Mass. College Hockey: Nichols Concludes Regular Season With 5-5 Tie Against WNE

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the men’s ice hockey contest, which saw the Bison conclude their season with a 5-5 tie to Western New England:

 HARRISVILLE, R.I. – Junior Evan Jones (Famington Hills, Mich.) scored his first goal of the season as the Nichols College men’s ice hockey team finished in a 5-5 tie with Western New England in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Northeast action Saturday night at Levy Rink.

The Bison end the regular season 16-6-3 (9-3-2 ECAC Northeast) and will host a conference semi-final game on Wednesday, March 5, with a matchup to be determined.

The Golden Bears (10-13-1, 4-8-1 ECAC Northeast) got things going at 9:18 of the first period when junior Michael Darrar (Monroe Township, N.J.) took a shot from the bottom of the left circle and bested senior goaltender Dylan Woodring (Rouge River, Ore.). Junior Andrew Cramer (New Wilmington, Pa.) received credit for the assist on the goal.

Junior Joe Sposit (Cleveland, Ohio) evened things up 33 seconds later when he redirected a shot from classmate Kyle Shapiro (Ambler, Pa.) in the crease and past junior Tim Carr (Pine Bush, N.Y.). Sophomore Tyler Beasley (Indianapolis, Ind.) was credited with the secondary apple.

Western New England retook the lead at 16:56 of the same stanza. Senior Alan Martin (Monson, Mass.) scored his seventh goal of the season and was assisted by sophomore Chris Lembo (Southington, Conn.) and senior Brian Prost (Parma, Ohio).

The Golden Bears expanded their lead less than a minute into the second period when junior Joe Budnick (Newington, Conn.) wristed a shot from the top of the right circle and over the blocker of Woodring. Sophomore Alex Larson (Madison, Ala.) relieved Woodring following the goal and played the rest of the game.

Nichols answered back with three unanswered goals in the same stanza. Junior Brett Jackson (Larchmont, N.Y.) took a shot from the slot and over the blocker of Carr to pull within one. Classmate Chris Gularte (Salinas, Calif.) evened the score at three at 14:55. Senior Josh DeLoach (Tampa, Fla.) passed it from the left point over to Gularte, who then blasted a shot from the right point and over the glove of the goaltender. Senior Greg Strootman (Aston, Pa.) was also credited with an assist on the equalizer.

The Bison took the lead at 18:12 of the second period when sophomore Sean Fleming (Easthampton, N.J.) dropped a pass back to Jones at the bottom of the left circle and Jones beat the goalie stick-side. The goal marked Jones’ first of the season.

Beasley scored just 1:04 into the third period on a tough-angled shot from the bottom of the left circle that found its way into the back of the net. Juniors Kyle Shapiro (Ambler, Pa.) and Mike Schwartz (Long Beach, N.Y.) both tallied assists to make the score 5-3 Bison.

The Golden Bears pulled their deficit to within a goal less than a minute later when Martin notched his second goal of the game. Following slashing penalties by both Shapiro and graduate student Ray Furr (Woodbridge, Va.), Western New England went on a two-man advantage for 45 seconds. It only took the Golden Bears six seconds though as they took the faceoff from the left circle in the Bison zone, and Prost passed it over to junior Brandon Stroud (Clarksville, Ind.) who then was able to best Larson top shelf.

Nichols outshot Western New England in overtime 4-3, however, finished outshot for the game 44-35. Larson picked up 28 saves while Woodring tallied 11 saves in a little over a period of work. Carr notched 30 saves for the Golden Bears.

Western New England travels to Worcester, Mass. to take on conference foe Becker College Tuesday at 3 p.m.

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