Sophomore Billy McNally looks to push the puck down ice last weekend against Stony Brook. Photo by Anna Meassick.
For the fourth consecutive week, the University of Rhode Island Men’s Ice Hockey team split their weekend series, this time against divisional foe Stony Brook University.
The games were polar opposites of each other, with the first game being a high scoring affair, and the second a down to the wire thriller. The Rams took the Friday night contest 6-5, however the Seawolves got the last laugh on Saturday, winning 2-1.
Friday’s victory started off on a sour note. The Rams surrendered three goals in just 20 minutes, something that head coach Joe Augustine noted.
“They’re a high powered team,” said Augustine. “You can’t give them any room, and we just gave them too many chances, and they cashed in on them. We were fortunate to cash in on them too.”
And cash in they did. Despite trailing by two goals on two separate occasions during the first period, the Rams took control in the second. The Rams scored three unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead into the final frame. The teams continued to trade goals in the third period until the game was tied 5-5 with 90 seconds left. That’s when Jake Salisbury scored a backbreaking sixth goal, which would prove to be the game winner.
The next day the Rams weren’t so fortunate. They again found themselves down two goals, but this time the Seawolves slammed the door shut. Holding Rhode Island to a little over a dozen shots through the first two periods, the Seawolves defense suffocated the Rams all game long. While Jake Salisbury tallied another goal it wasn’t enough, and the Seawolves nabbed the final two points of the weekend. Coach Augustine proceeded to call his team’s effort “flat” and saying that because of that they spent the game “trying to grind it out”.
As this weekend was the last home series of the season, Saturday was senior night. The Rams will say goodbye to seven members of the team, including Captain Fil Akermark, and Alternate Captain Matthew Kowash, among others.
Coach Augustine had high praise for this graduating class, and reaffirmed what his players mean for the program.
“I’ve always said that our guys make up the program,” said Augustine. “Those seven guys are a great reflection of guys who have come in, dedicated their four years to our program, and they’ve all been leaders. Even though some of them don’t have letters on their jerseys, they’re still leaders. We’re really proud of them.”
As the Rams head into the last weekend of the regular season, they’ll be fighting hard for the opportunity to go to the national tournament.
“I think we’re still in the running here for nationals, we have a lot to play for,” said Augustine.
The Rams will be in Syracuse, New York this weekend to play the Orange in the regular season finale.