Hockey Nets Sweep in First 2016 Games

The men’s hockey team kicked off their 2016 title defense with a pair of wins against Siena College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

File Photo by Shawn Paik

The men’s hockey team kicked off their 2016 title defense with a pair of wins against Siena College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Rachel Ruecker, Deputy Sports Editor

The NYU men’s hockey team started the year off right with wins against foes Siena College in Albany on Friday night and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday in Troy.

In Friday’s matchup, Siena quickly got on the board in the first period to put NYU at an early deficit, but freshman forward Hamilton Whyte scored the Violets’ first goal of 2016 to tie things up. Several minutes later, fellow freshman forward Keaton Baum pushed the Violets into the lead.

Later, a Siena penalty shot was handily denied by sophomore goalie Alec Hardman, and the first frame of the year ended with NYU leading the game 2-1.

Just 19 seconds into the second period, sophomore forward Michael Conslato scored, boosting the Violets’ lead to two. The Violets then reverted back to a classic theme of penalties and kills – including a two-man advantage to Siena – and came back to get an exciting power-play goal courtesy of freshman defenseman James Moeller. Baum got his second goal of the night on a power play to end the period up 5-1.

In the third, Siena began a comeback effort, but NYU freshman forward John Kowalewski capitalized on a Siena tripping call to regain a four goal lead. The Violets won 6-3.

Though he made some key saves, Hardman admitted he could have been better.

“I wanted a couple goals back to be honest, but the timely saves are what count,” Hardman said. “Anytime the team scores six goals it takes a lot of pressure off of the guy between the pipes.”

The Violets saw their success continue on Saturday against RPI when freshman defenseman James Moeller began the scoring 8:42 into the game.

As the period progressed, the Violets failed to net another and saw a chance on the power play get away from them when RPI tied things up short-handed. When freshman defenseman Connor Finocchio later got called for slashing, the teams were at four players a side, but nothing came of it.

The second began much in the way the first ended, with some traded and offsetting penalties that both teams killed. Finally, NYU managed to capitalize on an RPI boarding call with sophomore forward Steven Esposito getting the go-ahead goal at 16:42 in the second period.

Early in the third, Kowalewski got a charging call to place NYU on the kill, which they did successfully. Four minutes into the period, he redeemed himself, nudging the Violets to a 3-1 lead. It wasn’t a lead built to last, however, with RPI scoring a mere 11 seconds later.

The Violets would not be denied however, as Kowalewski scored his second of the night to make it 4-2. Some neatly diverted action at the Violets’ end was no problem for senior goalie sensation Sam Daley, and the Violets completed the weekend sweep to begin 2016 on the right note.

The boys will be back at home next weekend to begin a three-week home stand prior to the playoffs. See them at the Sky Rink next Friday, Jan. 29 at 8:30 p.m. against William Paterson University.

A version of this article appeared in the Jan. 25 print edition. Email Rachel Ruecker at [email protected].