Mass. College Hockey: Nichols Beats WNE, Clinches Second Place In ECAC Northeast

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about the men’s ice hockey team that topped Western New England College and claimed second place in the upcoming ECAC Northeast tournament:

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. – Sophomore Joe Sposit (Cleveland, Ohio) and first-year Tyler Beasley (Indianapolis, Ind.) each had a goal and an assist as the Nichols College men’s ice hockey team defeated visiting Western New England, 4-1, in an ECAC Northeast showdown at Levy Rink. With the win, Nichols (16-7-1, 9-3-1 ECACNE) clinches second place in the league standings and a bye in the first round of the conference tournament. The Bison will host a home game on Wednesday, Feb. 27th at 8:10 p.m. against an opponent to be decided during the opening round on Saturday, Feb. 23. Western New England claims a home game in the first round and will wait until the end of Tuesday’s games to learn their opponent.

First-year Alex Larson (Madison, Ala.) made 14 saves en route to his 10th victory of the season (10-5-1) for the most victories by a Bison rookie goaltender since Keith Fink ’09 won 16 games in his inaugural season in 2005-2006. Sophomore Brett Jackson (Larchmont, N.Y.) pitched in with a pair of helpers.

Sophomore Chris Gularte (Salinas, Calif.) potted a power play goal with a wrister from the point that found its way through traffic. Jackson and senior Danny Greiner (Columbus, Ohio) each had a helper on the tally at 5:13 in the first. Later in the frame, junior Brian Prost (Parma, Ohio) buried a shot from the left circle off a feed from junior John Kelly (Staten Island, N.Y.) to even the game with a power play goal at 15:51. Nichols claimed a commanding 22-4 lead in shots as each side capitalized on an extra man opportunity.

First-year Tyler Beasley (Indianapolis, Ind.) snapped the 1-alll tie midway through the second period as he finished off a series of rebounds after shots by classmate Frank Butler (East Haven, Conn.) and sophomore Joe Sposit (Cleveland, Ohio) at 10:46. The Bison outshot the visitors 18-5 in the frame and took advantage of a power play opportunity.

Sposit and sophomore Mike Schwartz (Long Beach, N.Y.) struck 1:31 apart to extend the Bison lead. At 6:10, Beasley and sophomore Kyle Shapiro (Ambler, Pa.) as Schwartz beat the goaltender on the stick side for his first goal of the season. Jackson and senior Bryan Gill (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) each had a stick Nichols fourth goal of the evening with 12:19 left in the game.

Western New England junior Eric Sorenson (Fairport, N.Y.) turned aside 48 shots in the setback for the Golden Bears as he fell to 5-7-0 on the season.

Nichols closes out the regular season with a 7:35 p.m. game at Curry on Tuesday night.

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