After a month-long delay to the start of the season due to the pandemic, with an extra week added on after opponent Army had to cancel their game due to virus concerns, Long Island University finally took the ice for their inaugural game on Thursday night and they prevailed with a 3-2 overtime win over Holy Cross to earn the first victory in program history.
Just taking the ice was an incredible achievement for the Sharks, who first announced their program just 203 days prior. Assembling a coaching staff, and a full team, amidst the backdrop of a pandemic, is a remarkable feat.
Freshman Gustav Mueller scored the historic first goal in program history when he scored at 7:15 of the second period. Alabama-Huntsville Christian Rajic had the game-winning goal at 3:20 of the overtime period. The hero of the evening, however, was Mercyhurst transfer Garrett Metcalf in goal. The Sharks were outshot 41-15 in the game, but Metcalf made 35 stops in regulation to force overtime, and another four in the extra frame to buy LIU the time they needed to score the winning goal.
Despite the win, the underlying numbers weren’t especially promising long-term for LIU. In addition to the shots on goal margin, the shots attempted margin was an equally ugly 93-26 in favor of Holy Cross. The Sharks actually blocked more shots(27) than they even attempted(26).
It’s still likely to be a long road for the Sharks to make it to a competitive level, but what they’ve already managed to pull off this year has been amazing, and a very promising start for their future.