Promotion Provides Momentum for Hockey


Rachel Ruecker

Captain Steven Esposito at center ice for the ceremonial puck drop on Friday night against Northeastern University.

Rachel Ruecker, Sports Editor

Coming off an exciting promotion to American Collegiate Hockey Association’s Division I last week, and a near-perfect 7-1 record to start the season, yhr stakes were high to keep the momentum going for the NYU men’s hockey team.

Head coach Chris Cosentino, who has long held hopes to move up to NCAA contention, is elated by the exciting step the Violets have taken with this promotion.

“We are incredibly excited about this challenge and grateful for the opportunity to take our program to the next level,” Consentino said. “Our motto is ‘be obsessed with improvement’ and this move gives us that opportunity. From day one the goal has been to inspire our student-athletes to be the best person they can be and bring the best college hockey to NYU and New York City. We take a great deal of pride in being New York City’s college hockey team and this is another step in the right direction.”

With but one loss in their opening month, the team looked to maintain their momentum going into November. They did that and more, taking their Friday home game against Northeastern University 3-2 and decimating Montclair State University on the road 11-3.

Friday’s game was a closer affair than the Violets have grown accustomed to. The first  period was pretty uneventful, but sophomore defenseman Connor Finocchio got NYU on the board with 47 seconds left on the clock.

The second period ran rampant with man-advantages and 4-on-4 action, which all came to a head when Northeastern tied things at one late in the frame — a frame in which Northeastern outshot NYU 10-5.

Luckily, NYU was able to gain the advantage before things got too dire as junior forward Steven Esposito notched the Violets’ second at the seven-minute mark of the third. There was messiness at 14:54 resulting in a couple majors, but it all worked out when NYU got their third from junior forward Michael Conslato. Northeastern would go on to get a power play goal to close the gap to one, but their efforts to tie the game were quelled by the final buzzer.

Saturday was an exercise in mass destruction, with the Violets scoring early and often throughout their game against Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. Esposito opened the madness, with Conslato and Finocchio also scoring in the first. All three were multi-goal scorers over the weekend.

Just eight seconds into the second period, NYU got its fourth from Conslato. Later in the frame, with both teams made it out of a 4-on-4 alive, NYU jumped on the man-advantage and got its fifth from sophomore forward Keaton Baum. Literally one minute later, Baum scored again to move NYU up 6-0.

The shutout bid was shut down when MSU scored at 12:21, but NYU didn’t let that swing the momentum away from them. Conslato got his hat trick-earning goal to move NYU up 7-1 and just over a minute later, freshman forward Brandon Ritchey got the eighth, improving the purple team’s lead to an enormous seven.

MSU opened the third period scoring with its second, but Baum answered back with a hat trick goal of his own. After some more 4-on-4 hockey, there was an onslaught of scoring in the game’s final minutes, beginning with the 10-2 goal for NYU, courtesy, again, of Donovan. 23 seconds later, NYU capped off the madness at a whopping 11, from freshman forward Thomas Bradshaw. MSU did manage to snag one more with 11 seconds left on the clock.

NYU’s tremendous win moves them to 9-1 on the season. As for Cosentino’s dreams of NCAA grandeur?

“Some people say it will happen, some say it might happen, while others say it will never happen,” Cosentino said. “The number one thing we stress to our team is that if you have a goal, you put your heart into it 100 percent and never give up.”

The Violets head to Albany on Friday to play Siena college, followed by a game in Troy against Rensselaer on Saturday.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 7 print edition. Email Rachel Ruecker at [email protected].