Top Three Seeds Advance in CCC Men’s Ice Hockey Quarterfinals, Nichols Wins on Road

Top Three Seeds Advance in CCC Men’s Ice Hockey Quarterfinals, Nichols Wins on Road

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The top three seeds in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament all had convincing wins at home on Saturday (Feb. 17) to advance to the semifinals next weekend. Meanwhile, No. 5 seed Nichols picked up the lone road win of the night to claim the last spot in the semifinal round.

No. 11/11 Endicott dominated out of the gate in its quarterfinal against Suffolk as it put up seven first-period goals. The Gulls extended their lead throughout the night and went on to win 10-2. No. 5/5 Salve Regina also had an offensive explosion as it defeated Western New England, 8-1. No. 7/7 University of New England also jumped out early heading into the first intermission with a 3-0 lead. Wentworth had a flourish late in the game as it tried to come-from-behind, but the Nor'easters prevailed 6-3. The Curry-Nichols game was the most closely contested as the Bison pulled out a 4-3 decision on the road.

The semifinal round will take place Saturday, Feb. 24. The top seeded Seahawks will host Nichols at 4 p.m. and the second seeded Gulls will host the University of New England at 3 p.m. in a rematch of last year's CCC Championship game.

The two semifinal winners will meet in the CCC Men's Ice Hockey Tournament Championship which takes place on Saturday, March 3. The CCC Tournament Champion will receive the conference's automatic qualifier into the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship.


#1 Salve Regina 8, #8 Western New England 1

Summary

The No. 5 Salve Regina University men's ice hockey team cruised to an 8-1 victory over Western New England in the quarterfinals of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championships.

Series and Streaks

The Seahawks own a 20-10-1 record in the all-time series and have won two in a row over the Golden Bears.

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Salve Regina sophomore Jack Billings (Oak Lawn, Ill.) scored twice and handed out an assist.
  2. Salve Regina junior Blake Wojtala (Trenton, Mich.) made 25 saves to collect his 18th victory of the season in net as he adds to his program record for wins in a single season.
  3. Western New England junior Kevin Gollmer (Flourtown, Pa.) made a career-high 56 saves in the loss.

Key Stat of the Game

The Seahawks outshot the Golden Bears 64-26.

Turning Point

The Seahawks leapt out to a 3-0 lead and held a 4-1 lead to start the third period. However the Golden Bears had a power play to begin the third frame with a chance to draw within two scores after a strong second period. The Golden Bears had three cracks at Wojtala on the man advantage, but could not break through. A puck rolled out near the blue line and Billings pounced on it and streaked up the ice as the Seahawks' penalty expired. Billings carried down the right side with Danny Eruzione (Winthrop, Mass.) streaking to his left on a 2-on-1. Billings held the puck as long as he could then saucered it across to Eruzione who buried the shot to give the Seahawks a four-goal lead and flip the momentum of the game.

Quick Hits

  • Billings sets a new program record for assists in a single season (25) passing Evan Schultz (24) in the record book.
  • Junior defenseman Connor Graham (Norfolk, Mass.) scored Western New England's lone goal late in the first period.
  • Six different Seahawks scored in the game.
  • Senior forward Pat Thompson (Hellertown, Pa.) ties Lucas Sousa for the most games played in program history (102).
  • Salve Regina went 4-for-7 on the power play, aided by a major penalty late in the game while the Golden Bears went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.

Game recap courtesy of the Salve Regina Sports Information Department.

 

#2 Endicott 10, #7 Suffolk 2

BEVERLY, Mass. – The No. 11/11 nationally ranked Endicott men's ice hockey team scored seven goals in the first period en route to an eventual 10-2 victory over Suffolk University in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) quarterfinals on Saturday evening at Raymond J. Bourque Arena.

Endicott (18-5-3), the No. 2 seed in the tournament, will find out its semifinal round opponent later tonight at the conclusion of the three other games being played in the bracket. Meanwhile, Suffolk sees its 2017-18 season come to a close at 9-13-3.

Anthony Petrella (Hilton, N.Y.), Joseph Slovak (South Yarmouth, Mass.), Jason Kalinowski (Stamford, Conn.), Tommy Besinger (Milton, Mass.), Josh Bowes (Edmonton, Alberta), Connor Costello (Nottingham, N.H.), and Jack Musil (Hull, England) all scored in the Gulls' seven-goal first period and the game was pretty much over from there. Petrella started the offensive outburst at the 2:07 mark of the period by punching home a rebound near the left post and the rest of his teammates followed with tallies at 5:49, 7:31, 12:44, 13:14, 16:01, and 16:10, respectively.

Endicott also added one goal in the second – also scored by Petrella – and two more in the third (Slovak, Bowes) to run away with the victory.

Mark Specia (Ringwood, N.J.) made 12 saves in two periods (39:53) to improve to 11-2-1, while Justin Ketola (Esko, Minn.) stopped 10 shots in the third.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

  • Endicott is 5-1-0 at home in the playoffs.
  • The Gulls are 6-0-1 against Suffolk in the all-time series.
  • Slovak finished with a career-high and program-record-tying five points (2g, 3a) tonight.
  • Petrella (2g, 2a) and Bowes' (2g, 2a) four-point nights rank tied for sixth all-time in a single-game, respectively.
  • Endicott's 10-goal output is tied for third all-time in a single-game

FOR THE FOES

  • Brian Brooks (Canton, Mass.) broke up the shutout bid at 15:24 of the second. Jack Kelly (Arlington, Mass.) and Nick Abbene (Merrick, N.Y.) were credited with assists on the goal.
  • Jack Jenkins (Billerica, Mass.) notched his third goal of the season at 19:15 of the third off feeds from Matt Bucher (Cromwell, Conn.) and Mikhail Bryan (Dayton, Ohio).
  • Michael Levine (Clarendon Hill, Ill.) had 13 saves in the first period, while Will Ribas (Westwood, Mass.) compiled 30 saves over the final 46:46 of action off the bench.

 Game recap courtesy of the Endicott Sports Information Department.

 

#3 University of New England 6, #6 Wentworth 3

BIDDEFORD, Maine – Third-seeded University of New England scored the game's first four goals on the way to a 6-3 victory over sixth-seeded Wentworth in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men's Ice Hockey Championship on Saturday night (Feb. 17) at the Harold Alfond Forum.

The Nor'easters (19-4-3) move on to meet second seed Endicott (a 10-2 winner over Suffolk University) in the semifinal round next Saturday. Face-off in Beverly, Mass. will be 3 p.m.

Six different players found the back of the net for 7th-ranked squad in the country, which had its nation-leading power-play go 4-for-6 in the contest. Two of those came in the 1st period, courtesy of Ryan Burr (Toms River, N.J.) and Tucker Ross (Ashburn, Va.), sandwiched around an even-strength marker from Brady Fleurent (Biddeford, Maine).

Max Rasberg (Columbus, Ohio) made it 4-0 in the 2nd, and Ryan Bloom (Northville, Mich.) restored that cushion (5-1) on a late power-play goal, after the Leopards broke through with a score by Georgy Gorodetskii (Yekaterinburg, Russia).

Jake McDonough (Marshfield, Mass.) was credited with Wentworth's second power-play goal as play progressed through the 3rd, and WIT used an extra attacker on a delayed penalty call to pull within two (5-3) at the 11:10 mark.

UNE survived two separate penalties down the stretch before gaining a 5-on-3 in the waning minutes. The Leopards pulled their goalie to get a player back, but Jeff Eppright (Barrington, N.J.) cashed in on the empty net -- and Rasberg's third assist -- to seal it.

Eppright had two helpers of his own for three total points, and Burr added an assist for two points.

Between the pipes, Tate Sproxton (Surrey, British Columbia) had 35 saves for the Nor'easters, who were out-shot by five (38-33).

Wentworth, which closes the 2017-18 with a 9-14-3 record, received 27 stops out of Ryan Hubbard (West Roxbury, Mass.).

Game recap courtesy of the University of New England Sports Information Department.

 

#5 Nichols 4, #4 Curry 3

MILTON, Mass. – The No. 4 seeded Curry men's ice hockey team fell to the visiting #5 seed Nichols, 4-3, on Saturday night at the Max Ulin Rink in the CCC Quarterfinals. The loss drops the Colonels to 17-8-1 overall and ends their season.  With the win the Bison improve to 15-8-3 overall and advance to the CCC Semi-final game.

Curry was first to get on the board 7:48 into the opening period.  Senior Adam Valadao (Ajax, Ontario) one-timed a shot that sailed over the shoulder of Nichol's senior netminder Colin Brennan (Chester, N.J.).  The Colonels took a 2-0 lead just over a minute later off a short-handed goal.  Just 42 seconds into the penalty-kill, sophomore Jordan Williamson (Okotoks, AB) intercepted a Bison pass at the blue line and sent to the puck up to freshman Matthew Henderson (Scarborough, Maine).  Henderson went one-on-one with Brennan and beat him top shelf.  Nichols was able to get on the board late in the period before heading into intermission.  The Bison took advantage of a man-up opportunity after the Colonels were in the box for a two-minute penalty.  It took just 21 seconds on the power-play before sophomore J.B. Baker (Columbia, Md.) fired one past Curry's freshman netminder Cody Murch (Raleigh, N.C.).  Baker was assisted by junior Ian Spencer (Hawthorne, N.J.) and senior Scott Cuthrell (Waterford, Mich.).  Shots were 11-7 in favor of the Colonels.

The second frame saw the visitors tally two goals to take a 3-2 lead through 40 minutes of play.  The first came off the stick of junior Matthew Menta (Lima, Pa.) at the 7:37 minute mark.  Menta received a pass in front of the cage and tipped it in for his first of two scores on the night.  Baker and Cuthrell earned the helpers.  The go-ahead goal came at 16:31 when sophomore Vincent Crivello (Rosemere, Quebec) took a slap shot that went past the glove of Murch.  Crivello was assisted by senior D.J. Goldstein (Canandaigua, N.Y.) and sophomore Hogan Davidson (Duluth, Minn.). Solid play between the pipes of Brennan held the Colonels scoreless. Curry held the advantage in shots at 13-9.

In the final stanza, 15:17 minutes went by without a goal scored.  The Bison held onto to the 3-2 lead until junior Zachary White (Milford, Conn.) netted the tying goal.  White was open right outside the crease and tapped in the puck past Brennan.  Freshman Mike Snow (Medford, Mass.) and junior Lionel Mauron (Lausanne, Switzerland) were credited with the assists.  With 4:43 left to play in regulation and the game even at 3-3, the possibility of an overtime looked hopeful for the hosts.  However Nichols had other plans and answered back with the game-winning tally just over a minute later.  Cuthrell won the face-off in the Colonels defensive zone and sent the puck to Menta who one-timed it into the back of the net.  Curry had a couple of chances to tie the score in the final minutes but Brennan came up with big saves to hold onto the 4-3 win.

The Colonels outshot the Bison, 32-24. Curry was 0-5 on the PP while Nichols was 1-3.

Murch recorded 20 saves in net in the loss.  Brennan made 29 stops in net for the win.

Game recap courtesy of the Curry Sports Information Department.

 

Tournament Schedule
(Games hosted by the higher seed)

Quarterfinals – Saturday, Feb. 17

#1 Salve Regina def. #8 Western New England, 8-1 | BOX
#2 Endicott def. #7 Suffolk, 10-2 | BOX
#3 University of New England def. #6 Wentworth, 6-3 | BOX
#5 Nichols def. #4 Curry, 4-3 | BOX

Semifinals – Saturday, Feb. 24

#5 Nichols at #1 Salve Regina, 4 p.m.
#3 University of New England at #2 Endicott, 3 p.m.

Finals – Saturday, March 3

Semifinal winners at higher seed, TBA

 

ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE

The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and four associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.

 

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