BOSTON – After playing in its third straight overtime contest, the Suffolk hockey team remains on the road Thursday as the Rams make the trip to Springfield, Massachusetts for a 7:10 p.m. ECAC Northeast showdown at Western New England.
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THE FIRST LINE
- Suffolk is coming off its third overtime game, after tying Endicott Saturday afternoon night. The stalemate is the first time in the Rams' hockey history book, which dates back to the 1999-2000 season, that Suffolk has played three consecutive OT contests.
- Last season, the Rams played five four-period contests (2-1-2) including three in the month of November.
- Sophomores Luke Miller and Jack Jenkins each recorded their first points of the season Saturday at Endicott. Miller scored his first goal of the season and the second of his career. Jenkins' got in the scorebook with an assist on Miller's tally.
- Coming into the weekend, Suffolk (1-0-1, 0-0-1 ECAC Northeast) is the only unbeaten team in the ECAC Northeast as the Rams sit at 1-0-2 and 0-0-2 in conference action.
- With back-to-back ties in ECAC Northeast action, Suffolk has picked up two points to sit in fourth place in the conference standings.
LAST TIME OUT
In front of a sold-out crowd at the opening of Endicott's Raymond J. Bourque Arena, the Suffolk ice hockey team clashed with the Gulls to a 1-1 stalemate after 65 minutes of back-and-forth with its ECAC Northeast opponent.
MORE READING: Hockey Ties Endicott in OT in ECAC Northeast Action
WE'RE GOING INTO OVERTIME, AGAIN
All three of Suffolk's game this season have needed extra time, marking a first in the Ram's hockey record books, which date back to the 1999-2000 season.
The most overtime games Suffolk has played in a single season dating back to 1999-2000 is six, which happened on two occasions; 2012-13 and 2005-06. The Rams went 1-0-5 in four-periods in 2012-13 and 1-1-4 in OT games in 2005-06.
The freshman class has made a significant impact for Suffolk through just two games this season. Rookie forward Justin Holliday's three points is tied for a team-high off one goal and two handouts. Freshman forward Tommy Bishop (1-1-2) has two points, while defenseman Mikahil Bryan and Nick Mosher picked up one helper each.
Brandon Smoalrek has stood tall for Suffolk between the pipes and is a major reason why the Rams are unbeaten this season. The senior netminder has turned away 115 attempts, the second most amongst ECAC Northeast goalies, to go along with his 2.20 goals-against average and .942 save percentage. The Chesterfield, Michigan native steered away 46 shots against Salve Regina DATE, the most by a Suffolk goal keeper since junior Kevin Venturoso stopped 52 attempts against Tufts January 8, 2014.
Smolarek's career total is now 225 shy of 2,000 saves.
'BOUT THE BEARS
After a 6-2 loss to Westfield State in its season opener, Western New England (0-3, 0-1 ECAC Northeast) has been shutout at Worcester State (2-0) and Wentworth (3-0).
Steve Beck and Chris Lembo account for each of the Bears goals this season with Brian Hurley and Braedan Pearl handing out one assist apiece.
Austin Keiser and Cole Semchak have each played between the pipes, but Keiser has the better numbers with a 1.94 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.
Suffolk and Western New England have played 29 times since the 1999-2000 season, beginning with a 6-3 Rams victory in 1999-2000. The Rams own a 15-13-1 record over the Bears and have won the last two meetings.
Suffolk returns to Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Memorial Rink Saturday night for a 7 p.m. date with Curry.