It was junior captain Salvatore DiBrita who the Lions ice hockey team relied on heavily as they split games this past weekend. DiBrita dominated on the offense, picking up six points by assisting every goal of the weekend and scoring once himself — a performance that pushed him to the top of the team’s point list with a season total of 20.
DiBrita’s play sparked the attack when the Lions rolled over local rival Princeton University, 4-0, at the Loucks Ice Center on Friday, Nov. 15, commanding for a full 60 minutes.
DiBrita scored while the Lions were shorthanded and Collins added a goal in the win, racking up 10 points for their line, while defensemen Matt Martin and Gary L’Heureux added an assist each during the night.
However, the night’s performance also highlighted two goals by sophomore Dylan McMurrer. The former defenseman was moved up to the first offensive line, playing alongside DiBrita and sophomore Kevin Collins, and has continuously proven to be a vital player on the ice.
“We were looking for a little spark to get our offense going a little bit and we thought that by moving (McMurrer) up it settled some of the lines,” coach Joseph Cucci said. “Dylan is Dylan, so anywhere you put him, he’s going to produce and he’s going to execute.”
The team skated around the Tigers all the way through, out-shooting them 50-22 and earning the shutout for senior captain and goalie David Laub, who saved 22 shots in the win.
“(There were) a lot of good things,” Cucci said. “We played a solid overall game. We had a good commitment to defense. We limited their shots. We won puck races, and when you do that and you give an honest effort with no shortcuts, you’re going to win more than you lose.”
But on Saturday night, the Lions took to their home ice again to play West Chester in an important league game that ultimately ended with a tough loss, 4-2.
While junior forward Tyler Viducic fired up the offense scoring both goals for the Lions, one on the power play, the College succumbed to unforeseen injuries on the bench.
Early in the first period, McMurrer and senior captain Alex D’Alessio went down with injuries from hard hits, forcing the two to leave the bench for the rest of the game — a tough loss of key players that the College couldn’t come back from.
“It was a very important two points that we really wanted,” Cucci said. “It was an important game, but I thought we’ve been playing some very good hockey, maybe it doesn’t show on the record but we’re building as a team.”
The Lions return to the home ice at the Loucks Ice Center seeking to redeem themselves over rival, Rider University on Friday, Nov. 22, after falling to the Broncs earlier in the season, 2-0.