SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Western New England tied the ECAC Northeast contest with just 35 seconds remaining, but Stanton Turner lit the lamp at the right time as the junior's game-winner came just eight seconds later to lift the Suffolk hockey team over the Bears, 4-3, Thursday night at Smead Ice Arena.
Turner's third score of the season vaulted the Rams to victory (2-0-2, 1-0-2 ECAC Northeast), while senior Brandon Smolarek's play in net allowed Suffolk the opportunity to remain in the hunt for the win. Smolarek finished with 25 saves over the three periods, the Rams first regulation game this season, while his counterpart, Austin Keiser was tested by the Rams stopping 35 shots.
Juniors Justin Selep and Danyil Medvedev each put together three-point performances to lead the Rams' offensive charge. Selep found the back of the net twice and dished out one assist, while Medvedev put in one tally and had two helpers. Senior Tyler Heineman had two assists on the night with senior Mike Cherpak and freshmen Justin Holliday and Nick Mosher handed out one assist apiece.
Suffolk opened the contest in the drivers seat as Selep put the Rams on the board just 16 seconds in.
As Western New England's (0-4, 0-2 ECAC Northeast) Steve Beck was whistled for roughing, Medvedev and his linemates took advantage and put the Rams up by two. Medvedev's first score of the year was assisted by Heineman and Selep at 14:04.
Each team found the back of the net in the second period. The Bears struck first at the midway point thanks Connor Eckenrod setting up Chris Lembo. With less than three minutes on the clock before the second intermission, Selep struck again on a dish from Medvedv and Mosher to keep it a two-goal game.
Another 10 minutes ticked off the score clock in the third, it looked as though Suffolk would maintain its advantage, but WNEC had other plans. Brian Hurley connected at 10:44 to cut the Rams' edge to one. Tyler Hines and David Dischaivi had a hand on the score.
Hurley's goal seemed to give the Bears momentum, but it took nine minutes before it equalized the game. Braedan Pearl tapped in an unassisted shot to make things interesting at 19:25.
Turner left no time for WNEC to celebrate and he made sure Suffolk finished a game in just 60 minutes this season as he put the game away at 19:33 on feeds from Heineman and Holliday.
Suffolk returns to action Saturday night when it entertains Curry at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Memorial Rink at 7 p.m.