|University of New England||SUNY Geneseo|
NORTHFIELD, Vt. — The University of New England scored twice in the opening 3:20 and led all the way through a wild 9-5 men’s ice hockey triumph over No.6 SUNY Geneseo, as the Northfield Savings Bank Tournament hosted by Norwich University began Friday afternoon (Jan. 5) at Kreitzberg Arena.
UNE now gets the 11th-ranked Cadets (5-1 winners versus Northland College) in Saturday’s (7 p.m.) tourney final.
The Nor’easters improve to 9-3-2 on the year, extending their current unbeaten streak which started back before Thanksgiving (7-0-1 since Nov. 21). The result against the 6th-rated squad in the country matches the highest ranking out of Big Blue’s seven all-time victories against top-15 programs.
UNE shredded the Geneseo goaltending with only 26 shots-on-target, forcing three changes in the game. Meanwhile, Tate Sproxton (Surrey, British Columbia) posted 55 saves in the 60 shots he faced for the Nor’easters — the largest total during a winning outcome in school history.
Ryan Bloom (Northville, Mich.) registered a game-high four points, and was the sole UNE player with multiple goals — both in the first frame. Brett Mecrones (Medford, Mass.), Derek Mecrones (Medford, Mass.), Tyler Seltenreich (Littleton, Colo.), and Brady Fleurent (Biddeford, Maine) each added a goal and an assist. Fleurent’s helper was career number 66, tying him with older brother Trevor for the program record still just midway through his junior campaign (65 games).
The Knights (8-4-1) surrendered just one power-play opportunity to the 3rd-most productive unit in the nation, however its duration was a full five minutes in the 2nd period. That fact proved costly for SUNY Geneseo as the Nor’easters notched three tallies during that span, in spite of only spending 2:14 of it actually skating with the 5-on-4 advantage due to their own penalties on either end.
Joining in the goal-scoring effort for UNE was Chris Jones (Seattle, Wash.), Ryan Burr (Toms River, N.J.), and Liam Neuman (Newmarket, Ontario). Andrew Slotnick (Canterbury, Conn.), Dimitris Jones (Seattle, Wash.), and Max Rasberg (Columbus, Ohio) contributed two assists apiece.
Tyler Empey netted a couple power-play goals for the Knights and finished with a game-best three. Carson Kelley and Anthony Marra each had one goal. Starting goalie Devin McDonald lasted 12:39 after the initial face-off, but eventually returned in the 3rd period and wound up with 10 saves.