Hockey Strong at Home


Photo by Shawn Paik

The NYU Hockey Team defended its home ground with a strong 12-2 victory over the weekend.

Rachel Ruecker, Senior Editor

While the NHL’s elite headed down to Los Angeles for the All-Star festivities, NYU’s hockey contingent demonstrated some all-star power of their own this weekend.

The Violets began the first of five consecutive home games Friday night with a 12-2 shellacking of Central Connecticut State University, a game in which NYU took full advantage of its power play opportunities and managed to stay out the penalty box — more than usual, at least.

With a raucous home crowd cheering them on, freshman forward Brandon Ritchey opened the scoring 2:41 into the game. Junior defenseman Charles Arsenescu doubled the Violet lead just over a minute later.

The Violets out-hustled the CCSU Blue Devils, leading to the third goal of the night from junior forward Michael Conslato, the team leader in goals, later on in the frame.

The Blue Devils cross-checked against the Violets, earning them a man-advantage. CCSU managed to stave off the Violets, but later, on a 5-on-3, sophomore forward John Kowalewski put the Violets up by four before the first period’s end.

It didn’t take long for the Violets to get back into a scoring rhythm after the intermission, with freshman forward Scott Mulligan netting one 2:03 in. The Violets didn’t get their first penalty until 7:07 in the second when senior defenseman Evan Ripley headed to the box for elbowing. The Violets got the kill. Mulligan bookended the penalty perfectly, getting the 6-0 goal at 11:37.

The shutout bid ended when freshman goalie Adam Salisbury was beaten by the Blue Devils at 14:18. Sweet redemption came moments later when sophomore forward Jack Orne got the seventh goal on a power play. Before the end of the frame — in which the Violets outshot the Blue Devils 19-4 — Ripley got an eighth goal for NYU, ‘cause why not? Through two periods, the Violets had a devastating 37-7 lead in shots on goal.

CCSU switched goalies for the third and final frame, managing to draw first blood in the third when they scored their second goal at 3:15. But that’s where their scoring stopped, while NYU had four more goals to score before the final buzzer sounded. Goals came from sophomore forward Keaton Baum and freshman defenseman Giancarlo Pochintesta, while sophomore forward Mason Gallegos earned the last two.

By the end NYU marked their 18th win of the season with a 10-point margin.

Head Coach Chris Cosentino was excited by the big win but stayed humble, knowing that this was merely the beginning.

“The key for our team is to make sure we are ready to play our best hockey every night,” Cosentino said. “Regardless of who the opponent is, we need to focus on getting better as a hockey team. Prior to last night we have only scored 12 goals in our last four games combined. Although we are winning games, we need to start scoring more goals and [Sunday] afternoon against Keene is going to be another great test for us.”

Goalscorer Pochintesta commented that the team has found its groove and everyone knows their place within the team.

“We’ve been playing well together as five-man units, and everybody is buying into the system and playing their role,” Pochintesta said. “Nobody is trying to do too much; as long as we keep playing our game and trusting the process, we know what we’re capable of.”

Sunday saw the Violets facing off against Keene State College. NYU refamiliarized itself with the penalty box and was handed a 4-on-4 and a holding penalty right after. KSC earned a power play goal on their man advantage to get ahead by one. Mulligan got thrown into the box soon after, but this time around it worked in the Violets’ favor as Baum eked out a shorthanded goal.

After the first, the Violets were up by one.

In the second, Arsenescu added in NYU’s third at 4:25. Things got messy later on in the period when a pair of Violets were tossed into the box. The Violets killed the first penalty, but Keene State managed to use the second to get within one.

The second continued with a series of 4-on-4 and 4-on-3 action, but nothing came of it and the frame ended with NYU still at a 3-2 advantage.

The action of the third didn’t materialize until its dying moments, when Keene State tied the game at three with just over a minute remaining. Then, in a mad dash, NYU answered with its fourth from Conslato at 19:29.

Time ran out before Keene State could try any funny business, increasing NYU’s record in 2017 to a perfect 4-0.

“We are going to continue taking everything one day at a time, and be prepared to be the best team we can be,”
Cosentino said.

The team will be back at Chelsea Piers next weekend as they continue their five-game homestand.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Jan. 30 print edition. Email Rachel Ruecker at [email protected].