By Brittany Burke
After dropping their first two games of the weekend the CCSU club hockey team managed to end the three-game stint on a high note with an 8-2 win against the Western Connecticut State Colonials.
The Blue Devils traveled to Danbury Sunday afternoon following a 6-1 loss to their Super East rivals, the Endicott Seagulls. The game against Endicott wasn’t the first meeting of the season between the two teams. CCSU fell to Endicott on Oct. 20, 4-3 and this past weekend’s game didn’t yield better results.
The Seagulls managed to take advantage of the home team as they spent time in the penalty box, while also exposing their ever-present weaknesses on defense.
CCSU took to the Newington ice on Saturday night following a road loss to UMass Amherst 0-2.
“I thought we made some strides last night, we lost 2-0 but I thought we finally played a very good solid game with limited penalties then coming in tonight I thought we were making the turn and we regressed,” said Head Coach Ben Adams. “We went the wrong way.”
As soon as the game began Endicott was able to take control of CCSU, keeping the puck in their zone. The Blue Devils defense came out sluggish and struggled to clear the puck from in front of CCSU goaltender Greg Coco, which allowed the Seagulls to dominate in the beginning minutes.
With Coco looking better in net the team started to wake up, but it was still Endicott who struck first with 3:32 left in the first period.
Team president, Evan Mink tied the game 2:18 into the second period, notching the goal off a rebound, from Pisano and Mazurkiewicz. Despite the tie, Endicott edged forward going into the third period with a 3-on-5 power play goal.
Penalties continued to be an issue for the Blue Devils as the third period wore on. Four goals were scored in the final 20 minutes, all against Coco.
“Most of the guys that were getting the penalties, that were mentally not there tonight were veterans and they just have to play better. Everybody has to play better from the net out. We can’t really ask much more of Coco, but maybe some combinations and line changes should have been a little different and personnel should have been a little bit different. A situation like this you start thinking about everything as to how you could have made a difference,” said Adams.
Two of the Seagulls’ goals came on the power play, while the other two happened while both teams were playing a man short for the 4-on-4.
Both CCSU and Endicott spent a lot of time in the box, and the team’s power play unit of Conor Stanley, Matt Siracusa, Frank Pisano, Evan Mink and Andrew Mazurkiewicz looked strong, but weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunities given to them.
“I think they were put in situations that they’re not accustomed to. When you’re asking a guy who is fairly in experienced to play a major penalty kill role he’s going to make mistakes, it’s the nature of the beast,” said Adams. “And they’re put in situations without the proper time to adjust and warm up to it’s tough. Some guys are out there battling all the time and some guys pick their battles.”
CCSU managed to turn the weekend around against WCSU to end on a strong note. The team will be back in Newington on Friday Nov. 16 as defending champions of the Governor’s Cup.
“We obviously care about wins and losses but my concern is more of what’s going on in the room. We need these guys to play as a unit and play together, if they do that wins will come,” Adams said.