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LIU Sharks Fall Short in Home Opener, Lose 2-1 to Omaha

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East Meadow, NY- The Long Island University Men’s Ice Hockey team could not snap their losing streak as they fell 2-1 to Omaha-Nebraska Mavericks Friday night in their home-opener. The LIU Sharks have now lost four straight.

Identity was something that LIU head coach Brett Riley and his team were looking to regain Friday after a tough weekend at MSU, but unfortunately, they still have some searching to do.

“I mean, the first five minutes, our identity still was missing. Miss block goal against easy to play against in transition but their response was incredible. A lot of guys answered the bell when pushed, and that’s what being on a team is ultimately all about.”

Scoring

It didn’t take long for the Mavericks to get on the board as 4:10 into the first, New York Islanders prospect Cameron Berg (2021 4th rd) notched his second goal of the season and was assisted by fellow Islanders prospect Jake Pivonka (2018 4th rd).

In the second, alternate captain Jordan Di Cicco got the Sharks on the board and tied the game at 1-1 with a power-play goal with 16.4 seconds left for his second goal of the season. Freshmen forwards Josh Zary and Austin Brimmer were credited with the assists.

In the final period of play, sophomore Ty Mueller scored his second goal of the 2022-23 season unassisted at 14:04 of the third period to give Omaha a 2-1 lead.

The Power Play is Lost

Long Island had quite the opportunity on the power play, with nine power plays on eight penalties tonight. The Sharks, however, were unsuccessful only scoring on one.

“I think that was the difference in the game. If we had gotten one more power-play goal, we would’ve been right there, so we’re gonna hit the drawing board and hopefully come back stronger tomorrow,” Sharks defensemen Jordan Di Cicco said.

Is Purpura injured?

LIU has gotten lucky with injuries so far this season, but things may have changed tonight as Sharks goalie Vinnie Purpura was visibly shaken up after an awkward play in his office that had an Omaha player crash into him, which made him hit the post.

“I think he tweaked something there when he went into the post, but he’s good. He’s given us everything he’s had. I’m super proud of him,” Head Coach Brett Riley shared.

In regards to the senior goaltenders status for tomorrow, Coach Riley didn’t care to share much. “No decision. Like I said, I think all the goalies have battled really hard here. So we’ll look at everything and factor everything tonight and come up with a plan for tomorrow.”

Operation Contain Jack Randl

Despite the loss, there were some positives tonight, including keeping NCAA leading goal scorer, Omaha’s Jack Randl, off the board. The Illinois native only got three shots on goal. Randl has over 50 percent of the Maverick’s goals on the season.

Long Island is back in action tomorrow against Omaha at 6 PM Eastern on ESPN+.

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