It’s time for yet another edition of the rivalry between the Montclair State University Red Hawks and Rowan University Profs, this time on the ice. Both schools’ women’s ice hockey teams took the ice at Floyd Hall Arena on Saturday night. Unfortunately for the home crowd, Rowan dominated Montclair State by a final score of 11-2.
Rowan started the game strong, scoring two goals in the first period alone. However, Montclair State was able to remain in the game thanks to some great goaltending from Kawanne Ferguson, who made big saves to keep her team in it.
Montclair State had multiple key scoring chances but couldn’t capitalize. Early in the first period with the game scoreless, Montclair State generated a scramble in front of the net, but it was covered up by Rowan goaltender Emily Render.
Early in the second, the Red Hawks got their biggest scoring chance of the game, going on a two-on-one. However, Render was able to make the big save to deny what ultimately would be the Red Hawks’ last chance to get back in the game.
A big factor in the game, and the entire season for the Red Hawks, is the lack of depth on their roster. Montclair State has had only one reserve on their bench all season, meaning they have a roster consisting of just seven players. This was heavily apparent in this game. While the Red Hawks put up a good fight early on, eventually they got worn out.
From that point on, it was all Profs, as they would go on to score six more unanswered goals. The Red Hawks would end up scoring two goals of their own in the third period, but it wouldn’t be nearly enough as the Profs would score three more of their own to end the game.
“Honestly it just starts with them only having six players,” said Rowan head coach Dillan Madara. “We kind of found our groove and they got a little tired, and we kind of jumped on them in the second period.”
After the game, both sides admitted the woman advantage played a vital role in the outcome.
“I know if we had a few more players, it would make a difference,” said Montclair State head coach Dave Solomon. “We certainly have enough players with the ability to compete, but we just don’t have enough [gusto.] When you have only one substitute on the bench, it becomes a daunting task.”
The Profs improved their season record to 9-3-0 and will return home to play the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday, Jan 26. Head coach Madara is mostly proud of the new, young players they brought in.
“We brought in seven players this year and only two seniors on the team so we got a nice young team,” Madara said. “We’re just looking to go to that next level.”
Meanwhile, the Red Hawks fall to 1-8-0 on the season and will go on the road to face Loyola University Maryland also on Saturday, Jan. 26. Despite the struggles, Solomon claims his players are as tight as they’ve ever been.
“Honestly, this team is probably having more fun this year than they did last year with an undefeated season,” Solomon said. “It’s a really close group and there’s only seven of them, but they’re really tight.”
Solomon discussed how the team has a close bond.
“Nobody’s calling each other out for anything,” Solomon said. “They’re all very supportive of one another, and it’s really a good group of people.”