Rutgers splits the season series with Oswego State, winning in a shootout thriller Friday night and then falling in regulation for the first time this season.
Photo Credit: Steven Wojtowicz
Your Rutgers University Ice Knights continued conference play this past weekend against the Oswego State Lakers and split the season series. They won in a thrilling shootout Friday night after tying the game in the last minute of regulation and falling 4-0 Saturday afternoon for their first regulation loss of the season.
Friday night’s affair was their second game to go past regulation but thankfully, the outcome was different. Rutgers got on the board first about seven and a half minutes into the game, courtesy of Tyler Gutierrez with assists from Griffin Privitera and Mathew Sanchez. Oswego would tie the game a minute and a half later with a goal from Kyle Mcnamara (assists from Luke Myers and Adam Marvin) and those three reconnected for another goal to take the lead. Towards the end of the first frame, Tyler Allen tied the game for the Ice Knights with helpers from Cole Asroff and Joe DeLandro.
The only goal scored in the second belonged to Oswego’s Sean Mooney and the Lakers would extend their lead to two early in the third. However, Rutgers wouldn’t go away so easily. Goaltender Chris Fiorillo settled in and made a couple of huge saves, allowing freshman Jake Goldstein to pull Rutgers within one about halfway through the final frame, assists from Asroff and Ian Zyvith.
After Oswego’s Martin Simanek (interference) and Theodore Cup (slashing) were sent to the penalty box, the Ice Knights had a minute and a half of a 5-on-3 power play but could not find the back of the net. They continued to push and with just 56 seconds left in regulation, Gutierrez found the back of the net.
When asked about his thought process on the goal, Gutierrez said, “I don’t even know. It just happened so fast. I didn’t even know how much was left on the clock and I think Griffin gave it down to Josh and he just threw it to the net and I was just battling in front and it hit off and it was in slow mo.”
It was in slow motion for everyone else watching too but it allowed the team to continue fighting and push for a complete comeback. The clock ran out and both teams would head to a five-minute overtime. Both teams had their chances but after DeLandro took a questionable holding penalty about two minutes in, the team had their work cut out from them. Fiorillo came up huge in net and the penalty kill did their job, not allowing the Lakers to score. Overtime came to an end and the game went to a three-round shootout.
Fiorillo saved the first two Oswego attempts and Josh Kim scored for the Ice Knights, giving them the edge. All Fiorillo had to do was make the next save and he did, helping Rutgers secure their fourth win of the season. He made 33 saves overall.
Kim, on his shootout attempt: “Rock [Fiorillo] made two good saves. I went on the ice having the mentality of “we gotta get in the lead” so I watched the first move, Priv’s. The goalie was moving side-to-side so I tried to get him to go one side and then the other so I beat him glove side so yeah that’s about it.”
The team hoped to carry that momentum into Saturday afternoon’s rematch but despite playing their best game of the season so far, they came out with a loss. The Lakers first scored seven minutes in and Rutgers had a chance to tie it when Gutierrez had a wide open net but hit the post. The team had their opportunities all game and continued to push but could not convert. Goaltender Alex Gallose made all 20 saves for the shutout.
After the game, Privitera said, “Yesterday we got off to a slow start but we came back and got the win in a shootout. Today was actually the best 60 minutes we played all year and we didn’t get our bounces. They got a couple bounces and their first goal was a weak goal on our goaltender and they carried momentum but overall, today was the best game we played.”
Gutierrez also said, “I think it sets a nice reality check because we played good. We just couldn’t get the bounces. That’s just reality, just how it goes sometimes. That just shows that you gotta work for your bounces. It’s not just one. It just shows how hard we have to come next week.”
He continues, “We’re young. We have a lot of young guys and we have some injuries so I think we’re still finding our game but we’re getting better every game. I thought we played real well today. Opportunities were there, we couldn’t finish. I had a wide open net and hit the post. It’s tough and sometimes that’s just how the game goes. We’re battling and we’re getting better every game. I really feel confident in the group of guys in the locker room.”
The team moves to 4-1-1-0 on the season and they’ll get their chance to bounce back this upcoming weekend in a home-and-home against Stony Brook. If they keep playing the way they have been, the rest of the season looks very promising.