Hockey Falls To RPI After Third Period Collapse

Ryan Jones

Twenty minutes separated Central Connecticut hockey from its fifth win of the season. A three goal tie was quickly wiped away in those 20 minutes, as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute handed CCSU its third loss of the season Saturday.

The Blue Devils were on the board quick as Riley Zimmerman scored his first goal of the season just over two minutes in.

A quick goal from RPI evened the game at one, but the opposing goal seemed to light a fire in the CCSU offense. The Blue Devils fired back with two goals of their own, one from freshman Cam O’Connor and sophomore Mason Boyhen. Boyhen’s goal was the fourth this season, tying him for second on the team.

Michael Adorno had a strong showing behind the pipes for Central Connecticut and was especially lights-out in the first. On the night, Adorno compiled athletic save after save, totaling 44 of the 50 shots he faced.

“We came out really strong in the first period. Adorno was out of his mind from the drop of the puck,” head coach Mitch Beck said. “He deserved better than what we got on the score.”

Going into the second, Beck’s message to the team was “not to let up.”

The second period was all RPI, however, putting up a quick two on Central to tie the game while holding the Blue Devils scoreless through 20 minutes.

RPI again delivered in the third. A quick goal from the Puckman gave them the lead in the final frame, one they would not relinquish.

The Blue Devils were unable to answer back, conceding two more goals to RPI before the final buzzer rang at Newington Ice Arena.

“The guys just had an off period, it’s that simple,” Beck said. “The focus and concentration wasn’t as good as we’d like.”

Despite what the final score may lead on, Beck emphasized that the blame could not put on the pads of Adorno. Whatever the case, Beck believes Adorno will take the loss off the chin and continue to keep working.

“Goal tenders have to have the mental toughness above and beyond anyone else on the ice,” Beck said. “It’s the hardest position to play in sports. You’ve got to just roll with it and go forward.”

Going forward, Beck said the teams needs to work on playing a complete game for the remainder of their schedule.

“Guys at this age have got to learn that you’ve got to play 60 minutes,” Beck said. “We didn’t and that was the difference.”

“With this one behind us,” Beck said, “we come in Tuesday ready to work and move forward from there.”

The Blue Devils will look to get back into the win column Friday, taking on Westfield State at home.