Junior defenseman Frank Coscia (No. 75, above) skates down the rink with the puck in a game against NYU in 2017. An early goal from Coscia carried all the way to the end to give the Seawolves the win over the University of Colorado this past Friday, Jan. 26. PHOTO COURTESY OF AZTEK PHOTOS

Junior defenseman Frank Coscia jammed a puck past University of Colorado senior goaltender Colin Champine about three minutes into Friday night’s game at The Rinx in Hauppauge, forcing the Buffaloes to search for an early equalizer.

Fifty-six minutes later, they still hadn’t found one.

Instead, the Stony Brook hockey team cashed in twice in the final minute of regulation to ensure victory against Colorado, taking down the sixth-best team in the nation 3-0.

“To me, X’s and O’s and all of that is great, but [the team] played with heart and passion,” head coach Chris Garofalo said. “You could see it. They had second and third efforts. They wanted the puck. They were being aggressive, and it showed.”

The Seawolves came into the night’s action looking to build on last Saturday’s overtime win against Delaware, which ended a three-game losing streak. Despite the positive effects of an overtime win, Garofalo says it wasn’t responsible for Friday’s strong effort.

“I think we struggled in that game, and I don’t think that helped us,” Garofalo said. “I think that it’s the importance of where we are right now in the rankings and understanding that if we go lower than 17, we’re not going to nationals.”

Stony Brook entered the weekend at No. 14 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings and in need of a win against Colorado. Its success was largely due to the stellar play of sophomore goaltender Richard Shipman, who earned his second shutout in his past four starts.

“If [the travel] affected them, it didn’t affect them very much,” Shipman said of the Buffaloes’ effort level. “I thought the entire game, both teams stayed on pace pretty well. They’re a great team, and there’s a reason they’re number six. With losing twice to Liberty and once to Delaware, we just wanted to come out and work.”

The Seawolves’ late insurance goals came from junior forward Matthew Crockett and junior forward Eli Lynn, their third and first goal of the season, respectively. While their production may have been a welcomed surprise for the Seawolves, Frank Coscia’s game winner was more expected. The goal advanced his active scoring streak to a team-leading three games.

As for Shipman, he is unsure whether or not he will get the start in goal on Saturday for the second half of the back-to-back, but he will be ready if the opportunity arises.

“I always wanted to play two games in a row and be the guy for the weekend,” Shipman said. “I never thought I’d be in a situation playing three in a row, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”