NOVA Wins: ‘We Finally Started to Play Like We Can Play’
Playing two division games in less than 24 hours, Northern Virginia Community College Ice Hockey (NOVA) had its work cut out. After last week’s devastating loss to Radford University, NOVA had spent the last week retooling its game plan and it clearly showed.
On Friday night, NOVA celebrated its fifth anniversary with a celebration puck drop with NOVA Counselors Mike Donnelly and Trevor Blair who helped start the team five years ago.
NOVA clearly came out ready to get revenge on a fast William and Mary team that had beaten NOVA just a few weeks ago. Setting the pace early was NOVA’s #19 Taylor Bachmann who scored two quick goals at 2:20 and 5:35 of the first period. Freshmen Philip Patrican, playing in only his third game for NOVA, scored from a blast from the point at 24 seconds later. William and Mary superstar put in a goal six minutes later to calm the crowd, but NOVA’s Romtin Sharolli a minute later to put NOVA up 4 to 1 to end the first.
In the second period, two quick William and Mary goals had them close the gap, but NOVA’s Steve “Grandpa” Morales put in bouncing pass from Austin Woolf to make it 5 to 3. NOVA played containment defense for the rest of the game to hold on for their first BRHC win of the year.
“It was a good win, we finally started to play like we can play,” said Coach Barrett Haga.
In the second game of the weekend, NOVA Hockey traveled down to Old Dominion for the second annual Zach Cuddeback Memorial Classic played at the AHL Norfolk Admirals’ home the 6,000-person Norfolk Scope Arena. The game was a barnburner from the start. ODU, a BRHC Atlantic powerhouse, scored first with an upper shelf snipe from star player Bill Bock.
NOVA came roaring back with the first of three goals from Taylor Bachmann. With the score all tied up at 3 each, ODU scored two quick ones in the third. NOVA called the time out and reinforced the message that they were not going to give up.
Taylor Bachmann then scored his third goal of the night closing the gap. Coach Haga pulled NOVA goalie Timmy Gonzalez who had one of the best performances in NOVA history by stopping 45 of 50 shots with 1:06 left. NOVA then pounded ODU goalie Nick Sample relentlessly with Sample making save after save to win the game for ODU.
“The team is starting to come together. They are not realizing the benefit drylands, chalk talks, and practice. We will be very competitive down the stretch,” said Haga.
NOVA Hockey is sad to report that team founder Robert Lucier passed away the other day. Rob helped to create the program 5 years ago. He was a great player and a dear friend.
NOVA Hockey’s next game is Saturday, Oct 27 in Dix Hills, New York against Suffolk Community College.