Suffolk at Assumption
BOSTON – The Suffolk men's hockey team jump starts its 2016-17 campaign this weekend as the Rams hit the road for their season opener at Assumption Saturday, Oct. 29. Puck drop at Buffone Arena is slated for 6:35 p.m.
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OUT OF THE GATES
The Rams are 6-10-1 in season openers since 1999, including a 1-4-0 record on the road. For the seventh straight season Suffolk begins its season against Assumption. The Rams are 5-1 when opening versus the Greyhounds including five straight victories. Last season, Suffolk escaped Assumption in an overtime thriller with a one-timer from Justin Selep '16. Suffolk has only needed extra time on opening night three times, with the Rams owning a 1-1-1 OT game 1 ledger.
GUESS WHO'S BACK
A fair amount of change has transpired for Suffolk during the offseason, but the faces that return will be key in the search for continued success. The Rams are kept on a seamless track as Chris Glionna will return to the bench for his 13th season as head coach. The winningest coach in Suffolk hockey history will continue to be assisted by his veteran staff, John Burgess, Greg Fowke and Pat Welch.
On the ice, the Rams return 25 skaters, most notably Danyil Medvedev and Stanton Turner, who venture back to Boston for their final season in blue and gold. The seniors will lead the charge for the 16 upperclassmen and nine newcomers in the first inaugural season of Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) hockey. Even after seeing their top point earner depart, expectations remain high from the Rams. Medevdev (7-14-21) and Turner (6-9-15) will play important roles on the Rams' attack, as well as sophomore Justin Holliday, who tallied 15 points (8-7-15) in his collegiate debut for Suffolk. Junior Shayne Bailey (3-6-9) and sophomore Mikhail Bryan (1-4-5) will anchor the Rams' blue line.
In between the pipes Suffolk has a void to fill after losing four-year starter Brandon Smolarek BS '16 to graduation. Luckily, the Rams have experience netminders in senior Kevin Venturoso (85 saves, 4.43 GAA) and sophomore Michael Levine (66 saves, 0.78 GAA), who gained experience in five outings apiece last season, to call upon.
NEW FACES, IN NEW PLACES
Nine new skaters will take the ice for Suffolk this season. The seven freshmen and two sophomores comprise five forwards, three defensemen and one goalkeeper.
GET TO KNOW THE GREYHOUNDS
Similar to Suffolk, Assumption opens the 2016-17 Saturday night.
The Greyhounds, who are coming off a 9-12-4 season, were picked to finish second in the NE-10. Assumption returns 22 players to the ice making for an experienced squad. Captains Kevin Murphy and Ryan Gomez look to lead Assumption this season under the guidance of ninth-year head coach Lance Brady. Seven of the Hounds' eight top scorers are set for a comeback including Gomez (9-20_28) and Brian Farrell (10-14-24). In net, Nick Commesso will continue to be Assumptions back stop as the senior is coming off a 584-save, 52-goals allowed effort.
Suffolk and Assumption have played every year since 1999, when the Rams' record books date back. The Rams, which have taken the last five contests, hold a 10-6-1 advantage leading up to the two sides'18th meeting. A year ago, Suffolk downed Assumption, 4-3, in overtime in the season opener.
A NEW ERA
Suffolk will begin a new era of men's ice hockey this season as the Rams will compete in the inaugural Commonwealth Coast Conference. Nine institutions join the Rams in the first-ever CCC men's hockey season in Becker, Curry, Endicott, Johnson & Wales Nichols, Salve Regina, University of New England, Wentworth, Western New England.
|2016-17 CCC PRESEASON COACHES' POLL|
Suffolk opens its home and CCC schedule Thursday, Nov. 3 as the Rams entertain Becker at Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Rink in Charlestown at 7 p.m.