Solid weekend showing clinches 5th seed for men’s hockey, Rams to take on Curry in the playoffs

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Jamie Taris

Sophomore Kyle Valiquette plays a puck during the Rams win over Nichols.

After a rough showing on Friday, the Suffolk University men’s hockey team was able to finish the weekend strong as the season winds down towards playoffs. 

The Rams started the weekend with a tough matchup against the University of New England Nor’easters, who’s the number 11 ranked team in the nation. 

Suffolk came out hot as junior forward Alex Kolowrat scored first to give the Rams a 1-0 lead just minutes into the opening frame. 

The Nor’easters struck back at the midway point of the period to tie the game 1-1, which carried through the end of the period. 

UNE blew the game open in the second as they added three goals to put them on top 4-1.

The third period was more of the same, as the Nor’easters scored another four goals to give them a grand total of eight on the night. Suffolk was able to net one more goal on a power play thanks to junior forward Griffin Clark, making the final score 8-2 UNE. 

“We just played a wicked stretch where we played the top four teams in seven days and it took a lot out of us,” head coach Chris Glionna later said about the game.

The Rams returned home on Saturday to take on the Nichols College Bison.

Similar to their previous game, the Rams struck first and it was once again Kolowrat finding the back of the net.

The Rams were unable to hold on to a first period lead for the second straight night as the Bison rallied with a goal minutes before intermission, making the score 1-1.

The second period was penalties galore, as the two teams had a combined nine penalties in the frame, five of which the Rams were responsible for.

Senior forward Joe Feeney fist bumps Kyle Valiquette as the Rams take the ice. (Jamie Taris)

Despite the number of man advantages, neither team was able to take the lead and they remained deadlocked heading to the third.

The penalty troubles carried over into the third for the Rams. Five minutes into the period, Suffolk was assessed a bench penalty which was served by freshman defender Connor Thomas, along with senior defenseman Billy Roche being ejected due to a game misconduct.

Towards the midway point of third, sophomore forward Ryan Harriagn broke the tie on a 4 on 4 to put the Rams up 2-1.

“The defenseman put it up ice, he chipped it to the middle and I got it, brought it in [to the offensive zone] and made a good shot,” Harrigan said about his goal. 

Suffolk once again picked up a penalty when junior forward Nick Lachaine was called for a cross check with seconds remaining on a drive to the net by Nichols. 

On the penalty kill with 20 seconds left, Suffolk was able to fight off a couple of good scoring chances from the Bison to hold on for the victory.

After the game, head coach Chris Glionna credited goaltender Cal Wilcox as the star of the game, recording 48 saves in the win. 

“Especially in the second period [Wilcox] kept us in there,” Glionna said. “To be a good team, your goalie has to be your best player and Cal Wilcox was certainly our best player tonight.”

Despite being called for 13 penalties which resulted in 42 penalty minutes, the win clinched the fifth seed in the Commonwealth Coast Conference playoffs, securing a matchup at Curry College in the first round.

Suffolk took the ice again Tuesday night to take on Rivier University in an out of conference matchup.

Rivier drew first blood 34 seconds into the second period, then followed it with a power play goal at around the midway point to mount a 2-0 lead.

Suffolk struck back with goals by Kolwrat and junior forward Peter Nugent to go into the second intermission tied at two. 

Rivier took a 3-2 lead late in the third, but Suffolk’s senior forward John Garity was able to tie the game at three and force overtime.

With 28 seconds to go in the overtime, Suffolk freshman forward Troy Ladka was able to score, giving the Rams a 4-3 win.

The Suffolk men’s hockey team now holds a record of 7-11-4 on the season. They’ll play their final regular season road game on Friday against Endicott before wrapping up the season at home against Wentworth on Saturday.

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