Feb 04, 2014
Junior Tim Benedetto (Peabody, Mass.) snapped a second period tie with a power play goal to back a 44-save effort from sophomore Brandon Smolarek (Chesterfield, Mo.) that lifted Suffolk to a 5-2 ECAC Northeast ice hockey victory over Salve Regina Tuesday evening at Steriti Rink.
The host Rams (6-12-1, 3-5-1 ECAC Northeast) trailed 2-1 midway through the second stanza before sophomore Mike Cherpak (Enfield, Mass.) evened matters 9:17 into the frame, and Benedetto collected the game-winner for Suffolk just 4:16 later on feeds from sophomores Tyler Heineman (Randolph, N.J.) and Connor McCarthy (Hanover, Mass.) on the man-advantage. Sophomore Mike Pantano's (Bridgewater, Mass.) goal with 2:07 remaining in the period extended the hosts' advantage to 4-2 after 40 minutes of play, and freshman Simon Leahy's (Milwaukee, Wis.) empty-netter with 13 seconds to play capped the scoring and iced the Rams' triumph.
The two teams traded tallies in an eight-second span in the first period, as freshman Stanton Turner (San Francisco, Calif.) gave Suffolk the early lead before senior William Gomolinski's (Western Springs, Ill.) unassisted marker evened matters for the visiting Seahawks (7-13, 5-4 ECAC Northeast). Junior John Scorcia (Tampa, Fla.) gave Salve Regina its only lead of the night 3:56 into the middle frame on a feed from junior Scott McMenimen (Exeter, N.H.), setting up Benedetto's heroics as part of four unanswered Ram goals.
Benedetto, Turner and Leahy each finished with a goal and an assist in the win for Suffolk, which also received two assists each from Heineman and senior Charlie McGinnis (Hanover, Mass.) as well as single helpers off the sticks of junior Richard Woodworth (Carlisle, Mass.) and sophomore Carmen Mastrangelo (Wellington, Fla.).
Smolarek picked up his fifth win of the season between the pipes for the Rams, as he made nearly half of his saves (20) in the second period alone in stopping the final 17 shots he faced over the last 23-plus minutes of play. Freshman Alexander Devine (Hampton, N.H.) made 16 saves over the first two periods in suffering the setback for Salve Regina, which received eight third period stops from sophomore David Chiokadze (Langhorne, Pa.). The Seahawks outshot Suffolk by a 46-29 margin for the contest, including a 35-20 edge over the first 40 minutes of action alone.
Suffolk heads to Harrisville, R.I. on Saturday evening to take on Nichols in an ECAC Northeast outing that faces off at 7:40 p.m., while Salve Regina travels to Milton, Mass. on Saturday afternoon to square off with Curry in an ECAC Northeast contest that faces off at 4:40 p.m.