Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the first-round of the NCAA Division 3 Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament. The Bison saw their season conclude with a 3-2 setback against Geneseo State:
GENESEO, N.Y. – Sophomore Alex Larson (Madison, Ala.) made a career-high 45 saves in Nichols College’s 3-2 loss at SUNY Geneseo Thursday evening in the First Round of the NCAA Division III Tournament at Wilson Ice Arena.
Junior Brett Jackson (Larchmont, N.Y.) and sophomore Tyler Beasley (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored for the Bison, who were making their second trip to the NCAA’s in program history (2008-09).
Freshman Connor Anthoine (Lewiston, Maine) picked up a goal and an assist for the Knights (22-6-0), who will host Norwich Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Nate Brown (Bethel Park, Pa.) tallied two assists for SUNY Geneseo, which outshot Nichols 48-33.
“I thought it was a very even hockey game,” said Nichols head coach Kevin Swallow. “We battled them from start to finish and I thought we had our chances. The shots were not indicative of how this game was played – the score was. Both teams were very evenly matched. We could have been a little hungrier around the net and buried a couple, but you have to give them credit. They’re a very good hockey team.”
The Knights opened the scoring just 2:25 into the contest when junior Justin Scharfe (Webster, N.Y.) tucked a shot inside the right post behind Larson. Brown and Anthoine were credited with assists on the Scharfe’s 10th marker of the season.
All five Bison touched the puck on Beasley’s goal at 16:08 of the first. Junior Chris Gularte (Salinas, Calif.) sent a pass from the right point down to classmate Joe Sposit (Cleveland, Ohio) along the right wing boards. Sposit fed Beasley just outside the crease, and he lifted a backhand shot over the glove hand of Horrigan.
Junior Tyler Brickler (Riverwoods, Ill.) scored the game-winning goal – his 15th goal of the season – on the power play at 15:18 of the second period. He sent a shot through from the point through a screen and into the lower left side of the net. Early in the third, Brown took a shot from the right point that Anthoine redirected over the right shoulder of Larson at 2:10 to push the SUNY Geneseo lead to 3-1.
Nichols climbed to within one at 10:50 of the third when Jackson redirected a pass from sophomore Sean Fleming (Easthampton, N.J.) past SUNY Geneseo sophomore goalie Nick Horrigan (Mount Forest, Ontario). The Bison nearly tied the game with Larson on the bench for the extra attacker late in the stanza, but Sposit’s shot from the right side struck the right post along the ice.
“Alex played great. He’s a big-game player who always shows up when we have a tough opponent, and tonight was no exception,” said Swallow. “He played great start-to-finish.”
Horrigan made 31 saves to improve to 13-1-0 on the season. SUNY Geneseo went 1-for-3 with the extra attacker while Nichols did not receive a power-play opportunity.
Nichols closes its season 18-7-3.