3/13/2013 – Raider Field; Nashua, NH – The Rivier University Raiders used a steady approach in building their lead throughout the first 3 quarters to knock off their most recent opponent the Thomas College Terriers 14 – 4. Rivier led by 3 after the 1st quarter, built their lead to 5 at halftime, and finished the 3rd quarter ahead by 8 goals before the teams traded scores in the final quarter to close out the scoring. The Raiders were paced by Kyle Graham (Fr, Londonderry, NH) 11 ground balls, 1 goal, 2 assists, and 10 shots, David Bray (Fr, West Suffield, CT) 8 ground balls, 3 goals, 1 assist, and 9 shots, Kevin Dembkoski (Fr, Salem, NH) 6 ground balls and 1 goal, and Brandon Hanifin (Fr, Tewksbury, MA) 6 ground balls, 3 goals, 4 assists, and 10 shots. Clark Plummer (Fr, Londonderry, NH) continued his strong play in net for Rivier with 10 saves on the day.
The Raiders pressed the visiting Terriers early on, creating a good individual goal at the 2:35 mark when Auer made a nice play coming out of the back left corner of the field behind the goal and worked himself into traffic in front of the goal before using a nice 1 v 1 move to get off a good shot in traffic that beat Terrier goalkeeper Jesse Morkeski (Damariscotta, ME). Less than a minute later, at the 3:12 mark, Bray struck for his first goal of the day, with a nice assist from Hanifin who grabbed a ground ball out of a scrum, flicked a quick pass to Bray and he buried the opportunity. The Terriers showed some bite, answering with a tally of their own at the 4:35 mark. Gunnar Shelton (Eugene, OR) beat Plummer with a good shot with assist from Jordan Marino (Londonderry, NH). The Terriers continued to press, but Plummer dealt with a nice shot form Sean Machin (Brunswick, ME). Anchored high in the slot Machin fired a good low bounced shot that Plummer snuffed out. The Raiders regrouped and continued to create, leading to a good goal from Dembkoski on a real nice assist from Graham at the 8:06 mark. Graham worked the area behind the Thomas goal, saw a quick window open up to feed Dembkoski in front of the goal, placed the pass in there, and Dembkoski got off a quick shot to put the Raiders ahead 3 – 1. Graham continued to thwart the Thomas defenders from behind the net on the possessions after the goal, helping the Raiders keep the ball in their attacking area after the faceoff. The offensive zone time helped lead to another strike just a minute and a half later at the 9:40 mark and a 4 – 1 lead for the home team. Bray ran a hard, curled run from left to right high in the slot and let a good, hard low shot fly that whipped past Morkeski in the Thomas cage.
The Terriers chipped back into the game, cutting the lead to 4 – 2 at the 1:23 mark of the 2nd quarter. Parker Chute (Exeter, NH) tallied a man-up goal on an assist from Shelton. The Raiders answered at the 3:08 mark with another unassisted strike form Auer. Auer again started from behind the goal, this time directly behind, before making a nice quick, darting run and twisting in the crease area to get his shot off and beating Morkeski for a 5 – 2 lead. Morkeski turned in a pair of nice saves to keep the Terriers within three, snuffing a hard, low shot at his shins from Bray high in the slot with a high release at the 3:40 mark. 45 seconds later the Terrier goalkeeper made a nice save on a bid from Auer in the slot. The Raiders kept up the pressure though, and 27 seconds later Hanifin picked up an unassisted strike on a quick 10 yard run in the slot and pushed the home team ahead 6 – 2. The Raiders kept coming. At the 5:10 mark, Graham fed Hanifin for a quick shot on a man-up opportunity. Morkeski was able to turn away the attempt. Just a minute later, still a man-up, Bray got another good look and fired low, only to be matched by a good low save from Morkeski. A minute and twenty seconds later, at the 8:28 mark, Mike Arricale (So, Billerica, MA) shook the creativity stick, pulling a nice spin move and firing as he turned out of it – but again Morkeski stood strong in the Terrier net and made a good save. Not to be outdone, Plummer turned in a nice save in the Raider cage 25 seconds later, turning back a good shot from Marino. The Raiders work paid off at the 9:54 mark with Auer and Arricale connecting for a nice goal. Arricale fed Auer coming up the left side of the slot, to the Terrier goalkeeper's right. Auer caught the pass, curled into an open pocket in the slot and placed a low shot that beat Morkeski just inside the right post. The Raiders were up 7 – 2. The Terriers had an opportunity to work their way back into it with a man up situation, but from the 9:45 mark to the 9:00 minute mark the defense turned in a sharp, hard 45 second man-up kill before creating a nice transition that extinguished the remaining 15 seconds of the man-up situation. Marino struck for the visitors at the 10:23 mark, with an assist from Shelton to bring the visitors within four at 7 – 3. That was the closest they would get for the rest of the game. The Raiders added their 8th goal with Auer and Hanifin connecting at the 13:04 mark. Hanifin worked the ball from the right side of the net and made a nice pass to Auer who released a quick shot for the strike. Andrew Lucy (So, Windham, NH) made a couple of nice plays down the stretch in the 2nd, leading a tight double team to win the ball with 2 minutes to go to, and wrapped up a nice quarter for the defensemen were he provided a lot of energy.
The Raiders pushed the pace in the 2nd half, outscoring the visitors 6 – 1, to pull out the 14 – 4 win. Auer and Hanifin had 2 strikes each in the half. Plummer added 6 saves in the 2nd half and put together a solid day in net for the freshman goalkeeper.
The Raiders return to action this Saturday when they host reigning GNAC Champion Mount Ida College at Raider field at 1:00 PM. With the win they push their record to 4 – 1 (0 – 0 GNAC) on the season.