The NYU Hockey team ended its regular season with back-to-back home games against the University of Delaware on Friday and Saturday nights. On Friday, the team hosted special guest President Andrew Hamilton, who gingerly stepped onto the red carpet laid out on the ice and walked over to drop the ceremonial puck before the game.
On Friday night at the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, the Violets lost to the Delaware Hens 7-2. NYU struggled to gain a footing in the second period, giving up five goals in one period of play. SPS junior forward Frank Horowitz nabbed a goal in the third period, before Delaware responded with a goal of its own to make it 6-1. SPS sophomore forward Parker Richards scored NYU’s second goal before the Hens scored again with one minute remaining in the game.
Despite the loss, President Hamilton enjoyed the opportunity to watch the Violets in action.
“I thought it was a really fun game,” he said. “They played their hearts out. It was a tough loss […] but it was really enjoyable to watch, incredibly fast and incredibly skillful on both sides.”
In a post-game interview, alternate captain SPS junior Brandon Ritchey spoke about the loss.
“We were hoping to score more than they did, and we just wanted to find our identity and get pucks up there and try to find the winning culture in our locker room that we’ve been searching for all year,” he said. “It’s been a rough season.”
This is NYU’s second season in American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I competition, and the team has struggled this season, ranking worst in goals per game and goals allowed in the conference. The Violets also sit in last place in the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League.
Saturday night marked the final game of NYU’s regular season, and the team took the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of its graduating seniors.
SPS senior and team captain Mason Gallegos was a part of the team that won NYU’s second Division II ACHA Championship in 2017. He reflected on his time with the team and said that the friendships he formed on the team will last beyond graduation.
“I’ll miss my teammates,” Gallegos said. “The bonds you create your entire four years here with each and every player are incredible.”
Motivated to nab a final win for their seniors, the Violets came out firing on all cylinders in Saturday’s game against Delaware, looking bright and aggressive from the puck drop.
Horowitz and CAS senior forward Jack Orne scored a combined three goals to put
NYU up 3-2, and it looked like the win was headed the Violets’ way, but Delaware equalized with a late third goal with 1.8 seconds remaining on the clock. NYU pulled out a win, though, after SPS first-year defenseman Blake Howard slapped the puck home, prompting his teammates to rush off the bench and swarm the rink in celebration.
Head Coach Chris Cosentino was proud of his team for pulling out a deserved win.
“We needed it,” he said. “We’ve been working so hard and it’s good to see the guys get a reward, especially being senior night and the last home game of the year.”
The stands were packed with family and friends proudly cheering on the team the entire night. The fans’ presence means a lot to the players and coaches alike, who always want to put on a show for their loved ones.
“It means a lot,” Gallegos said. “It means the world to me to have them here and supporting me. My family’s from Colorado and for them to come here and see me, it’s a good way to go out.”
Coach Cosentino echoed that sentiment, and is grateful for the support.
“It’s not just the guys that are in the locker room that make up the team,” he said. “It’s the families, it’s everyone who makes this a great place to play in. You know everybody’s involved in this game.”
There is still time for one last championship run, as NYU will participate in the ESCHL tournament from March 15 to 17 in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Coach Cosentino noted the immense impact the seniors have had on the team, and said that he hopes they can end their collegiate careers on a winning note.
“It’s going to be a group I [will] certainly miss, but going into playoffs here – the story’s not over yet,” he said. “They can keep pushing here and hopefully end this thing with a championship.”
Correction, Mar. 5: An earlier version of this article stated that Mason Gallegos was a part of the team that won its first-ever Division II ACHA Championship in 2015. However, Gallegos was a part of the team that won the Championship for the second time in 2017. WSN regrets this error.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 4, 2019, print edition. Email Bela Kirpalani at [email protected]