Joe Augustine had been sitting at career win number 599 for three games heading into Friday. After three games this past weekend, Augustine will have to wait a little longer.
The University of Rhode Island hosted the Liberty University Flames at the Boss Ice Arena and fell to them 6-2 on Friday and 5-0 on Saturday. The Rams then travelled to Vermont on Sunday to play Castleton, a NCAA Division III program and lost 7-2.
This weekend was a continuation of the struggles the Rams are experiencing due to several injuries. Augustine stated that the team was down seven players due to injuries.
“The injuries have to be fixed,” Augustine said. “We have seven or eight guys out right now. Four defenseman with a broken hand, broken thumb, concussions.”
Liberty University, who had never been defeated by the Rams, came to Boss and wasted no time to try and continue that streak. Zechariah Roberts netted the first goal of the game 3 minutes and 30 seconds in. The period ended at 1-0 but the Rams were leading in the shot department. The Flames started to find a rhythm in the second period with goals coming from Grant Garvin, who had two, and Josh Bergen.
The Rams tried to keep things even as a goal from Matt Kowash broke the ice for URI, but Liberty’s Quinn Ryan scored moments later to make things 5-1. URI’s Evan Rankin and Liberty’s Tim Bierema traded goals and the game ended with Liberty on top, 6-2. Augustine voiced his concern about having guys ready to go.
“We just have to get the mentality to step-up and play,” Augustine said. “We try to tell the younger guys to get ready to go and it’s time for them step up. Right now there are growing pains, but we are trying to stop this and stop the bleeding.”
Game two was more positive for URI. Despite giving up 3 goals in the first, URI created more scoring chances for themselves and eliminating them from Liberty, in the second and the third. “Today I thought was much better than yesterday,” Augustine stated about the Rams’ play game two. Things started to get interesting with about 8 minutes to go, when Rams goaltender JT Ketzenberger was knocked over by a Liberty player and no penalty was called. Moments later URI was given a minor penalty and Augustine was furious.
Augustine called a timeout, talked to the referees and gave his feeling about the call. Augustine was ejected after saying something provoking and URI gave up two goals to wrap things up in garbage time to end things at 5-0 Liberty.
The Rams played in Vermont on Sunday and fell 7-2 to Castleton College, the lone NCAA D-III team the Rams will face this season. Rhode Island travels to play Niagara University next weekend and don’t return to Kingston until Nov. 10 against NYU.