Today: May 29, 2024

Ice owls start season off on hot streak winning first three games

PETE PAGUAGASports Editor

Sean Meenaghan — Photo Editor
Joe Innamorato celebrating one of many goals this weekend for the Ice Owls .

SCSU-7 UNH-2

The Ice Owls opened up this season playing against their cross-town rivals from the University of New Haven. The Ice Owls came out flying, scoring early and often, en route to a 7-2 win.

“They were a little nervous, the penalties definitely killed us,” said head coach Steve Novador.

Last season the Ice Owls also opened against the Chargers, but they ended in a tie after the Chargers scored with less than one second remaining.

The Ice Owls had a strong first period, tallying five goals and throwing the body around the entire period, which buried the Chargers mentally and physically.  Goals were scored by co-captain Matt D’Amato, Kyle Amarone, Evan Turek, Jesse Gillis.  Goaltender Ryan Eglinton played well throughout the period and did not allow a goal.

The second period came with penalty minutes, as the Owls and Chargers both became familiar with the penalty box.

“We need to regroup,” said Novador.

He said that if they play this way against Farmingdale on Friday, “they know that they will end up with a L.”

Even with all the penalties, the physical play and the ejection of defenseman Anthony Dercole, the Ice Owls still managed to net two goals—both by Steven Rosenkrantz. Mike Federico replaced Eglinton for the second period and faced several shots. He played well, but did allow two goals.

The third period was just the same as second, filled with hits and penalties.

“We had one even-strength shift in the third period,” said co-captain Joe Innamorato.

The Ice Owls added another goal in the third period by Rosenkrantz, his second of the game.  They also allowed another goal, this one against the Ice Owls’ third goalie of the game, Shayne O’Brien.

“We’re going to have two upbeat practices,” said Novador, “we’re going to have some positive reinforcement.”

SCSU-5 Farmingdale-4 (SO)

In a rematch of last year’s Empire Conference Championship game, there was everything you could possible want from a hockey game.  Lots of scoring, physical play, great goaltending and a shootout finish.  After three periods and overtime, the Ice Owls defeated Farmingdale State University 5-4.

“This was a huge character game,” said head coach Steve Novador, “we talked about heart and discipline before the game.”

Discipline was something that didn’t exist in the first game of the season, but the Ice Owls were more disciplined in this game taking fewer penalties.

Mike Federico started over last season’s starter Ryan Eglinton in net for the Ice Owls, his first start of the season.

“We know (Eglinton) can play on the road so we decided to play Federico at home with the support of the crowd behind him,” said Novador.

“They both deserve to play. We are expecting the same type of play from Eggs – we like the fight between them.”

The first period was relatively clean period, but the Ice Owls didn’t think they played well.

“The emotions were high for us, but the veterans kept the team composed,” said Novador.

“The first period we played nervous,” said Innamorato.

The Ice Owls were able to take the lead 1-0 going into the first intermission, with a goal from Matt D’Amato.  Federico also stopped Farmingdale on two breakaways.

“I was just trying to stop it,” said Federico, “trying to keep my angles.”

The second period started off well for the Ice Owls, getting a goal from Amarone early on, but Farmingdale would come right back scoring three quick goals.  Farmingdale scored on a deflection, a scramble in front of the net and on another breakaway opportunity.  The Ice Owls would add on a power play goal from a point shot by Michael Penna, but Farmingdale would again score right away to take a 4-3 lead going into the third period.

“I thought we played better hockey in the second period then the first,” said Innamorato.

The third period was a defensive one, both teams throwing the body and taking penalties.  The Ice Owls had two 5-on-3 opportunities and would tie the game at the end of the second 5-on-3 as Steve Rosenkrantz buried the puck in the net.

The score would stay the same for the rest of the third period and throughout the five-minute overtime.  The game would go to a best-of-five shootout.

Farmingdale scored first, but Innamorato tied the shootout one a piece after the first round.  After Federico stopped Farmingdale’s next shooter on a poke check, Amarone struck again on a slow deke, which ended with a top-shelf back hander.

“I wanted to score for Federico,” said Amarone..

That was all the Ice Owls needed, as Federico stopped the next three Farmingdale shooters to lead the Ice Owls to a big conference victory.

Coach Novador said he credits the team practices to helping them be ready for the shootout.

“We do a shootout at every Thursday-morning practice,” said Novador.

“I just stayed focused,” said Federico, “we don’t get into too many shootouts.”

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