Mass. College Hockey: Nichols Prepares For ECAC Northeast Semifinals On Wednesday

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release on the men’s hockey team, who’ll host Salve Regina on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at June Rockwell Levy Rink in Burrillville, R.I in the ECAC Northeast semifinals:

DUDLEY, Mass. – The Nichols College men’s ice hockey team earned the No. 2 seed in the 2012-13 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Northeast Hockey League Championship tournament and will host fifth-seeded Salve Regina in the semifinal round on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at June Rockwell Levy Rink in Burrillville, R.I.

The Bison, making their second consecutive ECAC Northeast semifinal appearance and first under the league’s Co-Coach of the Year Kevin Swallow, finished the regular season with a 16-8-1 overall record and the most wins since the 2008-09 ECAC Northeast Championship season while sporting a 9-4-1 ledger in league play. In the conference opener on Nov. 10, Nichols edged Salve Regina 4-3 courtesy of first-year Frank Butler’s (East Haven, Conn.) game-winner with 3:45 left in the third period. The Jan. 23rd meeting saw ECAC Northeast Rookie of the Year Tyler Beasley (Indianapolis, Ind.) deliver the lone goal early in the second period and conference Goalie of the Year rookie Alex Larson (Madison, Ala.) post 32 saves in his first collegiate shutout, a 1-0 victory.

Beasley paces the Bison offense with 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points including five power play goals and three game-winners. Butler became the second first-year Nichols student-athlete in as many years to lead the league with four game-winning goals in ECAC Northeast action. Senior captain Wil Brown (Hershey, Pa.), an All-ECAC Northeast second team selection, guided a defense that allowed only 2.21 goals per game trailing only Wentworth (2.14). Larson (10-6-1) ranked second in the league with a 2.02 goals against average and a .932 save percentage and claims the most wins (10) by a Bison rookie goaltender since Keith Fink ’09 in 2005-06. Senior Zach Kohn (Delafield, Wis.) currently sits in third-place in the Bison record books with 82 assists and ninth-place all-time with 115 points. The forward is one point shy of tying Zeke Costello ’10 for eighth place and two assists away from sharing second place with Will Munson ’11. Senior Danny Greiner (Columbus, Ohio) looks to skate in his 100th game on Wednesday.

Salve Regina (9-13-3, 5-7-2), led by the other Co-Coach of the Year Andy Boschetto, defeated fourth-seeded Western New England 8-4 in the opening round of the ECAC Northeast Hockey League Championship tournament on Saturday.

Sophomore John Scorcia (Tampa, Fla.), an All-ECAC Northeast Second Team selection, leads the Seahawks with 18 assists and 28 points while freshman Marc Biggs (Dallas, Texas) claims the goal lead with 14 this season. Biggs along with classmates Cameron Gaudet (Burlington, Mass.) and Peter Gintoli (Monroe, Conn.) as well as sophomore Michael Naso (Londonderry, N.H.) all have 24 points apiece for Salve Regina. All-ECAC Northeast honorable mention rookie Lucas Sousa (Billerica, Mass.) rounds out the double-digit point producers with 14 on the year. Fifteen of the 24 power play goals have come off the sticks of Biggs (six), Gaudet (five) or Scorcia (four) while Scorcia opened the Nov. 10th game with a shorthanded marker just 1:51 into the contest. Senior goaltender Mike McDonald (Whitby, Ontatrio), the backstop in both games against the Bison, split time between the pipes with rookie David Chiokadze (Langhorne, Pa.) this season. McDonald (4-8-2) sported a 3.53 goals against average (GAA) and a .877 save percentage in league play while Chiokadze (4-5-1) posted a 2.80 GAA and a .911 save percentage in ECAC Northeast contests.

The other semifinal matchup features top-seeded Wentworth (14-8-3, 10-2-2 ECACNE) hosting No. 6 Johnson & Wales (10-15-1, 5-8-1 ECACNE) at Matthews Arena.  The championship game will be hosted by the highest remaining seed on either Saturday or Sunday

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