Rider explodes for 15 goals in two wins

By Rebecca Bludgus

Rider club ice hockey took down Montclair State on Oct. 6 and St. Joseph’s on Oct. 8 to stay unbowed since its Sept. 22 home opener, putting its record to 6-1. 

The Broncs faced off against the Red Hawks, shooting them down 7-3 and having a 45-15 advantage in shots on goal. 

In the first period, Rider repeatedly attacked the Red Hawks on the defense, but Montclair ultimately struck first on a power-play goal, making it 1-0.

Freshman goalkeeper Louis Bizzoco received his first start in front of the net.

“It’s not … indicative of how [Bizzoco] performed, but how we performed in front of him,” said Head Coach Conner Fox. “They battened down the hatches in front of their net and kept us out of there until the third period.”

They responded almost immediately after senior forward Mark McDermitt scored on a power play with sophomore forward Aaron Pape and graduate student defenseman Eddie Coyne on the assist to tie the game at 1-1.

Montclair opened up the scoring in the second period and went up 2-1 by taking advantage of another power play.

It wasn’t long until the score was knotted up again with a goal from senior defenseman Nicholas Pedulla and an assist from senior forward Anthony Zito.

Coyne gave the Broncs their first lead of the game by going top shelf for his first goal of the year, with the assist from junior forward Cole Schneider, 3-2.

“It was on the power play, finally getting something going,” said Coyne. “We went two games there, probably six periods, with no power play so it was nice to finally get a couple today. I think my unit went three for three and the other unit went one for one so it was great.” 

Graduate student forward T.J. Evan scored Rider’s fourth goal with senior forward D.J. Sucher on the rebound. Montclair’s last goal came at the end of the second period, making the score 4-3 heading into the third.

In the last act, Rider scored three goals: McDermitt got his second goal of the night with Schneider on the assist, and Zito scored off an assist from freshman forward Ryan Kenna to close it out. 

Freshman forward Brendan MacAnish earned his first goal as a Bronc with Schneider on the assist. 

“It’s cool because Cole Schneider is our top points scorer … it’s good to learn off him, expand on what he knows, and I think I’m going to learn a lot with him,” MacAnish said. In net, Bizzoco earned his first win as a Bronc.

 “It’s just great, getting the first college start and winning. Good experience, I’m excited and happy,” said Bizzoco.

Schneider, Atlantic Coast Conference player of the week, had a three-point night with just assists, and McDermitt led the night in goals with two. 

Rider’s Oct. 7 game against Marist was canceled due to transportation issues for the Red Foxes.

The Broncs regrouped on Oct. 8, shutting out St. Joseph’s 8-0.

In 60 minutes of play, St. Joseph’s was only able to get 18 shots on goal, while Rider outshot the Hawks by a monster amount with 63 shots on goal.

The Broncs opened their season with their only loss, which was  against Lehigh, and have won six straight since.

“As captain, I stick to all the mental aspects of the game, showing up to the rink on time, showing up prepared, trying to lock in, stuff like that. You just gotta do every game; it’s so important,” Coyne said.

Since the home opener in September, the Broncs have cleaned up their game by passing more and keeping possession of the puck.

“We’re getting settled,” Fox said. “We’ve got a lot of new guys who are maybe a little antsy at this level, but, I think we are kind of finding our groove and our touch.”

Rider next travels for a pair of road games against Maryland on Oct. 13 at 9:20 p.m. and Stevenson on Oct. 14 at 4 p.m.

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