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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


#18 Seawolves ice hockey swept by #11 Rhode Island

The Stony Brook University hockey team dropped two close games, both 3-2, to the University of Rhode Island. Stony Brook entered the weekend as the 18th best team in the nation and Rhode Island the 11th best, so the Seawolves have proven that they can skate with the best.

“I feel that there is  a very small margin between us and the top ten,” said head coach Chris Garofalo.

Entering Friday evening, the Seawolves were a perfect 5-0 at home (they have a 6-6 record on the year after the weekend’s games). Approximatley 150 people, including part of the band were present for game one. It was a drop in attendance from the past, which Garofalo noted after the game.

“We need our fan support to come back. It’s that extra man on the ice.”

Stony Brook started off well, securing the puck at the start of the game, but they weren’t able to capitalize.

“They pressured the defense a lot,” said Garofalo after the game. “They created some turnovers.”

Through the first ten minutes of the game, Stony Brook out-shot Rhode Island 8-7. The Seawolves’ shot total would remain higher than that of Rhode Island for the rest of the evening. But the shots didn’t go in when it mattered, especially during power plays, where they had a one-man advantage over Rhode Island.

”We could’ve done better on the power play,” Garofalo said. Stony Brook had six power plays in game one and nine throughout the weekend. They never scored on any of them.

Rhode Island, however, did score right at the end of game one’s first period. With a half-second left, they snuck in the buck as the buzzer went off, leaving many Stony Brook fans furious.

“I thought the buzzer went off first,” Garofalo said was his initial reaction. “This is a game of inches.”

Stony Brook came back in the second period with a vengeance. With renewed fire, senior  Bryan Elfant (Belle Harbor, N.Y.) scored Stony Brook’s first goal of the game a little more than two minutes into the period. His night was not yet over as he scored Stony Brook’s second goal as well late in the third period.

But that could wait as far as Rhode Island players were concerned. They cut short any momentum which Stony Brook had been building and put a strangle-hold on their offense.

That hold become a little too rough late in the second period, when attitudes themselves became rough. What began as a little chippiness in the final minute almost became a brawl after the period was over.

“The ref should’ve controlled that better,” said Garofalo, who suggested that the referee should’ve made one team get off the ice at a time to keep the two sides far away from each other.

Rhode Island would really deliver a punch to Stony Brook’s morale mid-way through the third period when they scored their second goal of the game. Then, within a minute, they scored their third goal as well. The score stood 3-1.

“It woke us up,” said Garofalo. “A lot of teams would’ve collapsed after that. Our boys battled.”

And so they did. Elfant scored his second goal of the game with less than six minutes left, driving the crowd into a frenzy.

However, Stony Brook just came up short. With an empty net in front of them with seconds to go, the Seawolves missed a golden opportunity to tie the game, and the Rams secured game one. As for Rhode Island, Peter Ducharme scored one goal and Dan Lassik, two.

“I don’t think we did anything wrong,” said Garofalo. “In hockey, things happen. Sometimes you don’t get the lucky bounce.”

The Seawolves were hoping that those lucky bounces would go their way in game two. They once again snatched the puck when it first hit the ice and started to attack. However, Stony Brook didn’t muster nearly as many shots in this first period as they had done the previous night. Their overall offensive output would be far less compared to Friday evening’s game.

However, this time, Stony Brook would take the lead first. With assists from freshman Josh Brooks (Cold Spring, N.Y.) and junior George Nicholes (Prattsville, N.Y.), junior Josh Goellner (Oceanport, N.J.) fired in Stony Brook’s first goal of the game.

The first half of the second period went equally well. Stony Brook almost scored a goal two and half minutes in and really scored a goal because of senior Chris Ryan (Flushing, N.Y.) with assists from juniors Jason Aro (Wantagh, N.Y.) and Shaun Mathur (Laguna Hills, Ca.).

But that’s where things began to go south. Stony Brook had  a three-minute power play shortly after the goal, but David Macalino of the Rams scored despite being down one person.

“We could’ve really put them away,” said Ryan after the game. “But we gave them life.” His head coach saw this moment as a turning point in the game.

Rhode Island took their momentum into the third period where they tied the game and later took the lead with less than four minutes left, leaving the Stony Brook crowd to swoon and despair as they saw fit.

Once again, the Seawolves would come up short, letting another tight one get away from them.

“Every game we’ve lost has been by one goal except for one,” said Garofalo. “It’s frustrating, but you can tkake a lot more positives than you think.”

“We’ve got to put it together,” he added. “Next weekend is tremendous. We have to take both games [from Liberty].”

They will have to defeat Liberty without sophomore Daniel Cassano (Deer Park, N.Y.) and junior goalkeeper Josh Roarke (Massapequa, N.Y.), who are both out of the season. In Roarke’s place, Josh Brand (Odessa, Fla.) has taken the initiative and been great for the Seawolves, according to his head coach, who is optimistic about the future.

“It’s coming, and when it does, it’s gonna be an avalanche.”

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