The Suffolk University Hockey team wrapped up the first semester with their best start in program history as they stand at a 7-1-1 overall mark in their first nine games. Suffolk saw their eight game unbeaten streak to start the season come to a close prior to the break with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Wentworth Institute of Technology on December 7.
For the past four weeks Suffolk has been recognized by United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) in their weekly national poll earning votes in all four weeks. Suffolk received as many as 13 national votes, the 19th highest total nationally on December 8th. Despite not yet cracking the national top 15 poll, Suffolk is currently sitting atop the ECAC Northeast Hockey conference with a 4-0-1 record in league play.
A large reason for Suffolk's success so far this season has been their ability to get contributions from multiple players.
Sophomore Stanton Turner (San Francisco, Calif.) is currently tied for the lead in the ECAC Northeast with a team-high seven goals on the season. Turner registered his first career hat trick on November 20 in front of a packed home crowd in Charlestown that saw Suffolk defeat Becker College, 7-2.
In nine games this season, 11 different players have scored at least one goal, while five have tallied a game winning goal.
Turner shares the lead in game winners with two along with sophomore Danyil Medvedev (Boston, Mass.). Both Turner and Medvedev have earned ECAC Northeast Weekly Honor Roll selection on two occasions this season. Medvedev is currently tied for second on the team with eight points (3 goals, 5 assists). Medvedev had a four point night (2 goals, 2 assists) on December 6, a 4-3 victory over Franklin Pierce University.
Sophomore Justin Selep (Pittsburgh, Pa.) is tied for second in the conference with six goals scored on the season. Selep was recognized by the ECAC Northeast with an honor roll selection on December 1st following his overtime game winning goals to lift Suffolk past Southern New Hampshire earlier that week. Selep currently leads the team with 10 points through nine games.
Senior Tim Benedetto (Peabody, Mass.) has been a solid two-way contributor as he has helped lead a penalty-killing unit that has allowed just five goals in 46 attempts for an 89.1-percent efficiency. Benedetto was named ECAC Northeast Player of the Week on November 17 following his overtime game winning goal over Johnson & Wales University in a 2-1 victory.
A large part for Suffolk's success has been their defensive play which has allowed a league best 18 goals on the season.
Junior goaltender Brandon Smolarek (Chesterfield, Mich.) has been strong between the pipes. He is currently second in the conference in both goals against average (1.75) and save percentage (.946).
Suffolk will be back in action after the new year when they travel for the Salem State Holiday Classic. Suffolk will take on the host Vikings on January 2nd for a 7:00pm faceoff.