With the Rowan Division-II ice hockey team losing at regionals last weekend, some may have thought that Rowan hockey season was over.
The Division-III team, on the other hand, still had one last chance to bring home some sort of hardware to the Hollydell Ice Arena with their appearance in the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference (DVCHC) National Division Championships this past weekend.
The games were originally scheduled to take place at IceWorks Skating Complex in Aston, Pennsylvania, but following Friday’s nor’easter, the rinks lost power and were not operational by the time Saturday came around.
At the last minute, the league moved the tournament to the Flyers Skate Zone in Pennsauken, New Jersey.
The Profs faced against the University of Delaware in the division semifinals with a trip to the championship game against George Mason University on the line.
It was a short-lived stay in the bracket for Rowan.
The Profs dropped the game 5-2, as they could not capitalize on 41 shots on Delaware goalie Forrest Hines.
Rowan came out aggressive with a plethora of shots and offensive momentum in the first period, but Delaware went down into the Rowan zone and squeezed two shots past goalie Ryan McCusker, who had a shutout against Southern Connecticut State at regionals last week.
Less than two minutes into the second period, Joseph DiPasquale continued poking away at Hines after a Brandon Mead shot to slip one by and get on the board. The momentum was short-lived.
Delaware went up 4-1 by the end of the second period. With less than four minutes left in regulation, Darren Raudenbush scored off of his own rebound to get the Profs back to within to two goals, but the Blue Hens deposited the empty netter to seal the game.
The Profs came up a game short of nationals for the second year in a row, and a quick exit from the DVCHC tournament only made the defeat that much more bitter.
The D-III squad now undergoes a transitioning and rebuilding period. The most important position out of the ones that are graduating is in net. Both goaltenders, McCusker and Justin Widener, are graduating and will leave head coach Bruce Kocenski with some holes to fill.
The Rowan hockey program goes into the off-season with the usual questions of who will step up next season and continue to take the program to prominence.
The D-II team has a young core that stepped up this year, making the squad dangerous for the next three to four years and the D-III team will have nationals in their sights once again.
For now, the season comes to an end and leaves us with the words of legendary Flyers broadcaster Gene Hart:
“Good night and good hockey.”
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