Suffolk Hockey Routs Nichols, 7-1
The Suffolk Rams (3-2-0, 2-2-0 ECACNE) routed the Nichols College Bison (3-1-1, 2-1-1 ECACNE) by a 7-1 final on Thursday night in Charlestown.
Alex Larson, who stopped 21 of 22 shots in Nichols’ February 3-1 win over Suffolk; had a rough night in net on Thursday. Larson was pulled after allowing four goals on thirteen shots in the first. Brandon Smolarek for Suffolk was unstoppable, stopping 33 of 34.
The Bison were sloppy early on, allowing numerous odd-man rushes. Four minutes in, senior Jon Stauffer and junior Tim Benedetto put the Rams on the board with an odd-man rush.
Stauffer launched pass off the boards to Benedetto at the blue line. Benedetto broke into the zone, with sophomore David Lazaro going wide on a two-on-one. Larson had a poor angle; Benedetto snapped a shot past him to put the Rams up 1-0. Two minutes later, sophomore Tyler Murray would extend his prolific ECAC play on a give-and-go with Mike Pantano to put the Rams up 2-0.
Nichols could not find an answer to the surging Rams, and put themselves out of the game with penalties near the end of the period.
Facing a 5-on-3 penalty kill, the Bison couldn’t hold back freshman Simon Leahy. Leahy had two chances on the doorstep before finally burying one past Larson to extend the lead to 3-0. Murray capped off the period with his second goal of the night for a 4-0 lead.
Dan Mazzei added another goal on a re-direct to put the Rams up 5-0 early in the second.
Midway through the period, Nichols found a way to solve Smolarek. Two penalties for the Rams put them on the wrong side of a 5-on-3. Nichols unleashed a salvo of shots before finally slipping one past him. Nichols found solace in the goal, even celebrating, but it would not hold up.
Suffolk continued to out-work Nichols, capitalizing on sloppy play and careless mistakes by the Bison. When the final buzzer rang, the Rams had defeated the top team in the ECAC Northeast by a 7-1 final.
“I just think we’re taking each game one at a time,” Rams head coach, Chris Glionna said. “We want to send a statement to everyone in the league that we’re a good hockey team. We see it as a challenge, no matter who we’re playing.”
Glionna said his squad is “buying-in” to the team system. “These guys understand that we need to block shots, we need to outskate teams, work hard to win games, and they’re buying in.”
“Buying into the system is key,” Smolarek said. “If we don’t buy-in, we don’t win.
If it wasn’t for blocked shots, it would have been a sixty-shot game. So I credit my forwards and defense very much for that.”
The Rams play their next game on Saturday, November 23rd. They’ll face-off against the Becker College Ice Hawks in a conference matchup at 5:40 at New England Sports Center Arena in Marlborough, MA.
Becker is currently 0-5-1, with an 0-3-1 record in ECAC play. Last season, the Ice Hawks won one and tied a game against the Rams.
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