By Emily Sznurkowski
The Montclair State Ice Hockey team are off to an exciting start this season with an electrifying 2-0 undefeated record in their conference for the first time since 2016. They are soaring high with a 4-1-2 overall record.
Their two overtime loses were 3-2 against Rider University and 4-3 against Eastern Connecticut State University. Then they faced a tough 7-1 regulation loss against the D1 William Patterson Pioneers.
This season’s wins include a 4-3 overtime win against Rutgers, a 5-2 regulation win against Stevens Tech, as well as, an 8-3 win against Central Connecticut State. The win against Marist was the team’s first victory against the Red Foxes in 5 seasons and their first win against the CCSU Blue Devils in 2 seasons.
The Red Hawks are up for an intense rivalry battle this Friday in the nest. They will be facing Sacred Heart University after falling to them both times last season at home, 5-2 in the regular season and 6-1 in the playoffs here are Montclair State University arena. At this game, the Red Hawks will be relying on a lot of veterans including Captains Ryan Martinez and Mikie Miller as well Will Prinz, Billy Parsley and Anthony Oliveri. They will also be adding some fired up newcomers into the mix, Antonio Crispino, Greg Oliveri, Braden Ryan, David Lenart and DJ Layden.
Returning goaltender Ondrej Smalec is part of the strong backbone of this team and is facing a heavy workload this season, starting roughly every game this season. Smalec has an impressive 0.930% save percentage. He has faced 228 shots and stopped 212 of them, meaning he has only allowed 16 goals in 6 games. Montclair State fans are in for quite a treat this season and should stay tuned as they fly the rest of the season.