1979-80 Oh, for the MCHC

In their eighth season the Roadrunners took on a more ambitious schedule than ever before. In a twenty¬ four team ECAC Division III, Ramapo had seventeen ECAC games on the schedule. Besides Army-JV, Navy, Princeton University Varsity Club, Lehigh, Quinnipiac, Fairfield, Villanova, RIT, Trinity, and Iona, Ramapo would face Worcester State College, Fitchburg State College, Nichols College, and West Chester State College. The big question was how this young team would fare against such stiff competition. The gradua¬tion of both Harry Maynes and Russ Tricoli left a tremendous void in the Roadrunner lineup. When the program ended in 1984, Maynes and Tricoli still held their spots as the team’s number one and two leading scorers.

Following a brilliant playing career, Harry Maynes joined the staff as Assistant Coach. Head Coach Chill hoped Maynes’s determination and knowledge of the game would guide and inspire this team of seasoned veterans and eager freshmen.

The Roadrunners opened the season well, winning their first three ECAC games. After a 5-4 win over Quinnipiac, Ramapo spoiled Fairfield’s season opener in Bridgeport with 3-2 overtime victory, the first over the Stags. The third consecutive win came against Upsala 4-2. After a 2-2 tie with Army JV at West Point, the Roadrunners had a 3-0-1 record. Not since the “Super Team” had Ramapo gotten off to such a quick start.

After a 5-4 loss to Lehigh, the Roadrunners could muster only three goals in the next three games. They lost to Princeton Varsity Club 7-1, Lehigh 4-1, and Worcester State 6-1. They then won 7-5 over Upsala. The Roadrunners lost to Queens 5-4, lona 7-4, and Trinity 11-3. Then Upsala gave the Roadrunners a 6-5 victory in overtime.

As positive as the first four games were, the next eight proved to be a disaster. A combination of many things – lack of scoring, too many penalties, and lack of experienced players to step up – sent the team into a deadly tailspin. The team lost four in row and seven of eight. The schedule was the most difficult of the season but the team should have realistically split the eight games. A 6-5 overtime win over Upsala stopped the three-game slide, but consecutive shutout loses to Fairfield 6-0 and Fitchberg State 5-0 left the demoralized Roadrunners at 5-9-1 (4-8-0 in ECAC games).

Ramapo turned once again to the annual Crab Pot Tournament at the Naval Academy to attempt to salvage the season. This time they entered the tournament as defending the champions. The Roadrunners opened with a close victory over West Chester State College 3-2 but Navy overwhelmed Ramapo 9-3 in the championship game. The Middies jumped off to a 5-1 lead after one period and never looked back. Navy team captain John Knight once again scored four goals against the Roadrunners to capture the tournament MVP. Navy avenged their loss of the Crab Pot the previous year. The rivalry continued, with each team having won three games since their first meeting in March of 1976.

With seven games remaining, Ramapo needed to go at least 5-2 in order to get to the .500 mark. This was a tall task for a team that had experienced two¬ three-and four-game losing streaks earlier in the season. Nevertheless, the team played competitively in losses to Iona 4-2, and Villanova 4-3 in overtime. A 6-1 dominance of New Jersey state college rival Kean was followed by a 5-4 loss to Nichols. In the only meeting ever with Glassboro State, Ramapo routed the Profs 9-3. Then, after a 5-2 victory over Quinnipiac, Ramapo ended the season with a loss, getting trounced by RIT 9-3.

For a third consecutive year, ECAC competition denied Ramapo a winning season. Although Ramapo had won six ECAC games this season (6-11-0), which equaled the combined number of victories achieved over the past two seasons (6-18-2), the Roadrunners were considering leaving the ECAC and returning to the MCHC. There, Ramapo had dominated the com¬ petition to win two consecutive League Championships in the MCHC and amassed a regular season and playoff mark of 72-18-6. Three years in the ECAC yielded a disappointing 12-29-2 record.