Pucks fly wrong way for Hens in ESCHL title game, 3-2 loss
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 21:02
It all came down to a couple of quick goals at the start of the second period for the Delaware men’s club ice hockey team as they fell to Stony Brook, 3-2, in the finals of the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League playoff tournament.
Head Coach M.F. Schurman, now in his third year with the team, said the team was not ready for the game and that hurt its performance.
“I think we were completely unprepared to play,” Schurman said. “We got ourselves in a hole we could not get out of.”
The Hens came into this game with a 25-10-1 overall regular-season record and the ESCHL regular-season title with 23 points. Delaware, which was ranked No. 10 in the latest American Collegiate Hockey Association poll, beat West Chester, 6-0, on Saturday to advance to the finals.
After a scoreless first period, Stony Brook came out shooting, scoring the opening goal of the game when forward Wesley Hawkins scored 15 seconds into the period. The Seawolves did not have to wait long for the next goal, as forward Daniel Cassano scored 90 seconds later to go up 2-0.
Senior goaltender S.J. Broadt said the Hens were dominated by Stony Brook early in the second period.
“It wasn’t good, they just came down,” Broadt said. “The first 5 minutes of the second they outplayed us.”
With 16 minutes gone, Stony Brook forward Matthew Gervasi got a minor penalty for roughing, giving Delaware a power play. The Hens capitalized on it as senior forward Connor Moore scored a little under 30 seconds later.
Moore said he wants to help inspire the team, and the goal was the perfect way of doing that.
“As the captain, I’ve got to find my moments in the game where I can motivate my team,” Moore said. “During the power play, they were beating us up pretty badly so I just got my stick on it and put it away.”
The Hens dominated the puck throughout most of the third period. However, with a little more than 6:30 left in the game, Stony Brook scored what would prove to be the winning goal. Despite the best efforts of senior forward Vincent Pontrello, who scored with 1:50 left in the game, the Hens could not tie the Seawolves.
Now with two weeks before the ACHA playoffs in Bensenville, Ill., Moore said the team will practice to make sure that it is starting games on a good note and finishing scoring chances.
Schurman said the Hens will work on making sure the defense is stronger and the team of winning the title.
“We’ll do a lot of work on zone coverage and defense, as well as our preparedness,” he said.
The Hens look to defend their title in Bensenville, as they claimed last year’s ACHA Championship, winning the first Division I Championship in the program’s 40-year history.
For Schurman, the pressure of defending a national championship is on his mind, but as long as the players keep their heads down, he said they have a good chance at victory.
“There’s always pressure, but I know we can play our game and win,” Schurman said.