Rutgers heads up north to take on NECHL opponent Buffalo in a series that should have major implications on the conference standings.
Photo: Katherine Schellin
Rutgers (8-8-2-0) opened up the spring semester with an overwhelming 15-2 win over the Temple Owls last Friday night and will face NECHL opponent Buffalo (16-6-3-1) on the road this weekend in a series that will have major implications on the conference standings.
Buffalo: Buffalo began the season with wins over the U.S. Naval Academy and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, followed by a pair of losses to Western Michigan. They split the series with John Carroll and defeated Pittsburgh 3-1 before beating Canisius 3-2 and losing to Cornell 5-4. They defeated Canisius again (5-2) and posted three more wins against out-of-NECHL opponents before emphatically defeating RIT 8-1 and losing to Niagara 3-2. They then beat Cortland 5-3 and Oswego State 8-1. They split the series with Robert Morris and beat Mercyhurst 2-1 twice to close the fall semester.
They opened the spring semester with 4-3 (overtime) and 4-1 losses to Drexel and then a pair of 3-2 wins (one in the shootout) over Rhode Island. Last weekend, they fell in overtime to Niagara 3-2; Richard Ledyard and Austin Pieniaszek scored the Buffalo goals and goaltender Ian Shorthouse made 22 saves in the loss.
Wesley Austin leads all Buffalo skaters in scoring with 30 points (10G, 20A) in 26 games played followed by Michael Lask with 23 points (8G, 15A) in 23 games. Jacob Kantor has 21 points (9G, 12A) in 26 games followed by Ledyard with 19 (10G, 9A) in as many games. Eight of Ledyard’s 10 goals have been on the power play. Cole Schiffman leads all skaters with four game-winning goals.
Goaltender Ian Shorthouse has a 9-3 record through 16 games with one shutout, a 2.08 goals against average, and a .922 save percentage. Maxwell Battistoni has a 7-3 record (10 games played), a 2.57 goals against average, and a .906 save percentage.
Rutgers: the Knights began the season with a sweep over Villanova followed by two series splits against NECHL opponents Cortland and Oswego. They were swept by Stony Brook and RIT but snapped a five-game skid with a series split on the road against Niagara. They swept Cornell and won those games 7-4 and 4-2. In their last weekend before winter break, they lost three straight to Rhode Island and NYU.
With both games against William Paterson postponed, the Knights started the spring semester with a 15-2 win over Temple. Captain Griffin Privitera and Assistant Captain Mathew Sanchez tallied four goals each; Privitera also had four assists. Freshman forward Josh Kim also tallied a hat trick in addition to his four helpers. Ian Zyvith had a goal and three assists while Joe DeLandro and Tyler Allen had three-assist nights; six other players also found their way onto the score sheet.
Privitera leads the team in scoring with 31 points (13G, 18A) in 18 games played with Kim just behind with 29 (18G, 11A) in 18 games. Kim has also tallied five shorthanded goals and three hat tricks this season. DeLandro has 19 points (8G, 11A) in 18 games and Allen has 18 points (4G, 14A) in 17 games. Sophomore Sean Lippincott leads all defensemen in scoring with 15 points (4G, 11A) in 10 games.
Goaltender Brandon Schellin picked up the win over Temple last weekend; he has a 4-3 record through nine games played; he has a 4.08 goals against average and a .880 save percentage. Junior Chris Fiorillo has a 4-5 record through 12 games, a 5.35 goals against average, and a .860 save percentage.
This weekend has major implications in the NECHL standings. Heading into this weekend, Rutgers is 5-3-2-0 (16 points) in the conference and sits fourth, one point behind Niagara and Buffalo (tied for second with 17 points) and two behind Canisius (first with 18 points). Niagara leapfrogged Rutgers in the standings with a 3-2 overtime win over Buffalo last weekend.
If Rutgers can win both games in regulation this weekend, they’ll earn six points (three for each regulation win). An overtime or shootout win is worth two points, an overtime or shootout loss is one point, and a regulation loss is zero.
A few other NECHL teams are also in play this weekend: RIT plays Niagara tonight and Oswego State tomorrow, while Oswego State will also play Cortland on Sunday. Canisius is not scheduled to play at all this weekend and Cornell faces out-of-conference Temple tomorrow.
Both games are scheduled to be played at Northtown Center at 7:50PM tonight (Friday, February 1) and 4PM tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, February 2).