NOVEMBER 3 | 7:00 PM
BOSTON – The Suffolk men's hockey team takes on the Bison of Nichols in a home-and-home series this weekend. Friday's game is set for a 7 p.m. puck drop in Charlestown at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Rink, while Saturday's showdown sends the blue-and-gold to Harrisville, Rhode Island to battle the Bison at Levy Rink at 7:40 p.m.
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THE FIRST LINE
- Last Saturday, Suffolk secured its seventh straight season opening win with a 5-2 victory over Assumption.
- The victory moved the Rams to 8-10-1 in season openers dating back to the 1999-2000 season with the blue-and-gold improving to 6-5-0 on day one at home and 7-1 versus the Greyhounds in the first game of the season.
- The three-goal margin of victory also marked the largest win for Suffolk since the Rams took down Assumption by an identical score, 5-2, to lift the lid on the 2012-13 slate.
LAST TIME OUT
In his collegiate debut, Matt Bucher led a well-balanced attack as Suffolk men's hockey skated past Assumption, 5-2, Saturday evening at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Rink in the 2017-18 season opener.
NEW FACES IN NEW PLACES
Eight different Rams produced a point in Suffolk's (1-0-0) season opener led by Matt Bucher's collegiate debut two-goal performance. The freshman netted a pair of unassisted goals to anchor the Rams' five-goal offense.
For the second straight season Michael Levine earned the nod against the Greyhounds. The junior netminder turned aside 37 attempts, one shy of his career high, and let just two pucks past the goal line for his first win of the year.
Nichols heads into the weekend after a trip to New York to open the 2017-18 slate. The Bison defeated Skimore, 4-3, in the season opener, before falling to Buffalo State by an identical score the following night.
Scott Cuthrell is the main ingredient to the Bison's seven-goal offense. The senior forward owns a stat line of four points with a pair of goals to goa long with two helpers. Matthew Menta and Ian Spencer sit second on the squad with three points apiece with one marker and two assists.
Colin Brennan has played both contests in net for Nichols. The senior is bringing in a 1-1-0 ledger with 37 saves (.841) and a 3.53 goals against average, letting seven pucks past him on the young season.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Friday marks the 48th meeting between Suffolk and Nichols dating back to 1982. The Rams own a 25-19-3 all-time series lead, despite falling to the Bison, 9-2, in the last meeting, Feb. 15, 2017. Suffolk's last victory over Nichols came Jan. 16, 2016, 5-2.
In its inaugural CCC opener, Suffolk fell to Becker, 3-1, last season. Playing in the league's second season, Suffolk and Nichols will faceoff to kick off conference contests for either team Friday night.
CCC COACHES' PRESEASON POLL
|2017-18 CCC Men's Ice Hockey Preseason Poll|
2. Univ. of New England
3. Salve Regina
T6. Johnson & Wales
8. Western New England
|Points (First Place Votes)
MORE READING: Men's Hockey Picked Ninth in CCC Preseason Poll
CCC WEEKLY RECOGNITION
After a 5-2 season opening win over Assumption, Suffolk men's hockey's Matt Bucher and Michael Levine were recognized by the conference as the rookie and junior collected Commonwealth Coast Conference honors. Bucher took home CCC Rookie of the Week, while Levine grabbed CCC Goaltender of the Week.
MORE READING: Men's Hockey Pair Garners CCC Weekly Accolades
HERO OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
Michael Levine of the Suffolk men's hockey team has been named a nominee for HeroSports.com DIII Men's Hockey Goaltending HERO of the Week after being the back stop in the Rams' 5-2 season opening win over Assumption. To vote for Levine, click here.
Of the eight points earned by individual Rams in the season opener, five were recorded by the freshman class. Matt Bucher's two-goal day led the way with his classmates, Mark Barton, Jack Kelly and Gavin O'Neill all recording their first collegiate points with one assist each.
Connor Henry has a knack for taking advantage when Suffolk is a man-down. Two of the junior's six goals have come when a Ram is in the penalty box. In the season opener, the forward netted his second shorthanded strike of his career and became the first Ram to do so since he accomplished the feat in a 4-3 win against the University of New England Feb. 11, 2017.
WHAT'S TO COME
Suffolk is set for a home-and-away battle with Salve Regina next weekend. The Rams will first visit the Seahawks Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m., before hosting Salve in Charlestown Saturday, Nov. 11 for a 7:30 p.m. tilt.