The men’s ice hockey club team started clicking just in time to post two important league wins last weekend.

UR went on the road to beat Syracuse University, 4-1, Friday and then traveled to Niagara College on Saturday for a 4-2 victory to improve to 3-2 in the Eastern Collegiate Hockey League.

“Our whole team is playing confidently, and everyone is contributing to the success,” senior captain de-fenseman Cory Rubin said.

Freshman defenseman Matt Cava-gnaro scored with assists from junior center Kevin Birchenough and freshman wing Kevin Crawford to give UR a 1-0 lead after the first period against Syracuse. Freshman forward Jared Balliet extended the lead to 2-0 in the second period.

Syracuse cut the lead to one in the third, but Balliet tallied another goal off an assist from Rubin to restore the two-goal lead.

Sophomore wing Nate Williams added an unassisted goal to complete the

scoring.

“The younger guys are playing a huge role on the team this season,” senior wing Phil Crotty said. “They have really stepped into their roles early in the season and have given us a balanced lineup.”

UR busted out with four goals in the second period against Niagara, allowing them to cruise to the victory.

The other two captains hooked up to give UR a 2-0 lead as senior center Mike Evans assisted Crotty on two goals. Junior center Kevin Birchenough added two goals to give UR a 4-0 lead.

“With the amount of talent we have at forward, we should be scoring a lot of goals and that period proved just that,” Crotty said. “If we can continue getting the amount of quality opportunities like we did on Saturday, we should be in very good shape.”

Niagara scored twice in the third period to make the game look closer than it was.

“I think [last] weekend is indicative of what this team can accomplish,” Rubin said. “[Last] weekend was fun because this team is finally playing to its potential.”

UR is now 3-5 overall and has two more league games this weekend, traveling to Washington and Jefferson College for a 9:30 p.m. game Friday and then heading to John Carroll University Saturday.

“Anything less than two victories this weekend is going to be upsetting for us,” Rubin said.

Jacobs can be reached at bjacobs@campustimes.org.



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