By Rebecca Taylor Bludgus
RIDER club ice hockey’s 10-game winning streak came to an end on Oct. 27, falling to Rowan 3-2; however, the Broncs redeemed themselves the next day, beating Drexel on Oct. 28 with a score of 5-4.
‘It wasn’t our greatest’
During the battle of the RUs, the Rowan Profs knocked the Broncs off their high horse for their second loss all season and first since their opening game.
Rowan got on the board early in the first for a lead that was never relinquished, with a period ending 2-0 in their favor and Rider leading in shots on goal 14-13.
The Broncs first goal of the game was set up by junior goalkeeper Trevor Giwerowski who received a rare goalie secondary assist with freshman forward Brendan MacAinsh who popped it into the goal, making the score 2-1.
Rowan got on the power play as graduate center and alternate captain T.J. Evan got sent to the box for tripping.
The one-man advantage allowed Rowan to get the power-play goal bringing its lead to up 3-1.
Determined to close the gap in the third period, Rider had a number of great attempts and scoring opportunities but were just not quite there as the Rowan goalkeeper was a menace in the net all night.
With 21.6 seconds left, Evan made the game 3-2 during a cluttered play in front of the net with senior left wing and alternate captain DJ Sucher and graduate student defensiveman and captain Eddie Coyne on the assist.
The Broncs ultimately fell to the Profs 3-2, who were their first real challenger so far.
“Today’s problem was we didn’t get outskilled, we just got outworked, preparation wise, it wasn’t our greatest,” Coyne said.
In the four games before this past weekend, the Broncs had a total of 29 goals averaging about seven goals per game.
“We did all the little things wrong today,” said Head Coach Conner Fox. “We weren’t prepared, we weren’t committed, we weren’t ready to work and when that happens, the puck doesn’t find its way in the net.”
Broncs takedown Drexel
The Oct. 28 matchup had both Rider and Drexel trying to come back from losses from the night before.
Before the game, there was acknowledgement about the game’s Pink in the Rink night in support of breast cancer awareness, with Rider wearing pink jerseys for the game.
Pink in the Rink night was a collaboration with the Mensa Singer Foundation, whose mission is to “ensure children in families affected by breast cancer have continued access to their youth hockey program and support system,” according to its Instagram.
The first period was scoreless with Rider maintaining a heavy offensive presence.
Fifty seconds into the second period, Drexel was the first on the board only for Rider to respond 17 seconds later with a goal from senior forward Dom Cerceo along with senior center and alternate captain Mark McDermitt, 2-1 but Drexel tied it two minutes later.
The Broncs took advantage of two more power plays, one having a 5-on-3 advantage with a goal from Schneider with the help of Coyne and sophomore forward Alex Blaszak, who then scored the next goal a minute later.
Drexel got a power-play goal of their own for the last goal of the period, 4-3 end of two.
Nine minutes into the third, McDermitt scored a power-play goal, making the game 5-3.
The Dragons got a major advantage after senior forward Anthony Zito received a five-minute major and disqualification for spearing.
With three seconds left, Drexel put the game within one on a goal with Giwerowski having the original save, but allowing the score on the rebound.
With 1:36 left the Broncs managed to finish the job with a final score of 5-4.
Rider will return home on Nov. 10 against Maryland at 7:30 p.m. at Ice Land Skating Center in Hamilton, New Jersey, for the Military Appreciation game.