The Rowan men’s ice hockey squad is becoming known throughout the league for its resiliency in the third period of tight hockey games.
On Dec. 7, Rowan fell just short in a comeback attempt against William Paterson University, dropping the team’s first home contest since September. However, two third period goals made things very interesting for Rowan, who had trailed by four goals at one point, but were able to cut the deficit to one score in the final period. With the loss, Rowan now sits at 12-3 on the season.
“[The comebacks are] part of what we have become known for,” said head coach John Caulfield. “One thing about Rowan is we never stop coming at you.”
Rowan struck early in the third to gain some much-needed confidence after a very slow second period.
“Ten seconds in we scored a goal,” Caulfield said, referring to the team’s third-period boost. “If you score that quick, you automatically have a momentum jump.”
Defenseman Andrew Dougherty then drilled an unassisted shot with 7:53 to play to make the score 5-4. That was as close as the Profs would get.
William Paterson came into Hollydell Arena boasting the No. 1 ranking in the northeast division. Despite the strength of their opponent, Caulfield attributed the Profs’ difficulties mostly to a second period lull.
“We played real solid [in] the first period, good tempo, good pace,” Caulfield said.
The second period, which has been an issue for the team in some games this season, did not hold the same intensity.
“We got satisfied with the effort and we just weren’t matching the effort that [William Paterson] was putting in,” Caulfield said.
Rowan was outscored 4-1 in the second period, with three opponent goals being netted in the first five minutes.
Caulfield was happy with the third period resilience, but emphasized the team needs to stay even-keel throughout a game and avoid relying on comebacks, especially against difficult opponents.
“We take pride in [the comebacks],” Caulfield said.“We need to be able to string together 60 minutes against good teams.”
William Paterson would take the game 6-4, with forward Ryan Mara recording a hat trick in the victory.
On Dec. 6, Rowan easily downed Monmouth University 14-3 on the road.
Eleven different players scored, while forwards Shane Brennan and Peter MacDonald recorded two goals apiece.
The team will face a tough league opponent in Penn State University this Saturday, Dec. 14 at Hollydell.
“This game is a league game so hopefully we get a little more intensity throughout the entire game,” Caulfield said. “They’ve had our number since I’ve been coaching in this league. Our guys are really looking forward to getting one back from them.”
The game will be Rowan’s final match of 2013, as they team will not play again until Jan. 17. The puck drops at 8:15 p.m.