The Suffolk University Hockey team defeated the Western New England University Golden Bears, 5-3 in ECAC Northeast Action on Saturday evening in the Rams' home opener in Charlestown.
Freshman Simon Leahy (Milwaukee, Wis.) scored a pair of second period goals, while junior Tim Sprague (Plymouth, Mass.) netted his team leading fourth goal of the year, which turned out to be the game-winner for Suffolk as they win their first conference game of the year.
Western New England jumped out early scoring a pair of goals in the opening eight minutes of the contest. Junior Brandon Stroud (Clarksville, In.) scored his first of two goals in the game, just two minutes into the contest on the power-play as he converted a feed from senior John Kelly (Staten Island, N.Y.).
Five minutes later in the period senior Brian Prost (Parma, Ohio) connected on another helper from Kelly for his third goal of the season which chased Suffolk junior goalie Brett Roman (Rock Tavern, N.Y.) from the game.
Sophomore Brandon Smolarek (Chesterfield, Mo.) made 28 total saves in the relief effort between the pipes for the Rams, including 17 in the third period.
Senior Charlie McGinnis (Hanover, Mass.) got Suffolk on the board in the first period as they took advantage of the power-play. McGinnis knocked in a rebound just five seconds in with the extra attacker to cut the Golden Bears' lead in half.
Leahy would put the Rams ahead in the second period as he scored twice in a five minute span. His first goal came at the 7:20 mark as he converted a feed from freshman Garrett Stephenson (West Richland, Wash.) to even things up. His second strike of the game came at 14 minutes as he put home a pass from freshman Stanton Turner (San Francisco, Calif.) to give Suffolk the lead.
Suffolk would again take advantage of the power-play early in the third period as Sprague was fed a pass in between the circles ninety seconds into the third period as the Rams built a two-goal edge.
Stroud would knock home his second goal of the game later in the third period however as he was set up by junior Andrew Cramer (New Wilmington, Pa.) eleven minutes into the third.
Suffolk would manage to hold on however by the strong play of Smolarek as they were outshot in the third period, 18-3. Smolarek would push aside 17 shots he faced before sophomore Tyler Murray (Houston, Tx.) sealed the game with an empty net goal with seventeen seconds remaining in regulation.
Senior Eric Sorenson (Fairport, N.Y.) made 24 in goal for the Golden Bears on the evening.
The loss drops Western New England to a 3-2 mark on the year and 2-1 record in ECAC Northeast play.
Suffolk improves to 2-2 on the year, with Saturday's win their first in three league games thus far.
Western New England will be back in action on Thursday evening as they host ECAC Northeast foe Wentworth at 7:10pm. Suffolk will host Becker College in conference action on Wednesday evening beginning at 8:40pm.