The Montclair State University men’s ice hockey club showed out on senior night with a 6-4 win against the Rider University Broncos. The game took place this past Saturday at the Montclair State Ice Arena. The night was spent honoring the careers of six Red Hawk seniors: defenseman Aidan Grange, forward Will Neal, forward David Lenart, defenseman Ryan Calendrillo, goalie Cameron Carmen, goalie Dan Podolyan, and forward Billy Parsley.
Rider came into the game not looking to mess around. During warm-ups, they skate rapidly around the ice, taking deep range shots on the ice.
During the first three minutes of the first period, Rider found a goal. Almost immediately following, forward Joseph Castellano managed to answer with an impressive shot from the middle of the ice. The Red Hawks got the confidence they needed to continue the goal streak.
After Castellano’s goal, it was even at one with about 16 minutes remaining. Montclair State kept their momentum going as Grange found the back of the net with a rocket. The Broncos of Rider University responded with two more goals in the first period, which put them one goal ahead at 3-2.
The second period came and the Broncos wasted no time as they scored during the first minute. A couple minutes later, captain and forward Anthony Oliveri was able to score a goal from the middle of the ice of the Broncos side. Rider’s defense was good but not good enough because at 12:01 in the second period, Grange scored on the Bronco’s side again.
During the final ten minutes in the second period, Podolyan was blocking every shot the Broncos fired at him. With 1:04 remaining on the clock, the Red Hawks kept searching for another goal. Forward Braden Ryan scored his fourteenth goal of the season and gave Montclair State a 5-4 advantage heading into the final period.
During the third period, the Broncos clearly put in maximum effort to tie the game or steal the win. Montclair State smothered the visitors with an aggressive yet focused defense.
In the final minute of play, Rider University chose to pull their goalie with hopes to even the score. Eventually, Podolyan assisted Anthony Vella who scored on an empty net. Podolyan had his first career assist with that goal which led to the final being 6-4 in favor of Montclair State.
With the win, the Red Hawks are going into the playoffs with a confidence boost. Playoffs begin Feb.9, and they will be at Montclair State Ice Arena as the Red Hawks look to make a run.