Today: Jul 17, 2024

Southern hockey ties season opener


Pete Paguagua

Special to the Southern News

With the clock winding down and Owls hockey a split second away from celebrating a hard fought victory, cross-town rival UNH stole the air right out of the lungs of the raucous onlookers, scoring a game-tying goal with .02 seconds remaining.

With only four miles and a quick drive down college highway separating the two schools, men’s hockey was expecting to play a tough game, and in a tough game you can expect two things: loud fans and big hits.

A close game it was, as the game ended in overtime tied 3-3. Southern came out strong, feeding off the energy of the Owl faithfuls. Southern struck first on a clearing pass from the blue line by Mike Dubecky. As he cleared the puck into the zone, the puck hit off the UNH goalie and into the net for the first goal of the game.

“Mike Dubecky showed up big time on the offensive side tonight,” said history major and junior defensemen Michael Penna.

Not only was the offense looking solid at the beginning of the game, but the defense and goalies too. Southern used four different goalies throughout the game.

“The person I thought that stood out the most was our first goalie, Ryan Eglinton,” said one of the Owls captains, senior Matt D’Amato. “Coming into the season we had a lot of questions surrounding our goalie situation and I felt he came into the game ready to play. He did not disappoint, he should be a valuable asset for us.”

After the first period ended with Southern leading 1-0, most of the scoring came in the second period.

Alex Vinarski and Mike Santini split the 20 minutes in net and allowed two goals, but they were helped out by the Owl’s offense as they tallied two more goals by Mike Diglio and Tom Marchitto. The period ended with the Owls out in front 3-2.

The third period was relatively quiet; Garick Seals replaced Santini in net. Towards the end of the final period, Seals was injured on a play in front of the net, and Eglinton was called on again to get in the action.

As the period wound down and the Owl fans were getting ready to celebrate a victory, UNH went down on a two-man breakaway to score the game’s final goal.

From start to finish, the Owls owned the overtime period. They had more shots on net and more time of possession than UNH, but they couldn’t find the back of the net even with some very close opportunities.

Defensemen Tom Roche put a shot on net that got through all the players in front but the UNH goalie had it hit off his pads and was able to cover the puck. Another close call was when the other Captain Owl Joe Innamorato went to the net and it looked like the puck went in, but it was ruled a no-goal.

Eglinton said overall the Owls played great, they look strong going into the regular season. The opening game hasn’t been announced yet, but look for it on their Facebook page.

“I think we played solid, there is a lot of room for improvement as there is for every team, but we have to remember that it’s a 60-minute game and we need to play to our fullest every minute,” said Eglinton. “We need to give our best efforts until the final whistle.”

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