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.