From start to finish, the Southern Ice Owls seemed one step behind the Fairfield Stags, which resulted in the 4-1 loss in the season opener.
“They were a good team,” said Jake Bauer, the Ice Owls assistant coach.
Teamwork was the one thing that both head coach Steve Novador and assistant coach Bauer stressed after the game.
“We need to start trusting each other out there,” said Novador.
Teamwork is what will help us win, said Bauer.
In the first period, Southern came close to scoring first, but the referee ruled that the puck didn’t go in the net and right after Fairfield went down and scored to take the lead 1-0. Three minutes later, Southern scored on an acrobatic play, as Tom Marchitto was tripped and in mid-air hit the puck out into the net to tie the game at 1-1.
Fairfield added one more goal before the period ended on a mind lapse by goalie Ryan Eglinton, who tried to play the puck and passed it to a Fairfield player, who had an open net shot and finished to put Fairfield ahead 2-1 at the end of the first period.
Southern almost scored again in the second period, as the play developed in front of the net, and the puck kicked around. It landed on Joe Innamorato’s stick with a wide-open net in front of him. As Innamorato took the shot, Fairfield’s goalie slid across the crease to make a great save with his glove to rob Innamorato of his first goal of the season.
Fairfield added two more goals before the second period ended.
During the period, Eglinton was pulled after letting in the fourth goal and replaced by Garreck Seales.
“I though Garreck Seals played well,” said Mike Dubecky, Ice Owls defenseman, “he came into the game after we let up some questionable goals and he shut out Fairfield for the rest of the game.”
Fairfield took over the game in the second period, the two goals being just a snapshot of their dominance.
One thing that Southern struggled with was the power play.
“We have to execute on the power play, one goal isn’t going to win us games,” said Bauer.
Southern had five power play opportunities; however, they didn’t execute once during the man
advantage. During the third period, Southern was on the power play, when Fairfield was called for a double minor, which is when a player gets four minutes in the penalty box. This meant that Southern was on a two-man advantage for the next minute and half. Southern even pulled their goalie to make it a six on three-man advantage and still they couldn’t find a way to put the puck in the net.
“We need to work on burying rebounds in the back of the net, winning battles along the boards, and hitting the net when we shoot,” said Innamorato.
Southern is now 0-1 to start the season. Their next home game is on Nov. 5 against Eastern Connecticut State University at the Lou Astorino Arena in Hamden. In the battle of the Connecticut State Universities, they will be the blue crew, meaning every fan should dress in blue and help cheer on the Ice Owls to victory in their home opener. The team, which does not have a set schedule at this point, will update its upcoming games on the team’s Facebook group, SCSU Hockey ‘10-‘11