CHARLESTOWN, Mass. – Suffolk men's hockey junior Tommy Bishop's equalizer with 15.5 seconds remaining in regulation lifted the Rams to a 5-5 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) tie with the University of New England Saturday evening at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Rink.
SCORE: Suffolk 5, University of New England 5
RECORDS: Suffolk (5-5-1, 2-5-1 CCC) | University of New England (5-3-2, 3-3-2 CCC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk sandwiched two goals around one from UNE to grab a 2-1 lead after the first 20 minutes.
Joseph Mortillaro got the scoring going at the midway point of the first. The freshman took advantage of a cluster in front of Ben Churchfield and put away the puck at the 11:57 minute mark. Nick Abbenne assisted on the first goal of the night along with Brian Brooks.
The Nor'easters evened the score 2:24 later as Andrew Slotnick was set up by Jeff Eppright. Bishop ensured Suffolk's lead at intermission as the junior found the back of the net on feeds from Connor Parent and David Lappin with 4:40 left in the first frame to give the Rams a 2-1 edge.
Over the second set of 20 minutes Lappin scored twice to stretch Suffolk's advantage to 4-1. The threesome of Lappin, Bishop and Parent teamed up for the sophomore's first goal of the season just 2:24 into the second period before Parent and Abbene helped Lappin on the power play at 15:35. Once again UNE responded, however, to cut the Rams' lead in half. Tyler Seltenreich scored on feeds from Dylan Bengston and Eppright with 2:05 on the clock in the second to make it a 4-2 Suffolk contest.
The Nor'easters kept their comeback hopes alive as they netted two goals in a 2:10 span to equalize the game at 4-all early in the third. Tucker Ross struck first on a 4-on-4 from the point on a pass from Dylan Bengston before Brady Fleurent scored the game-tying goal with help from Dimitris Jones.
UNE's presentence paid off as it took its first lead of the day at the 12:06 mark. Slotnick put away the go-ahead goal on Derek Mecrones assist to flip the score to 5-4 in favor of the Nor'easters.
Having to make up ground Suffolk was halted as Sean Henry was whistled for tripping with 2:34 remaining. Chris Glionna pulled Michael Levine with 1:01 remaining and once Henry was out of the box the Rams forced overtime as Bishop scored his second of the night with 15.5 seconds remaining. Parent produced his fourth assist of the night on the game-tying goal, while Joe Vingi wrote his name in the scoreboard on the strike.
In the extra session, Levine made six saves and Suffolk's defense blocked a pair of shots to keep the Nor'easters off the scoreboard. On the offensive side of the ice, the Rams could not convert on their three chances as the teams skated to a 5-5 stalemate.
- Bishop and Lappin each finished the night with identical stat lines of two goals and one assist to lead Suffolk's attack.
- Parent helped on all, but one of the Rams goals to tally four assists.
- Abbene also had a multi-point outing with a pair of helpers with Mortillaro (1g), Brooks (1a) and Vingi (1a) all contributing one point.
- UNE outshot Suffolk 46-35 and held the advantage in the faceoff circle, 54-30.
- Suffolk took advantage of one of its six power play opportunities and killed off all five of its penalties.
KEEPING UP WITH THE KEEPERS
- For the second straight night, Levine notched 41 saves in between the pipes as the junior played to his first tie of the season.
- Churchfield had 30 saves to his credit in his second tie of the season.
- Suffolk and UNE skated to their first-ever tie in the series' history, which dates back to 2011.
- The Rams are now 1-4-1 all-time versus the Nor'easters.
- Suffolk played its second overtime contest of the season.
- Bishop put together his first multi-point game of the year, scoring twice for the first time this season and third time in his career.
- Lappin produced a career-high points (3) behind a career-best two goals.
- Parent set a new career high of points with four thanks to three assists, which is also a career-best for the junior.
- Abbene recorded his first point in Suffolk blue-and-gold with his first multi-point game as a Ram.
- With his assist on the first score of the night Brooks extended his point streak to seven straight games. The stretch features nine points on four goals and five handouts.
Suffolk will take the ice in one final home-and-home series in 2017 as the Rams battle Wentworth next weekend. Suffolk first visits the Leopards Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:00 p.m., before entertaining the conference foes Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m.