GAME #12 - #22 ALABAMA 8, RUTGERS 0
MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J. – The No. 22 Alabama hockey program claimed its first road sweep of a Division-I team since the first two games of the 2015-16 season, with a 8-0 victory at Rutgers on Saturday afternoon. With the win, UA improves to 9-3 on the season, and the ninth Division-I win matches last year’s total.
Alabama’s eight goals are a season-high, as are its 69 shots. The team held Rutgers to just 15 shots, the lowest it has allowed to any opponent this season. Freshmen Josh Mooncotch and Nick Messina along with sophomore Taylor Bowman led Alabama with four points each.
Just five minutes into the game, Messina opened the scoring with assists from Bowman and his brother, senior Sam Messina. Sam Messina was skating in his first game since Sept. 16, 2016 after undergoing treatment for a brain aneurysm. Midway through the period, junior Taylor Joseph extended the lead to 2-0. He was quickly followed by Mooncotch’s first goal of the day and the first of his career with 5:31 on the clock. Alabama held a 3-0 lead and a 29-9 edge in shots after the first 20 minutes.
Rutgers was able to withstand Alabama’s offensive pressure until the team broke through with three goals in just 90 seconds late in the second period. Nick Messina added a second goal, this time on the power-play, at the 17:44 mark. Just 43 seconds later, senior and New Jersey-native Thomas Godfrey scored to make it a 5-0 game. Joseph scored once more 47 seconds later with assists from Mooncotch and senior Ian Soifer.
The final frame saw Mooncotch score twice to result in the final score and earn his first career hat trick. It was 60th hat trick in program history and first by a freshman since James Martin and Andrew Durkin each recorded one last season at UAB on Oct. 28.
Alabama took just one penalty in the contest, a two-minute minor on freshman Paul Weise for slashing in the first period. Nine UA skaters recorded points, and six turned in multi-point performances. Bowman’s four assists and four points were a career high and the most by an Alabama player this season. Sam Messina, Joseph and Soifer all totaled two points. Junior Jesse Gordichuk recorded his second career shutout.
Alabama will take next week off for Thanksgiving and return to action with a trip to Nebraska on Dec. 1 to play No. 16 Midland at 7:45 p.m. CT.