After a perfect start to the season, the NYU hockey team has come back down to earth in its last few games. This weekend they lost two tough competitions, one to rival William Paterson University and the other to Arizona State University.
Bad luck got the better of the Violets on Friday when they lost 4-2. No sooner than eight seconds in, the Violets needed to rely on their penalty kill as sophomore forward Steven Esposito was sent to the box for a cross-checking minor. It wasn’t until freshman defender James Moeller took a penalty that things started to get dicey. His penalty at 5:41 was killed, but as he was exiting the box WPU got one past senior goaltender Sam Daley.
The penalties then went the other way, giving NYU a 5-on-3 for 1:54, which they capitalized on. Freshman forward Hamilton Whyte putting the Violets on the board and tied the game at 1-1, where it stayed through the end of the first frame.
In the second period, a hooking call against WPU gave the Violets the time and space to get the go ahead goal thanks to senior forward Denis O’Hara with the help of an assist from Moeller. After another successful kill by the Violets, the second period came to a close with shots fairly even at 13-12 in favor of NYU.
The third period remained tight but scoreless for a while, as NYU managed to kill three power plays before things unravelled at the end. A rough bounce paired with an icing call got WPU two goals in 34 seconds, giving them a one-goal lead heading into the final minute of play. With Daley pulled, NYU was hoping for an unlikely comeback, but an empty netter sealed their fate.
“It was a tough one to swallow,” freshman defender Gabe Regan said. “We were up most of the game and they just turned on a switch and capitalized on our mistakes.”
Whyte, who played well in a disappointing loss, looks forward to getting another crack at WPU later in the season when the Violets host them on their home ice.
“It was a tough loss against a team that we know we can beat,” Whyte said. “We have them at Chelsea Piers later this season and I’m already pumped for redemption.”
On Sunday morning, the Violets were back at the Sky Rink bright and early to face off against the ASU Sun Devils.
ASU came out hard from the drop and dumped pucks on net early, establishing a one-goal lead by the end of the frame. Sophomore goalie Jack Nebe did everything in his power to keep the game close, facing 16 shots while his teammates only managed to get two.
ASU netted another early in the second period to take a two goal lead, but NYU managed to respond when junior defender Evan Ripley put one past the ASU goalie. Not long after, a couple of quick breakaways put ASU up by three heading into the third.
The third frame did not start out much better for the Violets. They got scored on 19 seconds in. NYU eventually managed to capitalize on an ASU interference call as Moeller got his first goal as a Violet. With a three goal lead to overcome, NYU desperately pulled Nebe with 4:30 remaining only to fall victim to another empty-netter that made the score 6-2, where it would remain to give the Violets their second loss of the weekend.
The Violets hope to redeem themselves next Friday, Oct. 30, as they face Montclair State University at the Floyd Hall Arena in Montclair, New Jersey
A version of this article appeared in the Oct. 26 print edition. Email Rachel Ruecker at [email protected]