine-tuning our physical as well as mental game and hope to beat Villanova and Wagner in their own barn’s and build from there,” Johnson said.

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