The Stony Brook hockey team handed Adrian College, the No. 1 team in the nation, its first loss of the season Saturday night with a 3-2 win at The Rinx in Hauppauge.
The Seawolves, who entered the weekend ranked No. 11 in the nation, scored twice in the first period on the way to their twelfth victory of the year. Despite the Bulldogs’ third period push which tied the game, sophomore forward Devon Palmieri struck back with 4:03 remaining in regulation to secure the Seawolves’ win.
“We came out strong in the first two periods,” Palmieri said. “We definitely did what we had to do. But in that third period I think we were playing a defensive game instead of attacking like we did in the first two periods. When you get off your offensive game, you’re playing a little scared defensively so they kind of took control of the game, took momentum, and got those two goals. We realized we needed to pick it back up.”
Stony Brook wasted no time getting back to its style of play, with Palmieri’s goal giving them the lead back 57 seconds after Adrian had tied the game.
“We’ve been working on that 3-on-2 play,” Palmieri said. “[Senior forward Brendan Calello] goes behind the defense there. We’re always trying to get by that first [defenseman] and make it a 2-on-1. He just popped it off the goalie’s pad and I drove to the net. We work on that in practice all the time, not even shooting to score, just shooting for rebounds. It’s kind of our main game-plan.”
The first two Seawolves goals were scored by junior defenseman Mike Kowicki and sophomore forward Chris Molnar in the opening frame to give the home team a 2-0 lead. The team also played strong defensively for much of the first two periods and late in the game. Sophomore goaltender Payne Yoder had a stellar game, turning away 32 of the 34 shots that did get through to him.
“I think it was a collaborative effort,” head coach Chris Garofalo said. “I think everyone on the team, offense, defense, and goaltending chipped in when they had to. The first two periods Yoder didn’t really have much work. It was the third period when he had to really keep us in the game.”
Stony Brook’s satisfaction with the win was evident in their post-game celebration, but with game two of the weekend set only 13 hours after Saturday’s final buzzer, the team must immediately look ahead to another challenging game against Adrian.
“That’s a tough turn-around,” Garofalo said. “We’re going to have to get some fluids in us. Hopefully we can put another game together and see where it goes. This was a big win for the team, obviously it shows that we can play with the best, but they’re a tough team. They’re a good team and they’re going to come out flying tomorrow so we have to be ready.”
The second game of the series and last before the Thanksgiving break will be played Nov. 19 at 12 p.m. at The Rinx in Hauppauge.