BOSTON – Coming off back-to-back overtime home contests, the Suffolk hockey team hits the road for the first time this season when the Rams stop by Endicott for a Saturday showdown. Puck drop at the Gulls' brand new facility, the Raymond J. Bourque Arena, is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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THE FIRST LINE
- Suffolk is coming off its second overtime game, after tying Salve Regina Wednesday night. The last time the Rams played in back-to-back overtime contests was February 3-6, 2010. Suffolk tied Salve Regina (4-4) before defeating Curry, 3-2.
- The draw against the Seahawks Wednesday marked the second straight season and third time and four years that Suffolk has earned at least a point in its conference opener. The Rams are 2-1-1 in their last four such contests.
- Five Suffolk players have logged a point in both games this season: Stanton Turner (2g, 1a), Justin Holliday (1g, 2a), Justin Selep (1g, 2a), Shayne Bailey (1g, 1a) and Simon Leahy (1g, 1a).
- Coming into the weekend, Suffolk (1-0-1, 0-0-1 ECAC Northeast) is one of just two teams in the conference to remain unbeaten to start the 2015-16 season. The Rams are joined in near perfect by Johnson & Wales (1-0-0, 0-0-0 ECAC Northeast).
LAST TIME OUT
In a clash of two ECAC Northeast squads, the Suffolk hockey team led 3-2, but a Salve Regina score in the final period stalemated the Rams into overtime for the second time in as many games, which eventually ended in a 3-3 tie at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Memorial Rink Wednesday night.
The Rams relied on its youth offensively. Freshman Tommy Bishop used his first collegiate goal to put Suffolk on the board, before dishing out an assist on sophomore Shayne Bailey's first goal as a Ram. Rookie Mikhail Bryan registered his first collegiate point on an assist, while classmate Justin Holliday added one handout to his growing stat line. Junior Stanton Turner rounded out Suffolk's goal scorers with senior Justin Selep and junior Simon Leahy handing out an assist each.
In net, senior Brandon Smolarek was nearly flawless through two full periods and ended the game with 46 saves, including seven in the extra session. The 46 stops are the most by a Suffolk goalie since junior Kevin Venturoso turned away 52 attempts at Tufts January 8, 2014.
The freshman class has made a significant impact for Suffolk through just two games this season. Rookie forward Justin Holliday's three points is tied for a team-high off one goal and two handouts. Freshman forward Tommy Bishop (1-1-2) has two points, while defenseman Mikahil Bryan and Nick Mosher picked up one helper each.
After saving 35 and allowing a trio of goals to a tough Assumption team in the season opener, goaltender Brandon Smolarek followed his performance up with phenomenal play against Salve Regina. The Chesterfield, Michigan native steered away 46 shots, the most by Suffolk netminder senior junior Kevin Venturoso stopped 52 attempts against Tufts January 8, 2014.
Through just two games this season, Smolarek has turned in 81 saves to bring his career total to 1,741.
GET TO KNOW THE GULLS
Similar to Suffolk, Endicott has played two straight overtime games. After playing to a 1-1 draw at Stonehill in their season opener, the Gulls fell at Nichols, 3-2, Wednesday night.
Freshman Alex Marcinek and Nicholas Petrella lead the way for Suffolk, totaling two points each. Marcinek has put in a goal and handed out one assist, while Petrella has a team-best two assists to his credit.
Kevin Aldridge has seen all the action as the backstop for the Gulls. In two games played, Aldridge has 44 saves (.917) while allowing two goals (1.87) for a 0-1-1 record.
With the Gulls making their varsity debut this season, Suffolk and Endicott will meet on the ice for the first time.
THE BEST OF THE WEEK
After the Suffolk hockey team's 4-3 overtime season opening win over Assumption Saturday night, a pair of student-athletes earned ECAC Northeast weekly awards, the conference announced Monday night. Justin Selep was named ECAC Northeast Player of the Week and Justin Holliday was recognized as the league's Rookie of the Week.
MORE READING: Hockey Duo Secures ECAC Northeast Weekly Honors
Suffolk will remain on the road next week when it stops by Western New England Thursday, Nov. 12 for a 7:10 p.m. puck drop.