Ice hockey ‘Hawks sweep Christopher Newport in 5-2 win

Brian Carpenter, Contributing Writer

The UNCW ice hockey team defeated Christopher Newport, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon.

With the win on Saturday, the Seahawks improved to 8-1 on the season and have now won six games in a row.

After a slow first period in Friday night’s game, the Seahawks showed more energy and skated with more efficiency in the first period on Saturday, allowing UNCW to grab a 1-0 lead after forward Will Tooke’s power-play goal.

“I think we were little rusty going into game one,” said Tooke. “I think after we saw them play and saw how good they were, we knew what we were in for heading into game two.”

After the Captains tied the game with a power-play goal of their own from forward Brandon Mills with 16:59 left in the second period, UNCW’s Joey Alexander responded with a breakaway goal at the 11-minute mark to give the Seahawks a 2-1 lead.

Tooke added another goal in the second period to push the Seahawks’ lead to 3-1.

When Daniel Brescia received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct in the third period, UNCW needed strong goaltending to help maintain their lead during the penalty kill.

“On the penalty kill, you have to make sure you keep track of that extra man and make sure you keep track of the puck more,” said goaltender Ryan Besemer.

Mills added his second power-play goal of the afternoon for the Captains to make it a 3-2 game. UNCW’s Will Tooke and Chris Schwartz added goals in the third period to help propel the Seahawks to a 5-2 win.

“I think the offense clicked a lot more today,” said Tooke. “The coaches changed the lines around a lot so everybody got to play with everybody. We just continued to experiment until we found something that was flowing.”

With UNCW recently ranked in the ACHA Division III South Region rankings, UNCW knew coming into the weekend that it had a target on its back.

“When teams come in here, they know two things,” said head coach Peter Gilinson. “They know that we are ranked and are always a competitive team. They also know that we always get a good crowd here that is loud, noisy and very supportive.”

Up next for UNCW is a game with in-state rival North Carolina State on Nov. 18. With NC State’s pedigree, it will present a challenge for the Seahawks, according to Gilinson.

“Historically, they are very competitive games,” he said. “They tend to be a little physical and they are always good, hard-fought games. That is exactly what we are expecting and anticipating.”

NC State will be UNCW’s last game of the semester before the Seahawks begin holiday break.

Contributing Writer Brian Carpenter can be found on Twitter @bostonfan17856. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to uncwseahawksports@gmail.comFor video updates from The Seahawk, subscribe to our YouTube channel.