Photo by Anna Messick
The University of Rhode Island men’s hockey team swept West Chester University over the weekend and extended their win streak to seven games.
“We just thought about what we were supposed to do instead of going to sleep and letting them take advantage of us, more mental preparation than physical,” head coach Joe Augustine said of the preparation heading into the weekend series.
Things got going early on for the Rams as junior Nunzio Morretti would score just 1:25 into the game to give Rhode Island an early 1-0 lead. The Rams would then extend their lead to 2-0 after sophomore Johnny Alsfeld scored off of a three on one break away.
URI would get a five minute power play after freshman Billy DeBlois was cross checked to the back of the neck. On the power play Rhode Island would score two more goals both from senior captain Mike Pesola to put the Rams up 4-0 at the end of the first.
In the second period URI would go on the power play again and freshman Patrick Creamer would score to put the Rams up 5-0. Later in the second, West Chester would be called for another penalty giving Rhode Island another opportunity on the power play. Assistant Captain Matt Kowash would take advantage of the opportunity and score one of his own to put his team up 6-0 heading into the third period.
West Chester would score one of their own just 36 seconds into the third period to make the score 6-1. Morretti would respond with his second goal of the night to extend the Rams lead 7-1 with 16 minutes left in the game. Kowash would also get his second goal of the night to put the Rams up 8-1. West Chester would score one more making the final score of Friday night’s game 8-2.
“We have been preaching from our zone out,” Augustine said “We’re trying to take care of our zone and everything usually builds on that, through neutral ice and then offensive zone. It’s just a combination of things, the power play has been a bit better. Our opponents they’re not top ranked teams but sometimes it kind of helps just for your confidence level to get that stuff rolling and hopefully it carries over week in to week out.”
URI started off Saturday’s game in a strong manner as both junior Evan Rankin and freshman Billy McNally would score in the first period putting the Rams up 2-0 heading into the second.
In the second, a power play for URI would give freshman Josh Boulos a goal of his own and would give URI a 3-0 lead. With 7:15 left in the second Pesola would score to extend the lead 4-0. Pesola would score once more in the period, this time on the power play, putting URI up 5-0 at the end of two periods.
Just two minutes into the third period Alsfeld would score to extend Rhode Island’s lead 6-0. West Chester would score with 14:16 left in the game, making the score 6-1. West Chester would then be called for their second five minute major of the series putting URI on the power play. Alsfeld and Kowash would score on the power play putting the Rams up 8-1 with 11:15 left in the game. Freshman Billy McNally would score to close out the game for the Rams making the final score 9-1.
“I think we’ve gotten better every week since the break started and it’s probably come at a good time to build on some stuff,” Augustine said. “We’ll see how it translates into this next six (games) because these are the biggest six of the season.”
Rhode Island is now 19-10-2 on the season and are second in the division. Heading into this weekend URI is looking to build upon their recent success in order to make sure they secure a spot in the upcoming playoffs.
“Enjoy what we’ve accomplished and now get ready to go back to work on monday and fine tune and build upon that last weekend into this coming weekend,” Augustine said.
The Rams look to extend their seven game win streak this weekend away at New York University.