The men’s club ice hockey team suffered an overtime loss against Marist College on Saturday, Sept. 29. However, the team showed force, energy and aggression during their home opener of the 2018-2019 season.
Although the Red Hawks snatched one point, the team showed improvement from last year due to practice and new recruits. The program and coaching staff have been working on rebuilding the team and in nearly a decade, had the biggest recruited class along with dedicated veterans on the team.
The puck dropped a little before 9:30 p.m. and the Red Hawks already seemed to be new and improved. Faceoff wins came naturally during the first period as they poured pressure on Marist’s defense. With a fast pace momentum flowing, left winger Michael Buckel put the puck between the pipes at the 8:57 mark with assists from Steven Ramos and Evan Calendrillo to give Montclair State a 1-0 lead.
Both teams continued to play a physical game that caught up to Marist when Seamus Eagen received a two-minute boarding minor. The Red Hawks tried to take advantage on the power play but once Eagen’s penalty was up, Marist managed to tie the game with a nice backhanded goal at 16:42. They had another two-minute minor, which carried over into the second period.
Marist managed to kill the rest of the Red Hawks’ 35-second power play as Buckel yet again had a good scoring chance with the team vamped up and faster than they were in the previous period. Starting goaltender Danny Porth was a strong presence in the net. When Marist suffered a roughing minor at 2:49, that is when Montclair State’s power play took off.
New recruit and defenseman Marc Iandiorio scored at 4:54 with an assist from forward Lucas Prospero. Marist continued to rack up penalties, giving the Red Hawks more power play chances. Toward the end of the period, Montclair State’s Shawn Meneghin was penalized with a high-sticking minor at the 15:45 mark. Marist took advantage and tied the game 2-2.
Entering the third period, Iandiorio scored on a power-play goal nearly two minutes in with assists from Daniel Diner and Matt Hazuda. Iandiorio seemed very optimistic for the future of the team.
“I’m looking forward to taking it to playoffs,” Iandiorio said. “We have to keep pushing and get better through practices, and our chemistry is definitely going to improve.”
Soon after Iandiorio’s second goal, Marist managed to get one past Porth at the 3:37 mark, tying up the game. With a 3-3 score, both teams were hungry to insure one last goal for their team. The Red Hawks received a two-minute slashing minor but had a good power play kill toward the end of the third period. Hazuda had a good chance, but Marist’s defense held up. This pushed both teams into overtime.
When entering overtime, the Red Hawks guaranteed themselves one point but hoped for two and to come out with a home-opener win. Nearly 15 seconds in, Marist’s Brian Hogan, clenched the two points and won the game, ending in 4-3.
With many new improvements made to the team, the Red Hawks have a handful of new players from juniors. A forward who played with grit and speed was Ryan Martinez, who described his in-depth playing style along with the team’s.
“There’s a lot of young guys, if we all put in the effort we’re going to go,” Martinez said. “I’m a winger, I wheel up to the middle of the ice and I look for a pass.”
Martinez continued to explain his strategies in the rink and what he hoped the game to end as.
“I’m a big net present guy and like to stay in front of the net and cause traffic,” Martinez said. “We still get a point [out of the game] but it would have been nice to win.”