MILTON, Mass. – The Curry College men's hockey team defeated the University of New England, 3-2, in Commonwealth Coast Conference action on Thursday night at the Max Ulin Rink in Milton, Mass. With the win the Colonels improve to 13-8-2 overall and 10-4-2 in the CCC. The loss drops the Nor'easters to 11-9-2 on the season and 7-7-2 in the CCC. The victory clinches a home game in the CCC Quarterfinals for Curry, which are set to begin on Feb. 25.
UNE controlled the first period outshooting Curry, 10-3. Solid play between the pipes from the Colonels senior netminder Brett Sinclair (St. Catharines, Ontario) kept the Nor'easters scoreless until final seconds of the frame. UNE got on the board with only 29 seconds left to play to head into intermission with a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Dylan Bengtson (Coral Springs, Fla.) took a slap shot just over the blueline that sailed over the shoulder of Sinclair. Bengtson was setup by senior Blaise Healy (Melrose, Mass.).
Curry went on to net three unanswered goals, one in the second stanza and two in the final period. UNE tallied a late power-play goal to cut the Colonels advantage down to 3-2 but Curry was able to hold onto the win and secure a first-round home match in the CCC Tournament.
The Colonels tying score came midway through the second. Freshman Tomas Brejcha (Prague, Czech Republic) received the puck from sophomore Mack Heisinger (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and one-timed it past the glove of the Nor'easters freshman netminder Tate Sporxton (Surrey, British Columbia). Curry held a slight advantage in shots at 7-5.
Junior Shane Tracy (Bow, N.H.) put the Colonels ahead at the 7:27 minute mark of the final period. Tracy tipped the puck into the back of the net off a pass from senior Mike Apreda (Newmarket, Ontario). The game-winning goal came just over a minute later off the stick of senior Tyler Vankleef (Dundas, Ontario). Classmate Jake Heisinger (Winnipeg, Manitoba) earned the helper. UNE's second tally was on a man-up situation after Curry's senior Ellery O'Hara (Toronto, Ontario) was called for a two-minute slashing penalty. O'Hara had less than a minute left in the box when the Nor'easters capitalized on the power-play. With 5:35 remaining to play, freshman Ryan Bloom (Northville, Mich.) notched his first on the night off assists by sophomore Brady Fleurent (Biddeford, Maine) and freshman Dmitris Jones (Seattle, Wash.).
The Colonels Sinclair stopped 18 shots in the win. Sproxton made 17 saves in the loss for the Nor'easters.
Curry went 3-for-3 with the extra-man advantage while UNE was 1-for-4. Total shots were even for the teams at 20 apiece.
Curry is next in action when they travel to Nichols College on Saturday, February 18 at 4:40 p.m. UNE hosts Wentworth also on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.