CHARLESTOWN, Mass. – The Suffolk men's hockey team capped off its home schedule in winning fashion as the Rams not only took down Castleton, 4-1, but honored those who have and are currently serving to protect this country by hosting a Military Appreciation Night Saturday evening at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Memorial Rink.
SCORE: Suffolk 4 | Castleton 1
RECORDS: Suffolk (8-14-0, 5-11-0 NEHC) | Castleton (14-5-3, 9-5-1 NEHC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk scored in each period to build a lead it would not let go off an added an insurance marker for the final 4-1 tally.
The one-goal game held turn until Nick Abbene took advantage of the man-up opportunity with less than four minutes remaining in the second stanza. Suffolk worked the puck around the zone in an attempt to catch the Spartans off guard and it worked as the defenseman let the puck fly from the blue line and into the back of the net to make it a 2-0 Suffolk score at with 3:10 left in the middle period.
In the third on special teams played a factor for Suffolk's score once again. This time the Rams had a man in the box as Connor Parent was sent to take a break a for two minutes for boarding. The man-down did not cause the blue-and-gold to pump the breaks though as Kelly converted on a two-on-one in transition with help from Brooks to stretch Suffolk's cushion to three at the 7:21 minute mark of the final frame.
With time winding down Castleton pulled Wyatt Pickrell from between the pipes with just under five minutes left on the clock in the third. The extra skater did pay off for the Spartans, who erased the shutout at the 17:36 minute mark on an unassisted score by Troy Taylor.
The visitors kept Pickrell from the pipes, but this time Suffolk use the empty net to its advantage as Kelly slid the puck over the goal line with 25 seconds to play to push the Rams' lead back to three, a margin that held true for the final, 4-1.
- Michael Levine backstopped Suffolk to victory with a 33-save night.
- Pickrell picked up 23 stops.
- Kelly led Suffolk's offense with three points on a pair of goals and one assist.
- Brooks had a multi-point night as well with one goal and one helper.
- Abbene rounded out the Rams' goal scorers.
- Joe Feeney, Lappin and Joseph Mortillaro each tallied one point off one assist.
- Castleton outshot Suffolk, 34-27, and held the edge in face-offs, 41-30.
- Suffolk wore camo jerseys in honor of Military Appreciation night.
- The Rams moved to 2-1-0 all-time versus the Spartans.
- Suffolk defeated Castleton for the first time since 2003.
- Kelly has notched points in the last three games. Over that stretch he has compiled a state line of two goals and four assists.
- Kelly matched a personal-best in points (3) and goals (2).
- Brooks had his third multi-point night of the season.
- Abbene has registered at least one point in back-to-back games.
Suffolk heads to upstate New York next weekend to conclude the regular season. The Rams will first stop by Skidmore Friday, Feb. 8 for a 7 p.m. battle.