Benner's career weekend keeps winning streak alive
The men's hockey team dominated its NECHL competition over the weekend, routing RIT 6-1 Friday and exploding against St. Bonaventure to win 9-1 on Saturday. The Bulls sit at 9-1 on the year. Brian Keschinger /// The Spectrum
The men's ice hockey team amassed 15 goals as it routed two Northeast Collegiate Hockey League rivals this past weekend.
The Bulls (9-1, 3-0 NECHL) defeated division rivals Rochester Institute of Technology (1-6, 1-4 NECHL) 6-1 on Friday and St. Bonaventure (2-1 NECHL) 9-1 the next day at the Northtown Center in Amherst, N.Y.
Junior forward Timothy Benner led the team this weekend with a combined five goals in two games, posting his first hat trick on Friday night followed by two goals on Saturday.
On his third and final goal against RIT, Benner showed the extra effort to accomplish a seemingly impossible goal, flicking the puck over the goalie's glove just as he moved over behind the net.
"The amazing thing is [Benner] is not even 100 percent," said assistant coach Steve Glick. "He's been battling upper body injuries all year long, and for him to gut that out and not even show that on the ice, you'd never know that."
Defensively, the Bulls eliminated scoring chances in situations where points were at a premium. Freshman defenseman Dimitrios Koutsomitis played a huge role in holding the Tigers to just one goal, sacrificing his body at crucial moments to help out junior goaltender Michael Musialowski.
"This is something that I love most about this team," Glick said. "I haven't had a team in years that has been top to bottom as willing to work and as willing to do what needs to be done to win a hockey game. We have a great balance on this team."
The Bulls returned to the ice Saturday night to take on the Bonnies.
Benner once again started a trend, scoring two goals in the first period to put the Bulls up 2-1 going into the first intermission.
"I think I just see the ice differently than a lot of people," Benner said. "Maybe the game is a little slower. It slows down for me. It seems like it's working and I think the guys are finishing for me."
The Bulls stayed cool as the Bonnies attempted to get them to retaliate with misplaced slashes and harsh words. Buffalo's offense prospered with a goal from sophomore Michael Schalberg and consecutive goals from senior forward Ben Lantz.
"Our guys have had great discipline all year long," said head coach Sal Valvo. "It's something we've been trying to concentrate on. It's been working."
The Bulls will return to the ice at the Northtown Center next weekend and play Ithaca (3-5, 0-3 NECHL) Friday and Cornell (1-6, 1-2 NECHL) Saturday. Both games will be at 7:30 p.m.
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