The Stony Brook hockey team outscored NYU 4-1 in the final 57 minutes of regulation time, but three early goals by the visitors made overtime necessary in Stony Brook’s final home game of the season.
Despite outshooting NYU 8-4 in the extra frame, Stony Brook could not find the back of the net and went to a shootout, where they fell for the third consecutive game.
Stony Brook sophomore goaltender Brandon Rathwell replaced freshman Robby Lockwood after the third Violets goal. Rathwell stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced in regulation and overtime.
“I think we had to do the goalie change and I think guys got pissed,” head coach Chris Garofalo said regarding what sparked the comeback. “It was just pop, pop, pop, and that just happens. It was a five-minute brain-fart and we wound up coming back and doing a good job. We outshot them again and we got better and better as the game went on.”
The Seawolves put eight more shots on goal than the visiting Violets but failed once again to come away with two points. Though the scoreboard would indicate otherwise, the team was zoned in prior to its final home game of the season.
“They were ready, they were focused,” Garofalo said of the team’s attitude going into the game. “They worked hard and they had a good game. It’s just that we were down 3-0 in the hole and, once again, we had opportunities that we didn’t bury. It’s a revolving, same story.”
Stony Brook responded to NYU’s onslaught quickly, scoring 44 seconds after going down by three. The team tied the game at three with about 13 minutes to go in the second period, and then at four seven minutes later.
Junior defenseman Frank Coscia continued his dominance in Saturday’s loss, scoring two goals for the third time in six games. He has a total of 10 points in that span.
“Our coaches have been emphasizing [joining the offense] a little more,” Coscia said. “They want us to be a little more aggressive and to give the offense a little more help. Keeping pucks in, getting pucks to the net, and we’re just trying anything right now to get a ‘W’ up on the board.”
Next weekend, Stony Brook will head to the University of Rhode Island to close out the regular season schedule with a two-game set against the Rhode Island Rams. With an active three-game losing streak, beating the Rams will be crucial to the Seawolves’ success.
“It might not help our [American Collegiate Hockey Association] rank because they’re an unranked team, but at this point, we can’t take anyone lightly,” Coscia said. “We need those two wins going into the playoffs as a big confidence booster.”
Garofalo expects the team to drop one or two spots in the national rankings after being swept by NYU. Even without winning a game, the Seawolves earned two valuable points in the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League standings this weekend by going to overtime in both games. The team clinched first place in the ESCHL North Division and will have a bye the first day of the league tournament in West Chester, Pennsylvania later this month.
The Seawolves travel to Bradford R. Boss Arena in Kingston, Rhode Island for their final set of the regular season. They play the Rams Friday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m.