Ramapo College’s ice hockey team ended last season with a loss to the University of Binghamton in the Federation Cup. Since that point, the Roadrunners have had revenge on their minds.
“We really want to get back there and end up with a gold [medal] this time,” Eddie Dahdah, the new team captain, said in an interview. “We’re looking to build on our success from last year.”
It won’t be an easy task, as Ramapo lost last year’s leading scorer, Christopher Dressler, former captain, Luke Campomenosi, and Gary Ragusa from last season. “I’ll have to produce a little more,” said Dahdah. “I also think we have some guys who will step up. Tom [Moskal] and Rory [Maurer] are going to score a lot… Pete [Paszkiel] and Dan [Klutkoski] will step up too.”
The team is also eager for the arrival of their new teammates, including transfer student Trent Shanley. “We have a good influx of new players. [Shanley] is going to help our scoring for sure,” said head coach Mike Winters.
In addition to Dahdah being named captain, senior Rick Kimble and junior Rory Maurer were named alternate captains for the 2022-23 season.
“I know what it takes to lead and I was very excited to be given this opportunity,” said Maurer. “I know this team is very good… we just have to play for each other and have each other’s backs.”
All three new captains are entering the season with a lead-by-example type of approach, focusing their attention on the bigger goal of a championship rather than individual accomplishments.
“It’s not just me, we all know what we’re capable of,” said Kimble. “Just focus on winning games and caring about the guys around you… we’ll get there.”
Though the Roadrunners’ first game has yet to take place, the team has been holding training camp, scrimmages and team bonding exercises amid the start of the semester.
“It’s a fun group to be around,” said Winters. “They like to enjoy themselves, there’s a lot of laughter. We had a team meeting last Friday… The boys were cracking jokes here and there. The culture is really strong with this team.”
“The locker room has been awesome,” said Maurer. “All the boys have been getting really close, it’s just a great atmosphere to be in.”
As for what to expect on the ice this season, Winters says this year’s team will have “a bit more of a blue-collar approach.”
“Last year, we had a great year as far as improvements go, and there’s always room for improvements,” he said. Winters pointed to Ramapo’s loss to Farmingdale State College in last year’s Empire Division playoffs as a specific place the Roadrunners could improve.
“They threw a stat at us last year that our program has never defeated Farmingdale in regulation,” Winters said. “Everyone is pumped, we’ll be fine-tuned for those matchups and hopefully we’ll have a better result this time.”
“It’s always a tough game when we play them,” said Dahdah. “But it’s a good game, two talented teams going at it… we had a lot of success last year and we’re just looking to build on that.”
Ramapo’s first game will be on Friday, Sept. 30 against Fordham University at the Ice Vault Arena in Wayne. Each game throughout the season will be available via livestream on the team’s YouTube page.