CHARLESTOWN, Mass. – Suffolk men's hockey slipped up in its Commonwealth Coast Conference opener as Nichols took down the Rams 3-0 thanks to a one-goal, one-assist performance by J.B. Baker and a 28-save effort from goaltender Colin Brennan Friday night at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Rink.
SCORE: Suffolk 0, Nichols 3
RECORDS: Suffolk (1-1-0, 0-1-0 CCC) | Nichols (2-1-0, 1-0-0 CCC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Nichols peppered Michael Levine with multiple attempts as the Bison controlled the opening portion of the action. Levine turned aside eight of Nichols shots, but Luke Andracki's made it past the goalie's gloves to put the Bison on the scoreboard with just under five minutes remaining in the first frame.
Suffolk looked to even the playing field as David Chevrier was whistled for tripping at the 15:36 minute mark. The Rams put four shots on target while Chevrier was in the box, but Brennan turned aside all of the blue-and-gold's attempts to keep the Bison in front, 1-0.
Out of the locker rooms, Nichols quickly stretched its cushion to two goals as T.J. Roache put away just 1:14 into the second period. The Rams looked to take advantage on a pair of power plays, but were kept quiet as the 2-0 game stood after two complete periods.
The Rams had to kill of a penalty early to open the third frame and went on their fourth power play of the night looking to make up ground. The Bison's defense stood tall behind four stops from Brennan to keep Nichols in front by two.
With less than three minutes remaining, Baker put even more distance between the Rams and Bison thanks to a great feed by Crivello.
Nichols controlled the puck down the stretch to secure the 3-0 conference victory.
- Andracki was head on with Levine and flipped the puck over the netminder's mitts to open the scoring with 4:42 left on the clock in the first. Evan Schwartz and Ian Spencer each assisted on the sophomore's first goal of the season.
- Roache picked up the pieces of Baker's saved shot and put the rebound away to stretch Nichols' lead to two goals just 4:11 into the second stanza. Vincent Crivello helped on the Bison's second goal of the night as well as the trio of skaters all earned their first points of the season.
- Baker recorded his first goal of the season thanks to a great set up by Crivello. The sophomore forward found Baker wide open on Levine's glove side and slid the puck past the blue-and-gold defense for Baker to easily tuck it away. Filip Virgili notched an assist on the Bison's third goal of the night as well.
KEEPING UP WITH THE KEEPERS
- Levine made 27 stops in his first setback of the season, dipping to 1-1-0 in between the pipes for Suffolk.
- Brennan's 28-save effort was good enough for his first shutout of the year as the senior improved to 2-1-0 in net.
- Nichols held a slim edge in shots, 30-28, with the Bison also controlling the faceoff circle, 41-31.
- Both teams had four powerplay opportunities on the evening with neither squad taking advantage of the man-up opportunities.
- Baker and Crivello both picked up two points apiece for the Bison. Baker scored once and handed out one assists, while Crivello dished out a pair of helpers.
- Andracki and Roche both found the back of the netting for Nichols with Spencer, Schwartz and Virgili all contributing one assist each.
Suffolk and Nichols will meet again tomorrow night as the Rams head to Harrisville, Rhode Island for a 7:40 p.m. puck drop at Levy Rink.