After four straight weeks of splitting series, the University of Rhode Island men’s club hockey team lost their two-game set against the Syracuse Orange. The Rams lost a close one on Friday night 4-3 and again on Saturday night 2-1. Rhody now holds a record of 21 wins, 13 losses and 4 ties.
In Friday’s contest, forward Daniel Caruso got the scoring started as he put the rebound in the back of the net for the first goal of the game. The second goal came off of a forced turnover by Sophomore Forward Billy McNally and Senior Luke Vendetto. Evan Rankin did the rest as he put the puck in the net.
Early in the second period, Syracuse was called for a five minute major and Rhody was called for roughing, forcing a four-on-four match to ensue. With 15 minutes left in the second, the Orange got their first goal and quickly followed it up with another before the end of the second. The second period ended with a power play goal by Rams captain and senior defenseman Fil Akermark.
Igniting the home crowd very early in the final period, the Orange tied the game at three. Shortly after, the Syracuse Orange score the game-winning goal.
Vocalizing his team’s performance over the weekend, Coach Joe Augustine said, “Both teams played really well… [We] played a competitive team.”
“Not enough shots were taken.” he added, “It [the games] could’ve gone either way.”
Augustine also mentioned that the full squad wasn’t on the ice for the past week. stating, “We’re just getting over [illness]”.
Saturday’s matchup was much more back and forth. Syracuse got the first goal with 14.6 seconds left in the second period. Rhode Island’s lone goal of the game was courtesy of forward Chad Stone with an assist from senior Eddie Cordero forcing a three-on-three overtime. Syracuse propelled the puck past the goalie to capture the win.
“All in all, it was a tough set, facing a tough team, in a tough situation [with team ailments], Augustine said. “We did the best we could.”
The Rams have this weekend off in preparation for the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League (ESCHL) playoff round against the Delaware Blue Hens. The Rams are 3-1 against the Blue Hens this season.
Augustine is planning to use this week as “team maintenance.” The players are going to have time to recover from illness and injury.
“Our main issue this regular season has been game-to-game consistency, so that has to be a focus [during practice],” Augustine said.