By Brittany Burke
It was nothing but hockey for CCSU’s club team this past weekend in which the team won its two home games before dropping the third on the road against Marist.
The weekend began with the 5-3 defeat of the eighth-ranked Bryant club team. The Blue Devils were coming into the weekend just six days removed from the 8-2 loss to the number one team in the Northeast, William Paterson.
“[William Paterson] seemed to couple their goals with us, when they get one they get three, so if we lapse for two minutes we’re down five, six goals like that, just real quick and we just did a better job of maintaining our composure after we gave up a goal tonight,” said defenseman Adam Goldstein.
The Blue Devils played a strong opening 20 minutes, controlling the puck and getting chances in their attack zone, unlike the game against William Paterson. In the first alone, CCSU outshot Bryant 16-6 and got on the board first with a goal from Dustin Rider. With John Palmieri in net the Bull Dogs were shut out until the second.
While the first and third periods were strong for CCSU, the team lapsed in the second. Andrew Mazurkiewicz managed to get CCSU on the board with a second goal, but penalties allowed Bryant to climb back and tie the game at two.
Both times Bryant scored the Blue Devils had managed a penalty kill, but broke down as the fifth player was coming back onto the ice. The first happened two seconds after Ryan Pereira’s penalty was cleared and the second came six seconds after Conor Stanley left the box.
“[Bryant is] a good gritty team,” said Head Coach Ben Adams. “They’re never gonna quit on a game and those teams are tough for us to play with because we’re used to either running away with a game or the team running away with a game against us … they’re ranked eighth for a reason and any time you take a penalty, unfortunately it’s not a two minute penalty, it’s about two minutes and five seconds once you get your fifth guy in the play and they used all two minutes and five seconds both times.”
Penalties were looking to become a problem again for CCSU, but the third period began and the Blue Devils were back on their game.
A pair of quick goals from Jon Knobloch and Matt Siracusa gave CCSU the two point advantage with less than 10 minutes left to play. Knobloch sealed the win for the Blue Devils when he slid the puck past the goalie that was down on the ice just away from the crease.
“It’s all about the first chance breakouts, we need to get the pucks out first and we had trouble with that in the second. The last five, ten minutes and after that in first and third it goes up from the D to the wingers and if we can get that puck out quick we’ll have success,” said Goldstein.
Less than 24 hours later the team was back in Newington, this time taking on in-state rivals, Western Connecticut. Against the Colonials the Blue Devils were on the winning side of an 8-2 final.
At the end of an explosive second period CCSU led WCSU 7-1, with multiple lines contributing to the score.
“After that second period the locker room was just really realized we knew we had the game we just had to finish the last 20,” said Brian Fay. Fay had the initial second period goals which gave the Blue Devils the 5-1 lead, he also finished the night with an assist.
With a six-goal advantage going into the third, things started to get chippy and more penalties were taken, but Mazurkiewicz still found the net in order to up the team’s lead to seven.
With less than eight minutes left to play, CCSU began to take multiple penalties including a slash from Matt Reckdenwald, tripping from Mazurkiewicz and a five-minute hitting from behind game misconduct which led to Ian Schwalenberg getting the gate early.
“Offensively it was nice to get on a roll, contributions from all the lines, good puck movement offensively. I would’ve liked to see us get a little bit tougher in front of the net, bury a little bit more but it was good,” said Adams. “…You know we got into penalty trouble and gave them a couple of windows where they actually could have crawled their way back in but luckily they did a great job at killing them.”
The next day CCSU travelled to Marist where they fell 5-4. The team will go back on the road on Friday before returning to Newington Saturday night to take on the University of Massachusetts.