January 31, 2017

Jan. 29, 2017

MONSEY, NY – The Roadrunners returned to Sport-O-Rama Sunday for their final home game of the 2016-17 season. Their opponent was the Bulldogs of Yale. In a wide-open game, the score was tied 4-4 after two periods. However, a fired-up Ramapo team overpowered the Bulldogs with four third period goals. There were 13 goals scored, 3 hat tricks, and a total of 85 shots on goal. This was the first time a Ramapo College team defeated a Yale team.

Both teams got off to a sluggish start feeling each other out. Ramapo drew first blood. Dan Demarco’s shot from the left side just inside the blue line was stopped by the Yale goalie but he left a rebound that was banged home by Bobby Spetz from just inside the right faceoff circle. Time of the goal was 5:42. Yale tied the score at 7:17 when James Nicholas, Yale leading scorer, stole the puck in the Ramapo zone and fired a 20 foot shot past Keith Gay. Ramapo broke the tie at 9:32. Demarco and Kyle DeBel worked the puck around and found Keith Doherty open. Doherty sent a blistering slap shot into the Yale net from the right faceoff dot. Ramapo increased their lead to 3-1 at 17:21 when DeBel skated down the right boards cut behind the net to the left corner and fired the puck toward the Bulldogs net. The shot went off a defenseman’s skate into the net. However, Yale cut the lead to 3-2 with just 34 seconds left in the period. Nicholas netted his second goal of the game.

Yale would tie the score at 2:09 of the second period. Ramapo stormed back just 59 seconds later. DeBel hit Demarco with a beautiful 50 foot pass on the fly and Demarco buried a shot from 15 feet out. A determined Yale team tied the scored on a power play goal at 8:54. Strong end to end play by both teams could not produce another score. The period ended with a 4-4 tie.

Ramapo had allowed Yale to come back each time they took a lead. But in the third period there was a noticeable change in Ramapo’s play. They played like a team on a mission. They were aggressive and very physical. Pride was on the line. It didn’t take Ramapo long to break the tie. At 1:05 Demarco flipped the puck from inside the Ramapo zone and Debel picked up the puck at the Yale blue line and skated in alone. He deaked the goalie left and snapped the puck past the outstretched goalie. DeBel scored his third goal of the game at 5:14. Doherty and Spetz received assists. It was Debel’s 33rd goal of the season and his second hat trick in as many games. Each team traded scoring opportunities but strong goaltending turned back each attempt. DeBel and Doherty set up Demarco for his second goal of the game at 13:19. That gave Ramapo a commanding 7-4 lead. Yale could not really any sustained attack the rest of the way until the Bulldogs’ Nicholas capitalized on sloppy Ramapo play in the defensive zone. He fired the puck past Gaye for his third goal with just 39 seconds left in the period. The Bulldogs pulled their goalie and Demarco scored an empty net goal with just one second left in the game. It was Demarco’s third goal of the game. Despite the lapse of play in the last minute, the revived Roadrunners took the play to the Eli.

The first line of DeBel, Demarco, and Spetz dominated the scoring. Demarco had three goals and 4 assists; DeBel had 3 goals and 3 assists; and Spetz had one goal and 2 assists. They accounted for 7 of the 8 goals and 16 of the 21 of points. Defenseman Keith Doherty had a goal and three assists. The win gave the Roadrunners an unprecedented 22-1 record. Their only loss coming at the hands of Fordham 4-3 on November 20, 2016.

Ramapo has the next week off and resumes play at New Haven to once again face Yale on Friday, February 10. On Saturday, February 11, Ramapo travels to Mount Vernon to face off against Fordham in the last game of the regular season. Also at stake is first place in the MCHC. If Ramapo beats Yale on the 10th, they must then beat Fordham by two goals to gain sole possession of first place in the league. League playoffs start February 18.