Suffolk vs. Wentworth
BOSTON – On the heels of one of the best regular-season finishes in program history and the No. 4 seed Suffolk hockey team will play host to fifth-seeded Wentworth in the conference quarterfinals. The Rams and Leopards will duke it out for the third time this season.
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#2 Nichols vs. #7 Becker - Saturday, Feb. 27, 4:40 p.m. | Levy Rink, Harrisville, R.I.
#3 Salve Regina vs. #6 Johnson & Wales, Saturday, Feb. 27, 3:10 p.m. | Portsmouth Abbey Ice Arnea, Portsmouth, R.I.
#4 Suffolk vs. #5 Wentworth - Sunday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m. | Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Memorial Rink
Semifinals, Wednesday, March 2
#1 Endicott vs. Lowest Remaining Seed - TBD | Raymond J. Bourque Arena, Beverly, Mass.
Second-Highest Remaining Seed vs. Second-Lowest Remaining Seed
Finals, Saturday, March 6
Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
LAST TIME OUT
Nichols took care of Suffolk, 5-1, in the regular season finale Wednesday night with the Rams lone goal coming off the stick of junior Justin Selep.
MORE READING: Hockey Upended by Nichols, 5-1, in Season Finale
BOSTON HERALD: SUFFOLK IN THE HUNT
It has been a banner campaign for the Suffolk men, who sit in third place in the ECAC Northeast Conference standings heading into Wednesday's regular-season finale against league front-runner Nichols at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Memorial Rink.
MORE READING: Boston Herald: Suffolk in the Hunt
RUN DOWN ON THE RAMS
- Suffolk finished the regular season 13-9-2 overall and 8-6-2 against conference competitions. The 13 wins land in a tie for fourth-most all-time in the Rams record books.
- Justin Selep, who ranks in the top-20 national in goals (0.67 – T14) and short-handed goals (5 – T5) per game, leads the team in points (27) and goals (16), which rank second in the league, respectively. His four game-winners tie seven other skaters across the country for the seventh most nationally.
- Danyil Medvedev is second on the team and 11th in the conference with 20 points on the ninth-most helpers among ECAC Northeast skaters with 13.
- Overall, 26 different Rams have recorded a point this season, with 23 tallying multiple points and seven notching double figure points. As a team, Suffolk produces the fifth highest offense in the league with 3.21 goals per game.
- The Rams have called upon each goalie of their three-headed netminder machine this season. Brandon Smolarek has been Suffolk's go-to in 20 contests with the senior producing 537 saves (.898) and allowing just 61 pucks past him (3.24 GAA). Kevin Venturoso has 84 saves to his credit, while Michael Levine has stopped 66 pucks.
LOW DOWN ON THE LEOPARDS
- A perennial ECAC Northeast powerhouse, Wentworth suffered from a 0-12-2 streak from November 11 through January 23, before winning six of its last season to close the season 9-14-2 overall and 8-7-1 against conference competition.
- Twenty-three different Leopards have registered a point this season, but Wentworth is putting together the league's worst offense at 2.48 goals per game.
- Seven different skaters have put together double-figure points with Jake Flynn's 16 (6-10-16) leading the way. Erik Anderson (8-5-13), Jake McDonough (8-4-12) and Ryan Sullivan (2-10-12) round out Wentworth's top scoring threats.
- In net, a threesome of goalies have seen time for the Leopards, but Joel Miller is Wentworth's stalwart, starting 16 of 18 games. The senior has accumulated 480 saves, while allowing 43 pucks past him.
WE MEET AGAIN
Suffolk and Wentworth split its regular-season meetings this season. The Rams took the first thanks to two timely third period goals from freshman Tommy Bishop and Justin Holliday. The Leopards relied on netminder Joel Miller and powerplay tallies to spoil the Rams' Senior Night in the team's second meeting.
MORE READING (GAME 1): Third Period Goals Vault Hockey to 2-1 Victory over Wentworth
MORE READING (GAME 2): Wentworth Spoils Hockey's Senior Night, 3-1
Chris Glionna won his 100th game on the bench of the Suffolk hockey program Saturday night. Through his 12-year career he was named the 2009-10 ECAC Northeast Hockey Coach of the Year, led the Rams to four ECAC post-season appearances and saw 24 players earn ECAC Northeast Hockey honors, including Simon Leahy, who was named Rookie of the Year during the 2013-14 season and Jeff Rose, who was tabbed as the league's top net minder in 2009-10.
For the first time since, February 22, 2014, Suffolk earned a shutout in the form of a 1-0 clean sheet over Becker Saturday night.
The 1-0 victory was also the first for the Rams since November 6, 2010 when Suffolk earned a golden goal win over Stonehill in the Becker Ice Breaker Tournament.
RIGHT ON, ROOKIES
The freshman class has made a significant impact for Suffolk this season. Rookie forward Justin Holliday's 14 points off seven goals and seven assists, sit third on the team. Tommy Bishop's 12 points (4-8-12) ranks fifth on the team, while his forward counterparts of Nick Mosher (5-6-11) and Connor Parent (6-2-8) round out the Rams' top 10 point earners. Brendan Heinze has scored three goals and handed out two helpers and Mikhail Bryan has four assists and one goal to his credit. Connor Henry (1-0-1), Sean Henry (0-2-2) and Dominic Rovero (0-1-1) round out the rookies with points.
As a whole, the Class of 2019 accounts for 30.9 percent of the Rams' offense with 27 goals and 31 assists.
Brandon Smolarek has stood tall for Suffolk between the pipes and is a major reason why the Rams are 13-9-2 this season. The senior netminder has turned away 537 attempts. Smoalrek boasts a 3.24 goals-against average and .898 save percentage.
Smolarek brought his career total to 2,005 saves January 8, a milestone that was reached by just one other Ram since 1999-00, Jeff Rose '11 who owns Suffolk's all-time saves record with 2,799. Currently, Smolarek has 2,197 stops.
The Chesterfield, Michigan native steered away 46 shots against Salve Regina November 4, the most by a Suffolk keeper since junior Kevin Venturoso stopped 52 attempts against Tufts January 8, 2014.
A HEAPIN' HELPIN' OF HELPERS
The Rams have done well to spread the puck around with 14 scorers registering multiple goals, led by Justin Selep's 15 and Danyil Medvedev's and Justin Holliday's seven. On 76 total goals this season, Suffolk has racked up 113 assists, led by Medvedev's 13 and 11 from Tyler Heineman and Selep, respectively.
Six of Suffolk's 12 game-winning goals this season have been scored by upperclassmen with the remaining three coming off the sticks of first-years. Junior Justin Selep leads the way with four, while freshman Justin Holliday has three. Junior Stanton Turner and freshman Nick Mosher put in two each with senior Zack Capozza and sophomore Luke Miller each have game-winning scores to their credit.
NINE SCORES AND 14 YEARS AGO
For the first time in 14 years, Suffolk scored nine goals en route to a 9-5 trouncing of UMass Dartmouth January 21. Six skaters in blue-and-gold combined for the most scores by the Rams since December 4, 2002 in an 11-4 victory over Franklin Pierce. Twelve different players recorded a point to put in the most goals in the Chris Glionna era and the most tallies on the road in Suffolk history, according to the record books, which date back to the 1999-2000 season.
The winner will advance to the semifinals Wednesday, March 2.