Following a successful opening weekend at home, the NYU men’s hockey kept a perfect start to their season alive when they hit the road to play University of Massachusetts Amherst on Saturday night at the Mullins Centre in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Continuing a common thread from the previous two games, the Violets picked up a lot of undisciplined penalties, which cost them as they found themselves down 3-0 by the end of the first period. Chances for the Violets to get on the board were squandered by an effective penalty kill from UMass, and when NYU looked like they were finally going to get on the board, they had a goal waved off.
The first period’s bad luck clearly did not sit well with the Violets as they suffered from a plethora of penalties, including two short five-on-three’s. But with just 3:46 remaining, junior defenseman Evan Ripley got a big unassisted goal for the Violets, marking the beginning of a comeback effort, only to be negated minutes later as the Minutemen scored again to make it 4-1.
The team kept hope, but knew they needed to refocus between the second and third period. Freshman Keaton Baum attributed their shift in play to the intermission between the last two periods.
“Coach Cosentino really fired up the boys between the second and third, establishing what kind of team we needed to be,” Baum said. “We came out in the third with a completely different mentality.”
At 2:51 into the third, Ripley struck again thanks to a quality pass from senior defenseman Curtis Fisher, making things interesting.
Then, as the teams traded penalties and played 4 on 4, sophomore forward Michael Conslato had the Violets within one. Just 1:46 later, things were all tied up thanks to Baum. Suddenly reeling, UMass was forced to call a timeout. The momentum was firmly in NYU’s hands by this point, and at 11:11, Conslato’s second pushed them ahead.
The penalties continued, but the scoring did not, and NYU completed their first road game, and comeback, of the season with an exciting 5-4 win. Freshman Hamilton Whyte lauded Ripley for pulling the Violets out of their early hole.
“Evan Ripley had a huge individual night that paved the way for our success,” Whyte said. “It showed a lot about the overall character of our team, and we are looking more and more dangerous as every period goes on.”
The Violets returned Sunday morning to square off against Northeastern University in Boston.
Though Northeastern dramatically outshot the Violets 17-6 in the first period, they could not capitalize on their multitude of opportunities. At the end of one, goals from Conslato and freshman forward Mason Gallegos gave the Violets a 2-0 lead. Senior goaltender Sam Daley was back in net and proved solid throughout the game, with some key saves keeping the Huskies at bay.
In the second period, freshman forward Matthew Welch scored his first goal with the team, giving them a 3-0 lead for the final period.
Almost 5 minutes into the third Whyte made it a commanding 4-0 lead, with assists from Gallegos and Baum. Unfortunately, a shutout wasn’t in the cards for Daley as the Huskies got one past him mid way through the third. Things got scrappy toward the end as penalties led to 4-4, 4-3 and 5-3 play. Northeastern took a timeout with 1:48 left, which proved somewhat effective as they converted on their 5-on-3 to score, but time ran out and NYU took the game 4-2.
NYU is 4-0 on the season as they head home to defend this weekend’s victory over UMass back at the Sky Rink on Friday night.
A version of this article appeared in the Oct. 13 print edition. Email Rachel Ruecker at [email protected]