Bulls drop second game of season, rebound next night
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Overall, a 10-2 record isn’t bad. It shows success, tenacity and adaptability on the ice. It shows an ability to rebound from bad games. The hockey team has a 10-2 record in the Northeast Collegiate Hockey Association.
The squad fell short on Friday against the Ithaca Bombers (4-5 NECHL) in a stunning 4-3 shootout loss. The shootout included six different shooters from both sides of the ice until the game reached a conclusion with a well-placed Bombers slap shot. But the Bulls rebounded on Saturday and dominated the Cornell Big Red (1-9 NECHL) in a 10-2 victory.
The weekend started in tumult when the Bulls fell behind against Ithaca. The first period ended with the Bulls trailing 2-1.
“I think the first 40 minutes was overall just a lack of effort for us,” said Bulls assistant coach Steve Glick. “I mean, we were due for a game like this after starting the season the way we did. Unfortunately, tonight was the night it happened. It was a bad 40 minutes of hockey.”
The Bulls took plenty of shots on net, but with most coming from the right side, they were easily managed by the hot glove hand of junior net-minder Ryan Haen.
The second period had no goals, but emotions ran high with over eight penalties between the two teams, many resulting from roughing calls.
With 5:36 left in the period, an Ithaca player rushed the net and caught Bulls junior goaltender Michael Musialowski on a bad angle. The hit left Musialowski on the ground clutching his leg for several minutes, and junior forward Chris Marsack took a roughing call for defending his goalie.
After several minutes with the trainer, Musialowski was able to finish the period and the game.
“It wasn’t really an injury, muscle or bone issue,” Glick said. “He’s had some issues with cramps in his legs in the past and this wasn’t the first time it’s happened. So he was able to get it worked out and the trainer did a good job of getting him back. He played great, so no complaints.”
The Bulls battled back in the third period and scored two goals to tie the game up. Seniors Ben Lantz-Subtelny and captain Matthew Ganci were able to bring the Bulls back with low shots to force the game into overtime.
The Bulls took off in overtime, igniting the ice with shot after shot on Haen, who stood up to everything thrown at him. The team left little for Ithaca to capitalize on.
“I mean, they came back well,” Glick said. “These guys have heart and they showed it in the third period and in overtime. It’s just, it would have been nice if it was the entire game.”
It was a battle of goaltenders in the shootout. Haen and Musialowski kept everything from their nets for five rounds of one-on-one action. Sophomore Oni Sutich took the win for the Bombers with a lights-out, top-shelf goal.
The Bulls bounced back against Cornell, and they did so in rare form. The game opened with intensity, and within the first five minutes of play, the Bulls were on the board with a goal from freshman Willie Sanchez.
Junior Shane Irwin started his first full game in net, and he was challenged early. His ability to stand tall in his first outing helped the team find the momentum it needed to dominate.
"The first period, I made a point-blank save right at the top of the crease,” Irwin said. “And I think that was kind of a momentum changer because I think we scored a minute or two right after that. I think it helped us get into the swing of things.”
The period came alive in the last 10 minutes with the Bulls scoring three goals.
The Bulls finished the second period up 7-1. Team president and assistant captain Craig Meany got on the board for the last goal of the period.
“On the power play, if I have the opportunity to shoot the puck, I’m going to absolutely take it,” said Meany, a senior defenseman. “That’s what the coach tells me, and luckily I had a good screen in front from Shane Hurley. We have a hard time finding guys on our team who want to stand in front of the net during the power play. Hurley’s not a top-line guy, but he’s willing to stand in front and take a beating and, ultimately, he made a great screen and I took a shot on net that went in.”
The Bulls scored three more in the final period.
Buffalo will be on the road next weekend to play two games against the Syracuse Orange. The games on Friday and Saturday will start at 6 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.