Tag Archives: hockey

CCSU Hockey Wins Big On Senior Night

By Brittany Burke

The Blue Devils all gathered at one end of the ice, helmets off and attention focused on the blue and white balloons that adorned their bench’s entrance to the ice. In alphabetical order, five seniors were called to meet their parents and were given a rose, which they all gave to their mothers.

As Tim Dillon, Ryan Paglinco, Michael Joy, Zach Vidmosko and Adam Goldstein’s names were called, cheers erupted from the stands and the sound of hockey sticks smacking the ice echoed through the rink from their teammates.

The 9-5 win over UConn (9-8-2-3) wasn’t your ordinary in-state rivalry matchup. It was one fueled with emotion for five guys whose CCSU (17-8-2-2) careers will soon be coming to an end.

“ … being on the ice to start the game then to end the game with these guys who we’ve played with for four, sometimes four and a half/five years … it is emotional to know the season’s coming to an end and some of us may not be playing hockey anymore, some of us may not play together again so it is kind of emotional,” said Joy.

With John Palmieri minding CCSU’s net, CCSU managed to get the early 4-1 lead less than three minutes into the second period.

UConn was giving CCSU ample chances to capitalize on the man advantage, which soon turned into their first two goals, but the Huskies aren’t a team known for folding.

In the first meeting between the two teams, CCSU blew a four-goal lead to eventually walk away with a tie and it looked like history could be repeating itself in Newington.

“They’re a talented team and they can put pucks away and last time we played them they came back from four goals,” said Paglinco. “So you always have that in the back of your mind that they can come back on ya.”

Two back-to-back power-play goals cut CCSU’s goal advantage to one; however another CCSU power-play goal from Paglinco put the Blue Devils up 5-3 going into the game’s final intermission.

The lead was short lived as CCSU allowed for an additional two UConn goals, which had the game all tied up at five. A breakdown occurred for CCSU as the game wore on and more penalties were taken.

A goal from brothers Ryan and Conor Stanley put the home team back up by one, but with Brian Fay serving two minutes in the box UConn had another chance to tie. The penalty kill allowed CCSU to keep the lead and helped sway the momentum in their favor.

“It was good to see that the penalty killers were able to keep the pressure and the shots to the minimum,” said Head Coach Ben Adams. “ … we were kind of nervous taking penalties late because we didn’t know how their power play was, but we made the proper adjustments and the guys battled.”

Soon enough CCSU was back up by two when Dillon took the puck up the ice, sent it backwards where he found teammate Matt Siracusa who netted it in the glove-side top corner with 7:57 left in the game.

Siracusa finished the game with two goals and was one 14 Blue Devils to get on the score sheet.

“The offensive contributions were pretty spread out, which was nice,” said Adams. “Contributions from pretty much everybody, it’s nice that they gutted it out. They could have folded the tents and it could have gone real bad real quick, but they stayed focused mentally they were tough tonight and we’re gonna need that down the stretch.”

With the crowd cheering it was apparent from that point on it was CCSU’s game. Another huge penalty kill and an empty net goal made by Conor Stanley seemingly secured the win, until Paglinco notched his second goal of the night with 16 seconds left to play.

CCSU needed the victory coming off of last weekend’s win drought, but the turnaround is quick. Following the weekend’s final road game at Boston University, CCSU comes back to Newington on Feb. 18 at 8:15 p.m. to play against SCSU.

The game against the Owls was a late addition to the schedule to avoid a lull in competitive play before heading into this year’s regionals in Danbury the following weekend.

CCSU Hockey Wins At Home And Falls On The Road

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.

Blue Devils Hockey Tops Red Hawks

By Brittany Burke

The CCSU club hockey team hasn’t played a game since Dec. 17 against Bryant University on the road, but despite the break the Blue Devils managed to come out against Montclair State and continue its win streak, topping the Red Hawks 5-3.

Saturday night’s home game against Red Hawks was the second meeting between the two Super East teams, both resulting in a win for the Blue Devils. Not only was this a game between the number four and number five teams in the league, but this rematch also marked the first game between the two since goalie Greg Coco was injured on the road at Montclair.

“I thought it was going to be a very difficult game for us to play,” said Head Coach Ben Adams. “[Montclair] came in with a lot of confidence, tying the best team in the Northeast last night, and how our first game against them went, it was kind of lopsided in our favor and we had a lot of emotion we had to channel with our goaltender getting hurt in that last game too. So there was a lot of speed bumps that could’ve come up but I thought we played well despite that.”

The tension between the two teams was evident on the ice and it wasn’t long before the physical play grew chippy.

“Everyone was trying to get revenge but we also wanted to win and obviously that’s the main case we were going for and we got that done,” said Jon Knobloch.

CCSU fought through and managed to get on the board first, but the lead didn’t last long. Just three minutes after the Blue Devils got their first point the Red Hawks scored on a five-on-three power play to tie the score.

Taking unnecessary penalties and then killing off the power play is something that the Blue Devils struggled with all game. All three Montclair goals came with at least one CCSU player in the box and serving time.

“The goals that they got were nothing more than throwing it to the net and crashing it and getting some tips and some back door stuff and we knew that’s what they try to do and it’s very difficult to defend when they have an extra man down low that they can send into the crease and create those opportunities,” said Adams. “… We just have to clean up why we’re getting to the box. There was a couple calls, good, bad or indifferent they’re things we could’ve controlled and we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that position.”

Much of the game was back and forth and that was evident in the scoring. With just over five minutes left to play before the first intermission, CCSU’s Brian Fay brought the puck up the side through the neutral zone and into the attacking zone before shooting and notching the team’s second goal of the night.

“First game you know we had to work some rust off in the first period, you know, we were kind of slow taking a lot of penalties but after the first we kind of got back into and did what we had to to get the win,” said Fay.

With Evan Mink serving a two minute penalty in the second, Montclair managed to put the puck past Mike Joy and goalie John Palmieri to tie the score for the second time that night.

Despite the fact that Montclair managed to tie the game, they were never able to fully gain the lead. Fifty-three seconds after the teams were two each, CCSU’s Dustin Rider netted a short-handed goal, his second goal of the night.

Rider is a new addition to the Blue Devils and made quite a name for himself in his debut game. Rider tallied a hat trick against Montclair and helped add depth to the Blue Devil lines.

Rider isn’t the only add-on to CCSU this semester. A handful of guys have been reactivated, joined and become eligible for the second half of the season.

“It’s really good so we can mix up the lines, we don’t have to stack the lines as much, we can spread out the offense and that way everyone’s getting out there and contributing which is nice,” said Fay.

Palmieri kept the Red Hawks out of the net in the third, allowing the Blue Devils to gain two more points. A power play goal made by Jon Knobloch and the empty-netter from Rider officially sealed the win for the Blue Devils.

The Blue Devils return to action this Saturday against team rivals William Patterson at 8:30 p.m. in Newington.

The Stanley Brothers: From Pond Hockey To Linemates

By Brittany Burke

From the street, to a backyard frozen pond, to New Hampshire and Rhode Island, the two youngest Stanley brothers haven’t known anything but hockey. While Ryan and Conor grew up playing the game with each other, they never played beside one another, that is, until they got to CCSU.

With a two-year gap in age, Ryan and Conor never had the chance to play on the same team at the same time, but that all changed when Conor, the youngest brother, transferred from Salve Regina to CCSU for his sophomore year.

“We’ve been on the same team once in high school and he was a sophomore so he didn’t really play,” said Ryan. “So playing with my brother, it’s new but it’s not like we haven’t been doing it all along. We’ve been playing street hockey together, we do activities together but were not like on a real team, so this year has been kind of cool because I feel like we’re finally putting it together as brothers and it’s really nice to see.”

Conor became a Blue Devil a year and a half after Ryan transferred from St. Anselm’s in New Hampshire to New Britain during his freshman year.

“It’s almost come like full circle now that they’re on the same team, it started with pond hockey when they were three and five to now playing for central,” said their mom Cara Stanley.

The season Ryan joined the CCSU hockey team, the Blue Devils finished second in the national tournament and the following year was named American Collegiate Hockey Association’s player of the year.

Ryan made an impact on the team early and Conor is following suit. With half of the 2011-2012 season over, and the team currently ranked fourth after the last ranking period, the athletes seem to be settling into their roles out on the ice.

For the Stanley brothers, those roles have them situated on the same line, something that’s never happened before.

“When you start playing with someone new it’s always challenging a little bit to feel him out and our first couple times, our first game or so or practices it was definitely still a little rocky,” said Conor. “But we’ve been watching each other ever since I can remember and watching him every game … I know exactly what he’s going to do now when he has the puck now.”

Ryan and Conor help comprise the first line along side teammate, Jon Knobloch. Head Coach Ben Adams prides the team on being able to roll out multiple lines, which all contribute to the 60-minute game, but the first line remains the most productive.

Both brothers crack the top three in points for the team, with only Knobloch as their divider. Currently Ryan leads the team in points while Conor sits at third.

“We have confidence in each other and that’s one of the main things,” said Ryan. “When you’re on a team sometimes it’s hard to feel other people out but we know each other so well it’s easy.”

Having brothers on the same line not only creates a lucrative chemistry, but it also helps them push each other when no one else can.

“I know I could call him out on something and the thing with Ry is, he’s our go-to guys and everyone knows that on our team,” said Conor. “If he makes a mistake or makes a bad play or does something wrong a lot of people aren’t gonna say anything and I think if I say something to him he appreciates it.”

It’s not uncommon to see on the stats sheet a goal scored by number 10 with the assist from 26 or vice versa, Ryan and Conor’s numbers respectively. Nor is it uncommon to see an older gentleman with an UConn knitted hat sitting up in the bleachers writing down every single goal and assist.

That man’s name is Herb O’Connell and he happens to be Ryan and Conor’s grandfather.

“Grandpa is always at every game and he keeps track of the games he always goes to,” said Cara. “ … I think he counted 130 games in one year [that he went to] when they were growing up. It’s very important because they’ve been playing hockey since they were in-house, mites, squirts, pee-wees, bantams and then on they’ve always played hockey.”

On any given game not night not only can you see the two players out on the ice, but you can see their mom Cara in the stands with their grandfather, and their dad and oldest brother Brendan standing behind the glass.

“They’re brothers first so they always have that,” said their father Mark Stanley.

Hockey isn’t just a hobby for the Stanleys, it’s a way of life. From the three sons who grew up playing with and against each other to the parents who are willing to travel to three different states and watch six games in one weekend just to see their kids play.

Club Hockey Splits Weekend Games

By Brittany Burke

Back-to-back game days saw the CCSU club hockey team splitting their weekend matchups, losing at home before turning around the next night to win on the road.

Saturday night’s 7-3 win at New York University (9-2-0-0) was a redemption game for the Blue Devils (4-4-2-1) who lost at home to the Bobcats on Oct. 15. The initial matchup loss was a close game, which ended in overtime. But as CCSU took the ice at Sky Rink in New York things seemed to be different.

Even with 74 penalty minutes, the Blue Devils quickly got the early lead, burying the Bobcats 4-0 five minutes into the second period. Eight different players had a hand in the NYU defeat, and getting multiple lines rolling and productive is something that the CCSU team has been trying to do since last season.

Jon Knobloch and Ryan Stanley both had four points in the game, two goals and two assists, while Adam Mazurkiewicz, Nick Centore and Matt Siracusa all had a goal each.

Aside from the five goal scorers, three others, Conor Stanley, Adam Goldstein and Sean Stoneman each had at least one assist.

After being rested from the night before, starting goalie Greg Coco took his spot between the pipes and had 37 saves on 40 shots on goal.

The win followed a late night game at the Newington Arena, in which the Blue Devils lost to longtime Super East rivals, the Siena Saints. With John Palmieri starting in net, the Saints outshot the Blue Devils 30 to 23, with Siena (9-1-2-0) notching 2 goals against CCSU’s 1.

“[Palmieri’s] been working real hard in practice, he’s been looking real good in practice and with the history of Siena I figured it’d be good to throw a little curveball in and start somebody who has no idea what Siena’s about and maybe psychologically doesn’t buy into everything that’s been said,” Head Coach Ben Adams said.

It was CCSU who struck first, with a goal coming from C. Stanley. The Blue Devil rookie has 14 points in 11 games, and was fed the puck from older brother, Ryan, and Knobloch. With R. Stanley bringing the puck up the left side, he sent it sailing to his brother who managed to ding it in off the goal post.

“I knew [Siena was] a good team and they were going to have four lines that could play and they had quality defensemen and good goalies, and I knew it was going to be a battle and I knew we could play with them, so it was great to come out like that,” said C. Stanley.

CCSU dominated the first period of play, keeping the puck in their own attacking zone, but Siena came back out to the ice after first intermission with an additional fire that they were lacking in the opening minutes.

“They’re a team that was expected to beat us, coming into the second it was 1-0 and we were winning, so I think the coach had a few choice words in the locker room and they came out hard and you got to give them credit, but we should’ve matched their intensity and that’s on us I guess,” said R. Stanley.

A stick-side corner goal tied the game in the early minutes of the second period, but the Saints wouldn’t secure the win until the third.

After the initial Siena goal the game went back and forth, with CCSU having trouble clearing its own zone. The Blue Devils had the chance to take the lead when Siena’s Casey Hladik was sent to the box for five minutes off a hit made to R. Stanley in the CCSU attack zone.

“I think if you don’t score on a five minute, it kind of gives the team momentum that killed off the penalty because it’s huge, especially with five minutes on the powerplay, I think that could have been a turning point [for us],” said R. Stanley.

CCSU began to fight back, but couldn’t capitalize against the Siena penalty killers, and eventually ran out of time for the come-from-behind win.

The Blue Devils will remain at home for the next two weeks beginning with the Nov. 12 game against Northeastern at 10 p.m. in Newington.

Boston College Trounces Hockey Club

By Brittany Burke

Unlike last weekend, there were no overtime situations for the CCSU club hockey team. Instead, the team took the ice at the Newington Arena to face the Boston College club hockey team, and suffered a 10-3 regulation loss.

On Friday night the team traveled to New Haven to play the Yale University club team, and handily won 15-1. It was apparent in the first period that the Bulldog team was no match for the Blue Devils, but such a dominant win hindered CCSU entering Saturday night’s game against the Eagles.

“It’s very had to play a quality team after the team we played [Friday] night,” said Head Coach Ben Adams. “I think we were over confident, I think we got away from doing a lot of the little things that needed to be done to win quality games and we just kind of developed some bad habits over night. You know we were doing some things right, but the fundamentals once we turned the puck over just weren’t there tonight.”

When both teams took to the ice for warm-ups, it was visible that Boston College had the clear size advantage over CCSU. As the puck dropped and the game began, it was the CCSU athletes who used physicality to their advantage, but that didn’t last.

CCSU’s Jack Johnson took an early first period penalty and BC scored with 10:20 left to play in the opening period. The initial time spent in the box was the single penalty against CCSU in the first period, which is something that the team has had to work on.

The team only took about 12 minutes in penalties against the Eagles but go-to scorer, Matt Siracusa, was given the gate with 4:40 to play in the second period.

“I’d have to look at the sheet, but I don’t really remember our penalties hurting us,” said Adams. “They’ve definitely gotten better, [the guys are] definitely working harder. The penalties we were taking at the beginning of the year were just straight up lazy penalties and now the penalties that we’re taking are, I don’t want to say that they’re good penalties, but they’re because they are battling, which is a lot more acceptable.”

BC took the early advantage, but a shot made by Andrew Mazurkiewicz cut the deficit in half, but the Eagles countered with a third goal to end the period. Despite the late goal, BC continued to dominate the Blue Devils in the second period, this time with two stick-side goals that put the Eagles ahead by four.

CCSU’s power play comprised of Ryan and Conor Stanley, Evan Mink, Kevin Paglinco and Jon Knobloch was able to capitalize on a BC goal to up the score 5-2, still in favor of the Eagles.

No matter what the Blue Devils tried to do to gain momentum, the Eagles would counter with a goal of its own. The biggest change up for CCSU came at the beginning of the third period when starting goalie, Greg Coco was pulled in favor of Ross Mocko.

The switch in goaltenders didn’t help. Just 46 seconds into the third, the Eagles shot the puck past Mocko for their seventh point of the game.

“I did not pull Coco because of any poor play,” said Adams. “It was more or less to try and get a spark out of the team and Mocko just didn’t make some saves that he usually makes, which is why we were more than confident putting Mocko in. Whether he wasn’t ready to go or didn’t have enough time to focus, whatever it may be, saves he usually makes for us, it didn’t happen tonight. I can’t fault him because those guys had to go through five others to get that shot off first.”

CCSU managed to find a spark of energy, as Jon Knobloch scored his second goal of the game. They fought to the end, but it wasn’t enough as the Eagles continued to pile it on.

“I think you’re pretty much playing for pride once you’re down that low you don’t want them to keep pouring it on,” said Adams. The score does matter, it matters a small portion in the ranking in how bad off a loss or how good of a win that will play into the ranking so they have some motivation to keep playing.”

There are two more games before the first ranking period and if CCSU could win those games they could receive a good ranking. The team’s next home game will be Friday Oct. 28 at the Newington Arena before traveling to Endicott the following day.

CCSU Blows A Four Goal Advantage

By Brittany Burke

The CCSU club hockey team played its third game in as many days against the University of Connecticut and, for the third straight game, the team was forced into an overtime situation, ending in a 4-4 tie.

“[The team] doesn’t want to lose and regardless of the score, they play hard and that’s a testament to the last two games,” said Head Coach Ben Adams. “Tonight I think we made too many mental mistakes and we stopped doing what was working for us and fully let [UConn] back into the game and they had a slow start and they ended up finding their magic.”

Coming off a home loss in extra minutes against New York University on Saturday night, the Blue Devils traveled to Freitas Ice Forum at UConn to try and get its first win of the weekend.

CCSU got the early advantage in the first with a goal from Conor Stanley and just two minutes later the initial deficit grew to two due to a shot taken by Jon Knobloch with 11:38 to play until the first intermission.

Knobloch led the team in goals against the Huskies, notching three goals for the hat trick, and a total of four points.

“It feels great you know especially so early in the season it’s good to get the goals off your back,” said Knobloch. “It’s a good feeling, but we played a tough game. We played good the first two periods then kind of fell apart a little bit and they came back we’re no strangers to overtime this year.”

His second goal of the night, and first shorthanded goal came 18 minutes into the game while Ryan Stanley served two minutes in the box.

Goalie Greg Coco managed to keep UConn off the board for the first 32 minutes while CCSU catapulted to a 4-0 lead. Coco finished the 65-minutes with 32 saves for 36 shots.

While the Huskies allowed for the Blue Devils to score four unanswered points, the home team kept fighting and eventually began to close the gap. Beginning with the late second period goal, the Huskies went on to tie the game with three third period goals.

“Blowing a four goal lead is never acceptable,” said Adams. “In this game that overtime was tough, we should have finished that game off with a W in regulation, as far as the other overtimes [on Friday and Saturday] they were hard earned.”

The final goal for the Huskies came with under three minutes to play in the game and while CCSU kept the puck moving, neither team managed to bury the puck, forcing the five-minute sudden death overtime.

“I think our guys just have to do a little bit better at settling down and blocking shots,” said Adams. “When they have opportunities to get pucks out they have to get them out there, can’t be an excuse as to why it didn’t and these kids are going to have to look within themselves and figure out that no team is going to just rollover and no team is gonna stop coming and give you a lane and they’re going to have to figure out what you need to get it done.”

The extra five minutes came and went with both teams still at four each. Since the league doesn’t go beyond the extra minutes the score remained and the Blue Devils ended the weekend where it had begun, in a tie.

“We basically played an extra period this weekend with all the overtimes,” said Knobloch. “We just got to learn to just close it out I think eventually we’ll get there, it’s still early in the season so it’s not a time to panic.”

The Blue Devils have now played five games, with four of the five going into extra minutes. CCSU will see action again on Saturday Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. to take on the Boston College club team.

Hockey Ends in a Draw

The Newington rink was filled with cheers as the Blue Devils hockey club team came from behind in the last minutes of the game against the University of New Hampshire to tie the score at five.

This forced the first of three overtime situations of the weekend for CCSU.

“I thought we were the better team in overtime,” said Head Coach Ben Adams. “In the third and overtime it was our game and I was just happy to get to overtime being down two, and for us, at this point a tie is as good as a win. With our loss last weekend at William Paterson, when you play within your league a point is a point and it’ll help at the end of the year.”

With 51 seconds left to play in the third, Ryan Stanley managed to close the two-goal gap to one and renew the energy for both the team and the fans with his first goal of the season. Then with hope still alive for the tie, Matt Siracusa notched CCSU’s fifth and final point of the game.

“Those are our go-to guys and when we need goals that’s who we look to and it’s good to see Stanley got on the board tonight because he hasn’t got on the board yet and Cuse is a consistent player, he works hard and his hard work leads to a lot of opportunities,” said Adams.

Siracusa had scored the final regulation point in CCSU’s first home game against the University of New Haven, which the team had won in extra minutes. He finished the game with four points, adding three assists to the last-minute goal. As the goal was called the noise inside the rink heightened, the team celebrated on ice while the crowd made sure to cheer and shake the glass from the bleachers.

“I’ve never been one for caring about points too much, but if the puck is on my stick I’m gonna try to give my team the best chance to win and throw the puck on net,” said Siracusa. “It was nice being with [Ryan] Stanley out there, we grew up together and probably have 10 seasons under our belts playing together on the same line, so it felt really nice being out there with him again so hopefully we could keep it rolling.”

Unlike the game against the Chargers, the Blue Devils couldn’t pull out a win, but will still get a point for the tie.

Coming off a 10-3 loss against William Patterson in New Jersey, CCSU was down 2-0 early in the first period off two UNH power play goals. It wasn’t until there was 8:20 left to play until the initial intermission that CCSU’s Jon Knobloch managed to get the team on the board.

Freshmen Jack Johnson tied the game at two a piece midway through the second, but just as the Blue Devils got up so did UNH. The UNH tally was doubled within a 1:20 when the opposing team notched two quick goals. Johnson scored his second goal of the game early in the third to try and close the gap once again, but UNH countered his goal with a fifth of its own.

“It was a great experience to be able to help out the team. It’s good to get in there and do what I can to be able to help the guys,” said Johnson.

While CCSU had the momentum entering the five minute sudden death overtime it couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity, ending the game at five all.

In his first home game of the season, goalie Greg Coco was looking to rebound off the loss against William Paterson, which he let 10 goals get past him. In the game against UNH Coco stopped the Wildcats 40 times out of 45 shots.

“It was a little mentally tough because we gave up two power play goals at first and I’m just looking for my first win still, so it was a little frustrating, but it was nice that the team came back and it was nice that I made some saves because it was the first real good game since my surgery,” said Coco.

At the beginning of the summer Coco had surgery to repair a labral tear in his hip, but was able to start the season on opening weekend.

The hockey team is still affected by too many penalties, which is something that was prevalent throughout the entire weekend, and cost the team a possible win.

“I think we’re in the box a little too much,” said Siracusa. “We play better against almost anyone five-on-five, so if we really focus on taking the penalties down and keeping our mouths shut a little bit on the ice … and stay out of the box we should have a pretty good season.”

CCSU Hockey Holds Off Chargers

By Brittany Burke

As the puck sailed past the University of New Haven goaltender the crowd in the Newington ice rink began to cheer and the entire Central Connecticut State University club hockey team rushed to the ice to celebrate.

Clumped in one group the team cheered and congratulated each other. It was a celebration you would normally see after winning a championship, not the first game of the season, but for the Blue Devils the 3-2 overtime win might as well have been for top spot in the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s national tournament.

“[Overtime] definitely added some adversity to opening night,” said Head Coach Ben Adams. “Guys really had to have a little gut check right off the bat so hopefully that brings them a little closer. I can’t imagine too many other teams opening in this fashion so hopefully it plays to our advantage. The way they jumped onto the ice and celebrated like they just won the cup was good to see that means they’re all focused on the same goal.”

CCSU opened its season at home against the UNH chargers, and were expecting to win, but the game remained closer than anticipated.

With under a minute to play in regulation UNH pulled its goalie to have the extra man on the ice and with 37 seconds left on the clock the play worked. The Chargers managed to net one past CCSU’s Ross Mocko to tie the game at two and eventually force an overtime situation.

At the end of the third, five extra minutes were added and the athletes took their positions on the ice. Much like CCSU had managed to do in most of the game, they dominated UNH offensively, which led to Sean Stoneman’s goal 1:03 into overtime. The quick goal secured the early win for the Blue Devils and gave them the momentum they needed to head into the first half season.

“We knew coming in that we had a strong chance of winning today ,but once the overtime came and I had the Stanley brothers (Ryan and Conor) out there and my partner, Mike Pereira, we just had good chemistry … we knew what we needed to do and the puck bounced our way and good things happen and I shot it to the net,” said Stoneman. “[UNH’s second goal] really gave us a gut check to think that hey, they could come back, so let’s just bury them quick, and we got the job done.”

Despite being forced into overtime by the Chargers, it was the Blue Devils who struck first and remained ahead for the majority of the game.

Matt Siracusa netted the first goal early for the Blue Devils, just 3:16 into the first period. Like typical CCSU fashion, the team managed to score quickly after Siracusa’s for the 2-0 lead with under 16:30 left in the period.

The second goal came 35 seconds after the initial point and was made by Nick Centore from Jon Knobloch.

“We did a great job moving pucks and finding open guys and creating offense for us,” said Adams. “We also did a great job head manning the puck and getting the puck into the various zones, the neutral zone and the offensive zone. I would like to see us toughen up on defense a little bit. Not so much about filling lane and playing our position, which I thought we did well but just winning the one on one battles and eliminating the extra opportunities.”

While the team managed to score multiple times in the first they were shut out for the rest of regulation, although they were getting chances, it’s just a matter of burying the puck. The team is rolling four deep lines due to the amount of talent they have at forward, which will essentially wear out their opponent, who may not have four strong lines to turn to.

Depth is something CCSU relied on in past seasons, but was missing last year. This year’s team has been able to build up the offense with speed, which is something else that will be used to outwork other teams.

“There seems to be a lack of size this year, but they definitely have a lot of speed on offense,” observed hockey alum Ryan Beaulieu as he sat rink side. “There’s a couple new players that are creating a new spark on the offensive line and I think they have a lot of potential if they control the puck and play the game they have and use their speed to their advantage.”

The speed is a good compensation for lack of size and strong defensive core. Another thing that should help CCSU is its goaltending talent. With three strong goaltenders in Mocko, Greg Coco and John Palmieri, coincidentally a deep goaltending core is also something the team had the year they took second in the ACHA Nationals.

CCSU didn’t have much lag time between the win against UNH and its road game against William Paterson in New Jersey the next night. The team might have managed a win against the Chargers, but they could not top the William Paterson powerhouse.

The Blue Devils lost 10-3 on the road with goals coming from Stanley Conor, Adam Goldstein and Andrew Mazurkiewicz.

The team finds themselves back in Newington on Friday Oct. 14 at 10 p.m. to play New Hampshire and then again on Saturday at 8:40 p.m. to play New York University.

Column: Remembering Team Lokomotiv

By Brittany Burke

It is safe to say that I am a bit of a hockey fan. You can imagine that when I woke up to a text alert saying the Kontinental Hockey League team, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s plane had crashed my heart broke and I couldn’t imagine writing this column on anything else.

The jet carrying the team crashed last Wednesday, killing 44 people and leaving one injured. On that plane was Brad McCrimmon, a former NHL Bruin, Whaler and Flame. He was accompanied by ex-NHL athletes such as Pavol Demitra who once played for the LA Kings, while ending his career with the Vancouver Canucks and former Ranger Alexander Karpovtsev.

The tragedy turned the hockey world upside down and the only thing I could think to compare it to would be the Marshall University crash in the 1970s.

All day last Wednesday I read Facebook posts and articles of fans and writers sending their thoughts to the families that had been affected by what had happened, and while I never followed the KHL, it was still heart-wrenching.

I personally felt that the crash was the biggest sports story of the day. Yes, I understand not many people in America truly follow the KHL, but the fact that 40 plus athletes are now dead far before their time is something that should be addressed. Even if the sole purpose of the report is to take a moment of silence.

So many different news outlets covered the sport; it even made MSN’s top stories. One place I didn’t see adequate coverage was on ESPN. ESPN is supposed to be the world’s leader in sports and yet something as detrimental as this couldn’t even crack its top five stories for the day. Yes, there was a clip about it but even as I write this I am only able to find a few blog posts on the matter.

I understand that ESPN doesn’t cover much hockey to begin with, unless the words Stanley Cup and Sidney Crosby are attached to the story, and I understand the next day was the start of the 2011 football season. I even understand that Peyton Manning dominated the headlines because it was uncertain if he would be able to play, but that doesn’t stop my disappointment.

This has been the saddest offseason of any sport as far as I can remember, and it is something that should have been addressed better; not that the story wasn’t covered elsewhere.

It seems as if there has been one death a month this entire summer, ending with the deaths of Lokomotiv. At the beginning of the season Derek Boogard was discovered dead, followed by Rick Rypien and then most recently Wade Belak.

It is always hard to lose somebody so suddenly, whether it is someone you know personally or even an athlete that you’ve only ever seen on TV.

So many people love sports and all these men died because of the sport they loved, so it is best to remember them and keep their memories alive.