Hockey Enjoys Success in Regular Season Finale

The+NYU+Hockey+Team+playing+at+their+home+ground+of+Chelsea+Piers%2C+Friday%2C+Feb.+10%2C+2017.+The+game+saw+the+Violets+experience+their+first+loss+of+the+year%2C+against+Sacred+Heart+University.

Rachel Ruecker

The NYU Hockey Team playing at their home ground of Chelsea Piers, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. The game saw the Violets experience their first loss of the year, against Sacred Heart University.

By Rachel Ruecker, Senior Editor

With raucous fans beating on the glass, the NYU hockey team closed out its regular season at home Friday on the high note it has hit on for much of the season.

The game was much more competitive than many of the contests the Violets have had this season, with William Paterson University bringing some heat to this rivalry. It was a physical game throughout, with the Violets punished first at 5:43 when sophomore forward Reese Buckholz got tossed into the box for cross-checking. The Violet kill was cut short when WPU got sent to the sin bin for slashing, igniting 4-on-4 play from which neither team capitalized.

Junior forward Michael Conslato put the Violets on the board on a feed from a familiar duo of  respective sophomore and junior forwards John Kowalewski and Steven Esposito. NYU ended the first up by a goal and a man, with WPU ending the first on a penalty.

The Pioneers killed their carried-over penalty from the first, but that didn’t stop the Violets from putting on a show. Sophomore forward Keaton Baum doubled the NYU lead at 14:31. There was a big mess late in the second that resulted in NYU down a man, but it didn’t matter when Conslato earned his second of the night shorthanded with 30 seconds remaining in the frame. The Violets led 3-0 after two and outshot Will Pat a whopping 13-5 in the second.

After successfully killing the penalties earned late in the second, the Violets had to kill off another before adding to their goal total at 15:03 – this one from freshman forward Scott Mulligan. The Violets didn’t get off totally scot-free and had to kill one more before they could celebrate what has been a stellar regular season. At the final buzzer, freshman goaltender Adam Salisbury got to celebrate the 4-0 shutout that marked the last game at Chelsea Piers for a number of Violets, including senior forward David Morgan.

“I don’t think there was a better way to finish it off at Chelsea Piers,” Morgan said. “A 4-0 win against our rival in my last home game as a part of the team is basically perfect. Throughout my career here, my life has revolved around the team and the game.”

Head Coach Chris Cosentino echoed the sentiment and said it was an impressive team effort by everyone.

“Our guys were dialed in all week at practice and we need that level of focus throughout the postseason,” Cosentino said. “The team is taking over the locker room, and they are leaning on each other to be at their best every shift. Our guys know that there is still a lot more in the tank and we need to get back to work this week at practice and continue to get better as a hockey team.”

And though Morgan lamented leaving the Violets, he has learned plenty during his time here and is excited for where the path may lead.

“It’s sad that this is my final season as a competitive hockey player, but I think I’m ready for the next part of my life,” Morgan said. “I’ve been on the ice for most of my life and the game has really had a huge impact on me. This team has probably had the most influence on my life out of any other team I’ve played on. I’m going to miss it, but I’m glad I get to finish off my career here.”

“The atmosphere on and off the ice was just a testament to how special this program is and we always appreciate all the support we receive,” Cosentino said. “We take an incredible amount of pride in being New York City’s college hockey team and we want to represent the program the right way.”

The Violets begin their post-season bid next weekend in Montclair, NJ, against a rival of either the University of New Hampshire or Marist College on Saturday in the Super East Collegiate Hockey League tournament.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 13 print edition. Email Rachel Ruecker at [email protected]