By Julie Kayzerman
The Lions ice hockey team is on a five-game winning streak, coming out of the weekend with two big wins over Rutgers University, 6-1, on Saturday, Oct. 17 and a 7-2 win over Seton Hall University, on Friday, Oct. 16, on home ice at the Louck’s Ice Center. The Lions are now 6-1-1 in the season.
In the midst of a high-scoring weekend, sophomore defenseman Dillon Yasser and junior forward Nick Mancini each emerged with their first collegiate goals.
Yasser found a way to poke his first goal through in the Seton Hall matchup, and topped off his weekend with an unassisted snipe from the point to put the College past Rutgers, 1-0, at 7:11 in the first.
Mancini scored his goal on an unassisted play that stemmed off a rush from junior forward Will Sulpizio about 13 minutes into the first.
This weekend was Sulpizio’s first time back on the ice since he sustained a concussion during preseason of last year. Sulpizio, a standout forward during his freshman year, was a forceful presence on the ice this weekend. He assisted junior forward Mike Lisciandro, who scored off a faceoff to put the Lions up, 2-0, over the Scarlet Knights in the first.
“Sulpizio brings a ton of speed and energy and he works hard,” assistant coach Paul Batcho said.
With 1:03 left in the first, it was senior captain and forward Salvatore DiBrita who dished the puck into the net off an assist from co-captain junior forward Kevin Collins.
“Sal is our team leader, he leads by example but also vocally, he’s our leader,” coach Andrew Ducko said. “He’s just a good team guy, he motivates his teammates, he’s very responsible and very mature. That’s part of the reason we have success, because we’ve got a guy like him.”
The second period highlighted solid defensive play from senior captain Matt Martin alongside freshman Matt Liebers. The pairs of sophomores Dylan McMurrer and Yasser and seniors Steven Czachor and Alex Moskal also stood tall in front of senior goalie David Laub.
The College’s fifth goal came with just 28.9 seconds left in the second. Martin took a wrist shot from the point and sophomore forward Peter Hansinger deflected it in for the Lions’ fifth goal of the game.
“Hansinger has been bringing a lot of energy to our team,” Ducko said. “He competes every shift and he’s a very skilled player.”
The final period broke out with the College’s sixth goal from sophomore forward Nick Paranzine off an assist from senior forward Tyler Viducic to complete the Lions’ points for the night.
“I’m satisfied with the way my leaders are behaving, the way my depth players are behaving,” Ducko said, “and I’m very happy with my coaching staff, my support group.”
Laub came up big with 37 saves to keep the Scarlet Knights to just one goal.
“The kids get along very well,” assistant coach Steve Hendershott said. “It’s a great bench, very positive and that enables them to do things from behind. It’s a good healthy environment and it’s paying off.”
The Lions hit the road to take on West Chester on Saturday, Oct. 24, and return for a home game against Rowan University at the Sun National Bank Center on Sunday, Oct. 25, at 5:30 p.m.