The NYU hockey team’s dream came to an end over the weekend as they fell to Grand Valley State University in American Collegiate Hockey Association round robin play, robbing them of a potential repeat of their national title.
The Violets started in a similarly inconsistent fashion this season as last year, going 12-7 before winter break. But also mirroring last season, coach Chris Cosentino’s team returned in the second half with new energy, finishing the regular season on an 8-0 tear and propelling to the top of the ACHA rankings. After earning an automatic bid to the ACHA National Championship tournament, the Violets met their match and lost closely to Utah State University and Grand Valley, bringing their season to a close.
Still, the year was filled with highlights — the return of senior goalie Sam Daley, another great season for last year’s freshmen and another strong class making a strong impression. With strong play and numerous returning players, the Violets will be in good hands for years to come.
Sam Daley: What else is there to say about Daley? Although he didn’t reach his ultimate goal of national championship glory, Daley’s accomplishments cannot be overstated. His comeback from a brain tumor has been well-documented, but Daley also excelled on the ice in his final year. In 12 games, Daley was dominant as the team’s goalie, shutting down opponents with a remarkable save percentage of .930. He also led fellow goalies Alec Hardman and Jack Nebe in wins, going 9-3 on the season. Daley wasn’t able to celebrate a championship in uniform with the Violets, but his story will be inspirational for years to come.
Michael Conslato: After a phenomenal freshman campaign, the second-year forward picked up where he left off, leading the Violets in goals with 20. Conslato also topped in team in points per game, averaging a staggering 1.26. His mix of goal scoring and assisting was a key piece in NYU’s success this season.
Evan Ripley: Though Ripley also averaged over one point per game in 26 games played, his main contribution was in distribution. A defenseman, Ripley excelled in transition, easily leading the team with 20 assists. The feisty junior also led the team in time spent in the penalty box — nearly an hour. However, his solid plus/minus of 18 was good enough for Cosentino to forgive him.
Steven Esposito: Another member of last year’s stellar freshman class, Esposito followed Conslato in the team’s sophomore success. With a sky-high plus/minus of 29, the forward was nearly as dominant, finishing the season with 11 goals and 19 assists, good enough for a points average above one as well.
John Kowaleski: The fourth player to average over a point per game and the only freshman to do so, Kowaleski was the standout member of the team’s newest class of players. He evenly distributed his points, finishing with 15 goals and assists apiece. Also a forward, the Violets can take comfort that the team has now put together a string of successful recruiting classes.
James Moeller: A defensive anchor on the team in just his first year, Moeller was surprisingly prolific on offense, ending the season with four goals and an impressive 14 assists. His 18 total points was NYU’s second best for a defenseman.
Points: Michael Conslato, Forward (34)
Goals: Michael Conslato, Forward (20)
Assists: Evan Ripley, Defenseman (20)
Save Percentage: Sam Daley, Goalie (.930)
– Beau Lardner, Forward
– Gabrielle Gollette, Defenseman
– Denis O’Hara, Forward
– Curtis Fisher, Defenseman
Cosentino, who has repeatedly expressed his love for the program, plans to return next season, welcoming more solid freshmen to a young and talented squad.
Email Michael Thompson at [email protected]