CHARLESTOWN, Mass. – The Suffolk men's hockey team returned to New England Hockey Conference action Friday night with a convincing 6-2 victory over Johnson & Wales at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Memorial Rink.
SCORE: Suffolk 6 | Johnson & Wales 2
RECORDS: Suffolk (6-9-0, 3-6-0 NEHC) | Johnson & Wales (3-11-2, 1-6-1 NEHC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk started the scoring early on as Connor Parent picked up the puck off a face-off in the Rams' zone, zoomed through the neutral zone and sniped the puck from the right dot over Mike Rockwell's stick-side shoulder to give the blue-and-gold the one-goal lead.
Brian Brooks added to Suffolk's advantage with just under 10 minutes left on the clock as the junior used set-ups from Mikhail Bryan and Tommy Bishop to make it a 2-0 Suffolk score. The two-goal cushion did not stay long as Logan Orem put the Wildcats got on the scoreboard 11 seconds after Brooks' third goal of the season to slice the deficit to one.
The hosts regained the two-goal advantage with 27 seconds remaining in the first as Jack Kelly found the back of the netting with help from Joe Vingi to turn it into a 3-1 Rams' outing after the first 20 minutes.
Johnson & Wales came out of the locker room with a chip on its shoulder and the game-play mirrored that. With each team taking penalties, the Wildcats took advantage when two Rams sat in the box. Suffolk was just a handful of seconds away from killing off the 5-on-3 before Anthony Scarcella chipped in the puck at the 12:13 minute mark to trim the margin to one, 3-2, once again. Kevin McDonald and Mike Rodrigues helped on JWU's powerplay goal.
A late strike by Suffolk once again pushed the blue-and-gold's lead to two before the second break. This time it was Billy Roche to score with less than a minute to play in the period with the freshman receiving assists from his classmate John Garrity and Sean Montgomery.
Suffolk picked up momentum off Roche's late score and added two more in the third for the final 6-2 margin. Kelly contributed his second of the evening on a man-up opportunity at the 11:43 minute mark, while Garrity lit the lamp for the first time in his career with 2:36 remaining in regulation.
- Michael Levine stopped 34 shots in the victory, his fifth of the year.
- Rockwell notched 31 saves in the setback.
- Nine different Rams recorded at least one point in the win with nearly half registering multi-point outings; Kelly (2g), Garrity (1g, 1a) Brooks (1g, 1a) and Bryan (2a).
- Bishop, Montgomery and Vingi got on the scoresheet via one assist each.
- Parent and Roche both netted one goal.
- Suffolk held a slim edge in shots, 37-36.
- The Wildcats won the battle in the face-off dot, 35-28.
- Suffolk defeated Johnson & Wales in back-to-back meetings for the first-time in the all-time series.
- The win is the blue-and-gold's seventh all-time over the Wildcats.
- The Rams strung two wins together for the second time this season.
- Parent scored his first goal of the season.
- Kelly extended his point streak to three. In that stretch the sophomore has recorded three goals and one assist.
- Kelly matched a career-high two goals.
- Roche scored his second collegiate goal, netting strikes in back-to-back outings.
- Garrity recorded his first collegiate point and finished the night with one marker and one helper on his stat line.
- Montgomery pushed his point streak to three. In that stretch he has dished out four helpers.
- Bishop pushed his point streak to two games, in which he has set-up a pair of shots.
- Brooks has tallied at least one point in back-to-back games to extend his point streak to two.
- Brooks had his second multi-point game of the season.
Suffolk wraps up the home-and-home series with Johnson & Wales tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 12 when the Rams visit the Wildcats' home rink Lynch Arena in Pawtucket, Rhode Island for a 4 p.m. puck drop.