The University of Rhode Island men’s hockey team swept the New York University Violets last weekend in the first ever matchup between the two clubs.
Friday night’s game got off to a rough start for URI as the Violets scored early in the first after junior Sandy Gray was called for roughing to put them up 1-0 just 10:18 into the game.
In the second period NYU scored again to take a 2-0 lead early in the second period. Shortly after that junior Evan Rankin scored to cut the lead 2-1 with 11:20 left in the second period.
At the start of the third period, URI’s Jake Salisbury scored to tie the game 2-2. NYU would score again with 11:57 left in the game to take a 3-2 lead. With time running out in the third period, senior captain Mike Pesola scored to tie the game at three with just 1:15 left in the game.
Regulation would not be enough to decide the winner of the game. Luckily for the Rams Salisbury would net the game winning goal in overtime to win the first game ever played between the two clubs 4-3.
“It’s difficult because you don’t know anything about them but then they don’t know much about us either,” head coach Joe Augustine said. “We know what they do against other teams. We didn’t get to see any film on them but you get a pretty good idea. They are a good hockey team.”
Saturday’s game started off in a similar fashion to Friday’s game with NYU taking an early 1-0 lead with seven minutes left in the first period. After a scoreless second period the Violets would head into the third with a 1-0 lead.
In the third NYU would score again to extend their lead 2-0. URI would respond with their own goal by sophomore Will Schlichtig to cut the deficit 2-1 with 18:54 left in the game.
After a roughing penalty assessed to NYU, the Violets goaltender was thrown out of the game resulting in a two minute, five on three powerplay. URI took advantage of the powerplay and the new goaltender in net with a goal from freshman Patrick Creamer to tie the game 2-2.
URI would remain on the powerplay for almost another five minutes due to the major penalty assessed to the Violet’s goaltender. Salisbury would score to take a 3-2 lead for the Rams but the scoring would not stop there. Soon after junior Luke Vendetto would score to extend the lead 4-2. Pesola would follow that with two more goals of his own to make the final score of the game 6-2 in favor of URI.
After scoring six unanswered goals to win the game Augustine was happy about the comeback. “We had been having trouble scoring goals and our power play hasn’t been doing much, so when we did get down we kind of got down on ourselves,” Augustine said. “When we went down 2-0 and then we scored right away that was a great response and it was great to see that.”
With the weekend sweep URI is back in the ACHA top 25 with a No. 24 ranking. They welcome University of Delaware this weekend and the team is looking to improve on a few things heading into the weekend series.
“We got to get better in our zone, I think we gave up too many rebound goals,” Augustine said. “(JT) Ketzenberger, on most of the goals they scored against him this weekend he would make the initial save and actually sometimes a second save and they would score on the second or third rebound. That can’t happen so we got to work on our defensive play in front of him.”
URI plays this Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Boss Ice Arena.