After dropping two straight games to Lebanon Valley University last week, the University of Rhode Island men’s hockey team made up ground in the standings when they swept Drexel University this past weekend.
URI went to work early as freshman forward Dylan Stephanik scored just eight minutes in to take a 1-0 lead. Drexel, however, tied it up towards the end of the first period.
In the second period, the Rams went on a scoring frenzy when three players – freshman defenseman Filip Akermark, senior forward Robbie Buehrer and freshman forward Nunzio Morretti – found the back of the net to take a 4-1 lead. But the Rams’ offense wouldn’t end there. With Drexel on the power play, Rhode Island senior forward Brian Gara scored a shorthanded goal for the Rams to make it 5-1. Â Drexel scored late in the second to make the score 5-2 heading into the third period. Â
Rhode Island junior forward Ray Boudiette scored twice in the third before Drexel got one back to make the final score of the game 7-3.
“We did a lot of work on our defensive zone coverage,” head coach Joe Augustine said. “We haven’t been playing very well in our own zone, so we’ve been working on that pretty much every day last week. We got better but we still got a long way to go so we are working on it again this week.”
The second game in the back-to-back series was much closer and didn’t start off the way the Rams would have liked. Drexel scored the first goal of the game in the first period.
In the second period, with the Rams on the power play, Boudiette found the back of the net to tie the game. Later in the second, Rhode Island freshman forward Evan Rankin scored his first as a Ram after coming back from injury to take the lead for URI, 2-1, heading into the third period.
In the third, Rhode Island scored first to take a two-goal lead thanks to Morretti. Drexel cut the lead back down to one goal until Buehrer scored an empty netter to complete the game and the sweep.
“The offense I’m not that concerned about,” Augustine said. “We have a lot new guys so they’re starting to blend together pretty well now. They’re getting to know one another and that takes time but, we just have to focus on our goaltending, and the defensive zone and I think everything else will be fine.”
The Rams look to sweep again this weekend as they face the University of Delaware. Game 1 is Friday at 7 p.m. with Game 2 to follow on Saturday at 5 p.m. Both games will be played at home at the Bradford R. Boss Ice Arena.