Suffolk vs. Stonehill
BOSTON – The Suffolk hockey team steps out of conference play Thursday night when the Rams host Stonehill at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Memorial Rink at 7:40 p.m.
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THE FIRST LINE
- After playing in three consecutive overtime contests, Suffolk has won three straight in the final two minutes of regulation.
- With eight points in five games, Suffolk sits atop the ECAC Northeast standings. Nichols, however, is undefeated in league action, at 3-0-0, while the Rams are 3-0-2 against conference opponents.
- Heading into Thursday's contest, Suffolk (4-0-2, 3-0-2 ECAC Northeast) is one of two unbeaten teams in ECAC Northeast. Joining the Rams in near perfection is Johnson & Wales who sits at 2-0-2 overall and 1-0-2 in league play.
- Suffolk enters Thursday with the nation's third-longest unbeaten streak (six games); tied with Wisconsin-EAU Claire (both are 4-0-2 in the last six contests). Only two teams across Division III men's hockey boast better ledgers than the Rams through six games in Potsdam and Wisconsin-Stevens Point, who are both 6-0-0 this season.
LAST TIME OUT
The Suffolk hockey team skated away with a 2-1 win over Wentworth at Walter Brown Arena Tuesday night, thanks to two timely third period goals. Freshmen Tommy Bishop and Justin Holliday turned things around, sparking the Rams to victory.
RUN DOWN ON THE RAMS
On the attack, a dozen Rams skaters have recorded multiple points through the first six games; junior Justin Selep leads the way with a team-best seven points off a team-high four goals and three assists, followed by both freshman Justin Holliday (3-3-6) and Stanton Turner (4-2-6). With this five assists, junior Simon Leahy (0-5-5) is fourth on the squad in points and Daniel Medvedev (1-3-4) rounds out the top five.
Though the offense shines weekly, the defense is where Suffolk makes it mark. In front of an experience, steadfast goaltender, Brandon Smolarek (2.11 GAA, .940), the Rams' blue liners have been nothing short of tremendous.
SOMETHING 'BOUT THE SKYHAWKS
Stonehill enters Thursday with a 3-1-2 mark. In their last outing, the Skyhawks put up a convincing showing over Saint Michael's College, 4-1.
A quartet of purple and white skaters lead the way offensively for Stonehill, notably Willy Baker (1-5-6). Garrett White, Thomas DePoalo and Tommy Newton own identical 2-3-5 stat lines. Brian Higgins also gives the Skyhawks a scoring threat with his four-goal season to date.
As dangerous as the team is on offense, Stonehill relies on an equally as potent goaltending duo. William Palmer does the heavy lifting for the Skyhawks, with four starts under his belt this season (2-1-1). Palmer has 123 saves and has let by just 10 shots. Behind him sits Patrick Farrington, who has three appearances. Farrington has 60 saves to his three goals allowed for a 1-0-1 records this season.
Suffolk and Stonehill have a vivid history together, having met 21 times prior to this season. The Rams trail the series dating back to 1999, 6-15, and the Skyhawks have won the last three meetings including a 4-2 triumph a year ago. Suffolk's last victory over Stonehill came in a 1-0 shutout November 6, 2010.
MAKING 'EM COUNT
Suffolk has outshot its opponents in half of the games this season. The Rams, however, have been outshot to the tune of 254-193 in total, yet has scored 17 goals to opponents 13, giving Suffolk (.088) a clear advantage over its opponents (.051) when it comes to converting those shots.
RIGHT ON, ROOKIES
The freshman class has made a significant impact for Suffolk this season. Rookie forward Justin Holliday's six points are tied for second on the team off three goals, including a game-winner, and three handouts. Freshmen forwards Tommy Bishop (2-1-3) and Nick Mosher (0-3-3) each have three points, while rookie defenseman Mikhail Bryan (0-2-0) has chipped in two.
As a whole, the Class of 2019 accounts for 29.1 percent of the Rams' offense with five goals and nine assists.
Brandon Smolarek has stood tall for Suffolk between the pipes and is a major reason why the Rams are unbeaten this season. The senior netminder has turned away 205 attempts, the most amongst ECAC Northeast goalies. Smolarek boasts a 2.11 goals-against average and .940 save percentage, which both sit fourth in the league statistics.
The Chesterfield, Michigan native steered away 46 shots against Salve Regina November 4, the most by a Suffolk goal keeper since junior Kevin Venturoso stopped 52 attempts against Tufts January 8, 2014.
Smolarek's career total is now 135 shy of 2,000 saves.
QUICK START RAMS
The Rams have been nothing short of tremendous to start any give game this season. Suffolk is outscoring the opposition, 6-1, in the opening period. The Rams have attacked first in all, but one contest this year en route to a 4-0-2 ledger.
A Heapin' Helpin' of Helpers
The Rams have done well to spread the puck around with four scorers registering multi goals, led by Justin Selep's and Stanton Turner's four. On 17 total goals this season, Suffolk has racked up 31 assists, led by Simon Leahy's five. Four other Rams have at least three assists, including Justin Holliday, Danyil Medvedev, Nick Mosher and Justin Selep.
WE'RE GOING INTO OVERTIME, AGAIN
Suffolk's first three games this season needed extra time, marking a first in the Ram's hockey record books, which date back to the 1999-2000 season.
Last season the Rams played five four-period contests (2-1-2) including three in the month of November.
The most overtime games Suffolk has played in a single season dating back to 1999-2000 is six, which happened on two occasions; 2012-13 and 2005-06. The Rams went 1-0-5 in four-periods in 2012-13 and 1-1-4 in OT games in 2005-06.
Suffolk closes out a three-game week Saturday night with a 7 p.m. showdown against Johnson & Wales.