Right winger Michael Galinski moving the puck in a game against Rhode Island on Friday, Oct. 28. The Stony Brook club hockey team won one game and lost another this past weekend. PHOTO COURTESY OF AZTEKPHOTOS

Big-time goaltending helped the No. 22 Stony Brook club hockey team salvage its weekend after a disappointing start.

The Seawolves (10-5-0, 7-2-0 ESCHL) played back-to-back one-game series this past weekend and split them with a win and a loss. Stony Brook dropped game one at home against the No. 7 Jamestown Jimmies 3-1 on Friday. The team then traveled to Philadelphia the next day and beat the Drexel Dragons 6-2. 

Stony Brook and Jamestown showcased their defensive abilities in the opening period, as both teams were held scoreless. The two sides traded scoring opportunities, but none that posed much of a threat to either team’s goalkeeper.

The Jimmies drew first blood in the second period when forward Carter Johnson scored on a wrist shot that went through the legs of goalkeeper Matvei Kazakov. Sloppy play from Jamestown resulted in three power play opportunities for the Seawolves, but they were unable to capitalize on any of their opposition’s mistakes.

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Stony Brook struggled to create offense in the second period and were outshot 19-9. During the period, Kazakov kept the deficit at one goal with an outstanding diving save across the crease with no stick.

Jamestown doubled its lead with 8:39 remaining when forward Kole Christensson scored on a breakaway. Stony Brook responded 25 seconds later when center Michael Conlin scored his first goal of the season while fighting off two Jamestown defenders.

The Seawolves were given their best opportunity to even things a minute later with a power play opportunity, but failed to convert. The Jimmies’ defense stepped up in the closing minutes, controlling play to secure the win. Jamestown scored an empty net goal with under five seconds remaining to put the finishing touches on.

Stony Brook’s inability to execute a man up played a critical role in the outcome, as the power play unit went 0-5 on the night. However, blame can not solely be placed on the unit, as Jamestown goalkeeper Brandon Weare saved several good shots that it created.

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“We just got snakebitten a little bit,” head coach Chris Garofalo said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “The Jamestown goalie played really well, give him credit. We just couldn’t bury it.”

Kazakov once again stepped up for the Seawolves in net, saving 39 shots on 41 chances. He made several acrobatic saves throughout the night to keep Stony Brook within striking distance. 

“He’s a rock back there,” Garofalo said. “That’s one of those guys my heart always goes out to because he always gives us a chance to win.” 

Despite only notching a single goal, the effort of the Seawolves’ offense was apparent and something Garofalo was proud of. 

“The loss obviously hurts,” Garofalo said. “But if we play that style every game and week, we’ll get more wins.” 

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The Seawolves were able to carry that effort directly into their next game against Drexel, asserting themselves in the opening minutes by creating several scoring chances.

The Seawolves found the scoreboard less than five minutes into the game when center James Kozicki scored off an assist from right winger Kyle DePalma. The Dragons evened things up with under 10 minutes left on a power play goal from forward Pat McGinley. From that point, Stony Brook controlled the pace of play for the rest of the contest. 

The Seawolves struck early and often in the second period. Just 41 seconds in, left winger Will Kormanik scored a power play goal off assists from Conlin and right winger Brandon Avezov. Stony Brook added another goal four minutes later when DePalma scored from the faceoff circle off a behind-the-back pass from Kozicki. With 7:51 remaining, center Jesse Edwards joined in on the fun when he scored off assists from Avezov and right defenseman Davin Van de Zilver. 

The Seawolves continued to apply pressure in the third period . Left winger Thomas Liebold scored his first goal of the season on a breakaway, assisted by right winger Nick Zarilli and Kazakov. 

Drexel refused to go down quietly, tallying a goal to make it 5-2 with 8:13 remaining. Stony Brook’s defense tightened up in the closing minutes, dictating the pace of play and dishing out some hard hits. Edwards tacked on an empty-netter with two seconds remaining for good measure, capping off a 6-2 victory. 

The offense rebounded after a tough night on Friday. They were able to do so by creating traffic in front of the net, something Garofalo wanted to see more of. 

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Kazakov shined in goal once again, saving 21/23 shots. Despite a relatively low amount of shots from the Dragons, the Stony Brook netminder was continually tested. Between the two games, he recorded 60 saves in 64 opportunities, good for a .938 save percentage.

The Seawolves will have some time off until their next game, as they do not play again until Dec. 2. Stony Brook will head on the road to face No. 25 Delaware for a league matchup. The Blue Hens are 8-8 on the season and are coming off a 6-0 loss to Jamestown on Saturday.

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Matt Howlin is an assistant sports editor of The Statesman. He is a junior journalism major at Stony Brook University. He previously served as the campus news editor for The Compass Newspaper at Suffolk County Community College. Following graduation, Matt plans to follow his dream of becoming a sports journalist. He hails from Coram, N.Y. and is an avid Yankees, Giants, Islanders and Lakers fan.

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