With a shot at moving up in the conference standings and a chance to move into a spot for an automatic qualifying bid to nationals, all Southern had to do was win out, with only three games remaining in their season. First up was the Farmingdale State University Rams, who Southern had lost to twice already this season, both one-goal games. This game wouldn’t be any different as the Rams overcame a four-goal deficit in the first period to beat the Ice Owls 7-6.
“It’s disappointing,” said assistant coach Jake Bauer, “losing a 4-1 lead at home. The team doesn’t realize how good they actually are.”
Southern came out flat in the first period as Farmingdale took a quick 1-0 lead, but the Ice Owls responded quickly, with a goal by Kyle Amarone to tie the game at one goal apiece.
After Amarone’s goal, the Ice Owl faithfuls equipped with their vuvuzelas got loud and helped propel the team to a commanding 4-1 lead by the end of the first period. Goals were made by Thomas Marchitto, Mike Diglio and Co-Captain Joe Innamorato.
“We came out a little rough and were able to turn it around and made it 4-1, and we got confident,” said Head Coach Steve Novador. “The Farmingdale coach had to have ripped them apart in the locker room between periods and pumped them up.”
In the second period, Farmingdale came out flying and scored their second goal early in the period to cut the lead to 4-2. The Ice Owls responded a few minutes later, as Southern’s leading scorer Steve Rosencrantz scored to increase the lead to 5-2. Farmingdale responded by adding two more goals to end the period down 5-4, completely taking the air out of the rink and giving the momentum to themselves.
“After we were up 4-1 in the first period, we sat around defensively,” said Innamorato. “We didn’t play our game, we are a run and gun team, we score goals.”
The third period was just like the second period, with Farmingdale scoring to tie the game 5-5. Then Southern re-took the lead at 6-5 with a goal by Anthony Derocle, but that was where the scoring would stop for Southern. Farmingdale scored 26 seconds later to tie the game, and then again seven minutes later to take the lead 7-6.
Southern then went on the power play with 40 seconds left, and pulled the goalie and was on a 6 on 4 man advantage, but great defense by Farmingdale prevented the Owls from getting a good shot off.
The Ice Owls were without one of their key defensemen, Michael Penna. Coach Novador said it was tough not having him out there.
“Not having Penna on the power play and having him on at the end of the game is a big loss,” said Novador.
Novador said he is confident about where his team stands, but also how good Farmingdale is.
“This game says a lot about Farmingdale and where we got to be as a team,” said Novador. “They’re on the top and we are right behind them, again another one-goal game.”
Southern will now have to win the last two games of their season, and will have to place in the top two at the regional tournament to have a shot at making the national tournament.
“We’re pretty disappointed, they know what we lost,” said Bauer, “but now we got the road we wanted.”
The Ice Owls finish the season against Eastern Connecticut State University and then against Hofstra University.
Ice Owls vs Farmingdale