Hockey Nationals Day 2: Utah State 5-4 NYU

The Violets slipped up in their second round game, losing 5-4 to Utah State. They'll likely need to win out to make it out of pool play.

After yesterday’s blowout win over Pennsylvania State University, NYU hockey’s quest for the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Championship crown continued today against Utah State University. But USU would prove to be less compliant in NYU’s plan for dominance as they went on to upset the defending champs 5-4.

Freshman forward Mason Gallegos got the Violets on the board early, as they looked to roll over their opponents like they did in their first contest on Friday. USU tied things up before long, establishing a back and forth trend that would last the entirety of the contest. USU then got tossed in the bin for interference 7:47, but was able to pick up a crucial kill to remain down one. Later on when sophomore forward Michael Conslato allegedly interfered and got penalized for it, the Violets weren’t so lucky. USU got the go-ahead power play goal.

NYU got their opportunity for revenge on a late USU penalty. After a few near-goals from the Violets, freshman forward Hamilton Whyte netted the tying goal.

Both teams came out sluggish in the second period, neither able to gain momentum. Midway through the frame, freshman defenseman Gabe Regan was sent to the penalty box, leading to a USU power play goal and another NYU one-goal deficit.

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It wasn’t long before both teams got penalized again, and a Conslato 4-on-4 effort tied things up once more, with the assist going to junior defenseman Evan Ripley. Then, later in the period, with both teams back at five a side, Conslato got his second to move NYU into the lead. Sophomore goaltender Jack Nebe made some slick saves and the Violets looked to be on their way to a strong third period.

At 4:51 into the third period, NYU got a chance on the power play that didn’t quite come to fruition, a stark contrast to yesterday’s smooth-sailing dismantling of PSU.

USU showed a resilience that PSU did not and was able to knot up the game with 12:22. They then went on to snag a late lead mid-way through the frame, taking a 5-4 lead that they were determined to hold on to.

NYU’s desperation was palpable as the clocked ticked down as a pile up at the USU net ensuing with 2:02 remaining on a Violet attempt. Nebe got yanked for an extra attacker in hopes of conjuring something up late. It was a devastating final minute full of close calls, but eventually time ran out. Head Coach Chris Cosentino, despite his team coming up short, felt that the team had some positives to take away from their upset loss.

“Utah State executed their game plan better than we executed our game plan,” Cosentino said. “With that being said, we did a lot of good things today and we need to build off that. This is a perfect example of why it is so important to not get too high or too low emotionally at this tournament.”

Tomorrow the Violets face off against Grand Valley State University at 3 p.m. in a must-win contest. Check back here to see what happened, or see for yourself on the livestream.

Email Rachel Ruecker at [email protected]

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