Connect with us

LIU Hockey

FIRST OF MANY! LIU Freshman Ashley Morrow Nets First Career NCAA Goal

Published

on

Long Island University women's hockey Ashley Morrow

It was a moment that freshman Ashley Morrow will never forget, and one made even sweeter by the end result for the Long Island University Sharks’ women’s ice hockey team.

When the LIU women’s hockey team picked up their first win of the season on Jan. 27 against Sacred Heart, Morrow netted her first career NCAA goal. The milestone tally was the LIU women’s hockey team’s third goal in an eventual 4-1 win over Sacred Heart.

Complete coverage of Long Island University hockey here

Morrow capitalized on the power-play at 6:10 of the second period to give her team a commanding 3-0 lead.

“That was quite an unbelievable experience, I’d have to say,” the 18-year old Morrow said in an interview with NYI Hockey Now. “It wasn’t the prettiest of goals I’ve ever scored in my life, but a goal’s a goal.”

The Vancouver-native had shown an offensive touch during her time with the Greater Vancouver Giants of the British Columbia Female Midget AAA League, where she had played for from 2017-2020.

Now with one goal under her belt at the collegiate level, she plans on having more in the future. “The monkey’s off the back, and I’ve got more to come now,” she said.

Morrow picked up an assist in the win as well. She came into the game against Sacred Heart without a point on the season, but her coach never lost faith in her ability.

“With Ashley, we always believed she would have an offensive presence within our program,” said LIU women’s hockey head coach Rob Morgan. “For her to score a big goal like that, fairly early in her career, it’s pretty special.”

For Ashley, while she was happy to score, it was about the team’s collective effort that led to the positive result. Her personal performance came second.

“It was a big team effort, though. I got the third one, but it all started with the first goal, and from there, our team momentum went up, and I think it just continued throughout the game. … We all played as a team, and it was a team game. My goal was just a part of it.”

Usually, following a career milestone such as this, a player will speak to their family first. While she eventually talked to both her parents, Morrow’s first conversation was with someone else.

“My first conversation was actually with one of my old teammates, which was actually quite funny,” said Morrow.  “It was a lot of congratulatory texts from them, and the first call was from my mom and she is just over the moon excited. For me, the second one was to my dad.”

“They were both just unbelievably thrilled for me that I got it out of the way, and they were both so happy and excited for me.”

Alternate captain Paula Bergstrom, who picked up the secondary assist on Morrow’s goal, was happy to have played a part in the milestone.

“That’s always fun,” said Bergstrom. “You remember your first goal for yourself, and to see someone take that step in their collegiate career, it’s always fun.”

Morrow will look to build off her strong performance and try to help the LIU women’s hockey team put together a few more wins as the season continues.

Welcome to your new home for New York Islanders breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to NYHN+ for all of our members-only content from Christian Arnold and the National Hockey Now network.

LIU Hockey

Goaltender Garrett Metcalf Has Been the Perfect Building Block for LIU

Published

on

Garrett Metcalf
Photo Credit: LIU Athletics

When the National Hockey League held the Expansion Draft for the Vegas Golden Knights back in 2017, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was selected due to his elite skill, leadership, and experience.

The Long Island University Men’s Ice Hockey team did the same thing when they recruited 24-year old netminder Garrett Metcalf to join their first-year program.

Metcalf reigns from Salt Lake City, Utah, and had played collegiately at UMass Lowel and Mercyhurst University before making his way to Long Island.

Click here for complete coverage of LIU men’s and women’s hockey

The 6’2 goaltender owns a 2-4 record on the year, with a 3.18 goals-against-average and a .919 save percentage. He has done what he can and more to keep his team in games against elite programs.

“It’s been really special,” said Metcalf in an interview with NYI Hockey Now about joining the first-year program. “It’s one of the things that stuck out to me when coming here. It was something that I was excited to be a part of.”

With COVID-19, Metcalf had not been able to explore Long Island just yet but has enjoyed one aspect, and that’s the food.

“I have friends that are from New York, and they always talked about how good the bagels were and I didn’t really believe them until I ate the bagel for like the tenth time, and I realized that, man, the bagels are pretty amazing out here,” said Garrett.

“It’s super cool being right next to the ocean, and obviously having the city right there too. I think in a normal circumstance in a normal year you would get to visit that, experience that a little more. But for what we have and what we are given, it’s been super cool, and I’m super excited to be here.”

Building relationships with teammates is something that usually takes time for a new club. But even with the coronavirus hindering the ability to go out with teammates and bond, Metcalf owes a lot of credit to his head coach Brett Riley for the work he has done.

“First, I think the coach did a great job of getting us all together,” Metcalf said. “A lot of us didn’t know each other previously. We did zoom calls over the summer. We got acclimated really fast and started to build a bond and a relationship that’s obviously shown on the ice.”

Having a reliable goaltender like Metcalf between the pipes has been crucial to the team’s success and growth thus far.

“It helps that 75 to 85 percent of our team has not played at this level or in this capacity. So to have that backbone and stability has been crucial,” said Coach Riley. “He’s been challenged by two other very good goalies too, which drives our goaltending culture as a whole. The outings and performance that Garrett’s given us so far has given us a chance to win every night, which, as a coach, is all that you can ask for.”

As this season has progressed, Metcalf found his way onto the Mike Richter Watchlist, a list full of elite netminders recognized by the Hockey Commissioner’s Association.

While he feels great about the accomplishment, Metcalf turned the attention away from himself and onto his team.

“It’s obviously a great feeling,” he said. “And there’s a lot of elite goalies on that list and a lot of elite goalies that have won the award. It’s funny. I was telling coach the other day, although my name sits next to the watch list, I think that’s really a team accolade.”

“I think that we pride ourselves on doing well defensively and letting that bleed into the offensive zone and scoring goals. But that starts in the d-zone. I think that’s just a testament to how good we’ve been in the defensive zone. I’m happy to represent our team in that category.”

Metcalf’s leadership on and off the ice has inspired his teammates, no matter their college status.

“He’s always one of the first guys at the rink, he’s one of the last guys there.” graduate student, defenseman Mat Harris said. “He’s always willing to stay out on the ice after practice. Anything you want to work on, he’s willing to work on it. The mindset he brings to the rink every day is something that’s really rubbed off on myself, and I think the rest of the guys in the room.

“Anything you want to work on, he’s willing to work on it. The mindset he brings to the rink every day is something that’s really rubbed off on myself, and I think the rest of the guys in the room.”

Metcalf has also learned a lot from his teammates, particularly Harris.

“I think sometimes I’m a little too serious, especially when it comes to practice days”, Metcalf said. “Harry (Mat Harris) keeps the mood light and keeps me focused, but in a good way.

“You know just learning to have fun with the game.”

Welcome to your new home for New York Islanders breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to NYHN+ for all of our members-only content from Christian Arnold and the National Hockey Now network.
Continue Reading

LIU Hockey

LIU Still Working on Fine-Tuning Game after Snapping Four Game Skid

Published

on

LIU Hockey wins
Photo Credit: LIU Athletics

After winning two of three to start their inaugural campaign, the Long Island University Men’s Ice Hockey team had been struggling to keep that momentum going and dropped their next four games.

LIU has managed to curb the skid by beating Army 3-2 in overtime in their last divisional game. Their recent struggles are the sign of a young team trying to work out the kinks during an unusual first season.

While LIU did drop their exhibition game to Liberty University on Friday, the victory over Army was a win that showed the progress the program has made.

“We have a lot of character, and I think that has shined through this entire season.” Coach Brett Riley said in an email interview with NYI Hockey Now. “To kill off another penalty in overtime and end the game in that fashion is a testament to our competitive culture and the character we have in our room.”

LIU’s penalty kill had been struggling prior to the victory, sitting at just 71.8 percent. In the win, LIU killed off all six of Army’s power plays, and in their exhibition game on Friday they were a perfect 2-for-2.

The biggest concern, which is a glaring issue, has been LIU’s inability to come through on the man advantage. After seven games, the power play was a whopping 1 for 21 (4.76%). In the win, LIU came through once on their five opportunities, pushing that mark to 8-percent. In the exhibition game, they saw four power-play opportunities go by the board.

“Our hope is to continue to improve on the powerplay and bounce back to where we were on the penalty kill,” said Riley. “I’d love to see our freshman continue with the positive momentum they’ve built as a class and our older guys continue to lead by example. It has been a fun group to coach that has always responded well to being challenged.”

In the overtime victory, a pair of freshmen left their mark. Jacob Franczak scored twice in 90 seconds for his first, and second, collegiate goals, while Jordan Di Cicco scored the game-winner for his first of his college career.

“It felt really great to get the first one, almost a dream come true, and then the second one, I have to give a lot of credit to Derik Osik, who made a really nice pass, said Franczak. “Overall, a really exciting experience I’ll never forget, and it made it even better getting the win.”

For Di Cicco, he came through in the biggest of moments for his team.

“Being able to end the game in overtime was an unreal feeling,” said Di Cicco. “There’s no better feeling than being a part of a big celebration with teammates. We knew we needed a better effort than Friday night, and I thought a lot of guys stepped up to the plate, which was great to see. It was a huge team effort, and we were really happy to get the win for Coach Riley.”

Both Franczak and Di Cicco agreed that the win over Army was a sign of the progress the LIU hockey program has been making over the course of the season. Di Cicco called the victory a huge win for the team coming off the losses.

“We are confident in ourselves, and we know that we can compete with anyone when we are playing our best,” Di Cicco said.  “With that being said, there is still a lot that we can learn from in this win. We talked about playing a full sixty minutes, and we gave up a two-goal lead late in the game. We know we can be better and will continue to watch film and improve.”

While the steps the LIU hockey team is taking are positive, their work is far from over.

“We are far from satisfied,” Di Cicco said. “Our culture is built around a 24/7, 365 idea, which means we are looking to get better and improve every single day. Our team has made a huge jump in the short time that we have been together, and I believe we are starting to form a solid team identity.”

Even with a losing record of 3-5, LIU has shown that they are deserving of Division I status in the eyes of Riley.

“More so than wins and losses, we have proven we belong at this level,” said Riley. “Now the challenge to the group is sustaining momentum.”

Welcome to your new home for New York Islanders breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to NYHN+ for all of our members-only content from Christian Arnold and the National Hockey Now network.
Continue Reading

LIU Hockey

Slow Start for Reigning Champs LIU is Nothing New for Women’s Program

Published

on

LIU
Photo Credit: LIU Athletics

This season, the reigning NEWHA Champion Long Island University Women’s Ice Hockey team is off to an 0-6 start. But a start like this is nothing new for the second-year program.

Last season, the team turned the page after struggling out of the gate, accomplishing an unthinkable feat. They Captured a conference title their first year in existence.

Winning a championship certainly brings a lot of pressure onto LIU, but the external expectations don’t outweigh what they expect out of themselves.

“The pressure that we experience is the pressure we put on ourselves,” coach Rob Morgan said in an interview with NYI Hockey Now. “If we did not feel pressure, do we really have high expectations? We have high expectations, so when we aren’t meeting those expectations, you start to feel a little bit of pressure.”

For a team that consisted of mostly freshmen — 21 to be exact — the lack of experience and senior leadership was a sure obstacle. However, it gave Morgan’s young team the opportunity to build their own identity together.

“There’s no preconceived ideas of who we are,” Morgan said. “So they all came in with ‘hey we get to all build this together.'”

A year later, the LIU Women’s hockey team has a bit more experience under their belts. They’re down to nine freshmen on the roster compared to the start of last season.

For captain Morgan Schauer, part of the fun of leading the young program has been watching how her teammates have grown through their first season and into their second.

“It’s been interesting, being the oldest one with the other captains,” said Schauer, a second-year transfer student. “Just watching them (freshmen) grow and watching them learn, not only just hockey wise, but life-wise and as we build our identity together, seeing how they all are able to contribute in their own way, its been really cool to watch all of them go through that and figure it out for themselves.”

The 2019-20 season began with games against out-of-conference opponents like the University of Connecticut, University of Wisconsin and Yale. While those games were a challenge, it prepared the players physically and mentally for their divisional play.

“I think in the very beginning we understood that it was going to be a process and It would take time to develop, learn how we wanted to play, learn how to compete at the college level,” Morgan said. “Just believing in each other and making every day count.”

Knowing how long it took last year to pick up the program’s first win, Morgan is looking forward to his team accomplishing that feat this season. “I know our kids are going to be really excited to have our first win this year,” he said.

Shauer looked back on the championship season, and what it felt like to be able to grow as a team.

“We got to build our culture; we had our own identity,” Shauer said. “When we finally were able to come through, come together in the end, and really do it together for the first time, it felt really good, and it was really rewarding. I think it meant a lot to the young girls and to me. I transferred, I went through a lot too. But just to have that and do it with my teammates, it felt awesome.”

Due to COVID-19, the NEWHA, in which LIU plays, essentially fell apart after three teams opted not to play. The school has had to piece together a schedule for this year. To add to that, LIU has not had its full group together in a very long time.

A third of the team joined the group towards the end of December, with kids still missing.

The schedule has not been all too kind to start the new season. LIU faced Quinnipiac University three times, with one more game remaining on the calendar.

Their schedule also consisted of games against Clarkson University and Sacred Heart University, the team that was ranked first in the division last year.

Regardless of how the season plays out, the team will compete against Sacred Heart in a playoff series. Long Island University defeated Sacred Heart in the semifinals last year.

Right now, the focus is on improving every day and finding a way to pick up their first win of the season.

After losing big to Quinnipiac University on Monday night, all the team can do is forget the 11-0 result and move on.

“When we woke up this morning (Monday), there is nothing we can do about the game that we played yesterday (Sunday),” Morgan said. “We had a little talk about things and you know we met as a coaching staff this morning already and we talked about the things we need to continue to focus on and get better at. I know that when we play our next game, we are going to be better.”

Welcome to your new home for New York Islanders breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to NYHN+ for all of our members-only content from Christian Arnold and the National Hockey Now network.
Continue Reading

GET NYIHN IN YOUR INBOX!

Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

NYI Team & Cap Info

Recent Comments

Get the best of NYI Hockey Now in your inbox

Be the first to know! Enter your email to get all of our articles sent straight to your inbox, the minute they're published.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.