1982-83 Life after Death

Ice hockey was alive and well once again at the College. What remained to be seen was how well the team would do after the one-year hiatus and virtually no recruitment. Former Roadrunner defenseman Brian Gallagher and newcomer Fred Amato joined the coaching staff as Assistant Coaches.

Ramapo returned to the MCHC as a club team. The twenty-one team League was split into two divisions. Ramapo was in Division I, along with Wagner, Southern Connecticut, Nassau Community College (NCC), Kean, and Queens.

The Roadrunners dominated their opponents’ right from the start, defeating New York Maritime College 8-4 and NCC 6-3. This was an auspicious start for a program that had just risen from the ashes.

The next stop was a weekend road trip to Delaware and Maryland to renew old rivalries with the Blue Hens of Delaware and the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy. Although the Roadrunners played a close game against Delaware, losing 7-5, Navy easily blew the Roadrunners out 10-0, outshooting them 48-17.

After a 7-7 tie with Southern Connecticut, the Roadrunners put together a seven-game winning streak. The streak started with a 10-3 clubbing of FDU, followed by victories of 6-5 over Rutgers, 8-2 over Queens, 10-2 over Manhattan, 12-1 over Kean, 4-2 over Southern Connecticut, and 7-4 over Queens.

Ramapo’s streak was snapped by a CCM 5-3 defeat followed by a 5-5 tie with Wagner. At 9-1-2 in the MCHC (9-3-2 overall), the Roadrunners trailed Wagner by two points.

The Roadrunners bounced back with a 6-3 victory over Southern Connecticut followed by a 10-6 beating of Queens for the third time that season. After a 14-3 dismantling of Ocean County Community College, Ramapo beat Kean 7-3. In a fourteen-game stretch in mid-season, Ramapo compiled an 11-1-2 record, outscoring their opponents 109-51(7.8-3.6). Was this the genesis of “Super Team II”?

Most of the success of the team rested on the shoulders of first year player Dave Margolin, a transfer player from Babson College. Margolin was a one man juggernaut. In just seventeen games he scored thirty-eight goals, thirty-five assists for an incredible seventy-three points (4.29 per game). He had one hat trick, two four-goal games and one eight-goal game against Ocean Community College (14-3). In that same game, he had three assists for a total of eleven points. (Fellow line-mate, Paul Guerci, also had eleven points with two goals and nine assists.) Then, late in the season, an eye injury sidelined Margolin, greatly diminishing the Roadrunners’ chances to take the League championship.

In the final two games, without Margolin, Ramapo lost to NCC, 5-4 and Wagner College, 7-0. The Wagner whitewashing took place at The Meadowlands Arena prior to the NHL New Jersey Devils Philadelphia Flyers game.

The Roadrunners finished in second place in Division I with a 13-3-2 record, just five points behind Wagner, who went undefeated with one tie (16-0-1).

Not since the “Super Team” was there such Roadrunner excitement. Ramapo advanced to the post-season for the first time in five years. But it would be an uphill battle for the Roadrunners without their leading scorer, Dave Margolin.

Ramapo drew a bye in the first round of the playoffs. In the single elimination semi-final round, Ramapo took a 5-2 lead against New Jersey state college rival William Paterson into the third period, then gave up two goals, Ramapo managed, however, to hold on to win 5-4 and to advance to the final round.

Ramapo, Wagner, County College of Morris (CCM) and Stony Brook met in the double elimination final round. The Roadrunners opened with a 7-4 loss to CCM. Facing elimination, Ramapo beat Stony Brook 5-3. Then, Ramapo was eliminated with its second loss to CCM 5-2.

After four losing seasons in the ECAC, the Roadrunners were pleased to end a very successful season with a 15-7-2 record. Roadrunner fans were once again treated to the exciting and successful brand of ice hockey they hadn’t seen since the pre-ECAC days.

Some Ramapo players garnered League honors. Dave Margolin shared League MVP honors and was also selected to the MCHC First All-Star Team; forward Ken Manna and goalie John Yurcik were selected to the MCHC Second All-Star Team.