The fourth-seeded Johnson & Wales University men's ice hockey team posted a commanding 7-0 victory over fifth-seed Suffolk in the quarterfinals of the ECAC Northeast Championship at Lynch Arena on Saturday evening. The win was the 18th of the season and ties the school record set during the 2000-01 campaign.
After battling through a scoreless first period, JWU got on the board just :32 seconds into the second period when sophomore Cody Sarmiento (Sarasota, Fla.) won a face-off and then scored after a give and go with fellow sophomore Josh Obregon (Omaha, Neb.) and freshman Stefan Brucato (Lake Elsinore, Calif.). The Wildcats added to their lead at the 6:14 mark of the period when freshman Drew Kariofiles (Cincinnati, Ohio) put in a pass from senior Justin Decowski (Hamilton, N.J.) for the 2-0 lead. JWU continued to build on its lead at the 10:13 mark of the stanza when Brucato scored with an assist to Sarmiento to go up 3-0. The Wildcats capped off the scoring for the period with just :15 remaining in the second when Obregon scored, this time with assists to Sarmieto and Brucato for the 4-0 advantage after two periods of play.
JWU added to its lead at the 11:49 mark of the third period as sophomore Aaron Arm (Plantation, Fla.) connected on a pass from freshman James Hyatt (Coral Springs, Fla.) and Sarmiento. The Wildcats then had back-to-back power play goals just :30 apart from freshman Matt Lanzillotti (Chicago, Ill.) and sophomore Patrick Avery (Carmel, Ind.) to cruise to the 7-0 victory.
Freshman Joey Ballmer (Kalamazoo, Mich.) had 17 saves in the victory for JWU while sophomore Brandon Smolarek (Chesterfield, Mich.) made 15 stops for Suffolk in the setback.
With the win Johnson & Wales is now 18-7-1 while Suffolk wraps up the 2013-14 season with a 9-15-1 record on the year. The Wildcats will return to action on Wednesday, March 5th when they travel to Wentworth for the semifinals of the ECAC Championship at 7:00 p.m. The game will be played at Salem State.
(Story courtesy of Johnson & Wales University Sports Information)