By Jose Campos
CCSU Hockey Club played against rivals, the Bryant Bull Dogs in a back and forth battle that took it into overtime for an eventual 4-3 win by Bryant.
The Blue Devils hosted the Bull Dogs at home in what became a grudge match to see which team wanted the victory more. With it being one of the coldest nights of the year, CCSU still had a large amount of fans and family members showing up to be that extra factor for Bryant to overcome. Those fans played a huge role in disrupting shot attempts by Bryant.
CCSU scored early in the first period with 16:12 left to play, with an impressive goal from freshman Frank Pisano. After the early goal by the forward, it seemed to get a little more intense between the teams on the ice. At the 13 minute mark Bryant’s forward Matt Maziarz got a penalty and was put in the box for two minutes. The aggressive nature pursued with both teams diving around for control of the puck.
The crowd really enjoyed the up tempo action and was on their feet for the whole first quarter. Bodies were flying across the rink for possession of the puck, which for the period was favored by the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils had another big play when team President Evan Mink scored with 84 seconds left, which put CCSU up by two.
Bryant bounced back on their next possession with a score from Connecticut’s own Nick Malz in the final minute of the first quarter.
After shutting out Western in his first start at home the ending quarter goal snapped Zach Gosselin’s 79-minute scoreless streak.
“ Zach has done a great job in his new role and has made some big saves,” said Head Coach Ben Adams.
The second period took right off with the same intensity the first 20 minutes left off with. CCSU, showing big improvements on the amount of penalties they’ve been getting, still managed to play physical defense.
The endurance for a back and forth hustle is a necessity for a team like CCSU, who as Adams describes them is a, “blue collar team that moves their feet and are physical.”
The Blue Devils also got off to a good start in the second with an amazing shorthanded goal while 5 were in the box from Evan Mink. Quickly after, Bryant’s Cale Woodworth was sent to the box for two minutes. The aggressive game continued and CCSU was given a penalty from Max Maffuci at the 10-minute mark.
Gosseslin continued to play a strong game despite Bryant’s increased shots on goal.
The third period seemed as if CCSU could keep up their tenacity and lack of penalties that they had the win over a rival in the bag. However, Bryant had other plans and came up big in the final 20 minutes in regulation.
Bryant continued to get off more shot attempts all night, but with the help of Gosselin it wasn’t easy to score. Bryant’s senior Pat Graydon notched a glove side to make it within one with 3-2 and the Devils leading.
CCSU wasn’t clearing the zone that well and Bryant was capitalizing on their mistakes with crisper puck control. Soon Bryant scored again this time from Sophomore Terry Murphy. With the game is tied at three a piece the back and forth battle continued between the rivals. The time wound down to a zero and the teams headed into overtime.
Bryant came in with control of the puck in overtime and answered with a game-winning goal from Malz, with his second of the night.
“They were hungrier than us, they wanted it more than us tonight,” said Mink. Bryant left the winner but not without a cost, a player was sent to the hospital for a shoulder injury.
The Blue Devils continued on a losing streak for the rest of the weekend, falling to both NYU and Montclair State. The team has a chance to redeem themselves at home Friday at 9 p.m. against UConn.