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Around The Boards – Week #1

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 9:57 AM / Uncategorized


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Rider University Ice Hockey – Along the Boards 2015-2016, Week 1

By: Matt Metzger

The Rider Broncs (1-1-0,2pts) split their opening set of games to start the 2015-2016 campaign with a win over West Chester University and a defeat at the hands of William Paterson University. The Broncs will travel to Maryland for their first two Mid-Atlantic College Hockey (MACH) contests this weekend as they take on the University of Maryland and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Young Broncs Shine in Season Opener

 

The Rider Broncs club ice hockey program looked to start the season off on the right foot against the Rams from West Chester University. Thanks to goals by Chris Johnson (Sophomore, Freeport, NY), Michael Katz (Sophomore, Moorestown, NJ), Brett Ansbacher (Junior, Massapequa Park, NY), John Martino (Sophomore, Marlton, NJ), the Broncs skated to a 4-1 victory. A pleasant surprise early in the season was the success the Broncs found on both the power play and penalty. These two special teams units showed their strengths as Rider scored two power play goals, one shorthanded marker and did not allow power play goal despite giving West Chester eight power play opportunities. The Rider victory was backstopped by CJ Lineman (Freshman, Warminster, PA) who stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced to earn his first collegiate victory. Coming into the season the Broncs knew they would have to rely on their youth to propel them forward, seeing early success is a huge positive for Head Coach Sean Levin.

“The coaching staff was thrilled to get scorning from some of the younger players and exceptional goaltending from one of the freshmen,” said Levin. “As mentioned before, there were many question marks leading into the season and getting early contributions from some unlikely players helped us as we continue to shake off the off-season rust.”

Special Teams Sputter as Broncs Fall to Pioneers

Unfortunately for the Broncs, their opening night success on the power play and penalty kill did not carry over into their home opener. The Broncs allowed 3 power play goals after allowing William Paterson to take a mad advantage nine times at the Loucks Ice Arena. Against West Chester, Rider was able to find the net twice on the power play but the Pioneers held tight not allowing a Rider power play goal on eight opportunities. CJ Lineman stopped 40 of 47 shots and Chris Johnson added he second goal in as many games for the Broncs. Looking forward to their first MACH weekend, the Broncs will look to find some consistency in their special teams play.

“It first starts with discipline,” said Levin. “Not only with staying out of the penalty box but being disciplined in our special teams systems. Against WPU we failed to play our PP/PK systems which lead to breakdowns. WPU capitalized on our PK breakdowns.”

Loose Pucks

Chris Johnson has continues his success from his freshman year as he has recorded a goal in both games to open his 2015-2016 season.

CJ Lineman became the first Rider goaltender in a number of years not named Nate Kholodenko to record a victory for the Broncs earning his first career win over West Chester University.

Broncs by the Numbers

Goals: Chris Johnson – 2

Assists: JJ Santagata – 2

Points: Chris Johnson – 3

PIM’s: Max Daley – 4

Wins: CJ Lineman – 1

GAA: CJ Lineman – 4.00

Save %: CJ Lineman – .897

The Week Ahead

Game 3: Friday, October 2, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. (A)

To kick off their first road trip of the season, the Broncs travel to Maryland for a contest against the Terrapins of the University of Maryland (2-0-0,4pts). Last year these two teams faced off once as the Broncs skated to a 6-3 victory behind a Chris Johnson hat-trick and a 24 save performance by Kholodenko. The Terps have won two-in-a-row coming into this weekend only allowing three goals while answering with 14 of their own.

Game 4: Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 6:15 p.m. (A)

The Broncs and the Retrievers from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (1-1-0,2pts) (UMBC) will meet for the only time this season on Saturday night. Last season Kholodenko backstopped a Rider victory with a 23 save shutout over UMBC. Pat Grilli and Peter Malamud tallied third period goals to seal the Rider win.

With a short season, it is still too early to call these MACH games a must win but Head Coach Sean Levin knows the importance of earning four points.

“This is a very important weekend,” said Levin. “It’s too early to start saying these are “must wins” but the team knows how vital it is to earn four points. These are the teams we’re battling against for a regionals spot.”