#22 Alabama Defeats Rutgers, 5-3, in First Meeting



MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J. – The No. 22 Alabama Hockey program won the first of a two-game series at Rutgers University, 5-3, on Friday night. The first meeting between the two teams in program history saw senior Ian Soifer record his the 10th multi-point game of his career while senior Jack Rooney extended his point streak to seven games.

Alabama started out strong, with Soifer scoring the first goal of the game just five minutes in. The ice remained quiet until a penalty was called on senior Jon Lovorn with about four minutes left to play in the first. Rutgers’ CJ Maskut was able to take advantage of the power play and added a goal to even the score, 1-1. A penalty was called on Rutgers with 51 seconds to play in the first, giving Alabama a man-advantage that would extend into the second frame.

Rooney took advantage of the remaining time in the opening minute of the second, scoring his fifth power-play goal of the season. Junior Dylan Teed was credited with the assist. With about nine minutes left in the second, junior Taylor Joseph scored with an assist from Pierre Ouellette to extend the Alabama lead to 3-1. A penalty was called on Rutgers minutes later, and immediately after returning to even strength, junior Stephen MacInnis scored with assists from freshman Nick Messina and Soifer. The assist marked Soifer’s 10th career multi-point game and his first of the season.

With about two minutes left to play in the second, a penalty Rooney was called for slashing. Rutgers’ Drew Murtha was able to take advantage and score on the power play, cutting Alabama’s lead to two goals, 4-2, at the end of the second.

Alabama continued with strong offensive pressure and plenty of shots on goal in the third period. With about 12 minutes left on the clock, Rutgers’ CJ Maskut scored his second goal of the game and cut Alabama’s lead, 4-3. Messina responded and scored with an assist from sophomore Marc Demers just minutes later, resulting in the final score. It was the first multi-point game of Messina’s career.

UA fired a season-high 57 shots on net in the contest, marking the fifth consecutive game of 40-plus shots. Junior netminder Jesse Gordichuk made 32 saves on 35 shots to earn the win.

Alabama plays Rutgers again at the ProSkate Ice Arena on Saturday. The puck will drop at 2:30 p.m. CT.

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