The No.17 University of Rhode Island men’s ice hockey team won back-to-back games this weekend on the road against Towson University, 4-2 and 3-0.
“Going on the road, its good to get the guys together,” Rhode Island head coach Joe Augustine said. Â “We have a ways to go. Â We got to work out some of the kinks, but overall it wasn’t bad.”
On Friday, Rhode Island scored first as center Mike Luciano found the back of the net, assisted from Sam Scannell, in the opening two minutes. Â Towson responded later in the period to tie the game at one goal apiece.
Rhode Island went on to score three goals in a row and take the win. Â Forwards Michael Pesola and Dillon Balsamo both scored, along with Scannell. Â He and Pesola both finished with a goal and an assist apiece as Billy D’Amore finished with two assists.
Rhode Island went two for three in power-play opportunities on Friday and goaltender Andrew Sherman turned away 27 of 29 shots he faced in the game.
“One of the big things we have to work on this year is our power-play,” Augustine said. Â “It wasn’t up to our standard last year. Â That was a good way to start out, to get our confidence up a little.”
It was more of the same for Rhode Island on Saturday. Â Despite not scoring in the first period, the Rams scored twice in the second and once in the third to give them the shutout victory.
Pesola netted his second goal of the series 12 minutes into the period to start the scoring. Forwards Paul Centauro and Robbie Buehrer followed his lead and scored the remaining two goals for the Rams.
Rhode Island could not capitalize on their three power-play opportunities on Saturday, but did prevent Towson from capitalizing on all seven of their opportunities. In the series, Rhode Island committed 14 penalties, compared to Towson’s eight, spending an extra 12 minutes in the penalty box.
Sherman picked up his second win, as he saved every shot he faced. Â Although the box score read 44 saves, Augustine assured that number was probably closer to mid-30s.
“It’s good to get [Sherman] working early in the season,” Augustine said. Â “He played well. He looked pretty good, looked confident. Â I think he played better the first night than the second.”
Rhode Island’s home opener is this weekend as Lehigh University visits Kingston at 7 p.m. on Friday. Â Lehigh is 0-1 to start the year, losing to Villanova University last weekend.
“We’re going to take one week at a time and play the best we can,” Augustine said. “We’re battling injuries already. Â We got about eight, nine new players, so we’re trying to incorporate them. Â I have three defenseman out, one for the whole season. Â For the first weekend, we’re pleased but we got a long way to go.”