DIII Team Wins Inaugural Game
COMMENT | PRINT
Last Saturday night, the University at Buffalo DIII Ice Hockey Team hit the ice for their first ever game against D’Youville College. With only 6 separating the team’s inception and the opening face-off, it could be easy to assume things would not go well for the Bulls squad.
However, coaches Jim Doersam & Frank Vecchio had no doubts about their team’s potential ensured they would be ready for their first test. The team started a bit shaky for UB as they seemed to have trouble clicking early in the first period. A few errant passes and untimely penalties led to an early goal for the Spartans and a 1-0 first intermission lead. The Bulls turned it on late in the period and ended up putting 12 shots on net, hinting at things to come.
“Even though we out shot them in the first they were low quality shots. After some minor adjustments in the intermission and some time to let the boys talk it out, they came together well and played hard for each other and especially for Liam.” explained Coach Doersam.
With team captain Joe Laffin (Sr) showing the way with his leadership and hard work, UB took control of the momentum in the second. Laffin’s linemate, James Faran (So) netted the teams first ever goal to tie the game early in the period and defenseman Connor Delaney (Fr) gave the Bulls their first ever lead a short time later with a blast from the point. Faran chipped in his second to increase the lead to 3-1 while goaltender Liam Robinson (So) was stellar in net turning away 12 shots in the frame.
In the third, Buffalo went into shutdown mode. With excellent depth at defense and a workman’s like mentality by the forwards, D’Youville was only able to muster a few chances to get the game close. The Spartans were forced to press on a late powerplay and defenseman Brandon Gonzalez (Fr) was able ice the game for UB with a shorthanded goal. Robinson would take over from there, turning away 9 more Spartan shots to preserve the 4-1 win.
Needless to say, Coach Vecchio was thrilled with the evening. “It was extremely exciting to be a part of the inaugural game for this newly created program and working closely with [Coach Doersam] has been great. The players have worked very hard to get ready for this game and although we started out a little out of sync, we played better and more as a team as the game went on.”
As the DIII Bulls continue their spring exhibition schedule, expectations are surely to rise. With 6 more games on the docket, players are going to have plenty of opportunities to contribute and impress as the team prepares for league play beginning in 2013-2014.
“I was and still am very excited for the opportunities that this program provides for the players” Vecchio added.
GAME NOTES: Team captains were announced shortly before winter break with Laffin earning the “C” while Faran and defenseman Sean Whelen (Jr) were named alternates. Robinson earned high praises from his coaches as he turned away 27 of 28 shots. Aside from Faran & Laffin, every other player in line-up was playing in his first ever collegiate hockey game. There were 58 combined penalty minutes in the game.
NEXT GAMES: The DIII team is back in action on Friday, January 25th @ 8:30 PM as they travel to Genesee Valley Ice Arena in Rochester to take on the University of Rochester. The next home game is Saturday, January 26th @ 10:00 PM against SUNY Brockport. The game will follow the DI senior night game against SUNY Oswego which begins at 7:30 PM.