The Ramapo College roller hockey team came away with a 6-5 overtime win on Sunday against Rutgers University in Old Bethpage, N.Y.
Captain Jeremy Higginson scored two goals, including the overtime winner as the Roadrunners earned their third win in four games to start the regular season.
Senior Kevin Wilson also scored two goals in the game, and senior goaltender Nick Calabrase made 21 saves to help lift the Roadrunners over the Scarlet Knights.
“The best player on the rink was our goalie, Nick. He played phenomenal, especially when we needed it most,” Higginson said. “He really kept team morale up while the rest of us weren’t playing that well.”
The Roadrunners opened the scoring when senior Rob D’Argenio put the puck past Rutgers goaltender Nick Catanella for his second goal of the season 9:36 into the game.
Rutgers freshman Blake Adams tied the game less than a minute later on a pass from 24-year-old Michael Kavka to tie the game before the end of the first period.
Adams scored his second of the game just 1:20 into the second period off a pass from junior Kyle Wolf and put the Scarlet Knights up 2-1.
The Roadrunners then rallied to score three goals in seven minutes to take a 4-2 lead into the third.
Higginson forced a turnover and scored off a quick rush to even the game before Wilson scored back-to-back goals 6:12 and 10:26 into the period.
Senior Mike Chiaffarelli assisted on the first goal, and junior Dan Cohen made the pass to Wilson on the second.
“It was a great pass from Dan Cohen through the middle of the rink with Rutgers’ defense playing conservatively,” Wilson said. “The defense let me walk into the slot so I figured I would take low hard shots and make sure I hit the net.”
Just 2 1/2 minutes into the third period, Kavka scored his second of the game to bring the Scarlet Knights within one.
The Roadrunners were killing a tripping penalty on junior Mike Montalto when Cohen recovered the puck from the Scarlet Knights’ power play unit and went on a breakaway and shot the puck in the top corner of the net.
Soon after, the Roadrunners took another untimely penalty, and Nicholas Santaniello, 20, took advantage of the power play with Higginson in the box for cross-checking, and beat Calabrase to make the score 5-4 with less than half the period to go.
With less than four minutes to go, Santaniello made a pass to 19-year-old Trevor Wilinski, who found the back of the net and tied the game.
The Roadrunners came out hungry in overtime and had several chances to end the game as they registered five shots in the extra minutes, keeping the Scarlet Knights to zero.
It was not until the last seven seconds that Higginson scored his second of the game, as he picked up a loose puck, skated to the net and decked the goalie.
“It was a great effort from the whole team; we were able to get that OT goal and get the win and two points,” Higginson said.
With the win, the Roadrunners improved to 3-1 on the season and are tied with Cornell University and Kutztown University.
On Saturday, Ramapo lost to Cornell 6-2, but beat Kutztown 6-5, and Syracuse 3-2, to earn six points in the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association Division Three standings.
Rutgers earned their only point of the weekend in the overtime loss and are now 0-3-1. Rutgers lost to Syracuse 12-1, later in the day to Cornell 8-1, and Kutztown 3-1 on Saturday.
Three teams, Slippery Rock University, Niagara University and Temple University were not in action and will kick off their seasons in Lemoyne, P.A. on Nov. 9.