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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Stony Brook Hockey Cruising Past Competition

    In just their first season playing Division I club hockey in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, the Stony Brook Seawolves are proving themselves to be one of the best club teams in the nation.

    The ACHA oversees all activities, acting in the same way the NCAA does to the sports it oversees. Playing in Division II for the last six seasons, the Seawolves finished among the top 16 teams in the nation, earning an invitation to the national tournament each season. After establishing themselves as a force at the Division II level, the team decided to take the jump up to Division I.

    “The jump to Division I has been excellent both for the current team and the program,” wrote senior goaltender Drue Santora in an online correspondence. “The increased level of competition forces players to work harder in practice and brings a new level of seriousness to each and every game since a single game can make or break us in the rankings.”

    The Seawolves are also playing this season in the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association. The team that wins the league gets an automatic spot in the national tournament, regardless of whether or not they finished in the top 16.

    The other teams competing at the Division I level in the ECHA are West Chester University, Towson University, the University of Maryland, Lehigh University, and Villanova University. The ACHA has three other leagues that receive automatic bids into the national tournaments as well.

    Stony Brook started the season on the outside of the top 25 poll. But in the most recent poll, released Nov. 30, the Seawolves have risen to 16th in the country. The team’s overall record stands at 12-4, and their only league blemish was a 5-3 loss to West Chester on Nov. 10

    On Nov. 23, the team pulled off a 3-2 upset victory over a Rhode Island team that is currently ranked fourth in the nation, and was number three at the time of the game.

    Junior forward Angelo Serse, who is second on the team with eight goals in only nine games played, was confident the Rhode Island win put the team firmly on the map. “After beating the number three team in the country and dominating the whole game we don’t see why we can’t win Nationals,” Serse wrote, “But it’s a tough road.”

    The team’s two leading scorers this year are both newcomers to the team. “The new teammates have clicked well, and the experienced guys have stepped their game up to maintain their ice time,” Santora wrote.

    Sophomore forward Ryan Hodkinson, formerly of NCAA Division I school Clarkson, leads the team in scoring. He’s scored nine goals and has eight assists in only 13 games played. The teams second leading scorer is Jonathan Wong, a freshman forward from Manalapan, New Jersey, who was seven goals and nine assists while skating in all 16 games.

    In net Santora has split time with sophomore goalie Derek Stevens. Santora has a 4-3 record, while allowing 3.00 goals a game. Stevens is 7-1, with a 2.38 goals against average. Sophomore Jack Dagnese got the win in his only start, a 6-2 victory over NYU.

    Serse also said the key to the teams successful start was playing that the team was playing together.

    “The keys to the success this year have been playing as a team and playing our systems,” he wrote. “When we play our systems well no team in the country can beat us.”

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