For the second week in a row, the University of Rhode Island men’s ice hockey split their weekend series, against the Stony Brook Seawolves.
Historically the Seawolves have been dominant over the Rams, and that trend continued on Friday. The Seawolves shelled the rams for a 6-1 thrashing, including a three-goal outburst in the first period alone.
After their lackluster performance, head coach Joe Augustine was far from thrilled. “We played terrible,” Augustine said. “I mean we were terrible- again. Too much of the same pattern, taking shifts off and having brain freezes for two or three minutes.”
Augustine was quick to point to two of those “brain freezes,” one each in the first and second periods. “1-0 game in the first period with about 1:24 left and they scored two goals. Instead of going in [to the second period] 1-zip, you’re down 3-0, terrible. Then, in the second period, they scored two goals 24 seconds apart. You can’t play like that. Not against good teams.”
The Rams lone bright spot in the game was a late, third-period power play goal by Jonathan Alsfeld. His effort was, however, too little too, as the goal came when the Rams were already down six goals.
The second game began identically to the first, with the Rams heading into the first intermission down 3-0. Augustine admitted that the second game started out in the same way, both on the scoreboard and from their effort. However, the Rams dug deep and found an internal drive that was largely missing in the first game. “I guess they found something in the second and third [periods],” said Augustine. “Whatever they found they better keep, cause things just get more difficult as they move on.”
The Rams fought back from the 3-0 hole, tying the game up in the third period. The Rams continued to fight off Stony Brook and pushed the game into overtime. After a goalless overtime, the game moved into a shootout, with the Rams edging the Seawolves, earning a split of the series.
Augustine was happy that the Rams fought back but acknowledges that there is work to do for the road ahead.
“We played a good period in the third period of the first game, then we played two good periods in the second game, but we didn’t play 6 good periods over the weekend,” Augustine said. “Obviously there’s still a lot of stuff we need to straighten out.”
Augustine would go on to explain some of the things the team wasn’t doing right, and what they needed to improve on. Augustine said the team needed to start “Playing within our system, doing what we’re supposed to do and being responsible all over the ice.” He identified a common theme in the games that URI has lost. “All the teams we’ve lost to this year we’ve become spectators. We watch people and we’re watching them put the puck in our net.”
The Rams will look to make their adjustments and improvements this weekend when they return to Kingston to square off against William Paterson University.