After the College’s ice hockey team felt a discouraging 2-0 loss against Rider, they took the ice the following day on the main rink at the Prudential Center, where they rolled over NJIT, 6-2.
While the Lions share their home ice with Rider at the Loucks Ice Center, the Lions played as the away team – leaving bleachers swarmed with fans in red.
But it was the lack of finishing that hurt the Lions in an intense game against their rival, satisfying the packed arena with Rider apparel.
While the College admirably held its own on defensive against the Broncs, specifially displaying a highly talented back-end with the outstanding play of junior Gary L’Heureux and sophomore Dylan McMurrer. The pair has continuously stepped up as a solid wall in front of goalie David Laub and as an offensive drive, winning the puck back and skating it up into the offensive zone to the forwards, instead of just dumping it out of danger.
“The two of them played exceptional,” Coach Joseph Cucci said. “They’ve been phenomenal this year.”
The defense was also significantly backed up by the play of seniors Nick Wilenchansky, Daniel Guglielmo and junior Steven Czachor, who proved to be a solid force during penalty kills.
“Our defensive core as a whole played great, we count on those guys big time,” Cucci said.
Laub sported a fantastic showing in the defeat, perhaps his best of the season, with 30 saves, coming from powerful drives by Rider’s offensive lines.
“When Laub is on his game, you couldn’t ask for a better goalie,” Cucci said.
As scoring has been a consistent struggle for the Lions this season after graduating major goal scorers last year, but taking the ice the next day on Saturday, Oct. 26, they started showing that this team can, in fact, produce.
The College capitalized on three power plays against NJIT on Saturday, Oct. 25, with goals from freshmen forward Nick Paranzine, junior forward Billy Regan and senior defenseman Daniel Gugliemo. Junior defenseman Gary L’Heureux picked up two of the power play assists while Paranzine added the sixth goal with 2:15 left in the game.
However, the second period — what has continuously proved to be a section of trouble for the Lions — went scoreless for both teams.
But the College put the game away in the third, powering in four goals including one from sophomore Robert Notley who recorded his first goal on the team.