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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Stony Brook Hockey Closes Out Home Schedule With Win

    In a tightly officiated game that saw tempers boil over on multiple occasions, the Stony Brook club hockey team defeated Wagner College 4-3 in overtime on Saturday night at the Rinx.

    Before the game, team General Manager Chris Garofalo and Anthony Fronzoni Jr., the father of Anthony Fronzoni III, a Stony Brook player who died in a car accident on Oct. 1, 2006, presented a scholarship award dedicated to the memory of the former Stony Brook player.

    ‘He’ll always be remembered as an outstanding athlete, but beyond that as a great person and friend.’ Garofalo said in a pre-game ceremony before the game. ‘Anthony was not only one of our leading scorers but also our captain. The Anthony Fronzoni scholarship fund will be awarded annually to the Stony Brook student who displays outstanding academic excellence and has made significant contributions to the ice hockey program.’

    The scholarship was presented by the Franzoni family. The recipients were senior goaltender Drue Santora, and sophomore forward Tom Pacifico.

    Once the game began, the emotional sentiments turned to aggression, as both teams carved ruts to the penalty boxes through the first two periods. For the game both teams were whistled for 11 minor penalties each, and Stony Brook added three 10-minute misconducts on top of that.

    ‘The officiating could have been stronger,’ Garofalo said after the game. ‘Usually we have pretty good officiating. I don’t think he was consistent, that’s what bothered me the most. In the 3rd he didn’t call anything. Some of the calls were questionable, very questionable’

    With the extended power play time Stony Brook was able to connect for two goals with the man advantage, while Wagner was only able to score once.

    Junior forward Angelo Serse had one of the power play goals, and Ryan Hodkinson had the other. Serse, was the best player on the ice for the Seawolves, except for the 12 minutes he was confined to the penalty box.

    Thirteen minutes into the game, he got tangled up well behind the play with a Wagner player. As both attempted to get to their feet, Serse lunged forward, hitting the Wagner player in the head. He was assessed two minutes for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct on the play.

    ‘I lost my head a little bit,’ Serse said when asked about the incident after the game. ‘He slashed me, it was getting a little rough, it was something stupid. They’re really cheap.’

    Santora reiterated a similar sentiment about the play of Wagner. ‘They got under our skin,’ he said. ‘That’s kinda their game.’

    Mid-way through the second period Serse demonstrated his physical play in a legal manner, delivering a huge open ice hip check that sent a Wagner player tumbling through the air.

    His first goal of the game came with seven seconds left in the second period. ‘I was going hard to the net,’ he said in describing the goal. ‘There was only a few seconds left, so I knew just go hard to the net, and it popped out on me, I just shot it and it went in. It was nice.’

    That goal came about 12 minutes after the Seawolves first power play goal by Hodkinson. After a face off win, Hodkinson controlled the puck and wheeled around the top of the left circle to the middle of the ice. He then fired a wrist shot that went top shelf, just over the goalies glove. That tied the game at two, getting the Seawolves out of the unfamiliar situation of playing from behind, especially against a Division II opponent.

    ‘They’re definitely one of the top teams in Division II,’ the goalie Santora said after the game. ‘We have a little history with them, and it’s always a tough game. We’re fortunate to get out with a ‘W.’ ‘

    It was uglier than we would have liked,’ he continued. ‘We definitely didn’t want to go to overtime with them.’

    Overtime may have been avoided if not for a sloppy first period that saw Wagner outshoot the Seawolves 8-7. Wagner jumped out quickly in the first two minutes, forcing Santora to make two very good saves on a breakaway attempt.

    Santora was unable to stop the multiple stuff in attempts directly in front of him though, when Wagner scored their first goal just 26 seconds after Stony Brook scored theirs. Wagner jumped out to a 2-1 lead with a power play goal a little over two minutes later.

    ‘I think it got deflected,’ Santora said about the goal. It went off my defenseman’s stick, it was going towards my chest and it changed directions. It ended up going through my arm, maybe a soft goal, wasn’t a straight in soft goal, but fortunately we were able to get the ‘W’ anyway.’

    A sigh of relief was exhaled after Serse scored the overtime game winner off the assist from Hodkinson. ‘Hodsie passed it to me, it hit my stick and went it. I barely had to shoot it,’ he said.

    But the less than stellar overall performance was not lost on Garofalo. ‘It hurt us a little bit, going into overtime with a D-II team can affect us in the rankings,’ he said. ‘We’re already on thin ice.’

    Although Stony Brook beat Niagara twice at the Rinx a month ago, it seems likely that they will be the team to knock the Seawolves out of national title contention. Although Niagara is ranked 17th in the country, one spot out of a bid to nationals, and one spot behind Stony Brook, because they seem poised to win their conference, they would get an automatic bid.

    ‘They’ll pop us out, we’re 16, they’re 17, as long as we don’t move up to at least 15, and right now things aren’t looking so good. If we would have won 4-3 in regulation that would have been much better than 4-3 in OT.’

    All that the team can control is how they play in the league playoffs, which take place after the rankings that determine which teams make nationals are released.

    ‘We’re going to the playoffs as the number two team in our league,’ Garofalo said. ‘We’re excited about that, we’d love to make a statement there, and shut up all the ranking committee members that didn’t send us to nationals.’

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