Last season, the Stony Brook hockey club put together one of the best seasons in its program’s history, as they picked up 24 wins in 31 games, and won the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League conference championship. But, the Seawolves year ended in devastating fashion, as they fell to Arizona State in the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s semi-finals game.
Despite Stony Brook’s difficult finish last March, head coach Chris Garofalo said his team felt confident coming into this season
“I didn’t look at last year as a negative experience,” Garofalo said. “It was a heartbreaker, beca use we were leading by a goal going into the third period, but at the end of the day I took it as a motivation for us. And I think the guys feel the same way.”
Stony Brook certainly looked like a motivated team during the first half of the season, as they have put together a 17-3 record and came into this weekend ranked as the fifth best club hockey team in the nation.
“The guys believe in each other,” Garofalo said. “They have a lot of confidence right now. When you go into the games with that kind of confidence and belief it kind of propels your game to the next level. “
During the offseason Stony Brook lost two of its best offensive players, when co-captains Dan Cassano and Wes Hawkins graduated. But the offense has not dropped off at all this season as the team has 13 players already with double digit point totals this season.
“It’s not just one or two guys who are putting the puck in the net,” Garofalo said. “We’ve really spread out with our points productivity.
Ryan Cotcamp leads the team in scoring so far this season. He has 15 goals and a team-high 17 assists.
Vincent Lopes, Nick Barbera, Sam Brewster and JT Hall have all totaled over 20 points for the Seawolves this season. Andrew Balzafiore leads all defenseman on the team with 18 points.
On Nov. 8 and 9, the Seawolves got the chance for a rematch against Arizona State, when they welcomed the Sun Devils to the Rinx in Hauppauge for a pair of games.
SBU fell 4-0 in the first game, but was able to rebound with a 6-3 win in the second game. Garofalo said getting over the hump and finally taking the Sun Devils down was a good feeling for the team.
“When we finally beat them it felt like we got this monkey off our back,” he said. “Every time we played them it was so close, and the games could have gone either way. And it finally went our way that second game we played at home.”
Things continue to go Stony Brook’s way this season, as they picked up another pair of wins this weekend over Delaware State.
The Seawolves are done with games for 2014, and will resume play Jan. 10 when they host Liberty University.