Hawks win big on senior night: Hockey team dominates as they head into playoffs

Tyger Allen, Sports Manager


FALL RIVER, Mass. — In the final game of the regular season, the men’s ice hockey team honored the eight seniors on the roster. Each had their custom jerseys that the team wore two weeks ago for their cancer awareness game hung on the glass outside the team’s locker room.

On this year’s Senior Night, in front of a filled student section, the Hawks dominated against a Siena College team that only had five wins going into Saturday’s matchup. RWU earned their 20th win of the season after defeating Siena 7-1.

Senior Will Sauerbrunn, one of eight seniors honored, opened up the scoring late in the first period with a shot from the slot. Junior Jarod Florian got the second goal for the Hawks as he wrapped the puck around the outstretched leg of Siena’s Alexander Casino to take a 2-0 lead into the middle period.

Siena opted to change goaltenders and Serdjan Rubin stood between the pipes with the RWU crowd surrounding him. Despite the noise from the stands, Rubin stunned the Hawks offense with key saves until senior Jonathan Panarelli’s blast from the point found its way into the net to make it 3-0.

The third goal put the spark back in the home team’s gameplay as Sauerbrunn scored his second of the game right before junior Tyler Poulin buried a two-on-one chance to put the Hawks up 5-0 at the end of the period.

Siena came back with another goaltending change to start the third as JT Turnbull took his turn for the visiting team. The Saints scored their one and only goal of the night in the third period, beating RWU’s Marc Frederic on his glove side.

The Hawks denied any idea of a Saints comeback with goals from Max Schwartz and Griffin Gagne.

After the seventh and final goal by the Hawks, the student section rained down a “warm the buses” chant loud enough that the driver might have heard the request.

Senior Night ended with three of the team’s seven goals coming off the stick of one of the honored players that night. According to Head Coach Michael O’Brien, after the season is officially over, those eight players will leave behind a team that understands success because of the work they put in.

“I was really proud of the seniors and what they’ve done is incredible,” O’Brien said. “They’ve won championships for the school and they mentor the younger kids like professionals.”

The defending champion Hawks play their only home playoff game at 5 p.m. on Thursday in Fall River. If they beat Bridgewater State, a team they beat once and tied once this season, the team will travel to Nashua, N.H. to play out the rest of the tournament.