The NYU club hockey team split their two weekend games to push their record to 7-1. The Violets beat the University of Connecticut 3-1 on Friday and lost to Montclair University 5-3 on Saturday. The loss broke the team’s seven-game undefeated streak.
The team showed resilience in both games, scoring all six of their goals during the third period. In the Montclair game, the Red Hawks scored five goals in the first 16 minutes of the game, but NYU rebounded with three scores during the final 20 minutes. Head coach Chris Cosentino said he was particularly impressed with the team overcoming adversity on Saturday, despite the loss.
“The past couple of weekends, we’ve had slow starts, but we always finish strong,” Cosentino said. “We’ve got a resilient group.”
The team had a lot to battle through both nights as special teams played a big role in the team’s momentum. Freshman Denis O’Hara scored the go-ahead goal on Friday during a long power play.
“That was the turning point for us,” senior captain Dan Fortunato said after Friday’s game. “It’s a momentum game. You have to use the power play.”
Sophomore defenseman Evan Ripley was NYU’s first goal scorer both nights, tying the game against UConn and putting the Violets on the board against Montclair on Saturday. In the latter, Ripley scored on a two-man advantage early in the third period.
Cosentino said the defenseman is known for his great penalty killing and ability to consistently block shots, and he was impressed with his performance over the weekend.
“He is great on the defensive end, and he scores big goals for us,” Cosentino said. “The kid is a complete player.”
NYU was plagued with penalties in Saturday’s game, however. The team received a total of nine penalties, three in the first period and six in the second. It started the second period off with a man down and had to kill off two five-on-three power plays.
“We have to learn how to pick our spots better,” Cosentino said. “We can physically handle any other team, we just need to pay more attention on how to not take these penalties.”
Despite the infractions, Cosentino said he was proud of the team. The team played hard-nosed hockey right to the end.
Cosentino said he is focused on looking ahead and taking positives from the weekend.
“We didn’t win,” Cosentino said. “You want to win every game, but you have to take something from every game you go to, and I was proud of the way our guys didn’t give up.”
The Violets have looked strong early in the season. Excluding Saturday’s game, the team was undefeated with only eight goals against in seven games played. They will play against the University of New Haven at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 at Chelsea Piers.
A version of this story appeared in the Oct 27 print edition. Email Shawn Paik at [email protected]