It was evident that the seniors of the Rowan men’s ice hockey team wanted their last home game in brown and gold to last as long as possible.
The team grinded out a 2-1 overtime victory on Saturday, Feb. 6, against Virginia Tech in front of a packed Hollydell Ice Arena crowd.
“It was an emotional night with senior night, and a full house cheering us on,” head coach John Caulfield said. “It was a nice boost, and a great way to close out the home schedule.”
Prior to Saturday’s game, the Profs had trouble grabbing an overtime victory; they’d lost their previous three trips to the extra period. But the team was finally able to snatch the elusive overtime win, after an Alec Nicolai goal that was assisted by senior Alekos Polis.
“[Alekos] is a leader on the ice, he plays with passion and intensity. When he’s going his line is tough to play against,” Caulfield said.
Polis’ leadership and scoring prowess, leading the team with 29 points, has been a key factor in the success the Profs have had this season. But, one of the reasons for Rowan’s success during their current, four-game winning streak is their potent power plays.
“We’re getting a lot better on the power play,” said senior Andrew Dougherty. “We got [assistant coach] JC [Caulfield] running the power play, and it’s helping. We’re starting to put in goals.”
The Profs have five goals while on the man-advantage in just their last three games, and, on the other end, even have a shorthanded goal to boot in that same time span.
Caulfield highlighted the power play as best part of his team’s game right now, but said he doesn’t know if it’s “one thing as much as a few small things” that have propelled his team to the streak they’re currently on.
Continuing the aggressive four-line style of play and cashing in on power-play attempts will be of utmost importance in order to topple the final two opponents on their schedule—the University of Delaware Blue Hens and William Paterson Pioneers. The Profs lost to both of these teams earlier in the season by scores of 7-6 and 10-1, respectively.
Caulfield isn’t looking for any type of revenge game, though, specifically against William Paterson.
“We know the game is on the horizon, but the Delaware game has immediate impact regionally, as U-Del is just ahead of us in the standings,” Caulfield said. “I expect a tightly played game with a playoff atmosphere.”
For the contest with the powerhouse Pioneers, all of the Profs are aware of the capabilities of the team from North Jersey.
Just last week, goalie Cody Reilly described the loss as “disappointing,” and Caulfield called them a “high-profile team.”
“It’d be nice to spill Willy P’s cornflakes,” Caulfield said.
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