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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Ice Hockey Looking To Roll To Nationals

    After a sluggish 0-5 start, the Stony Brook Seawolves ice hockey team has regained its edge.

    Currently sitting at 13-9 and ranked 19th in the ACHA Polls, the team is looking to make another strong run towards a spot in the national tournament in March.

    Looming large in front of the Seawolves are a pair of road games against the Iowa State Cyclones, currently ranked #5 in the nation.

    According to both sopohomore forward Craig Ryan and junior starting goaltender Derek Stevens, the team is on a roll they both expect to continue.

    “I think the team became familiar with each other,” Stevens said. “We had a lot of new kids and I think everyone was nervous and a little slow from the offseason.”

    The early season schedule didn’t help either.

    “We jumped into the season playing #4 Liberty with a whole group of new guys, many of us who had never played together,” Ryan said. “It took a little time to adjust, but we got our bearings, and we’ve been playing really well,” he said.

    The slate of games over the break began with a tough road trip to play the University of Delaware, who was ranked #4 at the time of the weekend series.

    In the first game of that series, the Seawolves feel behind 2-0 in the first period before John Wong scored to cut the lead in half going into the first intermission.

    Mauricio Torres scored the next goal for the Seawolves, but Delaware scored twice in the third period to push the score to 4-2. Torres was able to score again that night, but it was not enough, as Delaware won 4-3.

    The next night the Seawolves picked up one of its biggest road wins of the season.

    Sixty minutes of regulation, and five minutes of overtime was not enough to decide the game.

    After facing 52 shots during the game, Stevens made three saves as Angelo Serse and Chris Ryan scored the winning goals in a shootout.

    “I think the Delaware weekend was huge for us,” Stevens said. “They were ranked fourth but we beat them and outplayed them both games.”

    The team’s next game, on the road against the Maryland Terrapins, again saw the offense led by Serse and Ryan. Serse had a goal and three assists, while Ryan picked up two goals and as assist.

    Up next was Towson University, and Ryan outdid his previous game. He scored four of the teams seven goals on the way to a 7-2 victory. Serse added three assists and assistant captain Ryan Hodkinson had a goal and an assist.

    The final weekend series against the #4 ranked University of Rhode Island show cases some of the Seawolves strengths, as well as their weaknesses.

    Trailing 2-0 in the second period of the first game, the Seawolves stormed back and scored three unanswered goals, the final one scored by Serse and assisted by Hodkinson in the third period.

    Game two saw the exact opposite scenario. The Seawolves were ahead 3-0 midway through the first period but allowed Rhode Island to score four times in a row and pick up the victory 4-3.

    Both Stevens and Ryan believe the team is playing its best hockey now, and the team should continue to roll into nationals.

    The team faces one more tough road test before they begin its conference championships in March. On Feb. 13 and 14, the Seawolves will travel to Iowa to take on the Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State is currently ranked #5 in the nation.

    “The games in Iowa will be fun,” Stevens said. “It’s always fun to head somewhere we normally don’t go. But they are a very high ranked team and I’m sure it will be very tough to play, especially at their rink.”

    “We will need to come back with two big wins,” he said. “To further prove the beginning of the season was just an adjustment period for us.”

    Next weekend the team travels to Pennsylvania to face off with Drexel and West Chester. The last regular season game is Feb. 22 at home against Montclair State.

    “As of now every game is huge for nationals, not just from points but from a morale standpoint too,” Ryan said. “Any time you lose, you hang your head a little low, even if the game was a great game. We’re looking to win out the season, keep our heads high, and just keep winning. We’re looking at it as our next game is the biggest game of the season.”

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