Suffolk vs. Assumption
BOSTON – The Suffolk ice hockey team is set to open its 2015-16 season this weekend as Assumption will pay visit to the Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Memorial Rink Saturday night. Puck drop between the Rams and Hounds is slated for 7 p.m.
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The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) presents #HallowFaceoff for the 2015-16 Suffolk ice hockey season and home opener Halloween night at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Memorial Rink.
When the puck drops between the Rams and Greyhounds of Assumption College at 7 p.m., SAAC wants the stands filled with Ram Nation dressed to impress in Halloween costumes to cheer on Suffolk in its debut. The fan with the most impressive costume will leave the rink with a grand prize.
MORE READING: SAAC Presents #HallowFaceoff for Hockey Opener
OUT OF THE GATES
The Rams are 6-9-1 in season openers since 1999, including a 5-5-1 mark when its first game of the year is at home. This year's contest will be the sixth straight season that Suffolk begins against Assumption, as the Rams are 4-1, when opening with the Greyhounds including four straight wins. Suffolk opened last season with a 3-2 win against Assumption in Worcester, Massachusetts.
GUESS WHO'S BACK
A fair amount of change has transpired for Suffolk during the offseason, but the faces that return will be key in the search for continued success. Though there are missing pieces, the Rams are kept on a seamless track by 12-year head coach Chris Glionna with his veteran assistants John Burgess, Greg Fowke and Pat Welch on the bench for some welcomed familiarity.
On the ice, the Rams return 21 skaters, most notably four of its top five point earners. Junior Stanton Turner (16-10-26) leads the charge with fellow forwards senior Justin Selep (11-11-22), junior Simon Leahy (7-9-16) and senior Mike Cherpak (4-11-15) all returning to the ice.
Brandon Smolarek looks to take the Rams' share of the minutes in the net for Suffolk after starting 21 games as a junior. Smolarek earned an impressive 10-12-2 record, turning away 720 shots to just 75 goals allowed, earning him a spot on the ECAC Northeast Honorable Mention Team.
NEW FACES, IN NEW PLACES
With 12 newcomers, Suffolk's freshman class (10) is the largest on the roster (compared to just eight seniors, eight juniors and seven sophomores). While all the newcomers will certainly shoulder their share of responsibilities, the Rams will look to forwards Tommy Bishop and Justin Holliday for immediate contributions.
GET TO KNOW THE GREYHOUNDS
Like the Rams, the Greyhounds have not yet begun its season.
Assumption was voted to finish in the middle of the pack the NE-10 pack, fifth in the NE-10 Ice Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll that came out October 21. The Greyhounds return 24 of 28 letterwinner from a season ago, making for an experienced squad. Captain Brandon Bete and assistant captains Alex Erban and Ryan Gomez look to lead Assumption this season under the guidance of eight-year head coach Lance Brady. Along with the captains, other key returners from last season's squad that went 8-16 overall, are sophomore Matt Cowles and senior goaltender Chris Hemhauser. Cowles tallied 10 assists and two goals during his inaugural season while Hemhauser tallied 635 saves overall.
Suffolk and Assumption have played every year since 1999, when the Rams' record books date back. The Rams, which have taken the last four contests, hold a 9-6-1 advantage leading up to the two sides' 17th meeting. Last season, Suffolk beat Assumption, 3-2, in the season opener.
|2015-16 ECAC NORTHEAST PRESEASON COACHES' POLL|
Suffolk continues to the season Wednesday, Nov. 4 when it opens ECAC Northeast play at home versus Salve Regina at 7:40 p.m., before heading out on the road for two straight contests making stops at Endicott (Nov. 7) and Western New England (Nov. 12). in that span.