MILTON, Mass. – The Curry College men's hockey team fell to Nichols College, 4-1, in Commonwealth Coast Conference action on Thursday night at the Max Ulin Rink in Milton, Mass. The loss drops the Colonels to 8-7-1 overall and 5-3-1 in the CCC. With the win the Bison improve to 10-4-3 on the season and 7-1-2 in the CCC.
Nichols sophomore Matthew Menta (Lima, Pa.) got the Bison on the board 16:25 into the contest to take a 1-0 lead. Curry's junior Ryan Fitzgerald (Cary, N.C.) was called for a 2-minute penalty at 14:56 and with just seconds left on the PP, Nichols took advantage of the man-up situation. Menta was assisted by juniors Cody Rodgers (Austin, Texas) and Scott Cuthrell (Waterford, Mich.). The Bison earned the eventual game-winning goal with 1:55 left to play in the first period after senior Michael Parnell (Roseville, Minn.) took a slap shot that sailed just over the shoulder of the Colonels senior netminder Brett Sinclair (St. Catherines, Ontario). Sophomore T.J. Roche (Northport, N.Y.) was credited with the assist along with Cuthrell for his second on the night. Nichols held a demanding lead in shots at 10-3. The Bison's junior goaltender Colin Brennan (Chester, N.J.) stopped all three shots he faced.
Curry's senior Jake Heisinger (Winnipeg, Manitoba) cut the visitors lead to one as he netted his team's loan goal at the 3:36 mark of the second period. Classmate Tyler Vankleef (Dundas, Ontario) sent Heisinger the puck who ripped a wrist shot past Brennan. Nichols answered back 10 minutes later after senior Sean Swansen (Salem, N.H.) registered his first tally of the game. Swansen one-timed the puck just outside the crease off assists from junior Ryan Hunter (Mississauga, Ontario) and sophomore Blake Kelley (Woodbury, Minn.). Brennan was solid between the pipes as he allowed just one goal off of 11 Colonel shots.
Nichols went on top 4-1 midway through the final stanza. With 10:15 left on the game clock, sophomore Ben Campbell (Duluth, Minn.) fired one past the glove of Sinclair. He was assisted by freshman Justin Tiso (Suffern, N.Y.). The Bison held a slight advantage in shots at 8-7.
Curry went 0-5 on power plays while Nichols was 1-4. The Colonels had 21 shots while the Bison had 20. Sinclair made 16 saves in net for Curry in the loss. Brennan had 20 stops in net for Nichols in the win.
Curry returns to the ice on Saturday, January 21 in a 4:45 p.m. game against Commonwealth Coast Conference opponent Salve Regina. Nichols is back in action also on Saturday when they travel to Wentworth for a 3:00 p.m. puck drop.