Club Hockey Splits Two Heading Into Governor's Cup

by Brian O’Neill

Central Connecticut club hockey returned to their home ice this weekend, playing Boston College on Friday and New York University on Saturday.
Central split the games with a win and a loss and after their 1-1-1 record on the road in the last two weeks, the Blue Devils now sit at 9-4-1, ranked third in the ACHA Northeast division.
The weekend opened on Friday night, with Central taking on the visiting Boston College Eagles.
From the start Boston played with an edge, controlling the pace of the game and staying on the attack. With 12 minutes left in the first period the Eagles’ attack paid off, scoring off an open puck in front of the net. Boston’s goal was the only one in the period, giving them a 1-0 lead going into the second.
The second period was much of the same, with Boston controlling the attack. 3:28 into the period, Central defenseman Matt Lis was sent to the penalty box for two minutes on a high sticking call. With the man advantage, the Eagles found the net again, making it a 2-0 game with 14:46 left to play.
Only down two, Central came out in the third looking to even the score but couldn’t beat Boston’s keeper, failing to net a goal. On the other side of the puck, Boston College tallied 4 goals in the third period, to make the final score 6-0.
“We had a team meeting, a little heart to heart before the game, to make sure everybody was on the same page,” head coach Ben Adams said of how he got his players ready for Saturday after the loss to Boston College. “[We] recovered our systems to make sure that everyone was mentally focused and knew what we wanted to accomplish in each situation.”
After the big loss to Boston College the night before, the Blue Devils had a tough matchup on Saturday against New York University, ranked second in the ACHA Northeast headed into the game.
The Blue Devils came hot out of the gate, looking for an upset.
Just three minutes in, Central took the lead when Connor Loree’s pass found Ross Burton in the slot, whose shot found the back of the net. At the 12 minute mark New York responded with a power play goal, to tie the game. The 1-1 score would hold till the end of the period.
The second opened with a Central power play that carried over from the end of the first. During the power play, Kyle Leyerzapf scored off a pass from Andrew Mazurkiewicz to make it a 2-1 game. Leyerzapf would score again with 14:34 left in the second; Loree and Brendon Quirion were credited with the assists.
The two goal lead wouldn’t last long, when New York scored another power play goal just 20 seconds after Leyerzapf’s second goal, bringing them within one. With 10:08 left in the period, though, Ross Burton broke into New York’s zone and scored his second of the night, putting Central back up two, with the assists going to Kevin San Angelo and Brendon Quirion.
“Feels great,” Burton said after game when asked about his two goal performance. “[I’ve] been struggling to put the puck in the net all year long, feels good to move out of the slide.”
After winning the ensuing face off and pushing the puck back into the offensive zone, Mazurkiewicz forced a turnover behind the net, and scored an unassisted goal with 9:55 left to play, making it 5-2. With 7:26 left, New York scored their third power play goal to pull within two. After a rebound goal with 5:05 left, New York had made it a 5-4 game going into the third.
The third period was hard fought by both teams, with New York looking to force overtime, and Central looking to preserve the upset. Backed by the stellar goaltending of Zach “Goose” Gosselin, the Blue Devils outlasted New York, winning 5-4.
The Blue Devils return to the Newington Ice Arena next weekend to host the Governor’s Cup, an annual tournament between Central, Western Connecticut, UConn, and the University of New Haven. The first game is Friday, Nov. 21 against Western with the championship game on Saturday.