This weekend the men’s hockey team faced off against Siena College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) up in New York on Saturday, Jan. 20 and 21, where they suffered two severe losses.
The first game of the overnight trip against Siena had the Red Hawks fall 10-2. The team has been struggling with finding a leadership role and struggled tremendously with goaltending this past weekend. Starting goaltender Bradley Odgers was out with a concussion and the Red Hawks’ second goalie was ineligible to play. Freshman Nicola De Marzo was left in net, who has not played many games this season, so the pressure was on.
The first period against Siena was no joke when Nicholas Sassano sniped one past De Marzo at the early 1:07 mark, putting the Red Hawks at a disadvantage. Nearly three minutes later, Siena’s Drew Guerriero scored an unassisted goal at the 4:39 mark, adding to their lead. Luckily, the Red Hawks knew they had to shape up their offense to put themselves up on the board. Matty Dreisbach of Montclair State skated alone and put one through the goaltender’s legs.
With the score 2-1, hope diminished. Siena was getting physical and soon received a two-minute boarding minor at the 9:34 mark. William Thrope of Siena put the puck behind De Marzo, gaining a 3-1 lead. Siena did not just stop there and took advantage when Red Hawk Michael Buckel was guilty of a tripping minor. Siena soon scored at 19:38 to close out the first period 4-1.
As the second period was underway, the Red Hawks’ Gary Blight attempted to show his defensive side and unfortunately left the game with a shoulder injury after colliding with the boards. Blight recently came back from a wrist injury as well. After Blight’s exit, Siena went on to dominate the game. With a lot of pressure on De Marzo, he let in three more goals at the 5:13, 10:12 and 17:50 marks with no help defensively. A few minor penalties were exchanged in the second to end it 7-1.
With the Red Hawks down by six goals, confidence levels dropped and more goals were scored against them. Two being only a minute apart. With the score updating to 10-1, the Red Hawks’ Lucas Prospero scored a goal off of a pass from Shawn Meneghin and Brendan Vander Vliet to end the game. No excitement was shown and it was clear the Red Hawks suffered a tough loss. With Blight out of the line-up and no backup goaltender, the game against RPI was going to be no easier.
Around 3 p.m. the next day, the Red Hawks suited up against RPI. Although this game had no injuries, a 12-0 loss can not be justified in any way. RPI however hosts a Division I hockey team and students that do not make the Division I team play on the Division II club team. Needless to say, RPI has very talented hockey players.
As the first period played out, it was clear to see that the Red Hawks did not show up. Effort was slim and the game seemed to lag on as bad goals were scored against De Marzo. With RPI dominating, the team scored a rapid five goals in the first period as Montclair State barely controlled the puck. A total of four penalties were exchanged during the first period, Montclair State was guilty of two, and period one ended with RPI up by five.
During the second period, the Red Hawks had a few missed opportunities to score a goal, but RPI’s defense played hard. Montclair State played a little stronger in the second only allowing two goals in their net at 7:25 and 10:49. With minimal action in the second, the period ended and the Red Hawks hoped to come out better in the third period.
With Montclair State lacking leadership, offense and goaltending, it all showed in the third period. Right off the bat, or hockey stick, RPI ripped one past De Marzo just two minutes in. Goal after goal tore apart Montclair State’s confidence, especially when David Woellmer of RPI completed his hat trick. RPI scored four more goals as Montclair State’s Michael Buckel was penalized with a 10-minute misconduct. The game ended with a final score of 12-0 with 16 shots on goal by Montclair State and 56 shots on goal by RPI.
It may be safe to assume that the men’s ice hockey team will not make the playoffs this year. They hold a current record of 4 wins and 17 losses and have three games left in the season.