Hawks club ice hockey falls short to UNH

The Roger Williams University Hawks club ice hockey team fell to the University of New Hampshire Wildcats 4-2 on Saturday night, Jan. 20.

Tyger Allen, Herald Reporter

FALL RIVER, Mass. — The Roger Williams University Hawks club hockey team took the ice against the University of New Hampshire on Saturday evening, Jan. 20 after a break of more than a month. Both the Hawks and Wildcats had impressive records coming into the game, sharing just eight losses between the two teams in a combined total of 37 contests.

The teams began the first period without much action outside of the neutral zone. Freshman Griffin Gagne, looking for a chance to strike first, carried the puck around the back of the UNH net, turned around at the faceoff dot and fired the puck on net. Wildcat goaltender Brendan Sullivan dropped down to block the shot, but the puck found its way through the glove on his right hand. The puck paused just before the goal line and a flurry of players crashed toward the net to either bat it in or keep it out. Junior Jeremy Lawton eventually overpowered the defense to put the Hawks on the board first.

All looked well for the Hawks as they entered the second period with a lead and momentum. However, the Wildcats quickly switched the flow of the game with an early period goal by catching RWU goaltender Marc Frederick out of position. The Wildcats continued this pressure throughout the period by tacking on a three-goal lead. Their second goal came on a shot from the right side of the ice that beat Frederick on the left side. UNH would not ease up on the Hawks and added another goal shortly after their second. Then, with only a few seconds remaining, the Wildcats added yet another goal on a cross-ice one-timer from the slot to go up 4-1.

“We started to get a little relaxed coming out after that [first] period,” said senior David Fasano. “They’re a good team so if we sit back, they’re going to take it to us there.”

With only one period to play, the Hawks needed three goals to get even. Only 10 seconds into the period, freshman Nicholas Hart scored his 11th goal of the season to make the score 4-2. The Hawks kept fighting to score, but Sullivan stopped their chances.

Although the Wildcats were searching for more goals, Frederick did everything he could to prevent their chances by sprawling in his own goaltender’s crease. After a UNH shot hit the post, Frederick spun around and snagged the puck before it crossed the goal line to keep it a two-goal game.

Late in the third, the Hawks needed to score twice to tie the game. With 4:55 left, RWU took a shot through a crowd, but Sullivan grabbed it to stop the play. Down in the game with 52 seconds left, Frederick headed to the bench so the Hawks could get the extra attacker. The Wildcats kept most of the pressure off their net and flipped the puck out of their zone in the final seconds of the game to secure their win.

“We won the [third] period. We had them back on their heels a little bit, so it was a good response,” said Fasano.

The Hawks play Bridgewater State University in their next matchup. The game will be their last in-conference game of the season. The Hawks defeated the Bears 4-3 in their first meeting and need the win to feel comfortable atop the standings.