Hawks win to advance to conference championship

NASHUA, N.H. — One win meant a third consecutive trip to the championship for the hockey team, but standing in their way was Harvard University — a team coming off an upset win over the top-seeded Norwich University in the North Division.

The Hawks, backed by senior Marc Frederic in net, earned their spot in the American Conference Championship following a 4-2 win over Harvard Saturday.

In the first period, the Hawks dominated but couldn’t score. Late in the first, Harvard broke through, getting a puck past Frederic. As the Crimson celebrated, the referees met and then, after some consideration, decided to overturn the goal as it was ruled a Harvard player had interfered with the RWU goaltender.

The Hawks came back in the second period with three straight goals from sophomore Nicholas Hart, junior Tyler Poulin and sophomore Christian Brinkley.

The second period ended with a 3-0 lead for the team from Bristol.

It took until the 11:37 mark of the third period for Harvard to score their first of the game, but the Crimson had hopes of turning the game around. Instead, Jarod Florian replenished RWU’s three-goal lead with a goal around two minutes after the Harvard tally.

Senior Jay Cobleigh had one of the best chances of his career at RWU to score with the Crimson net empty and an open sheet of ice ahead. Stumbling after laying a hit, Cobleigh kept his legs going. He fluttered a puck down the ice from the neutral zone, but it went wide right for icing.

“I looked up, saw I had the net, chipped the puck in,” Cobleigh said. “The puck didn’t roll my way. It’s been one of those careers here.”

Penalties began to get the better of the Hawks and Harvard capitalized on one by scoring a power play goal to make it 4-2.

This was the last time the puck would find its way into either net as the Hawks won by that same score.

The game immediately following theirs determined who would face RWU in the championship.

“Deep inside, I want another crack at [St. Anselm],” Head Coach Michael O’Brien said after the win. “It would be great to see what our level of improvement was.”

The Hawks of St. Anselm survived a two-goal comeback to beat the Bentley Falcons 3-2. The win means the American Conference Championship will be a rematch of the first game RWU played this season. RWU lost 2-1 to them back in September, but after a full season of games and the trophy on the line, Roger Williams believes that history is not bound to repeat itself.