Rowan Division II ice hockey awaits first round MACH Tournament game versus Rider University

(From left to right) Christopher McDermott, Anthony Steffe and Frank Steffe look onto the ice before a game this past weekend. Assistant Photo Editor/Miguel Martinez

The Rowan Division II Ice Hockey team had one last tune-up before the postseason gets underway next week.

The Profs held their senior night at Hollydell this past Saturday before their game against Stevenson University.

Justin Natiello, Aaron Segnello, Peter Kaz, Lewis Claps, Kyle McGovern and Christopher McDermott were honored before the game.

When the puck dropped, there wasn’t much trouble on the table for Rowan, as Stevenson only showed up with seven skaters and a goaltender. This meant that only two skaters would be on the bench at all times, not allowing the Mustangs to get a full line change for the entire game.

Rowan’s puck movement, plus the fatigue of Stevenson’s skaters due to long shifts, led the Profs to a 12-2 win.

McDermott netted two goals in his final game at Hollydell, a feat that he will cherish after he graduates.

“It was definitely a memorable night,” McDermott said. “It’s a memorable night for all of the seniors so this definitely tops it off the right way.”

Goalie Justin Natiello stopped 17 of the 19 shots he faced. On his senior night, Natiello reflected on his journey from being on the bench to playing all but one period during his senior season.

“I’ve built friendships that will last a lifetime,” Natiello said. “When I think back to my time at Rowan, I’ll always think of Rowan Ice Hockey.”

Bobby Penrod had two goals to match McDermott. The other eight goals came from Kaz, Thurston Schon, Tucker Simmons, Sam Ahern, Nick Ramos, Sam Meyer, Trevor Rucci and Anthony Dellerose.

Despite the 10 goal victory, head coach John Caulfield doesn’t believe the win will propel Rowan any higher before the reveal show on Valentine’s Day.

“I’ve been looking around on Twitter and it looks like everyone else is winning, so I don’t think we’ll move much,” Caulfield said. “The important thing is that this win keeps us in the top ten.”

The Profs now turn their attention to the MACH Tournament next Friday, where they, as the third seed in the MACH North, will face second-seeded Rider University in a big rivalry game. The winner of that game will face the winner of the #1 Penn State vs. #4 Wagner contest. 

In the MACH South, the shorthanded Stevenson Mustangs will take on top-seeded Liberty University while Maryland does battle with Delaware.

Stay tuned to The Whit for more Rowan Ice Hockey and MACH Tournament coverage.

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