The Rowan University DII ice hockey team was faced with a tough schedule this past weekend, dropping both games.
Despite two losses, the way the Profs played may help fuel the squad heading into the meat of the spring semester.
The puck dropped down at the University of Maryland on Friday night as the Profs battled the Terrapins at the Laurel Gardens Ice House.
After dropping into a 2-0 hole, Rowan forward Tucker Simmons tied the game back up before the end of the first with two quick goals less than a minute apart.
“Tuck is a great linemate,” said forward Nick Ramos. “He always seems to know where the other guys are on the ice and he finds them.”
Team captain Peter Kaz put the brown and gold in front to open scoring in the second period, but they allowed a goal to take a 3-3 tie into the final period.
In the third, the Terps tallied two goals and kept the Rowan offense off the score sheet for the remainder of the game to hand the Profs a 5-3 defeat.
Goalie Justin Natiello had 25 saves on 30 shots.
The Profs headed back north on Saturday morning before taking on powerhouse William Paterson University at the Hollydell Ice Arena.
For Rowan, they were missing two assistant coaches and a player due to the flu. Even then, both teams played as even of a first period possible, with the Profs pushing the Pioneers back on their heels before the end of the opening period.
Despite having to work a little more than usual, head coach John Caulfield was happy with the result of the first twenty minutes.
“I thought we played them [William Paterson] really well in that first period,” Caulfield said. “We kept them on their heels the whole twenty.”
All of the scoring came in the second period, and not in Rowan’s favor. The Pioneers scored three unanswered goals, two of them coming from the dangerous line of Colin Edwards, James Bobb and Scott Huber. The trio has combined for 47 goals this season.
Nick Ramos caught a home run pass from Sam Meyer for a breakaway opportunity and sniped the puck home to get the Profs on the board with just under four minutes left in the middle period.
It was all the Profs could muster on offense as they dropped the contest 3-1.
In a game that had no bearing on their rankings, the Profs left the locker room with heads held high despite the loss, which dropped their home record to 5-6 on the season and 9-12 overall.
“I thought we played a good game,” Natiello said, who had 33 saves on 36 shots, including a big save on a Pioneer 3-on-1 opportunity. “Because it doesn’t affect our standings at all, it was a good measuring stick game and we played well.”
Since William Paterson, one of the top teams in the nation, does not play in the same region, the loss did not hurt Rowan at all. While every game counts, the play on the ice was positive moving forward.
“We have to take the way we played tonight going into next weekend,” Kaz said. “We know we can start pulling these close games our way.”
The Profs will have a short workload next weekend, as they will travel to face Army on Friday and the University of Delaware on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 3:15 p.m.
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