There aren’t many better ways to start a season than the way the NYU hockey team started theirs on Friday.
With a raucous crowd cheering them on, the Violets absolutely ignited the ice on Friday and Saturday night for their season opener at the Chelsea Piers Sky Rink. They devoured their opponents, delivering a 9-1 win over Siena College on Friday and 4-3 victory over the University of New Hampshire on Saturday.
Head coach Chris Cosentino was more than ready to see his team hit the ice against someone besides each other.
“It’s been a long month,” Cosentino said. “I think we’re all pretty tired of hittin’ each other.” But he thought the team was set to go come puck drop. He was right.
“I think we really did accomplish everything we wanted to accomplish.”
The first period started with a little back and forth action before NYU took complete control of the game. They started the scoring late in the first at 14:36 thanks to freshman forward Brandon Ritchey getting his and the team’s first of the 2016-2017 campaign. At the period’s end the Violets were up by one and led in shots 18-5.
Sophomore forward Hamilton Whyte doubled up on the lead 2:53 into the second period, marking what would ultimately serve as the game-winning goal, though the scoring was far from over. Less than two minutes later, senior forward Pete Jorgensen got NYU’s third and 1:02 after that, junior forward and co-captain Steven Esposito got the fourth NYU goal of the night.
A hot minute and a half later and after Siena switched goalies, sophomore defenseman Connor Finocchio added insult to injury as he put the Violets up by five.
Another freshman got one on net as forward Kohl Donovan scored NYU’s sixth. The Violets were doing all they could to ensure that their opening night was a spectacle.
Esposito got his second of the night before the 40-minute mark to lead NYU into the third up by an absurd seven goals.
NYU started the third quickly having to overcome a Siena 5-on-3 but, in line with how the rest of the night went, they went on to score their eighth shorthanded.
Freshman forward Scott Mulligan got tossed to the penalty box late in the third, which delivered Siena their only goal of the night.
Before the buzzer ran out, NYU got a ninth goal, just for fun, as Donovan scored his second.
Whyte was thrilled with the outcome after a gruelling month.
“After a long month of training camp we really came out strong and earned our two first wins,” Whyte said. “The fans were out of control and I hope their support stays consistent throughout the season.”
Though they didn’t win in the same convincing fashion, the Violets were also successful on Saturday night, garnering a 4-3 victory over UNH.
UNH scored first, netting one on freshman goaltender Patrick Cavanaugh at 10:07, but NYU was quick to answer, scoring at 10:26 thanks to a goal from sophomore forward Keaton Baum.
Both teams traded penalties and successful kills before the frame’s end, where NYU just edged UNH in shots, 14-12.
Things stayed still until 14:51 of the second when Esposito got his third of the season to move NYU into the lead. They completely controlled the shots this time, leading 18-7.
And just 1:58 into the third, Finocchio doubled his season total and moved the Violets up by two. Unfortunately, the two-goal cushion was short lived as UNH answered 27 seconds later to push the score to 3-2 Violets.
After some more traded penalties, NYU got their winning goal on a UNH interference goal. Junior forward Michael Conslato got the 4-2 goal. UNH would score one more with a second and a half to go, but their fate was sealed as NYU swept their home opening weekend.
Senior forward David Shaby was right in the thick of the crowd Friday night.
“The rink was electric at the game Friday night,” Shaby said. “Everyone on our team is definitely thankful for all the friends and family that came out to support us at our home opener and the game on Saturday against UNH.”
The Violets will be on the road this upcoming weekend as they hope to carry over their success on the road against the United States Naval Academy on Friday and the University of Maryland, Baltimore on Saturday, Oct. 15.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 11 print edition. Email Rachel Ruecker at [email protected]